D-Lee Slams Marmol and the Cubs in the Rain – Cubs 5 Pirates 7

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.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Randy Wells will face Charlie Morton in the series and season finale against the Pirates on Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • carmelo

    Time for Marmaol to develope a change-up and become a starter again—-no way anyone can trust him with a lead in the 9th—-2yrs left on contract, make him a starter.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Great idea,. He probably will have to wait until the new manager and the real pitching coach arrive. The two morons in there now don’t know how.

  • diehardcubfan

    Good job Cubs.  Please keep losing so there is no excuse why the Cubs do not fire Quade. 

    I suspect LaHair might make the 25 roster next year with a decent spring which will likely mean he will be next years Colvin. 

    I can only hope the Cubs will let Pena walk. 

    I am also shocked Jackson did not get the call up.  The only reason I can think of is they want him to rest for the AFL and not get injured again but again this is Cubs management we are talking about here.

    This team absolutely makes zero sense.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Boy, I dunno. I don’t see LaHair as having a single chance in making the team next year. If he hit .500, it’d be tough for him to make it. They just have their minds set against him, imo.

  • Aaron

    I am so glad college football has started…I didn’t even watch the game, but Neil, your recaps are priceless.

    I think even if I watched, I probably would’ve called that Lee bomb. How could you not? How many times have we seen that replay with the same outcome this year with Marmol on the mound. It’s getting ridiculous….even in a completely lost season it’s ridiculous. 

    You know what else is ridiculous? The fact that LaHair still hasn’t gotten an at-bat. Can someone just put Quade out of his misery?!? 

    There’s no way Quade gives rookies a chance, and if he returns next year, there’s no chance I’m renewing my mlb.tv subscription. The only reason you watch games in September with the Cubs hopelessly out of contention is to see rookies get a chance, and see if there even is hope for the future.

    NOT under Hendry……and certainly NOT under Quade would you ever see that happen.

    And if Ricketts is so brash to give Fleita an extension without the consent of the new GM, then he certainly should be brash enough to cut ties with Quade, replacing him with Listach, and giving a mandate that he play the string out with rookies. 

    It’s a shame that Ricketts doesn’t have the balls to do any of that…because when you think about it more in depth….the decision to get rid of Hendry, and allow him to work through the trade deadline just to lock up the draft picks (which was a good reason…..somewhat), but when he did that, he kept all of the veterans sans Fukudome, and Bush has just followed the ineptitude of Hendry without making a single damn move in August. 

    Now, the new GM will be saddled with some sticky arbitration cases in which the Cubs could’ve traded them away prior to that, making the rebuilding process a lot easier.

    Is Soto the long-term answer at catcher? If you answered yes….then you’re just as delusional as Hendry was and Quade currently is.

    Is Baker part of the long-term plan? If you answered yes….you need to see a shrink.

    Baker, Hill, Wells, DeWitt, and Soto are all arbitration eligible after this season.

    Pena and Johnson are free agents, are going to be 34 and 35 years old respectively next year.

    It’s absolutely ludicrous to suggest either of those two would be a part of the future of this team.

    So why were they retained, especially if you could get a low level prospect for them, so you at least got some value, versus waiting until you had a competent GM in place that in all likelihood would not want to retain those type of players. After all, in what world would a competent GM think you could build a team around a core of:


    Really?!?!? Ricketts needs to grow a pair, and demand excellence. You don’t demand excellence by retaining the services of a catcher that had one above average season in his career, but has remained average since, and will likely cost you more than $5 million in arbitration. And you certainly don’t build a team around a 1B that will likely hit around .220 and below and strike out more than 150 times. 

    • roseyc

      Well said ….ditto!!!

    • paulcatanese

      Pretty darn good Aaron, makes a lot of sense.

    • cubtex

      Is that 1st baseman you are talking about Adam Dunn? Oh..no wait he is hitting in the .100’s and strikes out 200 times a year. :-)

  • jw

    Hey congratulations D Lee you had a couple of tough years here so enjoy jackpotting the Cubs…you know as well as anybody that this is a team you can do what you can’t against the other MLB clubs

    I’d like to think they are feeding Lee like the last series in Pitt…with Lee you put a ball in the right spot…result ground ball to short…It can’t be that the Cubs are that dumb???

    • paulcatanese

      Are you sure in youre last paragraph you are not talking about Byrd? No, probably not, with Byrd one dosent even have to put it in the right spot, he gravitates everything to short, with men on base.

      • jw

        No excuses for Byrd he is a vet and not expected to hit home runs

  • paulcatanese

    What can one say after today? A while ago I had said Qua dosent manage to win, he manages not to lose. I cannot see why Ricketts is just not fed up with Qua, just dont understand it. His(Qua) idea of playing vets is that he wants to play them against contenders, are the Pirates in that category, of course not.
    Qua goes with the vets to make himself feel that he has done all he can to win.
    When they dont he can say, “I played the best players I had”,and the rookies are not the best I have. This idea he has to manage borders on sick,sick,sick and daily I am losing respect for Ricketts for not doing anything about it.

  • roseyc

    Plus another thing if we bring back Pena and Rameriz and Byrd all of the restricted fa…. why…..they didn’t win when it counted and they aren’t going to do it next year. We need young mlb talent which Castro is the only one we have. We need more. Plus we need a gm that understand  the severe cold in the spring and the day baseball and the wind blowing in most of the time. All of these have been talked about  but never dealt with a serious study on it and what to do about it.

