Cubs Survive the Nightcap … and Split a Pair with the Reds – Cubs 9, Reds 7

Game One Hundred Nineteen – Cubs 9, Reds 7
WP – Brooks Raley (1-2) LP – Todd Redmond (0-1) Save – Carlos Marmol (15)

wflag.jpgA long day of baseball ended on a positive note as the Cubs hung on and defeated the Reds in the second game of the day-night doubleheader … and ended their nine-game road losing streak (July 24 in Pittsburgh).

The Cubs took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth behind a solid outing from Brooks Raley. The Cubs’ pen could not keep the Reds off the board and Cincinnati kept chipping away. Miguel Cairo cut the Cubs lead to 8-7 in the eighth with a pinch-hit, run scoring triple but Shawn Camp was able to retire Drew Stubbs with the tying run on third to end the inning.

David DeJesus gave the Cubs a little breathing room in the ninth with his fifth homer of the season. Carlos Marmol surrendered a one-out single to Brandon Phillips in the ninth before striking out Ryan Ludwick and retiring Todd Frazier to end the game.

Brooks Raley picked up his first Major League victory with a solid performance against the Reds. Raley allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work. Raley left the game up 8-3 with one out in the sixth after throwing 77 pitches, 50 for strikes. Not only did Raley pick up his first win, he also singled in the second for his first big league hit.

Manny Corpas allowed an inherited run to score in the sixth and gave up two runs on three hits of his own in 1 2/3 innings. James Russell was charged with a run after he allowed a single to the only batter he faced in the eighth. Shawn Camp kept the Reds from tying the game in the eighth.

The Cubs scored eight of their nine runs in the first six innings … and it should have been more. The Cubs struggled early on against Todd Redmond and were not able to take advantage of five free passes. The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base after three at bats with the only run coming on Brett Jackson’s first Major League home run.

Anthony Rizzo (1-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored) broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth with his only hit of the night, a single to right. Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a double, a triple, three RBI, a run scored and a stolen base) had a huge game and followed Rizzo’s single with a run scoring double. Castro ended up a home run short of a cycle.

Bryan LaHair (1-for-3 with two RBI, a run scored, two walks and two stolen bases) had his best game in quite some time. LaHair drove in his first run since July 13 with a fielder’s choice in the fourth and added a RBI single in the sixth.

Luis Valbuena (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI, a run scored and two walks) did his job hitting out of the top spot of Dale Sveum’s lineup. Adrian Cardenas (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) made a rare appearance in the starting lineup and responded with a solid game in the plate.

The Cubs scored nine runs on 13 hits with five walks … and finished the game 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.

With Saturday night’s win, the Cubs improved to 47-72 on the season …

Game two began with Luis Valbuena taking ball four from Todd Redmond. An overly aggressive Joe Mather fouled out to Devin Mesoraco on the first pitch. Anthony Rizzo struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) on a high 80s fastball. Starlin Castro hit a 1-0 pitch just out of the reach of Wilson Valdez into left center. Valbuena ended up at third on the Cubs’ first hit.

Bryan LaHair worked a walk (3-2 pitch) to load the bases for Steve Clevenger. Clevenger hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that Phillips snared and flipped to Valdez to end Todd Redmond’s long 27-pitch first inning (14 strikes).

Brooks Raley retired the side in order on eight pitches, five strikes, in the first inning.

Brett Jackson led off the second with the first homer of his big league career. Jackson launched a 1-1 pitch from Redmond into the stands in right. Adrian Cardenas popped out to short. Brooks Raley followed with a single to center (0-2 pitch) for his first Major League hit. Luis Valbuena singled to right (2-1 pitch). With runners on first and second with one out, Joe Mather hit a 0-2 pitch back up the middle. Redmond stopped the ball and threw to first. Raley and Valbuena advanced to second and third.

Anthony Rizzo drove a 2-2 pitch into center … that Drew Stubbs hauled in to end the inning. Redmond threw 50 pitches in the first two innings, 31 for strikes.

Ryan Ludwick launched Raley’s first pitch of the second inning into the seats in left … and just like that the game was tied at one. Raley retired Todd Frazier on a flyout to center, Jay Bruce on a pop out to third and Scott Rolen on a flyout to center to end the inning … 19 pitches for Raley after two, 13 for strikes.

Starlin Castro popped out to left for the first out in the third inning. Bryan LaHair worked a walk then swiped second with Clevenger at the plate. Steve Clevenger worked a walk and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one down. Brett Jackson was called out on a 2-2 pitch from Todd Redmond … the ball was high and in and out of the strike zone. Adrian Cardenas popped out to third (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Todd Redmond threw 71 pitches, 40 strikes, in his first three big league innings … and the Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base after three at bats.

Brooks Raley set down the side in order in the third … 29 pitches for Raley after three, 20 for strikes.

After three, the game was tied at one.

Brooks Raley lined out to short for the first out in the fourth. Luis Valbuena walked … the Cubs’ fifth free pass of the game. Joe Mather stepped in tapped a 1-2 pitch up the first baseline. Redmond fielded the swinging bunt but his throw ended up in shallow right. Valbuena went to third and Mather took second on Redmond’s error. Anthony Rizzo singled to right (1-0 pitch) and plated Valbuena with the go ahead run. Mather held at third with one out.

Starlin Castro pulled a 2-1 pitch into the left field corner. Mather scored and Rizzo held at third on Castro’s 17th double of the year. With the Cubs up 3-1, runners on second and third and one out, Dusty Baker went to his pen for Alfredo Simon.

Bryan LaHair pounded a 2-2 pitch up the first baseline. Frazier fielded the ball cleanly and threw to the plate. Rizzo broke and slid in safe with the Cubs’ fourth run. Frazier’s throw was off the mark and toward foul territory. Mesoraco could not apply the tag in time. LaHair notched his first RBI since July 13 and only his fourth since June 19. With runners on first and third, Steve Clevenger grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

Brooks Raley kept the Reds off the board in the fourth. Raley issued a two-out walk to Ryan Ludwick but that was all. Raley needed 44 pitches, 29 for strikes, to get through four innings.

After four, the Cubs led 4-1.

Alfredo Simon struck out Brett Jackson swinging (2-2 pitch) to start the fifth. Adrian Cardenas followed with a single to right center (0-2 pitch). Brooks Raley could not get the bunt down and fouled out to Scott Rolen. Luis Valbuena continued his good series with a double to right center. Valbuena pulled a 2-1 pitch just out of the reach of Jay Bruce. Cardenas rounded third and headed for home after Bruce missed the cut-off man. Wilson Valdez caught the ball and made an excellent running throw toward the plate but Cardenas slid headfirst around Mesoraco and reached back to touch home for the Cubs’ fifth run. Mather was caught looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Jay Bruce led off the fifth with a single to right (3-2 pitch). Raley then issued a four-pitch walk to Scott Rolen and was in big trouble. Devin Mesoraco lined a 1-1 pitch into right … but right to Bryan LaHair. Bruce tagged and advanced to third. Chris Heisey hit for Alfredo Simon and stroked a 1-1 pitch into left. Bruce scored on Heisey’s single. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Drew Stubbs stepped in with runners on first and second with one down.

Brooks Raley got the call on a 1-2 pitch to Drew Stubbs and Wilson Valdez pounded a 0-2 pitch toward third. Valbuena fielded and his throw to second just beat a sliding Chris Heisey to end the inning … 67 pitches for Raley after five, 42 for strikes.

After five, the Cubs had a 5-2 lead.

Sam LeCure took over for the Reds in the sixth. Anthony Rizzo pounded a 3-2 pitch toward first and off Todd Frazier’s glove. Rizzo reached on Frazier’s error and the young Cubs took advantage of the extra out.

Starlin Castro followed and drove a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner. Rizzo scored on Castro’s third hit of the game, a triple. Bryan LaHair singled to right and the Cubs took a 7-2 lead. Clevenger looked at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Brett Jackson took a 2-2 pitch for the second out.

Adrian Cardenas drove a 1-2 pitch into the gap in left center. LaHair scored easily on Cardenas’ double. With the Cubs up 8-2 and Cardenas on second, Raley was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Brooks Raley stayed in the game and gave up a double to Brandon Phillips to start the sixth. Ryan Ludwick pulled a 1-2 pitch right to Valbuena. The routine grounder went under Valbuena’s legs (five-hole) and into left. Phillips stopped at third and the Reds had runners on first and third with no outs.

Todd Frazier ripped Raley’s first pitch into left. Phillips scored the Reds’ third run. Jay Bruce popped out to Castro in shallow center for the first out. With runners on first and second and one down, Sveum went to his pen for Manny Corpas.

