Mismanaged Opportunities – Cubs 2 Phillies 4

Game Ninety-Eight – Cubs 2 Phillies 4
WP – Michael Stutes (4-1) LP – Sean Marshall (5-4, BS 3) Save – Antonio Bastardo (7)

The Cubs had several opportunities to beat Cliff Lee for the first time … but Tuesday’s loss is as much on Mike Quade as the players. The Cubs’ manager left his starting pitcher in one batter too long again then tried to get an extra inning out of Sean Marshall … after he’d already given up the lead.

The Phillies scored two in the eighth and two in the ninth after Matt Garza had tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Garza put together another excellent outing and did not allow a hit until the fifth … two of the four hits he allowed came in the seventh when he was running out of gas. Garza retired the leadoff hitter in each of the first seven innings.

Garza had very good command Tuesday night and did an excellent job of mixing his pitches. The Phillies did not square off on Garza and most of the outs were of the routine variety. Garza did not allow a run while he was on the mound. The run he was charged with came on a two-run double by Chase Utley off Sean Marshall.

Matt Garza was charged with one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven-plus innings on Tuesday night. Garza threw 117 pitches, 78 for strikes … just two short of his season-high of 119 (April 15 in Colorado). Garza left with a 2-0 lead and for the fourth time this year, the Cubs’ pen could not save the game for Garza.

Sean Marshall had another rough game against the Phillies and will likely be unavailable for the finale on Wednesday. Marshall blew his third save of the season after giving up four runs (three charged to Marshall) on five hits with three strikeouts in two innings. Marshall threw 37 pitches, 27 for strikes.

The Cubs offense scored both of their runs in the first inning on one swing of the bat. Starlin Castro (2-for-5, with a home run and two RBI) lined the first pitch from Cliff Lee into the basket in left center. The Cubs had two more opportunities to tack on against Lee but could not push across another run. Q’s offense out hit the Phillies (10-9) but finished the game 3-for-12 with RISP, nine left on base.

The Cubs first four hits went for extra bases against Cliff Lee (three doubles and a home run) and five of the first eight recorded a hit. Lee settled down after Geovany Soto’s single to right in the second and retired 10 in a row.

Reed Johnson (3-for-5 with a run scored and two doubles), Carlos Pena (2-for-3 with a double and a walk) and Aramis Ramirez (2-for-4 with a double) had solid nights at the plate.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 20 games under .500 with a 39-59 record …

After Matt Garza retired the Phillies in order on nine pitches to start the game, the Cubs jumped on Cliff Lee in the home-half of the first.

Reed Johnson put together a very good at bat that resulted in a double to right on the eighth pitch. Starlin Castro lined Lee’s first pitch into the basket in left center … and just like that, the Cubs took a quick 2-0 lead on Castro’s third longball of the season.

Aramis Ramirez followed with the Cubs third straight extra base knock … a double off the wall in left center on a 2-2 pitch.

Jeff Baker lined out to short. Michael Martinez then robbed Marlon Byrd of an extra base hit down the third base line. Martinez made a fine play and threw out Byrd at first for the second out. Soriano, who is in the middle of a huge slump, looked at strike three to end the inning.

The Cubs hit Lee very hard in the first inning.

Garza labored through a 25-pitch second inning after he issued back-to-back two out walks to Raul Ibanez and Domonic Brown. Garza was ahead of both 1-2 before eventually issuing the free passes. Carlos Ruiz grounded out to second to end the inning.

Carlos Pena led off the second with the Cubs’ fourth extra basehit of the game. Pena ripped a 2-0 pitch into the corner in right. Geovany Soto singled to right and the Cubs had runners on first and third with no outs.

Five of the Cubs first eight batters reached via a hit … but Soto’s base knock would be the last one for a while.

Cliff Lee settled in at that point. After Garza struck out on a fouled bunt, Reed Johnson and Starlin Castro struck out swinging to end the second.

Garza did his job and retired the Phillies in order in the third on just 12 pitches.

Lee struck out Ramirez to start the third, the Cubs four straight strikeout against the Phillies’ southpaw. Baker grounded out to short and Byrd grounded out to third to end the third.

