Game Thirty – Cubs 6 Brewers 12
WP – Yovani Gallardo (4-1) LP – Ryan Dempster (2-2) Save – None
What was a lowing scoring game for the first six and a half innings turned into a long, ugly loss for the Cubs that likely saw a career come to an end. The Cubs offense failed to take advantage of an off night for Yovani Gallardo. He simply did not have it and left after five innings with his team up 3-2. The Cubs’ offense failed to plate a run from third with less than two outs in two different innings.
The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh down by a score of 3-2, Micah Hoffpauir struck out and Geovany Soto grounded out weakly to third…and the Brewers piled on in the bottom of the inning.
Ryan Dempster labored through the first six innings, set a season-high with nine strikeouts but was out of gas by the time he took the mound in the seventh. Craig Counsell and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back home runs off Dempster to start the seventh. Braun made a spectacle of himself as he rounded the bases pointing to his helmet and staring down Ryan Dempster in response to a high and tight pitch in the fifth inning that hit his bat and not him. Braun’s jesters were very unprofessional and borderline obnoxious. It is one thing to pose like many of today’s athletes do, but Braun took it to a new level.
Once Dempster left, the game got out of hand. Neal Cotts could not record an out and was charged with two earned runs after David Patton failed to do his job. Cotts walked one and gave up a hit…six of his first seven pitches were balls. Patton was charged with two more runs on three hits and a walk.
The Brewers sent eleven to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and turned a 3-2 game into a 9-2 rout. It was a painful inning to watch.
For as lifeless as the Cubs looked at times, they did not give up and battled back in the eighth. They scored four runs with the big hits coming from Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley. All of the runs were scored with two outs and a 20-minute delay.
After Kosuke’s double cut the Brewers lead to 9-5, the lights at Miller Park started to go out as Milton Bradley stepped into the box. Before Todd Coffey was able to throw a pitch, the game was stopped and resumed after a very unusual delay.
Chad Fox started the bottom of the eighth. With the Cubs down 9-6, Fox walked Ryan Braun on four pitches and missed with the first two to Prince Fielder. The third pitch to Fielder was likely the last of Chad Fox’s career. The ball sailed high and Fox bent over in obvious pain. He grabbed his surgically repaired arm and was lifted from the game.
Aaron Heilman replaced Fox and the inning went from bad to just plain horrible. Heilman walked the first two batters he faced, the second forced in a run. Then Heilman gave up a RBI single to Chris Duffy. Jason Kendall hit a sacrifice fly for the first out. Heilman struck out Todd Coffey and Rickie Weeks to mercifully end the inning.
Ron Santo proclaimed during the latest Cubs Bullpen Walkfest, “Boy is this embarrassing.” Cubs’ pitching issued nine walks on Saturday night, six from the bullpen in the last 1 2/3 innings.
The Cubs and Brewers scored 13 runs in an inning and a half of play.
Lou Piniella’s crew lost their second in a row on a night they left 12 men on base and were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They had plenty of chances but continue to not do the little things that win ballgames. Losing games is one thing but the way the Cubs are losing right now is something entirely different. Injuries have hurt this team but they are not playing fundamental baseball…hitting behind runners, sacrifice flies with runners on third and less than two outs and most importantly throwing strikes. While the offense is not executing the bullpen Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella assembled is a mess and is in need of major changes.
Micah Hoffpauir kept hitting and his double and two-run homer were the only highlights while the game was still close. Milton Bradley had a nice game. His two-out single in the fifth set the stage for Hoffpauir’s blast to right off Yovani Gallardo.
The Cubs made Gallardo work and in three straight innings (second through the fourth) put two runners on base, but could not plate a single run.
After an ugly loss on Friday night, it did not get any better on Saturday…but Sunday is a new day.
Sean Marshall will face Jeff Suppan in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. To say the Cubs need a win heading into an off day would be an understatement.