Maholm Over Halladay – Cubs 5, Phillies 1

Game Twenty – Cubs 5, Phillies 1
WP – Paul Maholm (2-2) LP – Roy Halladay (3-2) Save – Rafael Dolis (2)

wflag.jpgPaul Maholm outpitched Roy Halladay on Friday night and the Cubs began their difficult seven-game road trip on a positive note.

Paul Maholm picked up his second straight win after allowing one run on five hits without a walk and one strikeout in 6 1/3 innings. Maholm threw 100 pitches, 63 for strikes. After pitching his way out of a jam in the first, Maholm made only one mistake Friday night. Ty Wigginton’s solo homer in the seventh was the only blemish for Paul Maholm.

James Russell took over for Maholm in the seventh and recorded the final two outs. Rafael Dolis pitched two scoreless innings (one hit, no walks and no strikeouts) and earned his first big league save.

The offense did its job Friday night after appearing early on they would struggle to get hits much less runs. Roy Halladay sat down the first ten batters he faced. Halladay struck out the side in order in the second and Darwin Barney had the only hard hit ball the first time through the lineup.

Tony Campana (2-for-5 with two runs and a stolen base) notched the Cubs first hit, a bunt single to Ty Wigginton with one out in the fourth. Campana slid head first into the bag to avoid Wigginton’s tag. Campana swiped second on the first pitch to Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a stolen base). Campana then scored on Castro’s bloop single to right.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Campana with the Cubs’ second run in the sixth. Ian Stewart (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Bryan LaHair (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) in the sixth after he walked with one out.

The Cubs final two runs were scored in the ninth after Geovany Soto (0-for-2 with a run scored and two walks) worked a two-out walk. Reed Johnson (1-for-1 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored) tripled in Soto then Johnson scored on a single off the bat of David DeJesus (1-for-5 with a RBI).

The Cubs managed only nine hits Friday night but they made them count. The Cubs were 4-for-8 with RISP and left six on base.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 7-13 on the season …

Friday night’s game began as one would figure with Roy Halladay making quick work of the top of the Cubs lineup. Halladay retired the Cubs in order on just 11 pitches, eight for strikes, and the Cubs did not make solid contact in the first.

Paul Maholm worked his way in and out of trouble in the first … but did not allow any runs. Juan Pierre led off the bottom of the first with a tapper past the mound towards short. Castro could not make a play on Pierre, who can still run. Placido Polanco followed with a single to right (3-1 pitch). Pierre advanced to third with no outs.

To Maholm’s credit, he settled down and took advantage of a Phillies lineup without two of their big bats. Jimmy Rollins fouled out to Soto on a 3-2 pitch. Hunter Pence popped out to short (2-1 pitch) and Shane Victorino grounded out to third to end the inning. Maholm gave up two hits in the first on 21 pitches, 13 for strikes … but that was all.

Halladay struck out the side in the second … and the thoughts of a possible no hitter began to surface. The Cubs were at least working counts, just not making any contact.

Paul Maholm retired Ty Wigginton on a grounder to third to begin the second. Carlos Ruiz then reached on a ground rule double to center. Campana took a bad route when the ball left the bat and could not correct his mistake in time to make a catch. Freddy Galvis grounded out to second, Ruiz advanced to third but was stranded when Halladay grounded out to short. Maholm threw 37 pitches, 24 for strikes, over the first two innings.

The Cubs did nothing against Halladay in the third … nine up, nine down for Halladay but again his pitch count was adding up. Halladay threw 40 pitches over three innings, 27 for strikes.

Paul Maholm settled in and retired the Phillies in order in the third (47 pitches, 31 for strikes).

The Cubs not only broke up Halladay’s perfecto but also his no hitter and shutout in the fourth. And Tony Campana’s speed led to the game’s first run and appeared to rattle Halladay.

After David DeJesus struck out looking to start the fourth (3-2 pitch), Tony Campana reached on a bunt single (2-1 pitch). Campana slid in head first to beat Ty Wigginton’s tag. Campana took off for second on the first pitch to Castro. Campana made it easily.

Starlin Castro reached down and punched a 3-2 pitch into shallow right center. Campana scored as Wigginton cut the throw off to hold Castro at first … but it would not matter. On a 2-1 offering to Bryan LaHair, Castro took over for second and put himself into scoring position but LaHair struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) and Soriano filed out to right to end the inning.

Other than a two-out single by Ty Wigginton, the Phillies did nothing in the fourth.

Roy Halladay retired Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney quickly to start the fifth … then issued back-to-back walks to Geovany Soto and Paul Maholm. The Cubs could not capitalize on the gifts. David DeJesus grounded out to first to end the inning.

The Phillies did nothing against Maholm in the fifth … and after five, the Cubs were clinging to a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs were able to tack on in the sixth and it was that guy Tony Campana again. Campana reached on to start the sixth and advanced to third on a single to right by Bryan LaHair. Alfonso Soriano followed and singled to left. Campana scored … 2-0 Cubs. With runners on first and second with one out, Ian Stewart pulled a 0-2 pitch to right. LaHair scored on Stewart’s second double of the season.

With runners on second and third with one out, Darwin Barney hit a tapper back to Halladay. Halladay checked on Soriano, who was half way down the third baseline. Soriano froze, went back towards third as Halladay threw to first. Barney was out easily … and Wigginton threw to Ruiz. Soriano slowed up and was tagged out to end the inning.

Paul Maholm retired the Phillies in order in the sixth … and the Cubs did nothing in the top of the seventh.

Maholm started the seventh with a 3-0 lead but that did not last long.

After Shane Victorino popped out to short, Ty Wigginton made it a 3-1 game. Wigginton homered to left and chased Maholm from the game.

James Russell retired Carlos Ruiz on a grounder to short for the second out. Freddy Galvis reached on an infield single off Ian Stewart’s glove. John Mayberry hit for Halladay and reached on an infield single. With the tying runs on base, Juan Pierre flied out to left to end the inning. Soriano misplayed the ball but was able to recover for the third out.

Antonio Bastardo took over in the eighth. Tony Campana flied out to center for the first out. Castro followed with a double to left. With LaHair at the plate, Castro took off for third and was safe … but he slid off the bag. Placido Polanco did not take the glove off Castro and he was called out. LaHair ended up walking.

Michael Schwimer replaced Bastardo and retired Soriano on a ground out to second.

Rafael Dolis started the eighth and Reed Johnson replaced Soriano in left. Dolis faced the minimum in the eighth after giving up a leadoff single to Polanco. Rollins grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Pence grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the ninth and were able to tack on.

Schwimer made quick work of Stewart (flied out to right) and Barney (grounded out to short) but Geovany Soto walked … and scored all the way from first when Hunter Pence tried to make a diving catch on a ball hit by Reed Johnson. Pence missed, the ball rolled to wall in right and the Cubs took a 4-1 lead on Johnson’s triple.

David DeJesus singled to center. Johnson scored … 5-1 Cubs. Campana grounded out to second to end the inning.

Rafael Dolis stayed in and pitched the ninth. Eleven pitches and three outs later, game over. Dolis faced the minimum over two innings Friday night and earned his first career save.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Randy Wells will face Joe Blanton in game two under the lights Saturday.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax