Cubs Win a Marathon in the Big Apple – Cubs 10 Mets 6

Game One Hundred Forty-Six – Cubs 10 Mets 6 – 11 innings
WP – Ramon Ortiz (1-2) LP – Josh Stinson (0-1) Save – None

wflag.jpg On an emotional night at Citi Field that featured a phenomenal tribute and remembrance to September 11, the Cubs jumped out to an early lead but could not tack on. The Cubs led 4-1 as late as the sixth inning but the Mets plated two against Matt Garza in the sixth and tied the game in the eighth on an error by Jeff Samardzija.

The Mets loaded the bases in both the ninth and tenth but could not push across the winning run … and the game remained tied at four after 10 innings.

The Cubs took the lead in the top of the 11th on a RBI single by Carlos Pena (3-for-5 with a double, a triple, two RBI, a walk and a run scored) and then broke the game open on a pair of two-run doubles by Alfonso Soriano (1-for-1 with a double, two RBI and a run scored) and Darwin Barney (3-for-6 with a double, two RBI and a run scored). The Cubs scored six runs in the 11th and held on after John Grabow served up a two-run homer to Jason Pridie in the bottom of the 11th.

Matt Garza put together another solid start and for the seventh time this season Garza left with a lead only to receive a no decision. Garza struggled at times with his command and appeared out of gas toward the end of his outing. Garza allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings. Garza threw 102 pitches, 66 for strikes.

Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija allowed the Mets to tie the game in the eighth. Samardzija was credited with his second blown save of the season (23 blown leads on the season for the Cubs’ bullpen) but was able to pitch out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

Ramon Ortiz picked up his first win in a Cubs’ uniform after replacing James Russell in the 10th.

The middle of the Cubs’ lineup did their job on Sunday night. Bryan LaHair (3-for-4 with two doubles, four runs scored and two walks) reached base five times and scored four of the Cubs’ ten runs. LaHair put together long, impressive at bats all night.

Tyler Colvin (2-for-5 with a triple, three RBI, a walk and a run scored) broke the 1-1 tie in the third with a two-run single and tripled in LaHair with the Cubs’ fourth run in the fifth.

Bryan LaHair, Carlos Pena and Tyler Colvin were a combined 8-for-14 with three doubles, two triples, five RBI, six runs scored and four walks.

Starlin Castro (1-for-7) extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with a single in the eighth. Castro has reached base in 24 straight games.

The Cubs continued to struggle with runners in scoring position on Sunday, which led to the free baseball. The Cubs were 6-for-18 with RISP and left 12 on base.

The Cubs won their first series in New York against the Mets since 2006 (2-1) and posted a season victory against the Metropolitans (4-2). With Sunday’s victory (7-16 on Sundays in 2011), the Cubs improved to 64-82 on the season, 18 games below .500 …

After Starlin Castro and Tony Campana made two outs on three pitches to start the game, Bryan LaHair put together an excellent at bat that resulted in a double off the top of the wall in right center (eighth pitch of the at bat). Carlos Pena ripped a 0-1 pitch almost to the exact same location as LaHair’s double. Pena ended up at third with a standing triple and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Colvin popped out to second to end the inning.

Matt Garza labored through a long 24-pitch first inning. Garza struggled with his command, threw only 10 strikes … and the Mets tied the game.

Jose Reyes led off with a single to right. Darwin Barney made a nice sliding catch in foul ground on a ball hit by Ruben Tejada. Lucas Duda flied out to center on the first pitch. With two down, Garza started losing his command … and walked David Wright on four pitches.

Angel Pagan ripped a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner past a diving Carlos Pena. Reyes scored, tied the game at one and Wright held at third with two down. Jason Bay walked on five pitches to load the bases for Nick Evans.

Garza threw a first-pitch strike to Nick Evans then issued three straight out of the strike zone. Evans flied out to right on the 3-1 pitch to end the inning.

D.J. LeMahieu walked on four pitches to start the second … the first big league free pass for D.J. LeMahieu. Darwin Barney hit into a 6-4-3 double play and Hill grounded out to second to end the inning.

Matt Garza made quick work of the Mets in the second … 1-2-3 on 12 pitches, nine for strikes. Garza’s pitch count after two stood at 36, 19 for strikes.

Miguel Batista hit not one but two Cubs in the third inning. Batista hit Garza on a 0-2 pitch to start the inning. Castro hit the first pitch to Tejada at second and the Mets turned the routine 4-6-3 double play.

