Game Forty-One – Cubs 4 Phillies 1
WP – Tom Gorzelanny (2-4) LP – Jamie Moyer (5-3) Save – Carlos Marmol (7)
Again … Where has this been all season? The Cubs won their fourth game in a row Wednesday night behind a tremendous outing by Tom Gorzelanny … and three clutch hits by Starlin Castro, Jeff Baker and Xavier Nady.
The Cubs played a solid game against the best team in the National League. Were they perfect? No. But Lou Piniella’s crew played arguably their best game of the season outside of Wrigley Field.
Tom Gorzelanny more than bounced back from his horrible outing against the Pirates. Gorzelanny tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball and allowed just three hits before leaving the game in the seventh. Gorzelanny kept the Phillies off balance and worked out of self-imposed jams without allowing any runs.
Gorzelanny left in the seventh after a rocket off the bat of Carlos Ruiz hit him in the pitching hand. Gorzelanny kept his composure, while in obvious pain, and threw out Ruiz at first base.
Reports during the game indicated X-rays on Gorzelanny’s left ring finger came back negative. Lou Piniella said there is swelling, blood behind the nail and obvious discomfort.
John Grabow took over for Gorzelanny and struck out Ben Francisco to end the seventh. Grabow gave up another run in the eighth on a pair of hits. Grabow did not walk a batter.
With the Cubs up 2-1 in the eighth and the tying run on second base, Carlos Zambrano replaced Grabow. Jayson Werth hit a grounder to the hole at short. Starlin Castro fielded the ball and threw out Werth from the outfield grass to end the inning. It was a big league play by the Cubs’ rookie shortstop.
Carlos Marmol labored through the ninth but picked up his seventh save of the year.
Two-out RBI singles by Starlin Castro, Jeff Baker and Xavier Nady accounted for all four of the Cubs’ runs Wednesday night.
The Cubs’ fourth win in a row tied a season high … and with the victory Lou Piniella’s crew improved to 19-22 on the season. Tom Gorzelanny made his case to stay in the rotation Wednesday night. If Gorzelanny is able to pitch, he and Carlos Silva appear determined to force the Cubs to make a tough decision. Gorzelanny followed up Silva’s tremendous outing against the Rockies with an outstanding outing of his own against the Phillies.
Gorzelanny worked out of a jam in the second inning after a singles by Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. Gorzelanny hit Carlos Ruiz on a 3-1 pitch to load the bases with two outs but struck out Jamie Moyer to end the inning.
After Gorzelanny got out of his mess in the second, Ryan Theriot reached on a two-out single to left in the third … the Cubs’ first hit of the game. Theriot stole second and scored on Starlin Castro’s single to left off of Placido Polanco’s glove.
Gorzelanny retired the Phillies in order in the third, fourth and fifth.
Shane Victorino led off the sixth with a walk. Polanco flied out to right for the first out. With Utley at the plate, Victorino stole second. Chase Utley walked with one out. Gorzelanny struck out Ryan Howard swinging then retired Jayson Werth on a fly out to right.
At the end of six … 1-0 Cubs.
The Cubs added to their lead in the seventh. With two outs and no one on base, Alfonso Soriano doubled to left on a 1-0 pitch from Jamie Moyer. Jeff Baker then singled to left on a 1-2 pitch. The ball went off of Polanco’s glove, again, and Soriano scored … 2-0 Cubs.
Jimmy Rollins lined out to Marlon Byrd in center to start the bottom of the seventh. Raul Ibanez singled to center. Carlos Ruiz then hit a liner back up the middle. Gorzelanny tried to defend himself but the ball hit him on his left hand. Gorzelanny kept his composure and flipped the ball to Derrek Lee … and retired Ruiz for the second out.
Gorzelanny was in obvious pain. His teammates, Mark O’Neal and Lou Piniella checked on him. He left the game but X-rays on the ring finger of his left hand came back negative. John Grabow struck out Ben Francisco to end the inning.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning.
Placido Polanco reached on a one-out double off the wall in left. John Grabow then gave up a bloop single to Chase Utley. With runners on first and third with one out, Ryan Howard stepped in. Howard hit a slow roller up the third base line. Grabow threw out Howard on a bang-bang play. Polanco scored … 2-1. Utley advanced to second.
Carlos Zambrano replaced Grabow and retired Jayson Werth to end the inning … with a little help from Starlin Castro. Werth hit a grounder to the hole at short. Castro showed of his range then his arm. Castro threw out Werth to end the inning.
Starlin Castro and Ryan Theriot made plays Wednesday night that the previous incarnation of the Cubs’ infield would not have made.
The Cubs tacked on two runs in the ninth. Derrek Lee led off with a walk and Chad Durbin hit Marlon Byrd. With runners on first and second with no outs, Aramis Ramirez struck out. Alfonso Soriano walked to load the bases.
J.C Romero replaced Durbin and struck out Tyler Colvin. With the bases loaded and two outs, Xavier Nady hit for Zambrano and delivered his second pinch-hit of the season. Nady singled to center. Lee and Byrd scored … 4-1 Cubs.
Carlos Marmol threw 28 pitches, 12 for strikes, in the ninth and escaped with the save.
Wednesday night was a good win for the Chicago Cubs …
Ryan Dempster will face Joe Blanton Thursday at Noon.