The Cubs Kids are Double Trouble for the Braves – Cubs 8 Braves 4

Game One Hundred Twenty – Cubs 8 Braves 4
WP – Randy Wells (4-4) LP – Derek Lowe (7-11) Save – Carlos Marmol (27)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs bounced back nicely from Friday night’s debacle and put together a rare victory over Derek Lowe less than 24 hours later. After spending Saturday dealing with the latest Carlos Zambrano drama, the youngest of the Cubs led the way on Saturday night.

Starlin Castro (4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI) recorded the seventh four-hit game of his young career and Darwin Barney (4-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI) set a career high with four hits. The top of Quade’s lineup combined on a 8-for-10 night with two runs scored and three RBI … add in Tyler Colvin’s 2-for-5 night that included a double, a triple and two runs scored and the Cubs’ kids were responsible for 10 of the Cubs 14 hits and seven of the eight runs scored.

Carlos Pena (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI) broke up the one-one tie in the fifth with a two-out, two-run double. Aramis Ramirez (1-for-4 with a sac fly, RBI and run scored) drove in the first run of the game with a sac fly and scored on Pena’s double in the fifth. Three of the Cubs eight runs scored on two out hits by Carlos Pena and Starlin Castro.

Randy Wells put together a solid start and made the big pitch when he needed it. Wells gave up two runs on eight hits without a walk, a HBP and one strikeout in five-plus innings. Wells threw 76 pitches, 50 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija bailed out Wells in the sixth. Samardzija did not allow an inherited run to score after taking over for Wells with runners on first and second with no outs.

Carlos Marmol picked up his 27th save of the season after coming into a bases loaded jam with one out in the ninth. Marmol gave up a sac fly to Chipper Jones that allowed a run to score but that was it … and more importantly, Marmol threw strikes (five pitches, four for strikes).

Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 33 games with a 2-for-3 night that included a home run and a walk. Uggla was also hit by a pitch and scored two runs. The Cubs have retired Uggla only once in two games and the Braves’ slugger has hit three home runs in the series.

With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 52-68 on the season … 16 games below .500.

Starlin Castro led off the game with his first of four hits on the night. Quade called for a hit and run on a 2-1 offering to Darwin Barney. The Cubs second baseman responded with a single to right. Castro ended up at third and scored on a sac fly to left off the bat of Aramis Ramirez. Lowe retired Pena and Byrd to end the inning.

Randy Wells had a shaky first inning but did not allow any runs. After retiring Bourn and Prado to start the inning, Freddie Freeman reached on a two-out single to center. Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 33 games with a single to center. Wells retired Chipper Jones on a fly out to center to end the inning.

Tyler Colvin doubled to right with one out in the second but was stranded when Soto grounded out to third and Wells struck out swinging.

The Braves did nothing against Wells in the bottom of the second … three up, three down.

Starlin Castro led off the third with a single to left. Barney followed, again, with a single to right off Freddie Freeman’s glove. Castro advanced to third with no outs. Aramis Ramirez hit a grounder to Alex Gonzalez at short. Castro paused for just a second and was thrown out at the plate when David Ross scooped the low throw and tagged him out.

Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd struck out swinging to end the inning.

Randy Wells pitched around a one-out infield single by Michael Bourn in the bottom of the third. Bourn stole second with Freeman at the dish but Freeman grounded out to second to end the inning.

At the end of three, 1-0 Cubs.

The Cubs did nothing against Derek Lowe in the fourth.

The Braves tied the game at one in the bottom of the fourth … and it was that guy again, Dan Uggla. Uggla hit his third home run of the series and tied the game at one. Chipper Jones followed with a double but tried to advance to third on a grounder to Castro. Castro threw out Jones at third for the first out of the inning.

David Ross followed with a single and the Braves had runners on first and second with one out. Jose Constanza tapped back to the mound. Wells threw to second and forced Ross but the speedy Constanza beat Castro’s throw. Derek Lowe grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs took the lead for good in the top of the fifth. After Wells grounded out to short and Castro flied out to right to start the inning, Darwin Barney singled to center with two outs. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to left and Carlos Pena stepped to the plate with two on, two out in a tied game.

Carlos Pena ripped a 1-0 pitch into the gap in left center. Barney scored and broke the tie and Ramirez lumbered around the bases … and just like that it was 3-1 Cubs. Byrd struck out swinging to end the inning.

Randy Wells responded with a nice shut down inning … the Braves did nothing against Wells in the bottom of the fifth.

Tyler Colvin launched a 0-1 pitch to center with one out in the sixth. Michael Bourn raced back and appeared to catch the ball but as he hit the wall the ball popped loose. Colvin hustled around the bases and ended up with his first triple of the season.

Geovany Soto hit a grounder to third, Colvin broke for the plate and scored when the ball got away from David Ross. Jones was charged with an error at the time but was changed to a fielder’s choice and a RBI for Soto.

Wells sacrificed Soto to second and Castro delivered a two-out single into center. Soto scored and the Cubs took a 5-1 lead. Barney flied out to center to end the inning.

Randy Wells started the sixth but could not record any outs. Wells hit Uggla to start the inning and he advanced to second on a single to right by Chipper Jones. Alex Gonzalez ripped a 1-0 pitch back up the middle and off of a diving Darwin Barney’s glove. Uggla scored … 5-2 Cubs.

Mike Quade went to his pen and brought in Jeff Samardzija with runners on first and second with no outs and the Cubs up by three.

Samardzija did his job without allowing an inherited runner to score. Ross popped out to second. Constanza tapped back to the mound, Samardzija forced Gonzalez at second and retired pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad on a fly out to right to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the top of the seventh and Sean Marshall worked around his own error in the bottom of the seventh without allowing any runs. The Cubs actually retired Dan Uggla for the first time in the series to end the inning (fly out to left).

The Cubs appeared to put the game away in the top of the eighth. Alfonso Soriano reached on a swinging bunt up the third baseline. Tony Campana ran for Soriano and advanced to third on error in left by Martin Prado. Colvin made it to second with no outs.

After Geovany Soto struck out swinging, Blake DeWitt hit for Marshall and hit a weak grounder to the first base side of the mound. Campana broke on contact and scored just ahead of Ross’ tag. Colvin ended up at third and scored on a single to left by Starlin Castro … 7-2 Cubs.

Fredi Gonzalez went to his pen and replaced Cristhian Martinez with Anthony Varvaro.

Darwin Barney singled to center and plated DeWitt with the Cubs’ eighth and final run of the night. Ramirez flied out to left, Castro advanced to third but Pena flied out to deep right to end the inning.

The Braves started chipping away at the Cubs’ six-run lead in the bottom of the eighth against Ramon Ortiz.

Chipper Jones led off the inning with a double to right center … Byrd and Colvin did not communicate. Gonzalez grounded out to second. Ross followed with a single to center. Jones advanced to third with one out.

Mike Quade went to his pen and brought in James Russell to face Jose Constanza. Constanza grounded out and drove in Jones with the Braves third run. Eric Hinske strolled to the plate, hitting for Varvaro and struck out swinging to end the inning.

At the end of eight … 8-3 Cubs.

Other than a one-out single by Tony Campana, the Cubs did nothing against George Sherrill in the top of the ninth.

James Russell started the ninth with the Cubs up 8-3. Martin Prado single to center with one out and advanced to second on a single to right by Freddie Freeman. Russell walked Uggla to load the bases with one out.

Carlos Marmol was summoned from the pen, along with Reed Johnson (right field).

Chipper Jones hit a deep fly to right. Prado tagged and scored but Alex Gonzalez popped out to Castro in short center to end the game.

What a roller coaster of a day for the Chicago Cubs …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza will face Brandon Beachy in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice." - Bob Proctor
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  • paulcatanese

    Good post Neil, had to be hard after all that has gone on. But one thing the two at the top did it again. Maybe someone will take notice what has worked all year and leave them there for a while.

  • paulcatanese

    Ten little Cubbies all in a row, one went a running and now there are nine.

  • BosephHeyden

    4 games behind the Pirates and 7 behind the Reds…yep, Hendry and Quade are going nowhere next season.

  • Bryan

    It should be a beautiful day for baseball.  Get your pencil and scorecard ready!

    I thought it interesting to hear Hendry’s comments about Zambrano, and that there’s likely more garbage beneath the surface on all this.  If so, then just another brilliant move by our GM in rewarding this nut case a $90m contract years ago.  Outsiders must look at this organization and wonder who’s running the asylum. 

  • Ripken Boy

    Quade needs to leave Barney in the #2 spot. He stopped hitting when he dropped him to 8th. The Cubs 8th hitter should be Soriano for the rest of the year.

  • paulcatanese

    Of course Z returned his stuff to his locker and says he is not retireing, did anyone really believe that his Agent would let him get away with that?. I gurantee with his commision at stake he was all over Z to recant that one. That had to be the ” stranger in the night” when he returned his gear. We will now see how strong
    Ricketts and JH are. Z had to know that he was barred from the team and I would assume the clubhouse as well and he did what he wanted to do anyway, as he always has.

