A Real Wild Walk-Off Win – Cubs 12, Brewers 11

Game One Hundred Thirty – Cubs 12, Brewers 11
WP – Carlos Marmol (2-2) LP – Francisco Rodriguez (2-7, BS 7) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs never quit Thursday afternoon and walked off with arguably their most impressive win of the season. The Cubs kept grinding and for one of the few times since the deadline, they did not give anything away while playing from behind. The Cubs walked a season-high 11 times and it paid off in the end.

The Cubs entered the ninth down 11-9. After Joe Mather struck out swinging to start the inning, David DeJesus (3-for-4 with two doubles, two walks, two RBI and three runs scored) reached with his second double of the game. Luis Valbuena (3-for-5 with a double, a walk, a RBI and two runs scored) walked. Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a triple, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored) singled in DeJesus and cut the Brewers lead to 11-10.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-6 with two doubles and two RBI) doubled in Valbuena with the tying run and set the stage for Alfonso Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-1 with a RBI, two walks and a run scored) was not in the starting lineup Thursday but still ended up with three plate appearances … and a game winning RBI. With runners on second and third with one out, Alfonso Soriano lifted a 0-1 pitch into center and the Cubs walked off with the win.

The Cubs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against Shaun Marcum but the Brewers offense kicked it into gear and scored seven of their 11 runs in the third and fourth innings off Brooks Raley on two swings of the bat. Jonathan Lucroy launched a grand slam onto Waveland in the third and Ryan Braun hit a two-run bomb off the camera building in left center in the fourth. Lucroy had another huge day against Cubs pitching and drove in seven of the Brewers’ eleven runs.

The Cubs began the bottom of the sixth down 9-3 and before the Brewers could record three outs, Sveum’s team tied the game. The Cubs sent 11 to the plate in the six-run sixth. Brett Jackson (2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored and two walks) doubled twice in the sixth. Jackson scored the Cubs first run of the inning and drove in the last two that tied the game.

The Brewers took the lead right back in the top of the seventh against Blake Parker. Cody Ransom hit the Brewers’ third longball of the game and broke the 9-9 tie. Jonathan Lucroy singled in Rickie Weeks in the eighth and gave the Brewers what appeared to be a comfortable two-run lead … but once again, the Cubs did not quit on Thursday afternoon.

The Cubs announced prior to the game that Thursday would be Brooks Raley’s final start of the season. Brooks Raley really struggled against the Brewers high powered offense. Raley was left in for four innings after giving up five runs in a laborious 29-pitch third inning. Raley did a decent job the first time through the lineup but gave up five runs the second time through and two more run in the fourth. Raley allowed seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. The rookie southpaw threw 86 pitches, 48 for strikes, and six of the seven runs he allowed scored on the two huge flies off the bat of Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun.

Starlin Castro recorded his tenth triple of the season in the first inning and became only the eighth different Cub in the last 50 years to hit ten triples in a single season … the other seven: Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Juan Pierre, Don Kessinger, Lou Brock and Ivan DeJesus.

Dale Sveum emptied his bench Thursday and used Travis Wood as a pinch-hitter to end the Cubs eight-game losing streak against the Brewers. The Cubs finished the season series with a 4-13 mark in the 17 games with Milwaukee.

Thursday’s game took four hours and nine minutes to play … and a combined 23 runs were scored on 31 hits with 13 walks and 10 strikeouts.

With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 50-80 on the season … Brooks Raley gave up a single, a single and a double to the first three batters he faced … but did not allow a run in the first inning (18 pitches, 11 for strikes). Norichika Aoki led off the game with a single to center (1-1 pitch). Raley jumped ahead of Rickie Weeks 1-2. Aoki took off for second on a 2-2 offering to Weeks. The pitch was down and in but Steve Clevenger made a perfect throw to second. Darwin Barney picked the low throw and applied the tag. Aoki was called out and replays showed it was the right call. Weeks reached on an infield single.

Ryan Braun just missed a two-run homer. Braun lifted Raley’s first pitch into the wind. The ball hit off the vines in left and Weeks held at third on Braun’s double. Corey Hart popped out to Barney and Jonathan Lucroy flied out to left center (2-2 pitch) for the third out.

David DeJesus put together a long, 10-pitch at bat that ended with a leadoff walk. Luis Valbuena was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Starlin Castro pulled a 2-2 pitch into left center. Ryan Braun took a bad route and the ball rolled all the way to the wall. DeJesus scored and Castro ended up at third with his 10th triple of the season. Jeff Bianchi had a play at third but Rickie Weeks failed to communicate with his shortstop.

Anthony Rizzo launched a 1-2 pitch off the wall in center (just above the 400-foot marker). Rizzo just missed a homer and settled for a double and a RBI. Bryan LaHair struck out swinging and Steve Clevenger grounded out to Weeks for the third out. The Cubs made Shaun Marcum work in the first inning. Marcum threw 31 pitches in the first, 21 for strikes.

Other than a one-out walk by Cody Ransom, the Brewers did nothing in the second against Brooks Raley … 34 pitches for Raley after two, 19 for strikes.

Brett Jackson led off the second with a free pass (3-1 pitch). Darwin Barney popped out to left for the first out. Brooks Raley squared to bunt on a 1-0 pitch, pulled the bat back and hit a tapper toward third. Ransom fielded the ball, slipped and threw to first from the seat of his pants … but his throw was high and Raley reached on an infield single. David DeJesus put together another long at bat. DeJesus ripped the sixth pitch of the at bat (3-2 pitch) into right. Jackson scored easily and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead.

Luis Valbuena stepped in with runners on first and second with one out. Valbuena grounded a 2-1 pitch to first. Both runners advanced as Hart stepped on the bag for the second out. Starlin Castro grounded a 2-0 pitch to Bianchi at short to end the inning. Marcum needed 52 pitches, 30 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

Brooks Raley started the third inning on a positive note … and it went downhill from there. Aoki grounded out to Barney for the first out. Rickie Weeks lined a single to center (1-1 pitch) and Ryan Braun singled to center on a 3-0 pitch. With runners on first and second with one out, Raley fell behind Corey Hart 2-0. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Raley missed two more times to Hart and issued a four-pitch walk to load the bases with only one out.

Jonathan Lucroy launched a 1-1 pitch onto Waveland Avenue … and just like that the Brewers took a 4-3 lead.

Carlos Gomez followed Lucroy’s slam with a single to right center. Gomez stole second on a 0-1 pitch to Cody Ransom. Gomez then broke for third on a 2-2 pitch. Ransom singled to center and plated Gomez with the Brewers’ fifth run. Jeff Bianchi popped out to right center and Marcum grounded out to third to end the inning. Raley threw 63 pitches over three innings, 34 for strikes.

Other than a two-out walk by Steve Clevenger, the Cubs did nothing in the third. Marcum struggled in the first two innings but appeared to settle down in the third and needed 68 pitches to get through three innings, 39 for strikes.

Brooks Raley retired Aoki on a flyout to left center to start the fourth … and the inning went south for the lefty quickly after retiring Aoki. Rickie Weeks reached on what was ruled an infield single to short. Weeks hit a grounder to Castro, who made a strong throw to first. Castro did take his time and to Weeks’ credit he ran hard to first. The replay showed that Weeks was out at first on a close call. Ryan Braun then crushed Raley’s first pitch to deep left center. The ball hit off the facing of the camera building … where Sammy Sosa used to hit ‘em. Corey Hart struck out swinging and Jonathan Lucroy flied out to left center to end the inning.

Brooks Raley allowed seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Raley threw 86 pitches, 48 for strikes, and six of the seven runs scored on two long home runs.

Darwin Barney and Brooks Raley made two quick outs to start the fourth. David DeJesus worked a two-out walk and advanced to third on a single to right off the bat of Luis Valbuena … but Starlin Castro struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Marcum labored through the fourth inning (85 pitches, 49 for strikes).

After four complete, the Cubs trailed 7-3.

Michael Bowden took over in the fifth and kept the Brewers off the board. Carlos Gomez grounded out to third for the first out. Cody Ransom ripped a double into center. The Cubs then got a call on a grounder off the bat of Jeff Bianchi. Ransom held at second but advanced to third on a wild pitch with pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa at the plate. Ishikawa grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Livan Hernandez in the fifth.

Michael Bowden stayed in and retired Aoki on a pop out to Rizzo for the first out. Rickie Weeks lashed a double into right center. Bowden walked Braun on four pitches. With runners on first and second with one out, Corey Hart popped out to right center. LaHair hauled it in and Weeks advanced to third on the play. Braun stole second on the first pitch to Lucroy. With runners on second and third with two down, Lucroy blooped Bowden’s next pitch into right. The ball fell in front of LaHair. Weeks and Braun scored, 9-3 Brewers. Carlos Gomez grounded out to short to end the inning.

Brett Jackson led off the sixth with a blooper into left off Livan Hernandez. Jackson hustled out of the box and ended up at second with a double. Darwin Barney flied out to deep center. Jackson tagged and advanced to third. Josh Vitters hit for Michael Bowden and worked his second big league walk.

With runners on first and third with one down, David DeJesus pulled a 2-0 pitch into the right field corner. Jackson scored and Vitters ended up at third on DeJesus’ double. A 2-1 pitch to Valbuena got away from Lucroy and Vitters scored on a passed ball … 9-5 Brewers. With the infield in and DeJesus at third, Valbuena pulled a 3-2 pitch toward the hole at second. Weeks made a diving stop as DeJesus scored the Cubs’ sixth run. Valbuena ended up a first with a RBI single.

Starlin Castro walked and chased Hernandez from the game. Ron Roenicke went to his pen for lefty Manny Parra to face Rizzo.

Anthony Rizzo hit a weak grounder toward second. Both runners moved up ninety feet as Weeks threw to first for the second out of the inning. Dale Sveum sent up Alfonso Soriano to hit for Bryan LaHair. Parra wanted nothing to do with Soriano. Parra missed low with his first two pitches then issued the last two intentionally to load the bases for Steve Clevenger.

Dale Sveum countered with Welington Castillo and the young catcher showed a lot of patience. Castillo walked and forced in Valbuena with the Cubs’ seventh run.

Brett Jackson stepped in with the bases loaded, two down and the Cubs trailing by two. Jackson drove a 1-0 pitch into left. Castro and Soriano scored and tied the game at nine. Roenicke went to back his pen for Jose Veras. Barney grounded out to second (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

After six, the game was tied at nine.

Blake Parker made his first appearance since returning from the DL in the seventh … and Cody Ransom greeted him with a home run off the batter’s eye in center. Jeff Bianchi popped out to second and Sveum went to the pen for James Russell. Russell retired Morgan and Aoki to end the inning.

Jose Veras retired pinch-hitter Travis Wood to start the seventh. DeJesus grounded out to first for the second out. Luis Valbuena ripped a double into the left field corner but Starlin Castro flied out to center to end the inning.

After seven, the Cubs trailed 10-9.

The Brewers tacked on another run in the eighth off Shawn Camp. Rickie Weeks led off with a double to left … his fifth hit of the game and a new career-high for a single game. Ryan Braun grounded out to third, Weeks held at second with one out. Corey Hart then dropped a single into center in front of Brett Jackson. Weeks held at third.

Jonathan Lucroy ripped the first pitch he saw into center. Weeks scored and Lucroy recorded his seventh RBI of the game. With the Brewers up 11-9 and runners on first and second with one out, Ron Roenicke went to his bench for Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez pulled a 0-1 pitch to Castro … 6-4-3 double play, inning over.

The Cubs showed a lot of patience against Jim Henderson in the eighth. Henderson pitched his way in and out of a jam without allowing any runs. Anthony Rizzo popped out to right for the first out. Alfonso Soriano walked. Welington Castillo looked at a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Brett Jackson quickly fell behind 1-2 but worked a full count before taking a free pass. With runners on first and second with two down, Darwin Barney grounded out to Henderson, who tossed to Ransom for the third out.

At the end of eight, the Cubs trailed 11-9.

Carlos Marmol set down the side in order in the ninth … the first 1-2-3 inning for a Cubs’ pitcher on the afternoon.

Francisco Rodriguez took the hill for the bottom of the ninth with his team up by two. Joe Mather hit for Marmol and struck out swinging for the first out. David DeJesus followed with a double to left center. Luis Valbuena fell behind 0-2 quickly but showed patience and ended up working a walk. Starlin Castro also fell behind 0-2 quickly. Castro put together another good at bat that ended with a single to center on a 3-2 pitch. DeJesus scored, 11-10 Brewers. Valbuena advanced to third on the play.

Anthony Rizzo pulled a double into right field. Valbuena scored and tied the game at 11. Castro was held at third. Roenicke brought his infield and outfield in with runners on second and third with one down. The Brewers pitched to Alfonso Soriano with an open base … and he made them pay for the decision.

Alfonso Soriano ripped a 0-1 pitch into left center … Castro scored, game over. Cubs Win!

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series with the Giants on Wednesday afternoon. Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Madison Bumgarner in game one.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Look at the pennant race….it is fun to watch.
    Detroit is sluggish and has a mere 40% chance of even making the playoffs. And that with Prince Fielder’s big contract.

    Angels…15% chance of making the playoffs (in reality: no chance), and that with Albert’s $254 million dollar contract.

    Oakland….77% chance of making the playoffs after their crazy GM–he is nuts–dealt away Gio Gonzalez because “we won’t win the next three or four years.”

    And my favorite of all: the Dodgers! 22% chance of making the playoffs with all of those recently acquired, bloated contracts. They’re going to make that Dodger team a powerhouse again! The Yankees of the West! LOL

    • Tony_Hall

      And I thought spending money was all that was needed to make the playoffs.

      • Zonk

        …that, and a few deft trades, where opposing GMs surrender good players to us in exchange for our leftovers.

        Who needs to invest time to build a farm system?

      • Aaron

        Tony,

        What’s ironic, is the Yankees really started the spending sprees in MLB in the 90′s and early 2000′s.

        Nearly every club out there followed that same model, including the Cubs and Red Sox.

        The A’s and Billy Beane happened upon a different strategy not because they were geniuses, but because it happened by accident due to economics with the team. Their strategy was to constantly replenish their system by trading players at their peak value (Hudson, Mulder, etc). Then Theo came along, and he had a similar strategy, but it involved creating a strong player development system to constantly churn out high end prospects. Even though it wasn’t reflected at the MLB level, he got to work on their system almost immediately with the draft and int’l FA signings.

        When the Red Sox won it all in 2007, everyone really took notice (though other teams like the D’Backs, Rockies, etc. had noticed earlier and begun similar processes).

        One of the biggest problems I had with Jim Hendry, is he was so far behind the times, that the Cubs were lightyears behind other teams. Player development improvements don’t happen overnight. Other teams were signing veterans with the sole purpose of gaining picks in the following draft. What was amazing is that teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, etc. that were already rich, were adding picks to the mix while also signing high end free agents. Meanwhile, the Cubs were losing picks altogether without adding anything.

        This “rebuild” didn’t have to be that painful, but because he was such a moron, and behind the times, it is EXACTLY that…very painful.

        Look, I’m not going to say, “I told you so”…though I did….what I’m saying is that while this team is dreadful right now, it’s likely not going to be that way in 3 years. What I will say is that the Cubs missed out on golden opportunities before the new CBA to really load up on high end talent in their system, and the length of time would have been drastically cut to about a year before they field a highly competitive team….It is what it is, I guess

    • BosephHeyden

      22%? How can someone handicap the NL West? Up until a few weeks ago, the Diamondbacks were in that race. And I’m not sure how Oakland has a 77% chance, since that AL Wild Card race changes every other day, and just last week they weren’t even in it.

  • paulcatanese

    Just walked in, all I can say is wow!!
    Exausting post Neil, thanks.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    You’re welcome Paul, it was a long game. One of the longest nine inning games I can remember.

  • Zonk

    Seriously, nice job on the post. It almost took as long as the game! That game ended about 5:30, over 4 hours in 9 innings…..