Scott Rolen doubled to left (3-2 pitch) and drove in Ludwick. With runners on second and third with one down, Devin Mesoraco grounded out to third (2-0 pitch) and pinch-hitter Xavier Paul grounded out to Rizzo to end the inning.

After six, the Cubs led 8-4.

The Cubs did nothing against Sean Marshall in the seventh.

Manny Corpas stayed in for the seventh and the Reds kept chipping away at the Cubs’ lead. Drew Stubbs led off with a single to center (0-2 pitch). Wilson Valdez hit a grounder up the middle that Castro fielded and stepped on second for the first out. Valdez beat Castro’s throw to first. Brandon Phillips hit a soft liner to Cardenas.

Ryan Ludwick’s big night continued. Ludwick cranked a 0-1 pitch from Corpas to deep right center. The ball ended up in the stands and the Cubs lead was down to 8-6. Todd Frazier struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

After seven, the Cubs were clinging to an 8-6 lead.

The Cubs did nothing against Sean Marshall in the eighth. Marshall struck out four of the six batters he faced.

James Russell took over in the eighth with David DeJesus replacing LaHair in right and Darwin Barney subbing for Cardenas at second.

Jay Bruce led off the eighth with a single to right (2-2 pitch). Sveum went back to his pen and brought in Shawn Camp to face Scott Rolen. Camp struck out Rolen swinging on three pitches. Devin Mesoraco flied out to right center for out number two. Miguel Cairo hit for Sean Marshall and sliced a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner. Bruce scored and the Cubs lead was down to 8-7. Drew Stubbs hit a 2-1 pitch right back to Camp to end the inning.

After eight, the Cubs lead was down to 8-7.

Brett Jackson and Darwin Barney made two quick outs against Logan Ondrusek to start the ninth. David DeJesus put together a solid at bat that ended with a homer to right center on a 3-2 pitch. Valbuena grounded out to short to end the ninth.

The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs clinging to a 9-7 lead.

Carlos Marmol got the call on a 3-2 pitch to Wilson Valdez for the first out … replays showed Marmol missed low. Brandon Phillips singled to center (2-1 pitch) and brought the tying run to the plate with one out. Marmol struck out Ryan Ludwick swinging (2-2 pitch) with a high fastball. Marmol then fell behind Todd Frazier 3-1. Frazier hit a slow roller toward the hole at short (3-2 pitch). Valbuena cut in front of Castro and got just enough on his throw to Rizzo … game over, Cubs Win.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs and Reds conclude their long weekend of ball just after noon on Sunday … Chris Volstad against Mat Latos in the finale.

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    • Tony_Hall

      As with all rules, there are un-intended consequences. The 26th man rule was designed to help a team on scheduled doubleheader, have an extra arm for the day. I doubt anyone thought that a team could have an extra bullpen arm for the 10 days between the guys other 2 starts. The Cubs look like they planned this out perfectly to get Raley his starts, and keep an extra arm in the pen.

      • Ripsnorter1

        In the article Padilla suggests that MLB may take another look at this rule at the end of the year.

        • Tony_Hall

          It may be hard to do. It’s just like suspending starting pitchers for 5 games…you just back him up one day and he doesn’t miss a start.

          • Ripsnorter1

            True.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Volstad starts today…has never pitched in Cinci….Latos is 3-0 with a 1.31 in his last 5 starts….

  • Ripsnorter1

    Astros, with worst record in MLB, fired their manager and 2 coaches. This is all done after the GM trades away all of their talent, and fills the roster with AAA and AA players….makes sense…..

    • Tony_Hall

      What doesn’t make sense about it?

      Jeff Luhnow is the new GM this year, and he gave them a chance to win him over. Obviously, like what happens most every time, the new GM wants to bring in his own guys. I really doubt the win/loss record is why he was fired. Probably more of a difference in philosophies, as we have seen with the Cubs.

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8281693/mlb-worst-houston-astros-fire-manager-brad-mills-two-coaches

      Mills could be in the Cubs organization next year…”Mills was hired by the Astros after serving as Boston’s bench coach for the previous six seasons. ”

      • Dorasaga

        I have doubt on that. He was “Francona’s guy,” and so old that he’s not bringing anything new to this Cubs organization (which has a loooong tradition and cultivated its “own guys”).