Game Twenty-Four – Cubs 2 Pirates 1
Sean Marshall pitched a gem on Monday night and showed composure that most veterans do not have. At one point Marshall retired 10 in a row and only allowed 1 hit until the 7th inning. Marshall was the victim of a bad call in the 7th that allowed the tying run to score and should have been in line for the win, but because of poor base running in the 4th the Cubs were not able to add to their lead, Marshall left the game tied in the 8th and could not record the victory. Marshall threw 7 1/3 innings, gave up 4 hits, 1 run and struck out 5; the only base on balls that Marshall gave up was a leadoff walk in the 8th inning to Ronny Paulino….Marshall is listening as well as learning from Greg Maddux, Marshall only threw 90 pitches, just remarkable for only his fifth big league start.
The Cubs offense was stuck in quick sand again and the poor base running by Jacque Jones in the 4th cost the Cubs a big inning….but Matt Murton came through in the 8th inning with 2 outs and gave the Cubs the lead and the victory…. Many of the Cubs Faithful have been remarking about how much time Sean Marshall spends with Greg Maddux….but apparently all of that time is paying off and one must wonder how much longer it will take the other members of the pitching staff to catch on….they do not call Maddux the ‘Ole Professor’ for nothing. Marshall has really pitched better this entire season than anyone expected him to and if the ‘fearsome-threesome’ ever return, Marshall is going to make it hard for the Cubs to take him out of the rotation. The Cubs are 5-0 in the games that he has started.
The Cubs offense only recorded 7 hits on Monday, but it was the 2 hits in the 8th that made the difference….all with 2 outs. Todd Walker took a 4-pitch walk to start the rally and Jerry Hairston pinch ran for him, Aramis Ramirez had an infield single up the middle and Matt Murton stepped to the plate. Murton took the 2-1 pitch from Salomon Torres back up the middle to score Hairston from 2nd base. Todd Walker’s patience started the inning….
The other run of the game the Cubs scored was unearned in the first inning. Juan Pierre singled, stole 2nd and scored on a throwing error to by Victor Santos attempting to get Ronny Cedeno on a sac bunt at first base….The Juan Pierre Factor.
Ryan Dempster came in the 9th and recorded a ground out off the bat of Jason Bay and in usual Dempster style, he walked Craig Wilson after being ahead 0-2. Cub killer Joe Randa stepped to the plate and hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game….number 26 in a row for Dempster and number 7 on the year. Bobby Howry picked up the win and is now 2-0 on the season.
The Cubs did not play a good game on Monday, but a win is a win….
Sean Marshall had a Masterful Monday….got get ’em Angel!!!