Game Fourteen – Cubs 5 Dodgers 4
In what could be a defining moment of the 2006 season, Derrek Lee and Scott Eyre were both injured and left the game in the 7th inning….on the same play. The Cubs won the game and that is the good, but the unknown status of Lee and Eyre put a dark cloud on a comeback win at Chavez Ravine.
In the bottom of the 7th with the Cubs down 4-2, Rafael Furcal led off the inning with an attempted bunt. Scott Eyre made a diving stop and tried to shuffle the ball, out of his glove, to Derrek Lee to get the out. The ball sailed and Furcal collided with Lee. Lee left the game with an apparent wrist injury and early indications are stating he is listed as day-to-day. The X-rays were inconclusive and Lee is going to Chicago for a visit with the team doctor….the injury is listed sprained wrist. Eyre also left the game with an apparent knee injury….a right knee contusion and is listed as day-to-day according to Cubs Media Relations.
Juan Pierre, Neifi Perez, Ronny Cedeno, Scott Williamson and Ryan Dempster led the Cubs in the Comeback win…. Juan Pierre probably had his best game in Cubbie blue and started the game with a double and scored on a single to left by Todd Walker. Pierre finished the night with 3 hits in 5 trips to the plate, he stole 2 bases and scored a run.
Todd Walker added 2 more hits and is 2nd in the National League in hitting, Walker moved to first base when Lee left the game and made a fine play on a line drive by Kenny Lofton in the 7th.
Derrek Lee led off the 4th with a single, stole 2nd base and advanced to 3rd on a long fly ball by Aramis Ramirez. John Mabry singled home Derrek Lee; Jacque Jones, who was 2 for 4 on Wednesday night, singled to left. Michael Barrett struck out; Ronny Cedeno was unintentionally/intentionally walked and Brad Penny struck out Sean Marshall to end the inning.
The Cubs offense was quiet from that point until the 8th inning….with 2 outs. Neifi Perez had a great at-bat and singled to start the rally. Jacque Jones then reached on an error by Dodger reliever Danys Baez. Michael Barrett singled and Neifi scored. On a horrible throw by left fielder Jason Repko, Jones and Barrett advanced and scored on a single to right by Ronny Cedeno. The Dodgers committed 2 errors in the inning that cost them the game. The Cubs offense pounded out 13 hits on Wednesday and left 8 on base.
What will be lost in the concern over Derrek Lee and Scott Eyre was the pitching performance by Sean Marshall. Did he throw a lot of pitches? Yes, he threw 86 in 5 innings. Did he walk too many Dodgers? Yes, Marshall walked 3 and Cubs pitching walked 6 on the night. Did he put the Cubs in a position to win the ballgame? Yes….Marshall went 5 innings, gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and struck out 4. Both runs he allowed was on the home run in the 2nd by Jason Repko.
David Aardsma made his 2006 debut and gave up the go ahead runs to the Dodgers in the 6th. Aardsma only recorded 2 outs, he walked 3 and gave up 2 runs on 1 hit. Scott Williamson came in after the injury to Eyre and pitched a scoreless inning to pick up the win and Bobby Howry pitched a perfect 8th inning.
Ryan Dempster gave up a hit in the 9th, but he did not allow a run and picked up his 4th save of the year and his 23rd consecutive save that broke the All-Time Cubs Record held by Joe Borowski. Dempster is yet to allow a run this season.
The Cubs showed a lot of character in the comeback win on Wednesday night and they are now 4-2 on this road trip with 3 games in St. Louis this weekend. It would have been very easy for the Cubs to “mail-in” the last few innings after the injury to Eyre and Lee, but they did not. They kept fighting and were led by the 2-out hit by Neifi Perez. This was a bittersweet victory for the Northsiders.
It’s off to St. Louis and the new Busch Stadium….
Check back during the day for injury updates on Scott Eyre and Derrek Lee. If anything is announced you will be able to read about it here at the CCO or in “Cubs News From The Wire’.