Cubs Phight Back … End up with a Split – Cubs 4, Phillies 6

Game Twenty-Three – Cubs 4, Phillies 6
WP – Chad Qualls (1-0, BS 1) LP – Scott Maine (0-1) Save – Jonathan Papelbon (8)

To the Cubs credit they never quit Monday night after Chris Volstad put his team in a big hole. Volstad allowed four runs in a single inning again, on Monday night it happened in the first inning. Volstad settled down after the 30-pitch first inning, pitched five scoreless and kept the Phillies from tacking on to their lead.

The Cubs put a run on the board in the seventh then tied it in the eighth on a RBI single by Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) and a two-run homer off the bat of Bryan LaHair (2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI). But the bullpen could not keep the Phillies from scoring in the bottom of the eighth.

Scott Maine hit pinch-hitter Juan Pierre on the first pitch of the at bat. Jimmy Rollins lined a two-out single over Darwin Barney into right center. With runners on first and third with two down, Placido Polanco pulled a 2-0 pitch from Rafael Dolis past Alfonso Soriano in left. Pierre and Rollins scored and the Cubs could not mount another comeback in the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon.

The Cubs still have not won a series at Citizens Bank Park. In nine attempts, the Cubs are 0-7-2 and have not won a series in Philadelphia since 2001.

The big inning hurt Chris Volstad once again. Volstad allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in the first. Volstad was taken off the hook in the eighth but he must figure out how to avoid the big inning. Volstad allowed four runs on eight hits with three walks, a balk and four strikeouts in six innings. Volstad threw 84 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Shawn Camp put together another good outing and Scott Maine helped Camp close out the seventh. But Maine could not get the job done in the eighth and he was hung with the loss. Rafael Dolis gave up the winning hit, a two-out, two run double to Placido Polanco.

The Cubs offense struggled for the most part Monday night. Sveum’s team wasted chances in the fourth, fifth and seventh before tying the game in the eighth. The Cubs managed eight hits with four walks and finished the game 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.

The Cubs had runners on second and third in the fourth and fifth innings and came away with nothing. In the seventh, the offense loaded the bases with no outs and managed only one run after Geovany Soto grounded into a 5-3 double play. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double) scored the Cubs’ run in the seventh but left two more on base Monday night. Geovany Soto (0-for-3 with a walk and four left on base) continued his struggles Monday night and looks just lost at the plate.

With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 8-15 on the season …

The first play of the game set the tone for the night. David DeJesus ripped a 2-2 pitch over Hunter Pence’s head in right. The ball hit off the wall and Hunter Pence played it perfectly. Pence threw a strike to second and DeJesus was called out … replays showed DeJesus was safe. After Tony Campana did not get the call on a 3-1 pitch, he popped out to center and Starlin Castro looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Vance Worley faced the minimum in the first … with a little help.

The Phillies came out swinging in the bottom of the first and took advantage of a couple of well-placed balls. Chris Volstad labored through a 30-pitch inning in a very long start to his outing. Jimmy Rollins reached on a bunt back to Volstad to begin the inning. Volstad struck out Polanco swinging on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Shane Victorino followed and hit a slow roller to the hole at short. Victorino reached on the infield single.

With runners on first and second with one out, Hunter Pence singled to center and plated Rollins with the game’s first run. Volstad gathered himself and struck out Ty Wigginton swinging (0-2 pitch) for the second out. Volstad fell behind Laynce Nix 2-0 before walking him on four pitches to load the bases with two down.

Carlos Ruiz went with a 1-2 pitch and drove the ball into right. Victorino and Pence both scored … 3-0 Phillies. Pete Orr followed and singled to right on a 1-2 pitch. Nix scored the Phillies’ fourth run and both runners advanced ninety feet when Geovany Soto could not handle the throw from DeJesus. Volstad retired Worley on a grounder to short. Bryan LaHair scooped Castro’s throw to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the second.

Chris Volstad started finding a rhythm in the second. Volstad gave up a one-out single to Placido Polanco and that was it. After throwing 30 pitched in the first, Volstad required only 10 to get through the second.

The Cubs did nothing again in the third. Vance Worley ended up facing the minimum the first time through the lineup.

The Phillies were unable to tack on in the third. Volstad retired Wigginton on a grounder to second and Nix grounded out to Castro in the shift for the second out. Carlos Ruiz worked a two-out walk but Orr tapped back to the mound to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance in the fourth to creep back into the game. After DeJesus struck out looking (3-2 pitch) and Polanco threw out Campana trying to bunt his way on, Starlin Castro reached on a broken bat single to short. Bryan LaHair followed with a double to left down the third base line. With runners on second and third with two down, Alfonso Soriano swung at the first pitch and popped it into to right to end the inning.