Garza kept dealing in the fourth and sat down the Phillies 1-2-3 on 13 pitches, nine for strikes.

Cliff Lee cruised through a five-pitch bottom of the fourth and after four complete, the Cubs led 2-0.

Domonic Brown recorded the Phillies’ first hit with a one-out double to left on a 0-2 pitch. Garza did not let it phase him and jammed Ruiz on a 1-2 pitch. Ruiz fouled out to Pena near the first base camera well for the second out. Lee struck out swinging to end the inning.

Lee retired Garza to start the fifth … the 10th straight Cub retired by Cliff Lee.

Reed Johnson just missed a homer to left and settled for a double off the vines. Starlin Castro ripped a 2-1 pitch past a diving Jimmy Rollins into left center. Castro’s second hit of the night put runners on first and third with one down for Aramis Ramirez.

Ramirez swung at and popped up Lee’s first pitch to Jimmy Rollins … and Baker looked at strike three to end the inning.

Garza issued a four-pitch walk to Michael Martinez with one out in the sixth. Martinez then took off for second on a delayed steal after a strike-two call on Chase Utley (the second successful delayed steal against the Cubs during the homestand). Soto’s throw ended up in center and Martinez ended up at third with one out.

Chase Utley struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Ryan Howard struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. Garza did an excellent job of making both of the Phillies’ sluggers chase breaking balls out of the strike zone … and Garza pumped his fist after Howard swung and missed.

Domonic Brown reached on a two-out single in the seventh (0-2 pitch) … just the Phillies second hit of the game. Carlos Ruiz followed with a single to right (1-2 pitch) and Charlie Manuel went to his bench for Ross Gload.

Garza retired Gload on a fly out to center to end the inning. After seven, Garza had thrown 113 pitches, 75 for strikes.

For some reason Mike Quade let Garza hit for himself to start the seventh. Michael Stutes predictably struck out Garza for the first out. With the Cubs up by only two runs, Mike Quade allowed Garza to hit.

Reed Johnson followed Garza with a bloop single to left. Ibanez tried to make a diving catch but trapped the ball. Castro flied out to right but Aramis reached on a chopper up the middle. Quade went to his bench and sent Blake DeWitt up to hit for Jeff Baker. DeWitt flied out to right center to end the inning.

Darwin Barney took over at second when the Cubs took the field in the top of the eighth. So Quade used two players and shortened his bench in the seventh inning of a close game.

Matt Garza took the hill to start the eighth and gave up his fourth hit of the game. Jimmy Rollins singled to right on a 1-2 pitch … it was the first time in eight innings Garza allowed the leadoff hitter to reach.

Quade took out Garza after the leadoff single and Garza left the field to a standing ovation after seven-plus innings of shutout ball.

Sean Marshall came in and gave up a single to Michael Martinez.

With runners on first and second with no outs, Chase Utley hit a double off the wall in left center … and the game was tied at two.

The fourth time this season the bullpen could not preserve a win for Matt Garza.

Marshall struck out Ryan Howard but Utley stole third on the swinging strike three. With the infield in, Shane Victorino hit a grounder up the middle to Castro. Starlin threw home and nailed Utley at the plate. Ibanez struck out swinging to end the inning.

Other than an intentional walk to Carlos Pena, the Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the eighth.

Sean Marshall was sent out for the ninth and retired John Mayberry, Jr. and Carlos Ruiz quickly to start the inning. Soto dropped a fouled tip on a 1-2 pitch to pinch-hitter Ben Francisco that would have ended the inning. Francisco ended up dropping a single into right center two pitches later.

Jimmy Rollins drilled a 2-2 pitch down the third baseline. Ramirez got a glove on it and kept it on the infield. Michael Martinez then blooped a double down the right field line. Both Francisco and Rollins scored but Martinez was thrown out at third to end the inning. But the Phillies took a commanding 4-2 lead.

The Cubs did nothing against Antonio Bastardo in the ninth.

Back to 20 games under .500 …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster will face Vance Worley in the finale of the three game series on Wednesday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax