Game Eighty-Eight – Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 1
WP – Matt Garza (5-7) LP – Trevor Cahill (7-8) Save – Carlos Marmol (10)
Carlos Marmol survived another ninth inning jam and the Cubs held on to complete the sweep over the Diamondbacks behind a solid outing from Matt Garza … and just enough offense. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a RBI and a walk) notched his fifth game-winning RBI and Darwin Barney’s fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Trevor Cahill in the second ended up being the difference in the game.
Matt Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Garza allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven. Garza was able to pitch his way out of jams in the third and fourth inning then settled in and retired the last eight batters he faced. Garza was very efficient early before running up his pitch count in the third and fourth innings. Garza threw 108 pitches, 67 for strikes, and completed seven innings of work for the second time since April 29.
Matt Garza has surrendered three earned runs or less in 18-consecutive starts at Wrigley dating back to June 27 of last season … the longest stretch by a Cub since Kerry Wood allowed three or fewer earned runs in 22 straight home starts from July 7, 2000 through April 20, 2002.
Shawn Camp surrendered the only run on the afternoon, a solo homer off the bat of Aaron Hill in the eighth. James Russell retired the only batter he faced in the ninth before turning the game over to Marmol. Carlos Marmol picked up his 10th save of the season with a shaky 2/3 of an inning (13 pitches, seven strikes).
Dale Sveum’s pitching staff held the Diamondbacks to three runs over the three-game weekend series while the offense plated 15 runs.
The Cubs scored all three runs in the first two innings of Sunday’s game. Anthony Rizzo drove in David DeJesus (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) with a first inning single. Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) cranked a two-run shot off Trevor Cahill in the second. Barney has doubled his home run total from a year ago (4) and all six of his career home runs have been hit at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs managed just four hits Sunday but walked three times and two of the free passes scored.
The Cubs defense was solid again Sunday and turned a double play for the tenth straight game … the longest streak for a Cubs’ team since an 11-game stretch in 1994.
With Sunday’s victory (8-7 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs have won 12 of 16 and improved to 36-52 on the season … Matt Garza was extremely sharp and efficient in the first inning. After Willie Bloomquist grounded out to second on the first pitch from Garza, Aaron Hill reached on a weak grounder to right just under Barney’s glove. Justin Upton ripped a 1-2 pitch to the hole at short. Castro fielded the ball but double-clutched and had to settle for the force at second. Garza got the call on a 1-2 pitch to Stephen Drew to end the inning. Garza threw 11 pitches in the first, nine for strikes.
David DeJesus worked a walk (3-2 pitch) to start the Cubs’ first. Starlin Castro fouled out to Paul Goldschmidt. A 0-2 pitch to Anthony Rizzo got past Miguel Montero. David DeJesus took second easily then scored when Rizzo reached down and pulled Trevor Cahill’s next pitch into right field. Goldschmidt cut off Upton’s throw and threw out Rizzo at second. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
After one, the Cubs led 1-0.
Matt Garza set down the D-Backs in order in the second … three groundballs to Starlin Castro. Garza threw 27 pitches in first two innings, 18 for strikes.
Bryan LaHair put together a nice at bat that ended with a walk (3-2 pitch) to start the second. Steve Clevenger worked a full count. Dale Sveum started LaHair on the 3-2 pitch to Clevenger and it kept the Cubs out of the double play. Clevenger grounded out to first as LaHair took second on the play.
Darwin Barney stepped in and drove a 1-2 pitch into the bleachers in left. Barney’s fourth longball of the season put the Cubs up 3-0. Luis Valbuena lifted Cahill’s first pitch into right center for the second out and Matt Garza looked at strike three to end the inning.
After two, the Cubs led 3-0.
Matt Garza labored through a long, 29-pitch third inning … but did not allow any runs. Garza retired Gerardo Parra on a grounder to second (3-2 pitch). Garza fell behind Trevor Cahill 2-0 before Cahill ripped a single into center on a 2-2 offering. Garza struck out Willie Bloomquist swinging (2-2 pitch) before issuing a four-pitch walk to Aaron Hill. Garza continued struggling with his command. Garza missed on his first two pitches to Justin Upton (six straight out of the strike zone). With runners on first and second with two down, Garza worked the count back to 3-2 before getting Upton to chase slider in the dirt to end the inning.
Of the first nine outs for Garza, three were via the strikeout and six were on the ground. Garza threw 56 pitches in three innings, 33 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing in the third … and after three Sveum’s team was clinging to a 3-0 lead.
The Diamondbacks threatened again in the fourth but Garza was able to pitch out of a jam for the second inning in a row. Stephen Drew lined Garza’s first pitch into center. Paul Goldschmidt worked a full count before Garza got the call for the second out. Miguel Montero then ended a 0-for-10 series with a single to center. Chris Young followed with a single to left center (1-1 pitch) and just like that Gerardo Parra stepped in representing the tying run. Parra chased a 1-2 slider in the dirt to end the inning. Garza threw 72 pitches over four innings, 44 for strikes.
After Soriano flied out to left center to begin the fourth, Bryan LaHair lined a 2-1 pitch back up the middle. Cahill was able to get a glove on the ball and kept it in the infield. LaHair reached with the Cubs’ third hit of the game. Clevenger worked another full count after being behind 1-2. Clevenger grounded out to short but LaHair was running with the pitch and advanced to second on the play. After appearing to look at ball four (3-1 pitch), Barney grounded out to short on Cahill’s 72nd pitch of the game (41 strikes) for the third out.
After four, the Cubs led 3-0.
Trevor Cahill began the fifth with his second hit of the game, a swinging bunt up the third baseline. Garza picked up the ball but threw it away … it would not have mattered. After Garza recovered from his latest case of the yips, he induced a grounder to short off the bat of Willie Bloomquist. The ball was not hit hard enough for the Cubs to turn two (broken bat). Castro was able to flip to Barney to force Cahill for the first out. Aaron Hill pulled a 2-1 offering from Garza right to Luis Valbuena … 5-4-3 inning ending double play. The tenth straight game the Cubs have turned at least one double play … 83 pitches for Garza after five, 51 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.
Matt Garza set down Arizona in order in the sixth … 96 pitches for Garza, 59 strikes.
Starlin Castro flied out to center to begin the sixth. Trevor Cahill then issued his third walk of the game. Anthony Rizzo looked at four straight out of the zone. Alfonso Soriano smoked a 2-2 pitch into left for a single and Kirk Gibson made the slow walk.
Gibson replaced Cahill with lefty Craig Breslow. Bryan LaHair lined a 1-1 pitch into center that Chris Young made a diving catch on to take a hit away from LaHair. Rizzo tagged and went to third with two down. Steve Clevenger tipped a 3-2 pitch into Montero’s glove to end the inning.
After six, the Cubs led 3-0.
Matt Garza retired the last three batters he faced in order … with a little help from Darwin Barney. Garza struck out Montero swinging to start the seventh then Chris Young popped out to Valbuena for the second out. Gerardo Parra hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that Barney fielded and made an off balance throw to first to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Bryan Shaw in the seventh.
Reed Johnson stayed in the game after hitting for Garza in the seventh and replaced LaHair in right. Shawn Camp retired pinch-hitter Ryan Roberts with a flyout to center. Willie Bloomquist grounded out to second (1-2 pitch). With the bases empty and two down, Camp floated a 1-1 changeup to Aaron Hill that he deposited into the bleachers in left … 3-1 Cubs. Justin Upton popped out to DeJesus in shallow center to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against J.J. Putz in the eighth … and the game went to the ninth with the Cubs up 3-1.
James Russell started the ninth, not Carlos Marmol, and Stephen Drew pulled a 2-0 pitch right to Darwin Barney for the first out. Dale Sveum then went to his pen and brought in Carlos Marmol to close it out.
Marmol jumped ahead of Paul Goldschmidt 1-2 before losing him and issuing the free pass. Miguel Montero ripped a first pitch fastball into left center and Kirk Gibson went to his bench for Geoff Blum. Blum hit for Chris Young and chased a 2-2 slider in the dirt for the second out. With runners on first and second with two down, Gerardo Parra lined Marmol’s first pitch back up the box. The ball hit Marmol, he recovered, picked it up, ran half way to first and underhanded the ball to Anthony Rizzo for the 27th out.
The Cubs are off on Monday and open a three-game series at Wrigley against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night … Travis Wood against Anibal Sanchez in game one.
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