Game Seventy-Six – Cubs 5 Brewers 8
Carlos Zambrano was on the mound on Tuesday night as the Cubs looked to snap their longest home losing streak in 14 years. Zambrano and the Cubs faced rookie left hander, yes another lefty Zach Jackson. Jackson is 1-0 with a 4.67 ERA. But he is a lefty and as we all know the Cubs have struggled against lefties all year. Jackson threw 3 perfect innings before Juan Pierre recorded an infield single, the Cubs came back in the 8th before it happened again….on to the game. Z looked stellar in the first when he struck out Weeks and Bill Hall to start the contest, Geoff Jenkins flied out to center and the Cubs got out of the first unscathed. The Cubs unfortunately went down just the same in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd innings. The Cubs finally got a hit against the rookie in the 4th….Pierre hit an infield single for the first baserunner and first hit of the night. The Brewers were leading 2 to nothing going into the top of the 5th. The Brewers scored again in 5th on a Rickie Weeks single to center scoring Gabe Gross. Brewers 3 Cubs 0.
In the bottom of the 5th, Cedeno and Jacque Jones went down in order. But Henry Blanco, who has cooled off as of late hit a well deserved double to left field and the Big Z stepped to the plate, on a 0-0 count Z hit a high wind driven shot to close the gap….Cubs 2 Brewers 3.
The Brew Crew went down in order in the 6th, a shut down inning for Zambrano. The Cubs took tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Cedeno reached on an infield single and Jones hit hard ball in the gap to center that scored Cedeno to tie the game. But just as fast, the Cubs give it right back to the Brewers. Damian Miller singled to center, Jeff Cirillo pinch hit for Dan Kolb and singled to right and Miller scored on an errant throw by Jacque Jones. Cubs 3 Brewers 4.
With the down 4-3 in the 8th; Aramis Ramirez homered to center on a 0-2 count that tied the game at 4-4. Phil Nevin then walked and Murton came in to pinch run, Cedeno sacrificed Murton to second, Jones was walked intentionally. Blanco flied out to center and Todd Walker stepped to the plate to pinch hit for Zambrano. Walker singled to left and Murton scored….Pierre lined out to right to end the inning. Cubs 5 Brewers 4. The Cubs have a save opportunity for the first time in two weeks, could we actually get one in the W column?
Dempster entered the game for his first save opportunity in what seemed like decades. Koskie got an infield single off the hip of Demp to start the inning and then Dempster walked Damien Miller on a full count….runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs. Gabe Gross laid down a sac bunt, but Dempster threw to 3rd instead of getting the easy out at first, the ball got past Aramis and rolled into left. Koskie scored the tying run and the Brewers have runners on 2nd and 3rd…again with nobody out. Corey Hart pinch hit for the pitcher, Brian Shouse, and hit a ball between the legs of Ronny Cedeno, Miller scored. Gross advance to 3rd and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Weeks. When it was all said and done the Brewers got four runs on two hits and led the game 8-5.
The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the inning and lost 8-5 for the 5th straight game and 9th straight at Wrigley. The Cubs dropped to 20 games below .500 and show zero signs of getting better. You get the easy out, 99.9% of the time. We have seen this too many times this year. As I said last night, things need to change. A disciplined team would have won that game, and discipline comes from the manager. I can hear it now, “Hey dude throw it to first next time, don’t worry we’ll get em tomorrow.”….slap on the a**. While us as fans get slapped in the face night after night after night after night after….
Until next time….but for now GO CUBBIES!!!