Game One Hundred Forty-Three – Cubs 13 Brewers 7
WP – Aaron Heilman (3-3) LP – Yovani Gallardo (12-12) Save – None
For one of the few times this year the Cubs patience at the plate led to a win. The Cubs walked a season-high 12 times and the Brewers pitching staff hit three batters … including Aramis Ramirez in the sixth with the bases loaded that forced in the eventual winning run. The Cubs pounded out 11 hits to go along with the 15 free base runners.
Derrek Lee walked four times and drove in three runs with a single and a double in his other two trips to the plate. Lee’s three RBI on Tuesday night ran his season total to 101 … the second time in his career Lee has topped the century mark in RBI (107 in 2005).
Ryan Theriot walked in each of his last four at bats. Theriot drove in a run and scored three of the Cubs’ 13 runs.
Geovany Soto is finally coming alive at the plate. Soto tied the game at five with his 11th homer of the year in the bottom of the fifth and came through with a big two-out, two-run single in the sixth that gave the Cubs a three-run lead. Soto has driven in 12 runs in his last six games.
The Cubs scored their last eight runs on just four hits and plated at least one run in each of the last five innings.
The Cubs offense jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four innings against Yovani Gallardo. Ryan Theriot knocked in the game’s first run with a two-out single in the second. Of Theriot’s career-high 52 RBI this season, 27 have come on two-out hits.
Carlos Zambrano drove in the Cubs’ second run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Derrek Lee followed three batters later with a two-out, two run double that gave Zambrano a comfortable lead.
Zambrano started the game very strong. He tied a season-high with eight strikeouts in the first three innings … and even contributed at the plate. Zambrano finished with nine strikeouts, a new season high, but Zambrano allowed a long two-out single by Yovani Gallardo in the fifth to get the best of him.
Big Z lost it after the Gallardo single. He allowed seven straight Brewers to reach, threw 40 pitches and gave up five runs … again, all with two outs. Zambrano went from putting together one of his best outings of the season to finishing with one of his worst. The Cubs’ Opening Day starter allowed five runs on six hits in five innings with four walks and nine strikeouts. Zambrano threw 103 pitches and was bailed out by his offense.
Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect sixth inning and qualified for the win.
The Cubs’ pen shutdown the Brewers offense until the ninth inning. Jeff Samardzija gave up the final two runs of the game.
The Cubs improved to seven games over .500 for the first time since August 9 and have won seven of their last eight games … Carlos Zambrano was excellent over the first 4 2/3 innings. Zambrano faced the minimum in the first and retired the Brewers in order in the second. A year and a day after his no hitter, Zambrano had no hitter stuff.
The Brewers first hit came in the third with one out, a triple to right center by Alcides Escobar. Zambrano struck out Yovani Gallardo swinging for the second out … with the Cubs up by a score of 1-0. Zambrano walked Felipe Lopez on four pitches but struck out Corey Hart swinging to end the inning.
Zambrano allowed just a one-out walk to Prince Fielder in the fourth and retired both Jason Kendall and Alcides Escobar with ease to start the fifth.
With the Cubs up 4-0, Yovani Gallardo ripped Zambrano’s first pitch over Bobby Scales’ head in left. Gallardo trotted to first on what should have been a double. Felipe Lopez walked and Corey Hart followed with a double over Kosuke Fukudome’s head in center. Gallardo and Lopez scored, 4-2 Cubs.
Ryan Braun lined Zambrano’s first pitch to left, Hart scored the Brewers third run. Zambrano then uncorked a wild pitch that advanced Braun to second. Fielder was intentionally walked and Casey McGehee reached on a infield single to the hole at short … that was originally ruled an error on Ryan Theriot.
Mike Cameron stepped in and singled to center. Braun and Fielder both scored, 5-4 Brewers … and Zambrano stood in the middle of the diamond watching the play instead of backing up home plate. On the 40th pitch of the inning, Jason Kendall struck out swinging to end Zambrano’s night.
Carlos Zambrano has just one win in his last seven starts dating back to late July.
After Milton Bradley struck out swinging with the bases loaded in the first, the Cubs got on the scoreboard in the second. Mike Fontenot walked to start the inning. Bobby Scales struck out on a 3-2 pitch, Fontenot stole second and scored on a single to right by Ryan Theriot.
Mike Fontenot reached on a swinging bunt up the first base line to start the fourth. With Fontenot running, Bobby Scales doubled off the wall in right. Fontenot had to pause before rounding second and had to stop at third. Carlos Zambrano then hit a 1-0 pitch into right center that plated Fontenot with the Cubs’ second run.
After Ryan Theriot walked on four pitches (one of four, four-pitch walks on the night for the Cubs), Derrek Lee doubled to left center. The ball one-hopped the wall and hit off the bottom of the basket. Scales and Theriot scored and gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Geovany Soto tied the game at five in the bottom of the fifth after Zambrano’s five run meltdown in the top half. Soto hit his 11th homer of the year into the bleachers in deep left center into a 15 MPH wind.
With the game tied at five, Ryan Theriot walked with one-out in the sixth. Theriot stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Jason Kendall. Gallardo hit Kosuke Fukudome in the hand on a 2-2 pitch … the first of three hit batters. Todd Coffey replaced Gallardo and walked Derrek Lee to load the bases with one out.
Aramis Ramirez dug in with the game tied at five and was hit on the elbow by on a 2-2 pitch from Coffey. Piniella said after the game Ramirez was fine. Theriot scored the go ahead run … 6-5 Cubs.
Geovany Soto singled to center on a 3-1 pitch. Fukudome and Lee scored, 8-5 Cubs. Milton Bradley was robbed of a base hit on a nice pick by Prince Fielder but his throw to second was low and got past Escobar. Ramirez scored, 9-5 Cubs. Mike Fontenot followed with a single to left. Soto scored, 10-5 Cubs. Bobby Scales grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.
After a perfect seventh inning by Kevin Gregg, the offense went back to work.
Jeff Baker singled to right. Theriot and Fukudome walked to load the bases.
Derrek Lee walked on four pitches, the Cubs ninth free pass at that point, and forced in Baker with the 11th run of the game. Following a fly out to shallow left by Ramirez and Soto striking out looking, Milton Bradley was hit on a 1-2 pitch that forced in Theriot … 12-5, Cubs.
Jeff Baker singled to right with one out in the eighth. Theriot and Lee walked for the fourth time to load the bases. Micah Hoffpauir pinch hit for Esmailin Caridad and walked to force in Baker with the Cubs’ 13th and final run. Geovany Soto flied out to left center to end the inning.
Rich Harden will face Braden Looper on Wednesday night.