Game Ninety-Two – Cubs 1 Phillies 4
WP – Chad Durbin (1-1) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-2, BS 4) Save – Brad Lidge (7)
Carlos Marmol picked a bad time to have his worst outing of the season. After winning the first two games of the season, the Cubs took a 1-0 lead into the ninth. Carlos Marmol, who was lights out on Friday, issued back-to-back one out walks to pinch hitters Brian Schneider and Ross Gload.
Marmol settled down and struck out Shane Victorino but fell behind Placido Polanco 1-0. Polanco ripped a single into left. Tyler Colvin charged the ball and came up throwing as Schneider rounded third.
Colvin delivered a one-hopper to Geovany Soto. Soto dropped the ball as he tried to tag Schneider … and the tying run scored. Marmol blew his fourth save of the season and in the process let the game slip away.
Carlos Marmol lost his composure after Soto’s drop and could not throw strikes. The Phillies took the lead on ball four to Jimmy Rollins, a wild pitch that was well out of the strike zone that Soto could not glove.
The Phillies tacked on two more in the ninth before Starlin Castro made the final out on a diving stop on a ball ticketed for centerfield.
The Phillies scored four runs in the ninth on two hits and five walks … they sent 10 to the plate.
Before the ninth inning, the Cubs played a good game and scratched out a run against one of the top lefties in the game.
Starlin Castro doubled to start the seventh off of Cole Hamels, his second hit of the game. Castro advanced to third on a ground out to short by Xavier Nady. Lou Piniella called for the suicide squeeze for the second time in the series. Not only did Ryan Theriot deliver but he ended up with a bunt single in the process.
Randy Wells put together another good outing. Wells worked in and out of trouble all afternoon but did not allow a run in seven innings. The Phillies recorded at least one hit in each inning but were not able to plate a run. Wells walked two and struck out five … and was in line for the win.
The Cubs offense pounded out nine hits, but only one run and finished the game 1-for-10 with RISP and left nine on base.
Saturday was a bad loss for a team that was playing better baseball. Two steps forward, one huge step back … the theme for the 2010 Chicago Cubs.
With Saturday’s defeat, the Cubs dropped back to 10 games under .500 on the year at 41-51 … Saturday came down to the ninth inning … and the bullpen melted down. Not only did Carlos Marmol lose it after Soto dropped the ball but James Russell did not cover first on a ball hit to the right side of the infield.
While the Cubs did not score as many runs as they should have, they were facing a very good pitcher in Cole Hamels, and not one of the many after thoughts on the Pirates roster. The offense did just enough while Randy Wells and Sean Marshall kept the Phillies off the board.
Until the Cubs figure out how to win games like the one on Saturday, they will not be able to take the next step forward as an organization. This season may be over but learning how to beat good teams, especially at home, in low-scoring games is imperative for the future.
The ninth inning was the worst for the Cubs all season.
After the back-to-back one out walks and the dropped ball by Soto, Jimmy Rollins stepped to the plate with runners on second and third with two outs. Marmol missed on his first three pitches then uncorked a wild pitch for ball four that allowed Ross Gload to score the winning run from third.
With the Phillies up 2-1, Marmol fell behind Ryan Howard 2-1 before issuing the intentional walk. With the bases loaded and down by just one run, Marmol got ahead of Jayson Werth 1-2 before walking him and forcing in the Phillies third run.
Lou Piniella made the slow walk and brought in James Russell to face Raul Ibanez. Ibanez hit a 2-2 offering to Derrek Lee but Russell did not break for first. Rollins scored … 4-1 Phillies.
Starlin Castro made a tremendous diving catch on a ball ticketed for center to end the inning. Cody Ransom ripped a 1-1 pitch from Andrew Cashner up the middle, Castro dove and tossed to Theriot to end the inning.
The Cubs continue to find ways to lose … instead of ways to win. It’s a Way of Life.
Tom Gorzelanny will face Roy Halladay in the series finale Sunday night.