Game One Hundred Twenty-Three – Cubs 3 Braves 5
WP – Peter Moylan (5-2) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-3, BS 5) Save – Billy Wagner (30)
Three walks and one ball put in play in the ninth inning tell the entire story of Friday’s loss to the Braves. Carlos Marmol blew his fifth save of the season after walking the bases loaded in the ninth. The Braves put only one ball in play unfortunately it was a bases clearing triple by Rick Ankiel … on a 2-2 pitch with two outs. Marmol ended up striking out the side but could not get Ankiel to swing and miss at strike three.
The Cubs seemingly find a way to lose every day.
Lou’s crew took a 3-2 lead into the ninth against the first place Atlanta Braves … and had played a good game before Marmol’s meltdown. Ryan Dempster put together one of his best outings of the year and should have posted his fourth win a row.
Dempster made only one mistake Friday afternoon, a solo home run by Omar Infante in the third. Dempster allowed two runs on four hits (seven strikeouts and two walks) in eight innings. Dempster threw 106 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Ryan Dempster retired the last nine he faced and turned the game over to Marmol.
The walks by Dempster and Marmol really hurt on Friday. Of the five free passes issued, four scored …
Aramis Ramirez drove in two of the Cubs three runs in four trips to the plate. Ramirez tied the game at two with a solo home run in the fourth … his 18th of the season. Following a hustle triple by Marlon Byrd, Ramirez broke up the 2-2 tie with a double to left in the sixth.
The Cubs offense had plenty of opportunities to plate more runs Friday. Three runs on 10 hits … Lou’s pathetic offense finished the game 2-for-7 with RISP and left six on base.
Derrek Lee made his debut in a Braves’ uniform and finished the game 0-for-4. Lee received a standing ovation as he stepped to the plate in the first inning.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs have dropped eight in a row at Wrigley and have not won a game at home since August 4 … they have lost 11 of the last 12 at home.
The Cubs slipped to a season-low 23 games under .500 (50-73) with another disappointing loss and remain on track to lose 100 games in 2010 … Ryan Dempster once again led by example on Friday. Despite serving up his 22nd homer of the year, Dempster kept a very good team at bay and left with what should have been his 12th win of the season.
The Cubs actually took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Blake DeWitt and Xavier Nady reached on back-to-back two out singles. Koyie Hill then singled to right and plated DeWitt. Ryan Dempster grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs lead did not last long. After Jair Jurrjens grounded into a 1-6-3 double play, Omar Infante hit a wind blown homer to left center … his fourth dinger of the year tied the game at one.
Dempster walked Martin Prado to start the fourth. Following a Derrek Lee strikeout, Brian McCann stepped to the plate. Dempster uncorked a wild pitch during McCann’s at bat and it would cost him a run. McCann flied out to left but Alex Gonzalez hit a ground rule double just to the right of straight away center … the ball hit on the warning track and hopped over the wall. Prado scored … 2-1 Braves.
Dempster retired Melky Cabrera on a ground out to third to end the inning.
Aramis Ramirez tied the game at two with his 18th longball of the year in the fourth.
Marlon Byrd tripled to left with one out in the sixth. With the game tied at two, Aramis Ramirez doubled to left on a 0-1 offering from Jair Jurrjens. Soriano struck out swinging for the second out.
Bobby Cox intentionally walked Blake DeWitt and it was the right move. Xavier Nady flied out to right to end the inning.
The game remained 3-2 until the ninth.
Carlos Marmol walked Martin Prado on five pitches but struck out Derrek Lee swinging. Brian McCann walked on six pitches and Alex Gonzalez was issued a four-pitch free pass to load the bases.
Marmol reached back and struck out Melky Cabrera, out number two … but Rick Ankiel stuck it to the Cubs once again. Ankiel ripped a 2-2 pitch down the right field line and cleared the bases. 5-3 Braves …
Billy Wagner made short order of the Cubs in the ninth. A single by Darwin Barney started the inning but Nady (strikeout), Hill (strikeout looking) and Baker (fly out to right) could not get the job done.
It’s a Way of Life!
Saturday afternoon its Tom Gorzelanny versus Tommy Hanson.