Game One Hundred Thirty-Nine – Cubs 5 Pirates 7
WP – Chris Resop (5-4) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-5, BS 9) Save – Joel Hanrahan (34)
Derrek Lee hit his third homer in a Pirates uniform, all three have come against the Cubs but the first two were not as damaging as the third.
Carlos Marmol took the mound in the ninth with his team up 5-3. Marmol struggled with his command again. After a leadoff single by pinch-hitter Xavier Paul, Marmol walked Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen to load the bases with two outs for Derrek Lee.
Derrek Lee launched a 1-1 pitch into the basket in left for a grand slam.
The Cubs had two different leads on Saturday afternoon that neither Kerry Wood nor Carlos Marmol could hold. Marmol has blown nine save opportunities this season.
The Cubs took a 5-3 lead just before the 91-minute rain delay in the bottom of the seventh. Alfonso Soriano, who had a big afternoon, drove in Ramirez and Pena with a two-run double. Soriano finished the game 2-for-3 with a double, a sac fly and four RBI.
Aramis Ramirez (2-for-3 with three runs scored, a walk and a hit by pitch), Carlos Pena (1-for-1 with a walk, three runs scored and a hit by pitch) and Starlin Castro (2-for-5) had good performances at the plate … but in the end, the Cubs wasted too many opportunities again.
The Cubs were a pathetic 2-for-15 with RISP on Saturday afternoon and left 12 on base.
Casey Coleman built on his last two outings and put together a solid six-inning performance against the Pirates. Coleman threw strikes and worked ahead in the count … for the most part. Coleman allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Coleman threw 88 pitches, 53 for strikes, and turned the game over to Kerry Wood with the Cubs up 3-2.
Kerry Wood, with help from Tyler Colvin, allowed the Pirates to tie the game in the top of the seventh. Colvin misplayed a ball in the gap in right center off the bat of Ronny Cedeno into a triple … and Cedeno scored the tying run on a sac fly by pinch-hitter Garrett Jones. Wood suffered his fifth blown save of the season … but did not allow the Pirates to take the lead.
Sean Marshall did his job in the eighth but Carlos Marmol labored through the ninth (39 pitches, 19 for strikes) and earned his ninth blown save. Marmol allowed four runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts in the ninth … the big blow, a granny from Derrek Lee.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to 21 games under .500 with a 59-80 record … The Pirates jumped on Casey Coleman right away on Saturday afternoon. Coleman struck out Jose Tabata on four pitches but gave up a double to Alex Presley on a 1-1 pitch. Presley then advanced to third on a passed ball by Geovany Soto.
Coleman began struggling with his command (again) and walked Andrew McCutchen.
Derrek Lee, in his first game at Wrigley since last August with the Braves, ripped Coleman’s first pitch into left … Presley scored, 1-0 Pirates. Casey fell behind Neil Walker 2-0 before evening the count at 2-2. Walker took ball three and Clint Hurdle started the runners on the 3-2 pitch. Walker ripped a liner into left that Soriano caught and threw to Barney to double up McCutchen to end the inning.
The Cubs loaded the bases against Ross Ohlendorf in the first … and came away empty.
Starlin Castro blooped a single into right to start the inning. Darwin Barney then hit a tailor made double play ball to Ronny Cedeno. Cedeno bobbled the ball and the Pirates were able to get only one out (Castro at second).
Ohlendorf plunked Aramis Ramirez (1-0 pitch) and Carlos Pena (1-2 pitch) to load the bases with one out.
Alfonso Soriano looked at three straight before taking a strike. Soriano smoked a 3-1 offering to third. Harrison unnecessarily jumped and dropped the ball. Harrison picked up the mistake and threw home to force Barney for the second out. Marlon Byrd predictably grounded out to short (forced Soriano at second) to end the inning.
Another wasted opportunity by the Cubs veterans …
Casey Coleman walked Ryan Doumit on five pitches to start the second. Josh Harrison hit into a 6-4-3 double (very good start and turn by Castro and Barney) and Ronny Cedeno struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Cubs could not string any hits together against Ohlendorf in the second … just a two-out single to center off the bat of Casey Coleman, the Cubs second hit of the game.
Alex Presley continued wearing out Cubs pitching and reached on a two-out single to right in the third … but that was it against Casey Coleman (45 pitches, 25 for strikes).
Darwin Barney scorched a 1-0 pitch toward Harrison to start the third. The Pirates’ third baseman snagged the ball for the first out. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to left (2-2 pitch).
Carlos Pena ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner. Ivan DeJesus held Ramirez at third … but if not for Neil Walker dropping the throw from Tabata, Pena would have been thrown out at second. Pena rounded the bag assuming Ramirez had been sent home.
Alfonso Soriano wasted no time and hit Ohlendorf’s first pitch into center. Ramirez tagged and scored … and Pena advanced to third. Josh Harrison made a nice diving stop of a ball hit in the hole off Byrd’s bat. Harrison threw out Byrd at first to end the inning.
