Marmol Blows It in the Ninth .. Cubs Hand One Back to the Cardinals – Cubs 4, Cardinals 5

Game One Hundred Fifty-Two – Cubs 4, Cardinals 5 – 10 innings
WP – Mitchell Boggs (4-1) LP – Jaye Chapman (0-1) Save – Jason Motte (39)

For the second time in as many days, the Cubs and Cardinals played free baseball at Wrigley Field but the Cubs came out on the wrong end of the score on Saturday afternoon.

The Cubs battled back from an early deficit and took a 4-3 lead after a three-run sixth inning. David DeJesus (1-for-5 with a home run) cut the Cardinals lead to 3-2 with his eighth home run of the season. After a single off the bat of Anthony Rizzo (1-for-5 with a run), a ground rule double from Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) and an intentional walk to Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a double and a walk) loaded the bases, Welington Castillo (0-for-3 with a sac fly RBI) hit a sac fly into shallow right that plated Rizzo with the tying run. Dave Sappelt (1-for-3 with a RBI) ripped Adam Wainwright’s first pitch into left. Soriano scored and the Cubs took the lead. The game remained 4-3 Cubs into the ninth.

Carlos Marmol took the hill in the ninth. Marmol had converted 19 straight save chances dating back to May 2. Marmol’s last blown save came against the Cardinals on April 24 at Wrigley Field … before Saturday afternoon. With one out in the ninth, Carlos Beltran launched a 0-1 pitch onto Sheffield Avenue and tied the game at four.

The Cubs put two on with two outs in the ninth but came away empty and the game went to the tenth tied at four … the Cubs third extra innings game in four days.

Jaye Chapman issued back-to-back two-out walks to Matt Carpenter and pinch-hitter Bryan Anderson. Jon Jay pulled a 1-1 pitch past a diving Anthony Rizzo and Carpenter scored the would-be winning run.

The Cubs offense put the team in position to win the game but Carlos Marmol could not close it out. The Cubs managed eight hits and only two walks (1-for-6 with RISP with six left on base) while the Cardinals pounded out 10 hits and walked eight times.

Travis Wood had a long, short outing on Saturday afternoon. Wood allowed an error by Josh Vitters in the second inning to affect his entire outing. Wood surrendered only one run in a long, 38-pitch second inning but the Cardinals came out swinging in the third and scored two more runs before Wood could get out of the inning. Wood finally settled down in the fourth and ended his outing by retiring six of the last seven batters he faced. Wood allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over five innings. Wood averaged nearly 20 pitches per inning on Saturday afternoon (99 pitches, 63 for strikes).

Manny Corpas wiggled his way out of a first and third one out jam in the sixth without allowing any runs. Michael Bowden pitched a perfect seventh and James Russell cleaned up the mess left by Shawn Camp in the eighth.

Josh Vitters (1-for-4 with four left on base) had another rough day at the plate and in the field.

Darwin Barney (0-for-5) was robbed twice on Saturday afternoon at the plate but was excellent in the field once again. Barney did not commit an error for the 137th straight game.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 59-93 on the season …

Travis Wood retired the side in order 17 pitches, 11 for strikes, to start his afternoon.

The Cubs did nothing in the first. Adam Wainwright retired the Cubs in order on 13 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Allen Craig led off the second with a single to center (2-2 pitch) just out of the reach of a diving Darwin Barney. Wood struck out Yadier Molina swinging (1-2 count) but fell behind David Freese 3-0 and ended up walking him on a 3-2 pitch. With runners on first and second with one down, Daniel Descalso appeared to foul out to Josh Vitters on a 2-2 pitch. Vitters went into foul ground near the wall and the ball hit off the palm of his glove. Vitters was having trouble with the sun but did not use two hands, and it cost him … and his team. Descalso hit a tapper to the third base side of the mound. Vitters picked the ball up with his barehand but had no play and the bases were loaded with one out.

A visibly upset Travis Wood could not find the strike zone and walked Pete Kozma on four pitches. The bases loaded walk forced in Allen Craig with the game’s first run. Wood continued battling himself and the strike zone. Wood missed on his first pitch to Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals’ pitcher struck out swinging (3-2 count) on the ninth pitch of the at bat. With the bases loaded and two down, Jon Jay grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Travis Wood threw 38 pitches in the second inning and it took him 55 pitches, 32 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

Alfonso Soriano popped a 2-1 pitch into right center to start the second. Starlin Castro lined a 1-1 pitch off the ivy in left. Castro ended up at second with a one-out double. Welington Castillo tapped back to Wainwright (1-1 pitch) for the second out. Castro held at second with two down. Dave Sappelt walked on four pitches. With runners on first and second with two down, Josh Vitters rolled a 1-0 pitch out to short for the third out … 29 pitches for Wainwright after two, 18 for strikes.

The Cardinals jumped on Travis Wood in the third and they scored a run on Wood’s first two pitches of the inning. Carlos Beltran pulled Wood’s first pitch of the inning into left. Matt Holliday then drove Wood’s first pitch into right center. Beltran lumbered around the bases and scored the Cardinals’ second run on Holliday’s 36th double of the season. Allen Craig grounded a 3-1 pitch to Barney, Holliday advanced and scored when Yadier Molina popped a 1-0 pitch out to right. Dave Sappelt caught the ball but had no shot of cutting down Holliday at the plate. David Freese reached on an infield single to the hole at short but Daniel Descalso struck out swinging to end the inning. Travis Wood needed 73 pitches, 44 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.

Travis Wood drove Wainwright’s first pitch of the third into right field. Wood’s ninth hit of the season (single) was just the Cubs’ second hit of the game. David DeJesus worked a full count and Sveum started Wood from first on the 3-2 pitch. DeJesus hit a tapper in front of the plate. Molina looked at second but had only one play. Wood advanced into scoring position as Molina threw out DeJesus at first base. Jon Jay made an excellent headlong diving catch in right center to take away a hit, and RBI, from Darwin Barney. Wood tagged and advanced to third. Anthony Rizzo fell behind 1-2 but Wainwright’s next pitch went under Molina’s legs (five-hole). Wood scored on the wild pitch and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-1. Rizzo struck out looking to end the inning. Wainwright needed 44 pitches, 27 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.

After three, the Cubs trailed 3-1.

Travis Wood retired the side in order in the fourth … 87 pitches for Wood after four, 54 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Wainwright was seemingly in cruise control at that point and threw 53 pitches, 34 for strikes, over four innings on Saturday afternoon.

Travis Wood retired Beltran on a pop out to right (3-2 pitch) to start the fifth. Wood was able to get Holliday to chase a 0-2 pitch outside of the strike zone for the second out. Allen Craig ripped Wood’s first pitch into left but was stranded when Molina grounded out to short for the third out. Wood threw 99 pitches, 65 for strikes, over five innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Wainwright needed only 67 pitches, 43 for strikes, to complete five innings of work on Saturday afternoon.

Manny Corpas started the sixth by walking David Freese (3-1 pitch). Daniel Descalso ripped a 2-1 pitch into left. Freese stopped at second on the single. Pete Kozma pulled a 0-1 pitch toward third. Josh Vitters fielded the ball but appeared to alter his throwing motion as he threw toward second. Barney caught the low throw but could not complete what should have been a double play. Adam Wainwright stepped in with runners on first and third with one down.

The Cubs caught a big break when a 1-2 pitch to Wainwright got past Castillo and hit the bricks behind the plate. The ball rebounded back toward the infield. Freese and Kozma both held and neither player advanced. Wainwright blooped a 1-2 pitch into shallow right center. Barney made an excellent running catch with his back to the infield, spun and threw the ball back in to hold Freese at third. Jon Jay hit a bullet back up the middle … and right to Starlin Castro in the shift to end the inning.

David DeJesus led off the sixth with a home run (1-1 pitch) to deep right. DeJesus’ eighth homer of the season cut the Cardinals lead to 3-2. Darwin Barney followed and smoked a 0-1 pitch back up the middle. Daniel Descalso made a tremendous diving catch and took away a hit for Barney … second time Barney was robbed of a hit on Saturday afternoon.

