Game One Hundred Fifty-Five – Cubs 1 Brewers 5
WP – Shaun Marcum (13-7) LP – Randy Wells (7-5) Save – None
The Cubs played their final night game of the year at Wrigley Field … and it ended up as another sloppy loss for Q’s Cubs. After playing one of their better games of the month on Monday, it was back to the norm for Q’s Cubs on Tuesday. Bad pitching, poor defense, no patience at the plate and not a single hit with runners in scoring position (0-for-5 with RISP, five left on base).
Starlin Castro provided the Cubs only highlight of the night. Castro hit his 10th home run of the season leading off the sixth inning. Castro has now reached base in 33 straight games, the second longest streak by a Cubs’ shortstop. Woody English had a 34-game hitting streak in 1929.
Starlin Castro’s homer inched him closer to 200 hits for the season (197) and pushed him past Glenn Beckert on the Cubs All-Time list for the most hits in the first two seasons to start a career. Beckert recorded 335 hits in 1965-1966, Castro has 336 and counting dating back to May 2009.
The Cubs managed only six hits on the night … and not a single walk. Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with two doubles), Randy Wells (1-for-1), Reed Johnson (1-for-1) and Blake DeWitt (1-for-1) were the other four Cubs to record a hit in the loss.
Aramis Ramirez (0-for-3) left after the sixth inning with a mild strain in his right quad. Ramirez is doubtful for Wednesday’s home finale and has likely played his last game at Wrigley as a Cub. Following the game, Ramirez said he will likely move on after the season and test the free agent market.
Shaun Marcum was in control of the extremely aggressive Cubs lineup all night. Marcum had one of his best outings of the second half. Marcum allowed only one run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Marcum threw only 97 pitches, 68 for strikes, in eight innings.
Randy Wells put together another bad outing and lost his first game since July 28 in Milwaukee. Wells lasted five innings but the game was over after the third. The Brewers exploded in the third for four runs on five hits (with an error) and put the game away. Wells survived the fourth inning but could not get out of the fifth without allowing another run. Wells uncorked two wild pitches during an at bat to Ryan Braun in the fifth that allowed Nyjer Morgan to advance all the way to third without a hit. Morgan ended up scoring the Brewers fifth run on a 5-4 fielder’s choice.
Randy Wells allowed five runs on six hits in five innings with two walks, three strikeouts, a HBP and two wild pitches. Wells threw 87 pitches, 54 for strikes.
Andrew Cashner walked one of the four batters he faced in the eighth. Cashner threw the ball well. Ramon Ortiz and John Grabow pitched the other three innings (Ortiz pitched the sixth and seventh and Grabow the ninth) in what should have been their last outings in a Cubs’ uniform at Wrigley. The innings Mike Quade gave Ortiz and Grabow on Tuesday night should have gone to John Gaub and Rafael Dolis.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to 19 games under .500 with a 68-87 record …
Starlin Castro stepped to the plate in the first just four hits shy of 200 … and flied out to center to start the inning. Casey McGehee misplayed a smash off Darwin Barney’s bat into a one-out double down the left field line. Aramis Ramirez flied out to right, Barney tagged and advanced to third but was stranded when Carlos Pena grounded out to second.
The Brewers did nothing against Wells in the second … 1-2-3 on seven pitches.
Bryan LaHair (strikeout swinging), Soriano (flyout to left) and Byrd (strikeout swinging) went down in order in the bottom of the second.
The top of the third was a microcosm of the Cubs season. Poor defense and bad pitching led to the Brewers jumping out to a commanding 4-0 lead. The Brewers sent eight to the plate and scored four runs on five hits, an error and 27 pitches.
Wells retired Lucroy to start the third but Shaun Marcum ripped a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner. Marcum ended up with his second double of the year. Corey Hart went with a 1-2 pitch and drove the ball over LaHair’s head in right. Marcum scored the games first run … and Hart stopped at second.
Nyjer Morgan lined a single into left center just out of the reach of Starlin Castro. Castro leaped as high as he could but could not haul it in … a game of inches. Hart scored, 2-0 Brewers. Morgan took off for second on the first pitch to Braun. Morgan slid in safe as the ball went into centerfield. Morgan got to his feet and hustled to third.
