Cubs Defense Gives Another One Away – Cubs 2, Marlins 5

Game Eleven – Cubs 3, Marlins 5
WP – Steve Cishek (1-0) LP – Rafael Dolis (0-1) Save – Heath Bell (1)

A throwing error by Ryan Dempster, a fielding error by Darwin Barney and a passed ball by Steve Clevenger gave the Marlins all the extra outs they needed to take the first game of the series Tuesday night. Three of the Marlins’ five runs were unearned due to the Cubs’ defensive miscues.

The game was tied at two going into the bottom of the eighth. The Cubs offense had wasted plenty of opportunities and ran themselves out of two other scoring chances. Rafael Dolis was a little shaky in the seventh but did not allow any runs … that all changed when Darwin Barney booted a routine grounder off the bat of Jose Reyes to start the eighth.

After Barney’s error, a passed ball by Steve Clevenger and a walk to Emilio Bonifacio, Dolis fell behind Hanley Ramirez 3-1. The Marlins’ shortstop smoked Dolis’ next pitch over the wall in left center. The contraption in centerfield did its thing and the Marlins took a 5-2 lead.

Heath Bell sat down the Cubs in order in the ninth for his first save in a Marlins’ uniform.

Ryan Dempster put together another good outing but it was his throwing error that led to the Marlins taking the lead in the fifth. Dempster allowed two unearned runs on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in six innings. Dempster threw 100 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Darwin Barney (3-for-4 with a run scored) and Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a stolen base) accounted for five of the Cubs’ seven hits. Steve Clevenger (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) notched the Cubs only extra basehit of the night and scored the tying run in the seventh on a single by Bryan LaHair (1-for-2 with a RBI and a walk).

The Cubs offense managed 10 baserunners (seven hits and three walks) but grounded into four double plays. Dale Sveum’s team also committed two baserunning mistakes that led to two outs.

It is hard to win a game at the big league level if a team gives away as many outs as the Cubs did Tuesday night in Miami.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 3-8 on the season …

David DeJesus struck out swinging to start the game but at least worked the count (3-2 pitch). Darwin Barney recorded the first hit of the game with a single to left … but Starlin Castro popped out to shallow right and Soriano flied out to shallow right to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster was wobbly in the first and was able to escape a jam without allowing any runs … with a big assist from Marlon Byrd. Jose Reyes popped out to left to start the inning. Emilio Bonifacio walked (3-2 pitch) and promptly stole second (1-2 pitch to Ramirez). Dempster ended up walking Hanley Ramirez to put runners on first and second with one out.

Logan Morrison ripped a 1-2 pitch into left center. Marlon Byrd might not be hitting but he is not carrying his struggles into the field. Byrd made a sensational diving catch to take a hit and a RBI away from Morrison. Byrd threw back to second from his knees in an attempt to double off Bonifacio. Omar Infante flied out to left center to end the inning. Dempster threw 23 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.

Ian Stewart walked to start the second but was erased when Steve Clevenger grounded into a 6-3 double play. Bryan LaHair crushed the first pitch from Josh Johnson … but in the big, new park it was a routine fly to center to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster bounced back from a rough first inning and sat down the Marlins in order in the second … and the Cubs did nothing in the top of the third.

Dempster retired Josh Johnson (struck out looking) and Jose Reyes (tapped back to the mound) quickly to start the bottom of the third. Emilio Bonifacio reached on an infield single to third. Stewart made an excellent stop but the throw from his knees was late to first. Bonifacio took second on a delayed steal after the first pitch to Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez worked the count to 3-2 before striking out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs finally broke through in fourth after Darwin Barney reached on an infield single to short. Barney hit a high chopper off the plate to Reyes and reached first safely to start the inning. Starlin Castro ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the box. Barney advanced to third on Castro’s single to center. Castro took off for second on the first pitch to Soriano and slid in safe with his seventh stolen base of the year.

With runners on second and third with no outs, Alfonso Soriano put together an excellent at bat. Soriano grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch and not only drove in Barney but advanced Castro to third with one out.