Anthony Rizzo singled to left on a 1-2 pitch. Alfonso Soriano pulled a 2-2 pitch to deep left. The ball hit on the track and bounced high into the top of the ivy and stuck in the vines just below the basket. Rizzo would have scored but was sent back to third on Soriano’s ground-rule double. Wainwright intentionally walked Starlin Castro to load the bases with one out.

Welington Castillo hit a 1-2 pitch off the end of his bat. Carlos Beltran made an excellent sliding catch in short right center. Rizzo tagged and scored the tying run. Dave Sappelt stepped in with runners on first and second with two down and pulled Wainwright’s first pitch into left. Soriano rounded third and headed for home … Soriano scored and the Cubs took a 4-3 lead. Josh Vitters flied out to left (0-1 pitch) to end the inning. Wainwright needed 92 pitches, 59 for strikes, to complete six innings.

After six complete, the Cubs led 4-3.

Michael Bowden retired Beltran, Holliday and Craig in order in the seventh.

Adam Wainwright stayed in and set down the side in order in the seventh … 103 pitches for Wainwright after seven innings, 66 for strikes.

Shawn Camp took care of Molina (flyout to right) and Freese (strikeout) to start the eighth but he walked Daniel Descalso and opened a window for the Cardinals. Matt Carpenter hit for Pete Kozma and drove a 1-2 pitch into left center. Descalso went to third and Mike Matheny sent up Skip Schumaker to hit for Adam Wainwright. As soon as Schumaker was announced, Dale Sveum went to his pen for James Russell. Matheny countered with Shane Robinson.

With two down and runners on first and third, James Russell fooled Robinson on a 2-2 pitch … but he did not get the call on a ball that was right down the middle. Robinson swung and missed at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning and Russell hoped off the mound pumping his fist.

The Cubs did nothing in the eight against Sam Freeman and Trevor Rosenthal … and the Cubs went to the ninth clinging to a 4-3 lead.

Dave Sappelt moved to left, David DeJesus moved over to right and Tony Campana took over in center in the ninth. Carlos Marmol struck out Jon Jay swinging for the first out and jumped ahead of Carlos Beltran 0-1 …

Carlos Beltran launched Marmol’s next pitch to deep right. The ball ended up on Sheffield and the Cardinals tied the game at four. Marmol struggled with his command and walked Matt Holliday (3-2 pitch). Adron Chambers ran for Holliday and stole second on a 1-0 pitch to Allen Craig. Chambers’ first big league stolen base put the go ahead run into scoring position. Craig grounded a 3-1 pitch to second, Chambers advanced to third with two down.

Yadier Molina stepped in and took Marmol’s first pitch. The ball was well inside and he appeared to buckle his knee as he tried to avoid being hit. Molina left the game and Tony Cruz made his way out of the dugout to hit for Molina. Cruz drove a 2-1 pitch to deep right center that Tony Campana hauled in near the track to end the inning.

Trevor Rosenthal struck out Welington Castillo swinging to start the ninth. David Freese took away a hit from Dave Sappelt but Josh Vitters ripped Rosenthal’s first pitch back up the middle and into center. Luis Valbuena hit for Marmol and drove a 1-2 pitch into left. Vitters held at second on Valbuena’s pinch-hit single. Mike Matheny made his way to the mound and brought in Mitchell Boggs to face David DeJesus.

David DeJesus hit a 2-2 pitch into left that Adron Chambers caught running in and toward the line to end the inning … and it was time for free baseball for the third time in four games.

Jaye Chapman made quick work of David Freese (flyout to center) and Daniel Descalso (swinging strikeout) to start the tenth … but he walked Matt Carpenter. Bryan Anderson hit for Mitchell Boggs and Chapman jumped ahead 1-2. Chapman then started to pick and eventually lost him. The second free pass cost Chapman and the Cubs a run.

Jon Jay pulled a 1-1 pitch past a diving Anthony Rizzo down the right field line. The ball hit off the side wall and Carpenter scored the go ahead run. Chapman walked Beltran intentionally to load the bases. Adron Chambers hit a 2-1 pitch to short and Castro’s throw barely beat him to the bag to end the inning … but the damage had been done and the game went to the bottom of the tenth with the Cubs down by a run.