Chris Volstad retired the Phillies in order in the fourth. Volstad threw 57 pitches, 41 for strikes, in four innings and settled down nicely after a horrible first inning.

For the second inning in a row, the Cubs put runners on second and third with two outs … and came away empty.

Ian Stewart led off the fifth with a walk (3-2 pitch). Blake DeWitt reached on an error by Ty Wigginton at first. The Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs for Geovany Soto. Soto predictably struck out swinging for the first out. Volstad failed to get a bunt down on his first two attempts but was able get the job done on a 1-2 offering from Vance Worley. With runners on second and third with two down, David DeJesus popped out to center (1-1 pitch) to end the inning.

Other than a two-out single by Ty Wigginton off DeWitt’s glove, the Phillies did nothing against Volstad in the fifth.

After five complete, the Cubs trailed 4-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.

Chris Volstad started the sixth by striking out Carlos Ruiz looking. Pete Orr reached on a bunt single and advanced to second when Worley bunted back to Volstad. Jimmy Rollins called a balk on Volstad, the homeplate umpire agreed and Orr advanced to third with two outs. Rollins ended up walking but Polanco popped out to left on Volstad’s last pitch of the game.

After throwing 30 pitches in the first inning, Volstad ended up throwing 54 pitches over his last five innings of work.

The Cubs finally got on the board in the top of the seventh.

Alfonso Soriano led off the seventh with his second extra basehit of the season. Soriano ripped a 1-0 pitch into right center. The ball ended up in the stands and Soriano ended up at second with a ground rule double. Ian Stewart walked on four pitches.

Vance Worley appeared to commit a balk with DeWitt at the plate … but DeWitt forgot to tell the umpire. DeWitt lined the next pitch into right center. The runners had to hold to make sure the ball would drop and could only advance ninety feet.

With the bases loaded, no outs and the Cubs down 4-0, Geovany Soto hit the first pitch up the third baseline. Polanco made a nice backhanded stop, stepped on third and threw across the diamond to nail the lumbering Soto. Soriano scored on the play … 4-1 Phillies. Reed Johnson hit for Volstad and grounded out to first to end the inning.

Shawn Camp started the seventh and retired Victorino on a lineout to second. Pence flied out to deep right for the second out but Ty Wigginton singled to right on a 2-2 pitch. Sveum went to his pen and brought in Scott Maine to face Laynce Nix. Charlie Manuel countered with John Mayberry Jr. Maine caught Mayberry looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Antonio Bastardo started the eighth. DeJesus fouled out to Ruiz to start the inning. But Tony Campana walked on four pitches. Manuel went back to his pen and brought in Chad Qualls to face Starlin Castro.

Campana took off for second on the first pitch and reached second easily. On the next pitch, Campana broke for third. Castro singled to left and Campana scored easily, 4-2 Phillies.

Bryan LaHair stepped in and pulled a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right center … and just like that the game was tied at four. Soriano flied out to right for the second out. Stewart followed with a single to right center but DeWitt flied out to left to end the inning.

With the game tied at four, Scott Maine started the eighth. Carlos Ruiz lined out to right for the first out … but Maine hit pinch-hitter Juan Pierre with his first offering and put the go ahead run on without making him earn it. Freddy Galvis fouled out to Castro for the second out. Sveum made the slow walk and brought in Rafael Dolis (and Darwin Barney for DeWitt) to turn Jimmy Rollins around.

Dolis paid a lot of attention to Pierre at first. In between the throws to first, he ended up in a 2-2 count to the Phillies’ shortstop. Pierre broke for second and Rollins broke his bat and lined the ball just out of the reach of a leaping Darwin Barney. Pierre ended up at third with two down.

Placido Polanco pulled a 2-0 pitch past Soriano in left. The ball rolled to the wall and both Pierre and Rollins scored … 6-4 Phillies. Dolis retired Victorino on a grounder to second to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the ninth down 6-4.

Jonathan Papelbon walked Geovany Soto to start the ninth but that was the only baserunner the Cubs would manage. Barney popped out to Polanco near the mound, DeJesus flied out to left and Campana looked at a 0-2 pitch for the 27th out … game and series over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series in Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Jeff Samardzija faces Bronson Arroyo in the opener.

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