  • paulcatanese

    Why would Byrd be in the lineup today, 0-5 with two Ks, must be because of his stellar defense and rifle arm. Johnson got in, but as a defensive replacement for
    Covin, I guess its not nice to cut in front of Byrd. Johnson can play center field also
    Mr. Qua.

  • J Daniel

    Big Z, regardless of what occurs with the union, should not pitch again.  There are only a couple of weeks until the September call ups.  Even if he has to be reinstated with the expansion of the rosters he will not be needed.

    I would not pitch him again, PERIOD!  They can use the excuse of trying to get his value up so that they can make a move.  It does not matter if he pitches great for 3-4 starts as NOBODY is going to take his CONTRACT.  Other teams might have the mentality that he would be better with them but it is the risk of the CONTRACT that will keep all away.

    If they want to change the culture, and nobody will take Z off their hands, I would start with using him as the example.  This nonsense will not be tolerated.  You will not pitch for us – or anyone.  WE will pay you but you ARE NOT going to play, PERIOD!

    If you want to be treated like a man, act like one.  If you act like a child you will be treated as one.  Take your bat, ball, glove and GO HOME!

    • paulcatanese

      Like that one , good post.

      • J Daniel

        This crap has to stop, period!  If it does not then it will continue to be a complete joke.  Ricketts has to know this or if he does not someone else has to be telling him this?

    • Brp921

      I’m sorry i’ve defended his worth down through the years. I say stick him at the end of the bullpen bench and don’t use him the rest of the year. Maybe that would embarress him into retirement.

  • J Daniel

    And another thought . . . and I know this will be original . . . Colvin and Campana will play at least 6 of every 7 games.

    Campana will lead off, Barney will bit second, and Castro third – and they will stay there – REGARDLESS of who is pitching – END OF STORY!  

    The lineup should be:
    Campana cf
    Barney 2b
    Castro ss
    Pena 1b
    Aram 3b
    Colvin rf
    Soriano lf
    Soto c

    Still upgrades are needed but here is what I want:

    1.  Speed at the top.  I could live with Castro leading off and Campana 8th but I would really prefer to see if Campana can be a lead off man and be a disruptor. Barney is a perfect 2 hole hitter.  Castro is going to be an outstanding hitter so put him in the rbi spot.

    2.  This lineup provides L-R-L-R situations.

    Still think upgrades are needed in Left for sure and possibly 1B but this is what we have.

    I would love to see if LaHair could be the guy at 1B but that makes to much sense.

    Just don’t see anything happening in left unless some big balls in management are grown.  Realize that money has to be eaten and get it over with.

    • paulcatanese

      Like the lineup. Agree with speed at the top. Love Barney in the 2 spot and Campana leading off. It seems all of the teams the Cubs play do have the Campana type hitter in the leadoff spot and thats a smart move. Castro should be in the 3 spot as he is the best hitter they have. It could work very well with Pena in the 4 spot and Aram in the 5 spot, why not? The only change I would make for THIS year would be Johnson in center and Campana in left, I think Byrd is dust. Soriono, like his bat, and when he plays, have to be satisfied with the glove, no way around that. Colvin and Soto would round it out. From Aram on down could be in the order you suggested and cannot hurt.

      • J Daniel

        No problem with Campana in left and Johnson or Jackson in cf and think it would be another improvement.

      • Tno13

        A lot of people, here and elsewhere, rip Q for batting Castro 3rd.

        • paulcatanese

          I know, I probably have too, but given the option of the three at the top of the lineup it may be worth another try to get the speed in the game. It is a gamble, but may be an option again, Castro looks as though he has matured as a hitter and the opportunity for RBIs would increase.

        • J Daniel

          Agreed, but I am considering giving Campana a shot at playing and feel he would be best utilized as a lead off man.  Remember the old Cardinals with all of the speed at the top of the order.  Speed changes things.  

          I do like Castro leading off, no question.  Barney, to me, is a perfect #2 with a speedster leading off . . . hit and run, bunt, steal second and bunt to third, . . . oh, I forgot, they don’t believe in those things.

  • J Daniel

    There is enough time to move into 4th place and if the Red free fall, which we know Dusty is capable of leading, possibly 3rd place.  They will be chest bumping at Clark and Addison!

    What a mood I am in today.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Wow Colvin comes through when given the oppurtunity to play amazing simply amazing.