Two in a Row – Cubs 6, Giants 4

Game One Hundred Thirty-One – Cubs 6, Giants 4
WP – Chris Volstad (2-9) LP – Madison Bumgarner (14-9) Save – Carlos Marmol (17)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs finished a lousy month (8-21) with a very good win over Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs picked up where they left off Thursday. Sveum’s offense grinded out at bats early, put runs on the board and knocked Madison Bumgarner out of the game after four innings … Bumgarner’s shortest outing since Opening Day.

Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) jump started the offense. Soriano drove in the first three runs of the game with a RBI single in the first and a two run shot in the third. The Cubs scored four runs in the third off Bumgarner with two outs.

Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) notched a “Little League Home Run” in the third. Castillo doubled in Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a run scored), advanced to third on the throw to the plate then scored when Castro knocked the ball out of Buster Posey’s glove.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored) hit his first home run since August 5 in the fifth. Rizzo launched a 2-2 pitch to left center. The ball hit in the basket, bounced out and into the field of play. Rizzo ended up at third on what was obviously a home run. The umps reviewed the play and reversed the call … and Rizzo was awarded his tenth longball of the season.

The Cubs offense scored six runs on 10 hits with three walks and five strikeouts … and finished the game 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.

Chris Volstad put together another solid start and picked up his second straight win. The Cubs’ defense turned a pair of double plays in the first and second inning that helped Volstad while he was having trouble throwing strikes. Volstad avoided the “one big inning” and allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Jeff Beliveau closed out the sixth by retiring Brandon Belt on a deep fly to right with two on and the Cubs up by four.

Chris Volstad kept the ball in the park and threw 88 pitches on Friday afternoon, 49 for strikes.

James Russell pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning but Shawn Camp ran into trouble in the eighth. Camp surrendered two runs on three hits before Brandon Belt flied out to Brett Jackson with Buster Posey at second and the Cubs up by two runs.

Carlos Marmol picked up his 17th save with a three-up, three-down ninth. Marmol struck out two of the three batters he faced on 14 pitches (10 for strikes). With Friday’s save, Carlos Marmol tied Randy Myers for third on the Cubs’ All-Time save list (112).

The Cubs beat the Giants for the first time this season (1-4) and posted back-to-back wins for the first time since winning three in a row at the end of July (July 28 – July 30).

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 51-80 on the season …

Chris Volstad faced the minimum in the first despite throwing more balls (6) than strikes (3). Angel Pagan flied out to left to start the game. Volstad then walked the free-swinging Ryan Theriot on four pitches. Pablo Sandoval ripped a 1-1 pitch to Starlin Castro in the shift … 6-3 double play, inning over.

Joe Mather set the tone for the afternoon with a nine-pitch at bat against Madison Bumgarner to start the game. Mather worked a walk. Bumgarner struck out Josh Vitters (3-2 pitch) and Anthony Rizzo swinging. Mather took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Alfonso Soriano. Mather was able to get into scoring position with two out and scored when Soriano pulled a 2-2 pitch into left. Starlin Castro lined out to right to end the inning. The Cubs ran up Bumgarner’s pitch count in the opening frame. Bumgarner threw 32 pitches in the first, 22 for strikes.

Chris Volstad faced the minimum in the second. Buster Posey singled to left center to start the inning. Hunter Pence grounded into a 5-4-3 double play and Brandon Belt grounded out to Rizzo to end the inning … 16 pitches for Volstad after two, seven for strikes.

Other than a two out walk by Darwin Barney, the Cubs did nothing in the second but run up Bumgarner’s pitch count (49 pitches, 32 for strikes).

Chris Volstad retired the side in order in the third. Volstad needed 26 pitches, 13 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.

Joe Mather (soft liner to short) and Josh Vitters (flyout to left) made two quick outs to start the third. Anthony Rizzo drove a 0-2 pitch into center for a single … and kept the inning going for Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano launched a 0-2 pitch from Bumgarner onto Waveland Avenue … and just like that the Cubs were up 3-0. Starlin Castro followed Soriano’s 24th homer of the season with a single to right. Welington Castillo launched the first pitch he saw to deep left. The ball hit off the vines and settled at the base of the wall. Pat Listach sent Castro and he slid in safe with the Cubs’ fourth run. The ball beat Castro to the plate but Buster Posey did not have a good handle on it when he tried to make a sweeping tag. The ball came out, Castro kicked it away and Castillo rumbled home from third … and slid in safe with the Cubs fifth run of the game. Brett Jackson lined out to Bumgarner to end the inning.

After three complete, the Cubs led 5-0.

Chris Volstad retired Angel Pagan on a grounder to first to begin the fourth. Ryan Theriot pulled a 0-1 pitch past a diving Vitters and into left field. Pablo Sandoval broke his bat and grounded out to second. Barney kept his concentration and threw out Theriot at second for out number two. Volstad fell behind Posey and the Giants’ catcher made him pay. Posey drove a 3-2 pitch into right center. Sandoval was running with the pitch and scored standing on Posey’s two-out double. Hunter Pence flied out to right (first pitch) to end the inning. Volstad needed 43 pitches, 24 for strikes, to complete four innings on Friday afternoon.

Darwin Barney grounded out to second for the first out in the fourth. Chris Volstad then reached on an infield single. Sandoval backhanded a short-hop grounder but could not field it cleanly and Volstad reached … but that was all in the fourth for the Cubs. Mather flied out to right center and Vitters lined out to third. Vitters slammed his helmet and cracked it after he made the third out in the inning … 85 pitches for Bumgarner after four, 60 for strikes.

Joaquin Arias reached on a one-out single in the fifth but that was all for the Giants in the inning. Volstad caught Gregor Blanco looking for the second out and retired pinch-hitter Marco Scutaro on a grounder to short (3-2 pitch) to end the inning …. 61 pitches for Volstad after five, 36 for strikes.

George Kontos took over for the Giants in the fifth.

Anthony Rizzo led off the fifth and launched a 2-2 pitch from George Kontos into deep left center. The ball hit in the basket, popped out and ended up in the field of play. Rizzo slid in safe at third on what appeared to be a home run. The umps discussed the call then decided to review it. The call on the field was overturned. Rizzo ended up with this tenth home run and the Cubs took a 6-1 lead. Kontos struck out Soriano swinging, Castro grounded out to third and Castillo was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

After five, the Cubs led 6-1.

Chris Volstad walked Angel Pagan to start the sixth inning. Pagan took off for second on the first pitch to Theriot. Pagan ended up in scoring position and advanced to third when Theriot flied out to Soriano in left center. Pablo Sandoval drove a 3-2 pitch into right. Mather misplayed the ball but caught it. Pagan tagged and scored, 6-2 Cubs. Buster Posey walked then advanced to second on a single to left center off the bat of Hunter Pence.

With two on, two down and the Cubs up 6-2, Dale Sveum went to his pen and brought in lefty Jeff Beliveau. Brandon Belt hit a 0-1 pitch to deep right that Mather hauled in for the third out.

Brett Jackson worked a walk to start the sixth against George Kontos. The Giants pitched out on the first offering to Darwin Barney and threw out Jackson at second. Barney flied out to right on a 3-2 pitch. Bryan LaHair hit for Beliveau and singled to right but Joe Mather grounded out to third to end the inning.

After six complete, the Cubs led 6-2.

James Russell retired the side in order in the seventh.

The Cubs did nothing against Jose Mijares in the seventh.

Shawn Camp took over in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Angel Pagan. Pagan swiped second with Theriot at the plate. Ryan Theriot singled to left. Pagan held at third with no outs. Camp caught Pablo Sandoval looking at a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Buster Posey singled to center. Pagan scored and cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-3. Theriot advanced to third on the play and scored when Pence grounded out to Josh Vitters. Posey ended up at second but was stranded when Belt flied out to center to end the inning.

Jeremy Affeldt retired Castro on a grounder to short for the first out in the eighth. Welington Castillo singled to center. After Jackson popped out to short, Darwin Barney just missed a home run. The ball hit off the vines in left. Castillo held at third on Barney’s double. Sveum went to his bench and sent up Luis Valbuena to hit for Shawn Camp. Valbuena hit a 3-1 pitch toward third … and was called out as he dove headfirst into the bag to end the inning.

After eight, the Cubs were clinging to a 6-4 lead.

Carlos Marmol set down the side in order, with two strikeouts, to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Weather permitting, Justin Germano is scheduled to face Tim Lincecum on Saturday afternoon (12:05pm CDT).

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Quote of the Day

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