Jason Motte struck out Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo and Bryan LaHair swinging to end the game. Motte threw 19 pitches and both Rizzo (eight pitches) and LaHair (eight pitches) made him work before he celebrated.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Justin Germano is scheduled to face Kyle Lohse in the series and season finale against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

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  • SuzyS

    Neil, or anyone….Do you think Vitters could accomplish anything by playing winter ball…or do you think he should just start out fresh in ST and AAA next season?

    • Neil

      Suzy, this will not be a popular answer but I would like to see him take time off then report to Mesa in mid November. Vitters has played a lot of ball with little time away from the game. A mental break to soak thinks up could help.

      He still has two option years left, there is time but he has a lot of work to do.

      • SuzyS

        Neil, I agree with you on Vitters…I think a little time off to clear his mind might be a big help to him….That’s why I asked.

      • Tom U

        Neil, I agree on this one. Sometimes what works best is some time away to both re-evaluate and re-energize.

        One thing I would look for, Suzy, is for Greg Rohan to play winter ball with the possibility of being next year’s Bryan LaHair, but possibly better. They’ll either have to protect him or find a way to get him through the Rule 5 draft.

        • Dorasaga

          I’ve been curious if Vitters will fit the outfield. He got the arm and has been good with liners. Overall, he looked like a better outfield than 3b to me. But had the Cub groomed good corner outfielders coming to AA or AAA next year? He might end up a fourth outfielder if there’s one taking his role for the future.

          • Tom U

            Vitters played in the outfield in last year’s AFL.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I think Vitters needs a strength program. He has “warning track power.” I think that a Camp Colvin type of strengthening program would help him alot. Campana should also do the same. Barney took the program last off season, and it did help Barney this year.

      • Neil

        Campana worked out at Camp Bussie last off-season.

        • Ripsnorter1

          He must have flunked….not strong enough yet. LOL

      • Ripsnorter1

        That wild pitch by Corpas with runners on 1st and 3rd, and they were BOTH asleep and did not move up….IN-CREDIBLE!

        I said right then, “The Cards are not going anywhere this post season with this kind of play. It’s over for them.”

        And then Milwaukee, Philly and the Dodgers all proceeded to lose today.


    • J Daniel

      This may not be a popular answer but I don’t think it matters with Vitters, I don’t think he is going to make it as an everyday player. I question Jackson as well.

      We better hope that Almora and Soler will make it QUICKLY!

      Going to need to sign a 3bman in FA, imo.

  • Ripsnorter1

    It’s pretty obvious that Sveum is doing everything he can to keep the Cubs from losing 100 games. He’s playing his regulars instead of looking at his youngsters these days. For example…

    Jackson is riding the pine.

    Vitters, except for today, has been riding the pine, too.

    Cardenas has not been given any chance at all. Why not? Rizzo says he was the best pure hitter in Iowa. So why let him rot with just 1 AB per week?

    DeJesus plays daily, as does Soriano, when Campana, Jackson and Sappelt should be given long looks.

    Valbuena should sit down and let Vitters play.

    Sit Barney and let Cardenas have a shot.

    • Neil

      Brett Jackson has been dealing with an illness and has not been available to start.

      Why would you sit Darwin Barney? He should be playing.

      After today’s performance from Vitters, I would not be surprised if Cardenas is at third tomorrow.

      • Ripsnorter1

        We know what Barney can do. I’d like to see what Cardenas can do on an everyday basis. That’s my thinking.

        Besides, if not for a hometown call, Barney ended his streak a few days ago.

        Soriano has had a great year. But he’s got his 30/100, so let’s look at the kids.

        • John_CC

          Barney is the starting 2Bman. And will be next year. And is working a really amazing streak. There is no reason sit him just because the season is lost.

    • SuzyS

      Rip, Barney is going for a record…I wouldn’t sit him at all until he either breaks the record or has an error.

      Vitters is in a horrible funk…but the only way he can change that is to play everyday…so I would play him.

      I play Soriano on the very slim and outside chance that we might trade him.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Rizzo needs the protection Soriano provides. He ain’t agoin’ anywhere.

    • Tony_Hall

      Sveum in the last day or so, just stated he was going with his regulars through Sunday, then playing more kids the rest of the way.