Derrek Lee led off the fourth with his second hit of the game … a bloop single to right. Walker hit a 1-0 pitch to the hole at second; Barney made a good play and threw to second to force Lee. Walker reached and scored on a double to left (2-0 pitch) by Ryan Doumit … the Pirates took back their one-run lead.
Josh Harrison grounded out to third (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Doumit held. Ronny Cedeno received the intentional free pass. Coleman struck out Ohlendorf swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.
Geovany Soto singled to center (3-2 pitch) with one out in the fourth. Casey Coleman sacrificed Soto to second … but Castro flied out to center to end the inning.
Alex Presley reached again in the fifth … a one-out single to right on a 1-1 pitch. Coleman struck out McCutchen swinging for the second out. Presley swiped second on the first pitch to Derrek Lee. Lee flied out to right to end the inning.
Darwin Barney led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single up the third baseline. Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena then walked on eight pitches to load the bases with no outs. Clint Hurdle left Ohlendorf in to face Soriano.
Alfonso Soriano fell behind 0-2 before working the count back to 3-2. Soriano singled to left just over Cedeno’s head … Barney scored and tied the game at two.
Clint Hurdle went to his pen and brought in Chris Leroux to face Marlon Byrd with no outs, the bases loaded and the game knotted at two. Byrd predictably pulled a 1-2 pitch to the left side of the infield. Cedeno fielded the ball in the hole and threw to third to force Pena. Ramirez scored the go ahead run. Tyler Colvin (pop out to Cedeno in shallow left, infield fly rule) and Geovany Soto (fly out to center) made two outs on two pitches to end the inning.
At the end of five, the Cubs had a slim 3-2 lead.
Casey Coleman retired the Pirates in order for the first time in the sixth … 1-2-3 on just 10 pitches.
The Cubs did nothing against Chris Leroux in the bottom of the sixth.
Kerry Wood took over in the seventh … and with a lot of help from Tyler Colvin, allowed the Pirates to tie the game.
Ronny Cedeno ripped a 1-1 pitch just out of the reach of Darwin Barney into right center. Colvin took a bad route to the ball, could not cut it off and it rolled all the way to the wall. To add insult to bad defense, Colvin then bobbled the ball as he tried to pick it up at the base of the wall. Cedeno reached third with a standup triple.
Garrett Jones hit for Leroux and launched a 1-2 pitch to deep center (just to the left). Cedeno tagged and scored … game tied at three.
Jose Tabata singled to center on a 0-1 pitch. Wood struck out the newest Pirates’ slugger, Alex Presley on three pitches. Andrew McCutchen reached on an infield single (2-1 pitch) to the hole at short. With runners on first and second with two down, Derrek Lee popped out to center (3-1 pitch) to end the inning.
As the weather approached and rain started falling, Aramis Ramirez led off the seventh with a single to left (3-2 pitch). Pena walked on four pitches to put two on with no outs for Alfonso Soriano.
Daniel McCutchen uncorked what was ruled a wild pitch on the first offering to Soriano. The ball went under Ryan Doumit and all the way to the backstop. Ramirez and Pena advanced ninety feet.
Alfonso Soriano ripped a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner. Ramirez and Pena scored as the rain picked up. Daniel McCutchen then hit Byrd on a 1-2 pitch to end his afternoon.
Chris Resop took over … and soon after Tyler Colvin took ball two, Derryl Cousins put the game into a delay (2-2 count on Tyler Colvin).
Tyler Colvin swung and missed Chris Resop’s first pitch following the 91-minute rain delay. Geovany Soto popped out to shallow right and with runners on first and second with two down, Blake DeWitt hit for Wood. DeWitt worked the count to 3-2 before striking out swinging to end the inning.
The Pirates did nothing against Sean Marshall in the eighth.
Starlin Castro led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right. On a 1-1 pitch to Barney, Castro took off for second and was called safe on a headfirst slide. Barney smoked a 3-2 pitch from Resop into left … but right at Alex Presley for the first out.
Aramis Ramirez tried to check his swing on a 2-2 pitch … but went too far. Reed Johnson tried to check his swing as well and hit a tapper out in front of the plate. Doumit threw Johnson out at first to end the inning.
Xavier Paul hit for Ronny Cedeno and ripped the seventh pitch from Carlos Marmol into right center. Soto was charged with his second passed ball of the game on the first pitch to Jason Jaramillo (hitting for Chris Resop). Paul advanced to second. Marmol struck out Jaramillo looking on a 3-2 pitch for the first out.
Marmol walked Jose Tabata on five pitches to put two on with one out for Alex Presley … Presley struck out swinging on three pitches. Andrew McCutchen walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases for Derrek Lee.
Derrek Lee lifted a 1-1 pitch from Carlos Marmol into the basket in left … and just like that it was 7-5 Pittsburgh. Marmol ended up walking Neil Walker before retiring Ryan Doumit on a fly out to right.
The Cubs did nothing against Joel Hanrahan in the ninth … game over.
The Cubs left the Pirates in the game and dropped another one to the Mighty Pittsburgh Pirates.
Randy Wells will face Charlie Morton in the series and season finale against the Pirates on Sunday afternoon.