Too Little, Too Late … Again – Cubs 3, Giants 4

Game Fifty-One – Cubs 3, Giants 4
WP – Madison Bumgarner (6-4) LP -Paul Maholm (4-4) Save – Javier Lopez (1)

Madison Bumgarner made it look easy for eight innings Friday night and took a shutout into the ninth inning. After back-to-back singles by Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Joe Mather (1-for-4 with a run scored) to start the ninth, Bruce Bochy went to his pen for his closer.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and a hit by pitch) launched a 2-1 pitch from Santiago Casilla. The ball ended up over the wall in left and Soriano’s eighth homer of the season made it a 4-3 game.

Bryan LaHair hit for Jeff Baker and drove a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner. LaHair ended up at second with a one-out double and Sveum sent Ian Stewart into run for LaHair. Darwin Barney (3-for-4) hit a 0-1 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Casilla and third baseman Joaquin Arias went for the ball leaving third base open. Barney beat out Casilla’s throw to first but Stewart did not advance. Casilla appeared to injure his ankle on the play and that gave Bruce Bochy an excuse to bring in a lefty to face Steve Clevenger.

Clevenger broke his bat and grounded out to first. Both Stewart and Barney advanced on the play but Javier Lopez got pinch-hitter David DeJesus to pop a 0-1 pitch into shallow center to end the game.

The Cubs outhit the Giants 11-9 but once again came up short in a one-run game. Madison Bumgarner struck out 11 batters and the impatient Cubs did not walk once in nine innings (only one three-ball count). The Cubs were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left six on base Friday night.

Paul Maholm was shaky early and gave up all four runs on seven hits in the first three innings. Maholm struggled with his command and left too many breaking balls in the middle of the plate. Maholm pitched into the sixth and allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Maholm threw 89 pitches, 59 for strikes.

The Cubs pen was very good again. Blake Parker tossed 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball, allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Casey Coleman retired the only batter he faced and Carlos Marmol was very sharp in the eighth. Marmol struck out two of the three batters he faced and threw only 18 pitches, 11 for strikes.

The Cubs made two bad baserunning blunders Friday night … Stewart in the ninth and Starlin Castro in the third. Castro appeared to have second base stolen, but slowed up as he approached the bag, did not slide and was tagged out.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 18-33 on the season …

Tony Campana led off the game with a sharp single to right on a 2-2 pitch from Madison Bumgarner. Before a 1-2 pitch to Castro, Campana broke for second too early. Bumgarner threw to second and Campana was tagged out … but a balk was called on Bumgarner and Campana went back to second with no outs. Starlin Castro looked at a 1-2 pitch for the first out.

On the first pitch to Joe Mather, Campana took off for third and slid in safe with his second stolen base of the inning. With a runner on third and one out, Mather struck out swinging. Alfonso Soriano was plunked on a 2-2 pitch but Reed Johnson struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Paul Maholm picked up where he left off in Pittsburgh and walked Gregor Blanco to start the bottom of the first. Maholm jumped ahead of Ryan Theriot 1-2 before hanging a slider over the middle of the plate that Theriot pulled into the left field corner. Blanco scored all the way from first and the Giants took a 1-0 lead. Melky Cabrera ripped a 2-2 pitch into right. Theriot held at third with one out.

Buster Posey popped a 2-0 pitch into shallow center. Tony Campana misplayed the fly and did not get into position to make a strong throw to the plate. Campana did catch the ball for the first out of the inning but Theriot tagged and scored the Giants second run. Angel Pagan tapped back to Maholm for the second out and with Cabrera at second, Brett Pill grounded out to third to end the inning. Maholm threw 26 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes.

Jeff Baker led off the Cubs’ second with a single to left (1-2 pitch). Darwin Barney followed with a single to center and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs. Steve Clevenger rapped into a 6-3 double play and with Baker at third, Maholm looked at strike three to end the inning.

Joaquin Arias struck out looking to start the second. Brandon Crawford singled to left on Maholm’s first pitch. Bumgarner bunted Crawford to second. Gregor Blanco hit a 3-1 pitch toward third and Mather threw across the diamond to end the inning … 36 pitches for Maholm through two, 21 for strikes.

After Madison Bumgarner struck out Tony Campana swinging on three pitches to start the third, Starlin Castro ripped a 0-1 pitch into center for a single. Castro took off for second on a 2-0 pitch to Mather. Castro had the bag stolen but for some reason slowed down, stopped short of the bag, did not slide, was tagged out and appeared very confused as he looked around. Mather ended up grounding out to second to end the inning.

The Giants put the game out of reach in the third inning. Ryan Theriot led off with a single to right. Melky Cabrera ripped a 1-2 pitch into right center. Theriot scored on Cabrera’s seventh triple of the season. Sveum brought the infield in and Posey punched a 0-2 pitch into right. Cabrera scored, 4-0 Giants. Pagan blooped a 1-0 pitch into right … the Giants’ fourth straight hit. Brett Pill hit a 0-1 pitch back to Maholm. The Cubs’ lefty started the Cubs first 1-4-3 double play of the season. With Posey at third, Arias grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth … and Maholm sat down the Giants in order in the bottom of the fourth.

The Cubs went down in order in the fifth.

Paul Maholm walked the free swinging Ryan Theriot to start the fifth. Melky Cabrera hit into a 6-4-3 double play and Posey grounded out to third. Maholm faced the minimum in the fifth and after five he had thrown 76 pitches, 51 for strikes.

Madison Bumgarner retired the Cubs in order quickly in the sixth.

Paul Maholm started the sixth by striking out Angel Pagan looking. Brett Pill singled to right and Dale Sveum made the slow walk to the mound. Blake Parker took over and retired Arias on a grounder to third. Pill stole second during Arias’ at bat and advanced to third on the groundout. Parker intentionally walked Brandon Crawford and with runners on first and third with two down, Bumgarner popped out to Castro to end the inning.

Other than a two-out single off the bat of Jeff Baker, the Cubs did nothing against Bumgarner in the seventh.

Blake Parker struck out Blanco looking to start the seventh. Ryan Theriot collected his third hit, a single to right on Parker’s first pitch. Melky Cabrera flied out to deep center for the second out. Dale Sveum went back to the pen, this time for Casey Coleman. Buster Posey popped out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the eighth … and Bumgarner struck out two more batters

Carlos Marmol retired the Giants in order in the eighth … 1-2-3 on 18 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Starlin Castro led off the ninth with a single to center. Joe Mather followed with a single to left and chased Madison Bumgarner from the game. Bruce Bochy went to his pen and brought in Santiago Casilla to face Alfonso Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano launched a 2-1 pitch from Casilla over the wall in left … and the Cubs were just down by one at 4-3.

Reed Johnson grounded out to first and Sveum went to his bench. Bryan LaHair hit for Baker and drove a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner. LaHair ended up with a one out double. Sveum sent Ian Stewart into run for LaHair.

Darwin Barney reached on an infield single, a tapper between the mound and third base. Casilla fielded the ball as Arias charged from third. Barney beat the throw but Stewart did not advance on the play.

Santiago Casilla appeared to tweak his ankle fielding Barney’s single and was lifted. Bochy went to his pen for lefty Javier Lopez with runners on first and second and one out.

Steve Clevenger broke his bat and grounded out to first on a 1-0 pitch. Stewart and Barney advanced ninety feet … but David DeJesus hit for Carlos Marmol and popped a 0-1 pitch into center. Game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza is scheduled to face Matt Cain in game two on Saturday night.

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Quote of the Day

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