Ian Stewart and Steve Clevenger could not drive in Castro with the Cubs’ second run. Stewart struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) and Clevenger tapped back to Johnson (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired Logan Morrison on a fly out to right to start the fourth. Omar Infante pulled a 2-2 pitch over the head of Ian Stewart and into left. Infante ended up at second with a double. Giancarlo Stanton hit a routine fly to Soriano for the second out … and the Cubs ended up doubling Infante off to end the inning. Infante took off, rounded third and did not retouch third on his way back to second (cut through the infield). Soriano threw to second and Barney tossed to third to end the inning.

Bryan LaHair worked a walk to start the fifth but was quickly erased when Marlon Byrd grounded into a 6-4-3 double play (1-2 pitch). Ryan Dempster grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Marlins were given a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth after Gaby Sanchez doubled to left to start the inning. Dempster struck out John Buck (1-2 pitch) swinging for the first out. Josh Johnson hit a high chopper to the third base side of the mound. Dempster waited for the ball to come down … then threw it into the stands. Sanchez scored and tied the game at one. Johnson ended up at second on another throwing error by a Cubs’ pitcher.

To Dempster’s credit he settled down and struck out Jose Reyes swinging (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Emilio Bonifacio ripped a single into right (2-2 pitch). Johnson was waived home and scored. But Bryan LaHair scooped up the Jacque Jones-esque throw from David DeJesus and caught Bonifacio in a rundown to end the inning (9-3-6-2).

But the damage was done and at the end of five, the Cubs trailed 2-1. Dempster’s pitch count stood at 86, 53 for strikes.

The sixth started on a positive note for the Cubs. Down by one, David DeJesus walked to start the inning. Johnson’s first pitch to Barney was in the dirt. DeJesus took off for second. The ball bounced right up to Buck and DeJesus was thrown out by a mile.

Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro followed with singles … but Alfonso Soriano grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. The third double play the Cubs grounded into in the first six innings.

The Marlins did nothing in the sixth. Dempster struck out two of the three batters he faced. Dempster threw 100 pitches in six innings, 63 for strikes.

After Ian Stewart grounded out to first to start the seventh, the ‘Doubles Machine‘ struck again. Steve Clevenger stroked a 3-2 pitch into left center and ended up at second with his fourth double of the season. Bryan LaHair punched a 2-1 pitch into center. Bonifacio fielded the ball and came up throwing. Clevenger rounded third and slid home safe with the Cubs’ second run. Clevenger slid around the tag of John Buck … it was a very close play. LaHair for some reason held at first with the throw from center going all the way to the plate in the air.

LaHair committed his second baserunning blunder when he broke for second with Josh Johnson in the set position. LaHair was tagged for the second out and Byrd predictably struck out swinging to end the inning.

Rafael Dolis replaced Dempster to start the seventh and Reed Johnson took over for Byrd in center on a double switch.

Dolis jumped ahead of the Giancarlo Stanton 1-2 before eventually walking him. Dolis was missing down, which is a good sign. Gaby Sanchez hit a 0-1 sinker from Dolis to Castro … 6-4-3 double play. John Buck singled to center (2-1 pitch) and Ozzie Guillen went to his bench and sent up Greg Dobbs to hit for Josh Johnson. Dobbs lofted a 2-0 pitch to Soriano, near the track, to end the inning.

Steve Cishek took over for the Fish to start the eighth and struck out Reed Johnson swinging (1-2 pitch). DeJesus fell behind 0-1 before getting plunked and taking his base. Darwin Barney hit into the Cubs’ fourth double play of the night (4-6-3) to end the inning.

Dolis stayed in and stared the bottom of the eighth and Barney booted a routine grounder off the bat of Jose Reyes. With Bonifacio at the plate, Steve Clevenger whiffed on a 1-0 pitch from Dolis. Reyes advanced to second on the passed ball. Dolis ended up walking Emilio Bonifacio. Without a hit, the Marlins had runners on first and second with no outs in a tie game.

Dolis fell behind Hanley Ramirez 3-0 before getting one over the plate. Ramirez crushed Dolis’ next pitch. The ball ended up over the wall in left center … and just like that the Marlins took a 5-2 lead.

Dale Sveum went to his pen and replaced Dolis with James Russell.

James Russell retired Logan Morrison and Omar Infante on ground outs to the left side of the infield. Giancarlo Stanton doubled off the base of the wall in left (replays showed he touched Barney’s glove and he should have been called out) but John Buck flied out to left center to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Heath Bell in the ninth … game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza is scheduled to face Mark Buehrle in game two Wednesday night.

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