Game One Hundred Fifty-One – Cubs 11 Phillies 6
Aramis Ramirez was 4 for 5 on the night and drove in 7 of the Cubs 11 runs. Ramirez hit a pair of 3-run home runs and the 7 RBI’s set a new career high. The Cubs, as a team, picked up where they left off on Sunday and hit 4 more round trippers to go along with scoring 11 runs in back-to-back games. Juan Pierre added his 3rd on the year to lead off the 3rd and Scott Moore hit his 2nd career dinger in the 5th….that changed the momentum of the game. Ryan Theriot had another impressive game, he was on base 4 of the 5 times he stepped to the plate, stole his 10th base of the season, walked once and score 3 runs.
Sean Marshall looked very good in the first 3 innings of the ballgame. In the 4th he hit Ryan Howard in the head with a breaking ball and surrendered a total of 6 runs in the inning that included a pinch-hit Grand Slam by former Cub, Jose Hernandez. The bullpen was brilliant and allowed just 2 base runners in the last 4 frames of the game. Aramis Ramirez’ home runs were both to center and the second 3-run blast was with 2-outs in the 4th. Ramirez now has 35 on the season to go along with 110 RBI’s and has raised his average to .293 on the year after a dismal start. The 7 RBI’s, as mentioned, set a new career high, the last time he had at least 6 was in 2001.
The Cubs chased Jon Lieber in the 3rd, the second consecutive day they knocked out a quality-starting pitcher early. Lieber left after recording just 1 out in the 3rd. The Cubs got to him early due to his own mistake. Pierre grounded back to Lieber to start the game; he rushed and was unable to retire Pierre. He stole 2nd and went to 3rd on a bunt attempt by Ryan Theriot. Theriot was safe at 1st and both scored on Ramirez’ first home run of the evening. Pierre led off the 3rd with a homer to right, Theriot doubled and scored on a single by Ramirez, he went to 2nd on the attempted throw home that was cut by Abraham Nunez, he threw it away and Ramirez advanced to 3rd on the error. He was stranded at 3rd but Lieber left before the end of the inning.
The Cubs added 3 more in 4th, Ronny Cedeno singled to start the inning; he was thrown out on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Sean Marshall. With 2 outs Ryan Theriot walked and Ramirez hit his second of the night. After the bottom of the 4th the Cubs were up just 8 to 6 until Scott Moore hit his 2nd homer of the season to left. Moore’s home run changed the momentum in the game, one that had clearly shifted to the Phillies. The Cubs added 2 more in the 9th, with the game all but decided. With 1-out, Scott Moore singled to right and scored on the 6th triple of the year by Ronny Cedeno. Matt Murton pinch hit for Bobby Howry and singled home Cedeno to complete the scoring.
The Cubs pounded out 16 hits on the night, 4 home runs, 2 doubles (Buck Coats recorded his first career double in the 5th), a triple, stole 3 bases and walked 3 times. Cedeno (12) and Ramirez (9) extended their hitting streaks. Ryan Theriot raised his average to .330, Pierre to .290 and they caused Harry Kalis to compare them to “the Pierre and Castillo combination that was so successful with the Marlins.” To say Aramis Ramirez was the “Player of the Game” would be an understatement.
Sean Marshall was sharp until the 4th and could not finish the inning. Marshall had given up just 1 hit before the 4th but after hitting Ryan Howard and getting hit in the foot by a come-backer to the mound, Marshall lost his command and gave up 2 runs before walking the bases loaded. Jose Hernandez hit a Grand Slam to bring the Phillies to within 2. Dusty went to the pen for Will Ohman and he struck out Ryan Howard to end the inning with the tying runs on base. The bullpen did not allow a single base runner from 2 outs in the 4th to 1 out in the 7th. Chase Utley walked ahead of Howard in the 4th and singled ahead of Howard in the 7th. Michael Wuertz picked up the win and it was well deserved. Wuertz was incredibly sharp in the 2 innings he pitched….he faced 6 batters and recorded all 6 outs on just 15 pitches. Scott Eyre struck out the side in the 7th, giving up just 1 hit. Howry struck out 2 in the 8th….again, giving up just 1 hit and Ryan Dempster was very sharp in the 9th and retired all 3 batters he faced.
Monday night in Philadelphia was all about the offense and the bullpen. While Marshall got rattled, the club still won and that is what is most important….their 3rd in a row and the win all but guarantees a season that is not filled with a 100 losses.
Wade Miller is scheduled to take the mound on Tuesday night against another former Cub, Jamie Moyer. Miller was very sharp in his last outing, it would be good to see him win a game in a Cubs’ uniform…Tuesday night could be a very good pitching match-up and look for the Phillies tocome out swinging.