Game Ninety-Three – Cubs 11 Phillies 6
WP – Tom Gorzelanny (5-5) LP – Roy Halladay (10-8) Save – None
No one gave the Chicago Cubs a shot at beating Roy Halladay on Sunday night. With the way the Cubs have not hit mediocre pitching this season, getting a hit against Halladay figured to be a tall task for the Cubs’ underachieving offense. But the Cubs not only beat one of the best pitchers in the game, they handed him one of his worst losses of the year (six runs, five earned, on seven hits in six innings).
Tyler Colvin (3-for-5 with two runs scored), Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base, a sac bunt and a RBI) and Geovany Soto (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) led the way early on and the Cubs took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Geovany Soto put the Cubs on the board with a two-run shot to right, his 11th of the season.
Tom Gorzelanny (1-for-2 with a run scored) reached on a two-out single and scored on single to right by Starlin Castro. Tyler Colvin scored the Cubs’ fourth run on a throwing error by Carlos Ruiz on a stolen base by Castro.
Tom Gorzelanny picked up his fifth win of the year. Gorzelanny pitched his way in and out of trouble all night but gave up only three runs, two earned, on five hits in 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts. Gorzelanny did not retire the Phillies in order in a single inning and issued five free passes … two of which came around to score. Gorzelanny notched the Cubs Major League leading 59th quality start Sunday night.
After the Cubs’ kids softened up Roy Halladay, the vets took over in the sixth and seventh and put the game away. Halladay (0-3 in three career starts) lost to the Cubs once again.
Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) hit his 17th longball of the year in the sixth off Halladay. Soriano’s two run shot gave the Cubs a 6-2 lead. Soriano drove in three of the Cubs’ 11 runs and lead the team with 50 RBI.
Derrek Lee (1-for-5 with a double, a run scored and three RBI) broke the game open in the seventh. Lee’s bases clearing double gave the Cubs a 9-3 lead.
Marlon Byrd was hit two more times Sunday night … and was on board for both two-run homers. Byrd’s been hit by a pitch 16 times this season, the most by a Cub since France Chance was hit 17 times in 1905 (the franchise record is 23 by Bill Dahlen in 1898). Byrd added a walk in the seventh and scored three runs Sunday night without a hit.
The two kids, as Lou Piniella called them, looked really good at the top of the lineup. Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro were a combined 6-for-9 with three runs scored, a RBI, a sac bunt and a stolen base. Piniella said he liked the way the top of the lineup performed Sunday night and will likely stick with the duo at the top of the order.
With Sunday’s victory, the Cubs won a season series against the Phillies for the first time since 2001 (4-2) and won a series versus Philly at Wrigley for the first time since 2004.
The Cubs improved to 42-51 on the year … nine games below the mediocre mark. The Cubs won for the seventh time in 11 games Sunday night and have played much better ball since the series in Arizona. Lou’s offense outscored Philly 28-19 during the four game series … and has outscored their opponent 67-52 over the last 11 games.
Marlon Byrd was hit on Halladay’s first pitch of the second inning. Alfonso Soriano worked the count to 2-2 but flied out to right. Geovany Soto then gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead with one swing of the bat.
Soto hit a 2-1 pitch from Halladay up into the jet stream and it came down in the bleachers in right. Soto pumped his fist as he rounded the bases for the 11th time this season.
Ryan Theriot grounded out to third on Halladay’s first pitch but Tom Gorzelanny notched the Cubs’ fourth hit with a single to right center. Tyler Colvin followed with his second hit in as many at bats and lined a single into center.
Starlin Castro then drove in Gorzelanny with his second hit of the game. Castro ripped a 0-1 pitch to right and Gorzelanny slid in just ahead of Carlos Ruiz’s tag … 3-0 Cubs. Colvin advanced to third on the play.
The Cubs caught a break when Ryan Howard dropped a foul ball on a 0-1 pitch to Derrek Lee. Lee took ball one then Starlin Castro broke for second on the 1-2 offering from Halladay. Ruiz threw to second, the ball skipped in front of Wilson Valdez and Colvin broke for the plate. Colvin scored the Cubs’ fourth run of the inning.
Derrek Lee struck out to end the second.
Tom Gorzelanny worked his way in and out of trouble through the first four innings. Gorzelanny allowed only two hits before the fifth but issued a leadoff walk to Roy Halladay, his fourth free pass at the time.
Shane Victorino then ripped a 1-0 pitch down the third base line. Halladay scampered to third on Victorino’s double. Placido Polanco hit a chopper up the middle on a 0-2 offering. Castro threw out Polanco at first as Halladay scored the Phillies’ first run. Victorino advanced to third on the play and scored on Aramis Ramirez’s 11th error of the year.
Jimmy Rollins ripped a grounder to third that ate up Ramirez. The ball rolled up his arm and Castro stopped it from leaving the infield. Victorino scored … 4-2 Cubs. Rollins stole second with Howard at the plate and took third on a ground out to Theriot … in the shift. Gorzelanny struck out Jayson Werth to end the inning.
Roy Halladay settled in after the second inning and retired 11 in a row. With the Cubs up 4-2 with one out in the sixth, Halladay hit Marlon Byrd for the second time in the game.
Marlon Byrd’s 16th hit by pitch of the season started another inning for the Cubs.
Alfonso Soriano looked at two out of the zone then swung and missed Halladay’s third offering. Soriano did not miss his fourth pitch. Soriano launched his team-leading 17th homer into the bleachers in left and gave the Cubs a 6-2 lead.
Tom Gorzelanny’s fifth walk came around to score in the top of the seventh. Gorzelanny walked Polanco with one out. Charlie Manuel called for the hit and run on a 0-2 pitch to Jimmy Rollins. Rollins delivered his first hit of the series (0-for-14), a single to left. Soriano threw to third, instead of second and allowed Rollins to advance into scoring position.
Ryan Howard hit a sacrifice fly to center on a 2-2 pitch. Polanco tagged and scored the Phillies’ third run and chased Gorzelanny from the game.
Andrew Cashner and Jeff Baker (double-switch with Ryan Theriot) entered. Cashner walked Jayson Werth but retired Ben Francisco on a ground out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs broke the game open in the seventh.
Jeff Baker reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Tyler Colvin recorded his third hit, a single to right … and chased J.C. Romero from the game. David Herndon came in and misplayed a sacrifice bunt attempt by Starlin Castro. Castro reached on the error to load the bases with no outs.
Derrek Lee doubled to left center and cleared the bases. Baker, Colvin and Castro scored 9-3 Cubs.
Aramis Ramirez flied out to right, Lee tagged and advanced to third. Marlon Byrd then worked a walk to put runners on first and third for Alfonso Soriano.
Soriano blooped a single into right and drove in Lee with his 50th RBI of the season. Geovany Soto added his third RBI of the game with a single to left. Marlon Byrd scored and gave the Cubs an 11-3 lead.
Andrew Cashner gave up a solo homer to Greg Dobbs in the 8th. Dobbs’ second pinch-hit of the season (1-for-26 before the at bat) cut the Cubs’ lead to 11-4.
James Russell served up two longballs in the ninth. Solo shots by Ryan Howard, his fourth of the series, and Ben Francisco accounted for the Phillies final two runs.
The Cubs outplayed the back-to-back defending National League Champs during the series and won of three of four. It was a good series and makes one wonder why couldn’t they have played this way two months ago.
Carlos Silva will open the three-game series versus the Astros Monday night. Houston will send Wandy Rodriguez to the hill.