Tony Campana got hit on the foot on a 0-1 pitch with two outs. Campana stole second on the first pitch to Bryan LaHair … and advanced to third on a wild pitch on a 2-2 offering. LaHair ended up walking two pitches later. Carlos Pena walked to load the bases.

Tyler Colvin stepped in and singled to right center on a 2-2 pitch. Campana and LaHair scored, 3-1 Cubs. With runners on first and third with two down, D.J. LeMahieu grounded out to third to end the inning.

Two hit batters, two walks, a wild pitch, a single and two runs for the Cubs in the third.

Ruben Tejada led off the bottom of the third with a single to right … but that was it against Garza in the third. Duda flied out to center, Wright struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) and Pagan fouled out to LeMahieu to end the inning … 47 pitches for Garza after three, 28 for strikes.

Darwin Barney reached on a fielding error by David Wright to start the fourth. Koyie Hill flied out to right on the first pitch and Garza failed to get a bunt down. Starlin Castro lined out to right (1-2 count, sixth pitch of the at bat) to end the inning.

Matt Garza faced the minimum in the bottom of the fourth. Jason Bay flied out to Campana, then LaHair in left center to start the inning. Bay hit a 1-2 pitch to deep left center. Campana and LaHair collided slightly. Campana tipped the ball to LaHair, who caught the ball barehanded. Nick Evans ripped a 1-2 pitch down the third baseline. LeMahieu got a glove on it but could not field the ball cleanly. Evans reached on LeMahieu’s error but was erased on the next pitch. Ronny Paulino hit a sharp grounder to short … 6-3 inning ending double play.

Bryan LaHair recorded his second double of the game with one out in the fifth. LaHair ripped a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner. Carlos Pena flied out to deep right center for the second out of the inning.

Tyler Colvin showed patience and looked at three straight out of the zone to start his at bat. After looking at strike one, Colvin ripped the next pitch over Lucas Duda’s head in right. LaHair scored on a triple by Tyler Colvin … 4-1 Cubs. LeMahieu grounded out to second (first pitch) to end the inning.

Mike Baxter hit for Batista to start the bottom of the fifth … and ripped Garza’s first pitch down the third baseline for a leadoff double. Reyes grounded out to second, Baxter advanced to third but was stranded when Tejada lined out to second and Duda struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance to put runs on the board in the sixth but came away empty.

Darwin Barney led off the sixth with a single to right against the Mets’ new pitcher, D.J. Carrasco. Quade put the hit and run on with Koyie Hill and Hill delivered a single into right center. Barney ended up at third with no outs. Garza dropped down a bunt, Hill advanced to second and Terry Collins brought his infield in.

With runners on second and third, one down and the infield in, Starlin Castro grounded out to short (1-2 pitch) for the second out. Tony Campana grounded out to first to end the inning.

Two excellent defensive plays from Darwin Barney and Tyler Colvin helped Garza escape the bottom of the sixth. Barney took away a hit from David Wright and Colvin made a diving catch running toward the line in right to take away a hit from Angel Pagan.

Jason Bay lined a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner and reached on a two-out double. Nick Evans launched Garza’s first pitch into right center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Bay scored the Mets’ second run of the game. Ronny Paulino ripped a 2-1 pitch past a diving Castro into left field. Evans scored … and the Cubs lead was down to a single run at 4-3. Willie Harris hit for Carrasco and flied out to center to end the inning.

Tim Byrdak took over for the Mets in the seventh to face the trio of lefties in the Cubs’ lineup. Bryan LaHair put together an impressive at bat against the southpaw. LaHair worked a walk on the 10th pitch of the at bat to start the inning. Carlos Pena ripped a 0-1 pitch into the right field corner. LaHair ended up at third on Pena’s double. Tyler Colvin struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the first out.

Terry Collins went to his pen and brought in right-hander Pedro Beato to face D.J. LeMahieu. LeMahieu hit the first pitch right to Reyes and LaHair was thrown out the plate for the second out of the inning.

With runners on first and second with two outs, Darwin Barney flied out to right (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

More wasted opportunities … after the top of the seventh the Cubs were a miserable 3-for-12 with RISP and had left nine on base.

Matt Garza issued a two-out walk to Lucas Duda in the bottom of the seventh, but that was all. David Wright struck out looking (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Koyie Hill (groundout to first base) and Blake DeWitt, hitting for Garza, grounded out to second to start the eighth against Pedro Beato.

Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with a two-out single to center in the eighth. Terry Collins went to his pen and brought in Daniel Ray Herrera to face Tony Campana. Quade countered with Jeff Baker. After a wild pitch advanced Castro to second, Baker grounded out to Reyes near the second base bag to end the inning.

Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right off Sean Marshall. Jason Bay struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch but Pagan swiped second as Bay swung and missed. Marshall plunked Nick Evans on a 1-2 pitch to put two on with one out for Ronny Paulino.

Quade went to his pen and brought in Jeff Samardzija to face Paulino. Terry Collins countered with Josh Thole. Thole lined out to LeMahieu at third for the second out.

Justin Tuner hit for Daniel Ray Herrera and grounded back to the mound. Samardzija bobbled the ball then threw low to first. Pena could not catch the ball. Pagan scored and tied the game at four. Jose Reyes fouled out to Hill to end the inning.

The Cubs’ 23rd blown save of the season … and the seventh time Garza left with a lead just to receive a no decision.

The Cubs did nothing against Manny Acosta in the ninth. LaHair flied out to left and both Pena and Colvin struck out swinging.

Jeff Samardzija stayed in and started the bottom of the ninth … and Samardzija was able to wiggle his way out of an ugly inning.

Ruben Tejada singled to left on a 0-2 pitch to start the ninth. Lucas Duda followed with a single to left. With runners on first and second with no outs, David Wright hit the first pitch to third. LeMahieu fielded the ball and stepped on the bag … then held the ball. LeMahieu’s inexperience showed as he was unsure of what to do with the ball.

Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch on a 1-0 offering to Angel Pagan. Both runners advanced ninety feet and Samardzija intentionally walked Pagan to load the bases for Jason Bay.

Bay hit a grounder to LeMahieu on a 0-2 pitch. LeMahieu threw home to force Tejada for the second out. Hill threw to first but could not complete the double play. Jason Pridie worked the count to 3-2 before striking out to end the inning.

Darwin Barney reached on a bloop single with one out in the 10th … and Quade started emptying his bench. Aramis Ramirez hit for Koyie Hill and popped out to third on the first pitch. Geovany Soto hit for Samardzija and worked a two out walk. Castro hit a smash up the middle … but Jose Reyes made a diving stop and shoveled the ball with his glove to Tejada at second to force Soto to end the inning.

The Mets loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th … and came away empty.

Josh Thole led off the 10th with a single to center off James Russell. Chris Capuano ran for Thole and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Mike Nickeas. Russell intentionally walked Reyes with one out.

Quade went to his pen and brought in Ramon Ortiz to face Ruben Tejada. Tejada tapped back to the mound, Ortiz bobbled and was able to get only one … Tejada at first. With runners on second and third with two out, Ortiz walked Lucas Duda to load the bases for David Wright. Wright flied out to left center (0-1 pitch) to end the inning.

Josh Stinson started the 11th for the Mets … and could not find the strike zone.

Marlon Byrd walked on four pitches to start the inning … then advanced to third on a single to center by Bryan LaHair (2-0 pitch). With the infield in, Carlos Pena ripped a 2-1 pitch into left center. Byrd scored and gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead.

Tyler Colvin walked on four pitches to load the bases, still with no outs.

Terry Collins went to his pen at that point and brought in Ryota Igarashi to face pinch-hitter Alfonso Soriano. Soriano ripped a 1-0 pitch into the left field corner and gave the Cubs a 7-4 lead … both LaHair and Pena scored.

Darwin Barney broke the game open with his third hit of the game. Barney lined a 3-2 pitch into left center. Colvin and Soriano scored … 9-4 Cubs. Ramirez hit a deep fly to right center. Barney tagged, advanced to third and scored on a sac fly off the bat of Geovany Soto. Castro grounded out to third to end the inning … but the Cubs scored six runs in the top of the 11th.

John Grabow started the bottom of the 11th … and Grabow was horrible again. After allowing a one-out, pinch-hit single to Josh Satin, Jason Pridie hit long homer to the second deck in right. The Cubs lead was cut to 10-6. Grabow struck out pinch-hitter Valentino Pascucci and retired Mike Nickeas on a fly out to right to end the game.

It took four hours and 28 minutes for the Cubs to beat the Mets.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a four-game series in Cincinnati on Monday night. Rodrigo Lopez against Dontrelle Willis in game one.

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein