Game One Hundred Eight – Cubs 15 Brewers 3
WP – Ryan Dempster (9-8) LP – Manny Parra (3-9) Save – None
The Cubs ended their seven-game losing streak in a big way Wednesday afternoon. Lou’s crew was behind 3-1 as late as the sixth inning but the offense broke out and scored 14 runs in their final three at bats … six in the sixth, three in the seventh and five in the eighth.
The Cubs hit four home runs off Brewers pitching. A solo shot by Tyler Colvin in the third, his 17th of the season, and three three-run shots, one each by Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto and Blake DeWitt.
The Cubs offense pounded out 16 hits, seven for extra bases. Geovany Soto, Blake DeWitt and Starlin Castro had huge days at the plate … and Derrek Lee (2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI) hit the 400th double of his career.
Geovany Soto notched a 3-for-5 afternoon and drove in five runs. Soto knocked in the Cubs second run with a RBI single in the sixth … and his 15th homer of the season gave the Cubs a 10-3 lead in the seventh.
In his third game as a Cub at Wrigley, Blake DeWitt tied the game with an opposite field single in the sixth then hit his first dinger as a Cub in the eighth. DeWitt went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI.
Aramis Ramirez, who did not find out he wasn’t in Wednesday’s starting lineup until just before game time, came off the bench in the sixth and turned a one-run lead into a four-run advantage with one swing of the bat. Ramirez hit his second career pinch-hit homer, his first in eight years, with two on and two out in the sixth off of Todd Coffey.
This just in … Starlin Castro is pretty good at baseball. Castro is learning on the job but continues to impress on a daily basis. Castro was a homer shy of the cycle Wednesday afternoon and notched four more hits. Castro was 4-for-5 with a double, triple and two runs scored out of the two-spot of the Cubs lineup.
The Cubs scored 10 of their 15 runs with two outs and finished the game 8-for-12 with RISP … they left five on base. After being outscored 67-20 during the seven-game losing streak, the Cubs scored almost as many runs in a single afternoon.
Ryan Dempster picked up the win despite his shaky start. Dempster continued his walk parade and issued three more free passes Wednesday afternoon. Dempster issued a four-pitch walk to Manny Parra in the fifth that led to three unearned runs.
Dempster did just enough and technically recorded a quality start … three runs, all unearned, on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings.
Carlos Zambrano, Sean Marshall and Mitch Atkins pitched the final three innings. Zambrano gave up a hit and walked a batter in his inning of work but got the job done. Zambrano will return to the starting rotation Monday night in San Francisco.
The Cubs took out a little frustration Wednesday afternoon and LaTroy Hawkins tried to exact a little revenge in the blowout. Hawkins threw at Alfonso Soriano in the seventh after Soto’s three run shot. Tom Hallion ejected Hawkins from the game … and shortly after “asked” Ken Macha to leave as well.
The Cubs avoided the sweep and ended their seven-game losing streak with their first win since Monday, July 26. While the season is over it would be nice to see Wednesday’s effort a little more often over the final two months of the season. With the win, the Cubs improved to 47-61, 14 games under, for the year … Wednesday was the 2/3 mark of the season and the game started like so many for the Cubs this year. No offense and incredibly bad defense put them in a hole by the middle innings.
Tyler Colvin gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the third with his 17th longball of the season. Colvin ripped a 1-0 pitch from Manny Parra down the line in right … Colvin’s dinger was the Cubs first hit of the game,
Starlin Castro tripled but Marlon Byrd struck out swinging following a walk by Derrek Lee.
Dempster kept the Brewers off the board until the fifth. Jim Edmonds led off with a double past Derrek Lee. Jonathan Lucroy grounded out to third and Craig Counsell grounded out to first. Edmonds advanced to third and Dempster appeared to have gotten out of the inning. But Dempster issued a four-pitch walk to Manny Parra.
With runners on first and third with two outs, Rickie Weeks hit a grounder to third. Jeff Baker’s throw to DeWitt at second was on the centerfield side and pulled DeWitt off the bag. Edmonds scored on the error and tied the game at one.
Corey Hart followed with a double to left that Soriano could not make a diving catch on. Parra and Weeks scored … 3-1 Brewers.
Starlin Castro jump-started the Cubs six-run sixth with an infield single off Manny Parra … the Cubs’ third hit of the game. Castro took second on a wild pitch with Byrd at the plate. Byrd walked and advanced to third on a single to left by Soto. Castro scored on the play and cut the Brewers lead to 3-2.
Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging but the newest Cub came through on a 0-2 pitch from Manny Parra. Blake DeWitt ripped a single into left and plated Byrd with the tying run. Jeff Baker stepped in and singled to left. Soto scored and the Cubs took a 4-3 lead.
Lou Piniella made a call and sent Aramis Ramirez up to hit for Ryan Dempster.
Ken Macha countered and brought in Todd Coffey to face Ramirez.
Aramis launched a 1-1 offering from Coffey into the bleachers in left center … 7-3 Cubs.
Derrek Lee and Marlon Byrd reached on back-to-back one-out singles in the seventh. Geovany Soto then turned a 7-3 advantage into a comfortable 10-3 lead with one swing of the bat. Soto launched a 3-1 offering from LaTroy Hawkins into the bleachers in left center.
Starlin Castro started another big inning with a one-out double in the eighth. Derrek Lee doubled in Castro and scored on a two-out single to left by Geovany Soto. Alfonso Soriano finally got into the act with a single to right … his only hit of the game.
Blake DeWitt got just enough of 2-0 pitch from lefty (and former Cub killer) Chris Capuano and hit his first dinger as a Cub. DeWitt’s shot ended up in the basket in right.
Wednesday was a good day for the Chicago Cubs.
Thursday is the Cubs last off day until August 26th. The Reds make their way to Wrigley for the first of three over the weekend. Tom Gorzelanny against Bronson Arroyo in the opener.