    • paulcatanese

      Youre post cries out for one thing, small ball, something the Cubs just dont believe in. With small ball it dosent matter if its cold,wind blowing in, but they(and you are right) there has been no study on it and probably wont. The reputation of Wrigley being a home run hitters park takes care of any other approach.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’m not in the mood for small ball without power. Show me a successful team playing small ball without power. 

        Here’s the top ten teams in Runs Scored:1. Yanks
        2. BoSox
        3. Texas
        4. Toronto
        5. Cards
        6. Reds
        7. Tigers
        8. Colorado
        9. Milwaukee
        10. Arizona

        How many are playoff teams? Answer: Six (Yanks, BoSox, Texas, Tigers, Milwaukee, Arizona. The Cards do not have enough pitching to make the playoffs. The Reds have too much Dusty to make the playoffs. Toronto lacks pitching. Colorado lacks pitching.  

        Now, how many of these teams are known for their small ball?
        All six are known for slugging. 9 of 10 are in the top 10 slugging teams. Only the Reds are #11, and Orioles are #10 in slugging. 

        And the two teams in the playoffs not on this slugging list–Philly and Atlanta–have super pitching staffs that overcome their #14 and #17 rankings in slugging. (Phils are #19 in SB; Atlanta are #26 in SB. These teams don’t run. Atlanta has only 60 SB–the Cubs 54).
        So how do they run?Yanks run: 128 SB (#2)
        Texas runs: 121 SB (#5)
        Toronto runs: 113 SB (#8)
        Arizona runs: 109 SB (#9)

        Big sticks that run are VERY NICE. But note that all teams except the Padres have less than 1 SB per game played in 2011. Running is overrated.

        • paulcatanese

          Rip, I should have clarified the point ,I was talking about April and May when the wind and rain are blowing at Wrigley. You are right teams must have power, but blend it with the ability to manufacture runs when it is no feasable to hit hit the long ball. Milwakee is a great blend of both as is the Yankees. what I was trying to get across was the Cubs are one dimensional, long ball and long ball, and that hasnt got it done yet.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Man alive,
    I am a little concerned now. I need the Cubs to go 11-12 to finish at 70-92.
    We have six left with the Reds. Three with Houston. This might get a little touchy…..

    • paulcatanese

      Yep, the Astros will be the big test for the Cubs, better get the vets ready for that series, ask Qua the Astros are contenders and desreve our best , put all the vets out there. Cant let the Stros go forward.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yup. Those Astros have beat us senseless this year. 

        Hey, maybe that’s why QQuade has no sense!

    • paulcatanese

      Not changing the subject Rip, but small ball, lets just say for the sake of argument the Cubs do not resign Pena, Aram( he wants multiple years) and Soto continues the way he has, Byrd is back 7 hr, beside Soriono who could provide the power? Castro? he may for sure, and who else? And where does that leave the Cubs?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Paul, you are thinking ahead. That’s not something the Cubs do. Just ask QQuade…..”What me worry?”…….

        But to answer your question, the Cubs’ brass are expecting…….
        3B–DeWitt–25 HR
        SS–Castro–15 HR
        2B–Barney–15 HR
        1B–Colvin–30 HR, .143 BA
        C–Soto–25 HR
        LF–Soriano–35 HR
        CF–Byrd–25 HR
        RF–our usual big, big, BIG FA signing (remember J. Jones? Jeremy Burnitz? Milton Bradley? FUNKO?). We’ll sign a big beast to hit 35 taters and play in RF. 

        PLUS…Don’t forget….THE UNTRADEABLES!!!…..
        RF/LF/3B/ 1B/2B Baker will hit 15 HR off the bench
        OF Johnson will hit 7 HR
        C Koyie Hill will hit 2.

        Ohhhhhhh Paul! The power this team will have!!LOLLOL

        • paulcatanese

          Wow, thats a lineup to wake up to! Didnt realize we had all that talent just hiding in the wings. You forgot Camapna with 10 inside the park HR and 105 stolen bases. What a complete team for next year, cant wait.

  • studio179

    I can’t stand hearing the Ex-Cub factor, yet it strikes again. I heard Pat say all three of Lee’s HRs as a Pirate have been against…yep. I actually thought he might hit one against Woody.

    It is such a shame how Marmol has fallen. He use to be a guy NOBODY squared up on, to now so hittable and HR hittable. Marmol is Kevin Gregg all over again. He lost so much velocity, gained a lot of weight and lost stuff and confidence along the way.

    Marmol clearly misses Rothschild. He use to come out to the mound and bite Marmol’s head off with a quick visit. He usually responded. Marmol is not clicking internally with his stuff or with Riggins. As much as I wanted Marmol delt last year, there is no sense trying this offseason with his value low. Just hope he comes back to regain his velocity, slider and adding an occasional change up would not hurt. 

    • jw

      Like Hendry was wont to do he did not have the smarts to make that trade when he could…now Marmol is tainted and would not bring much…you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see Marmol is a one trick pony with awful mechanics…err how do you say Mitch Williams.No contending team wants to lose a playoff series with a couple of walks and a tater AKA Williams versus Joe Carter

      • paulcatanese

        Good comparison, although I think Williams threw harder, then again it went further. Can you imagine the both of them together? With those deliverys there would be no dirt left around the mound.