Cubs Survive The Marmol – Cubs 3, Pirates 2

Game Three – Cubs 3, Pirates 2

WP – Travis Wood (1-0) LP – James McDonald (0-1) Save - Carlos Marmol (1)

wflag-pubThe Cubs hung on in the ninth inning and beat the Pirates 3-2 on Thursday afternoon in the Steel City. The Cubs posted the first series win of the season (2-1) behind an excellent start by Travis Wood and just enough offense.

The Cubs took a 1-0 lead into the ninth. Jared Hughes started the ninth for the Bucs and made quick work of Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI). Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base) walked and held at first when Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging. Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) stepped in with two down.

Anthony Rizzo swiped second on a 2-1 pitch to Schierholtz. The Cubs’ new right fielder then smoked a 3-1 offering over the wall in center. Schierholtz’s first homer as a Cub gave his team a 3-0 lead … and a much-needed cushion for the bottom of the ninth.

Cubs’ pitching held the Pirates to only one hit and two walks over the first eight innings … but that all changed in the ninth. Carlos Marmol struggled once again but was able to escape a first and third no out jam after allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. Marmol gave up a leadoff single to Starling Marte, walked Russell Martin then surrendered a single to Andrew McCutchen that plated Marte with the Pirates’ first run. Gaby Sanchez followed with a single to right. Martin scored and McCutchen ended up a third with the tying run. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Marmol struck out Pedro Alvarez swinging and induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Neil Walker to end the game.

Travis Wood had a excellent day on the mound. Wood pitched six innings of shutout ball while surrendering only one hit and two walks. Wood struck out four in his first outing of the season … and also notched the Cubs first hit of the game in the third inning. Wood threw 85 pitches, 54 for strikes, and more than earned his first win of the season.

Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Wood with a two-out single in the third … the Cubs’ first hit with runners in scoring position in three games (2-for-15).

Shawn Camp, James Russell and Kyuji Fujikawa picked up where Wood left off. Camp and Russell combined on a perfect seventh while Fujikawa retired all three batters he faced in the eighth with just nine pitches.

The ninth inning aside, the Cubs played a good game … and as the cliche goes, all’s well that ends well.

What will be lost in the near Marmol meltdown is the performance turned in by Travis Wood on Thursday afternoon. Wood kept the Pirates off balance over six innings while allowing only one runner to reach second base. The only real mistake Wood made on Thursday was issuing a free pass to James McDonald with one out in the sixth inning.

The Cubs first run of the game came in the third inning. After Brent Lillibridge lined out to center to start the inning, Travis Wood reached on a single to center … the Cubs’ first hit of the game. David DeJesus grounded a 0-2 pitch to Walker that allowed Wood to advance into scoring position with two outs.

Starlin Castro then delivered the Cubs’ first hit of the season with runners in scoring position (0-for-13 entering play on Thursday). Castro ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and into center. Wood scored and helped hold the one run lead until Schierholtz provided insurance in the ninth.

The Cubs open a three-game series in Atlanta on Friday night. Scott Feldman will face lefty Mike Minor in his Cubs’ debut.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." - Salvador Dali
Share on Fancred
  • Tom U

    As repoted here last fall, Zeke DeVoss has been moved back to CF.

    • Billy Buck

      Why?

      • Tom U

        28 errors at second base last season.

  • Ray Ray

    In fairness to Marmol, his slider wasnt’t bad today. He had Russell Martin struck out on a very good slider that the ump missed. Anthony Rizzo also misplayed that ground ball by Sanchez. He didn’t locate his fastball. Threw them right down the heart. His velocity wasn’t bad this early in season. I know this sounds crazy,but I was encouraged watching his stuff today.

    • Denver Mike

      I agree, a few years ago Marmol would have gotten that strike 3 call on Martin, but when a pitcher is all over the place like he has been recently they’re not gonna get the close calls. I noticed during the post game congrats Bosio came up and gave Marmol a big hug, and said a few things to him. It seems like they have a pretty good relationship, and hopefully the confidence they show in him will help him regain some confidence in himself.

      • Dorasaga

        Good observation.

  • George

    Marmol would seem to create a debate about one being a player’s manager or a competent manager. I guess a moot point “when” you win.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    So proud of Wood! The guy can flat out pitch when he’s throwing strikes. I have to give some serious credit to Bosio and management for tweaking him and maximizing his talent.

    If he keeps this up, considering the other guy we got (can’t think of his name now) the Marshall deal is looking more and more like a success for us. Which I thought all along. Marshall has been decent for the Reds too so it looks like everyone wins, which is the best kind of trade.

    I’d still say we got the better end if the deal because of the upside on our end. Marshall is who he is now, whereas our guys have loads of potential. But for a team trying to win now, Marshall is probably a win for te Reds.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, and a well pitched game, along with Camp and Russell, again with Marmol stated above had a game that could have been better for him without Rizzo not getting to that ball and the one missed strike.
      The offense needs to get untracked though, the first three games were not spectacular, they need to score more runs. Partialy because pitchers may be ahead of the hitters and the other, the Cubs do not have the hitters, going to be a tough year.

  • Rational Logic

    I just checked out the highlights from todays game. The pitch he threw for the double play was a pretty fat pitch. Luck he got a ground ball there. Gotta get rid of him.

  • http://www.go-for-it-productions.com JoeS_SanDiego

    Marmol does NOT belong in the closer role….Period.

  • Pingback: Matt Garza Throws a Bullpen Session and Other Cubs Bits - Chicago Cubs Online