Ryan Braun made it 3-0 on the Brewers fourth straight hit. Braun singled to center on a 0-2 pitch. Morgan scored on the play. Prince Fielder grounded out to second but Braun was running on the 3-2 pitch and ended up at second.
Aramis Ramirez misplayed a smash off Rickie Weeks into a RBI single. The ball went off Ramirez’s glove and into left field. Braun scored, 4-0 Brewers. McGehee grounded out to short on Wells’ 27th pitch of the inning.
Shaun Marcum gave up a one-out single to Randy Wells in the bottom of the third … but ended up facing the minimum when Castro grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Randy Wells struck out Betancourt and Lucroy to start the fourth. Wells then hit Marcum on a 0-2 pitch. Marlon Byrd took an extra basehit away from Corey Hart with an excellent running catch into left center to end the inning.
The Cubs wasted a leadoff double by Darwin Barney in the fourth. Barney ripped a 0-1 pitch over McGehee’s head and into left field. Ramirez flied out to right center, Barney tagged and advanced to third. Pena lined out to first and LaHair struck out looking (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Randy Wells continued struggling with his command in the fifth. Nyjer Morgan led off with a single to right center, the Brewers’ sixth hit of the game. With Ryan Braun at the plate, Wells uncorked two wild pitches (0-2 pitch and a 2-2 pitch) that allowed Morgan to advance all the way to third. Braun lined out to a leaping Aramis Ramirez … then flipped his bat 15 feet up in the air out of frustration.
Wells intentionally walked Fielder before falling behind Rickie Weeks. Weeks hit a grounder to Ramirez on a 3-2 pitch. Ramirez backed up on the ball and it cost the Cubs a chance at a double play. Fielder was forced at second, Weeks beat Barney’s throw and Morgan scored … 5-0 Brewers. Casey McGehee ended the inning by flying out to right on Wells’ 87th pitch of the night (54 for strikes).
Geovany Soto reached on a fielding error by Casey McGehee with two outs in the fifth. Tyler Colvin hit for Wells and struck out swinging to end the inning.
Ramon Ortiz took over in the sixth. Betancourt popped out to second (first pitch) to start the inning. Jonathan Lucroy reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Marcum bunted him to second and Hart grounded out to short to end the inning.
Starlin Castro led off the sixth with his 10th homer of the season. Castro ripped a 1-1 pitch into the first row of the bleachers in left center. Castro’s 197th hit cut the Brewers lead to four at 5-1. Barney struck out swinging, Ramirez grounded out to short and Pena flied out to left to end the inning.
Blake DeWitt replaced Aramis Ramirez at third to start the seventh … Ramirez left with a mild strain of his right quad.
Other than a two-out walk by Prince Fielder, the Brewers did nothing against Ramon Ortiz in the seventh.
Shaun Marcum sat the Cubs down in order in the seventh.
Andrew Cashner issued a two-out walk to Jonathan Lucroy in the eighth … but that was all for the Brewers. Cashner threw the ball well, kept the ball down and two of the three outs were on the ground.
With his hand against the ivy, Ryan Braun caught Soto’s deep drive to left to start the eighth. Reed Johnson hit for Cashner and ripped a 3-2 pitch off the top of the wall. Braun played the carom perfectly and threw out Johnson at second. Starlin Castro struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt … but reached after Lucroy lost the ball. Fielder caught Barney’s pop up in foul ground to end the inning.
John Grabow plunked Corey Hart to start the ninth. Nyjer Morgan flied out to LaHair in right. Braun hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice and Fielder tapped out in front of the plate to end the inning.
Francisco Rodriguez started the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation. Blake DeWitt singled to left but Pena struck out swinging (2-2 pitch). Bryan LaHair, who looked lost all night, put together his best at bat of the game but struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Soriano predictably struck out swinging to end the game.
Another mistake filled game for the Chicago Cubs …
Matt Garza will start the final game of the season at Wrigley Field. Randy Wolf for the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon.