Game One Hundred Fifteen – Cubs 7 Giants 8
WP – Brian Wilson (3-1) LP – Andrew Cashner (1-5) Save – None
It is all of the little things that add up in Major League baseball … and the Cubs are pretty bad at just about all of them. As the line from Bull Durham goes, baseball is a simple game.
The Cubs lost their 29th one-run ballgame Thursday afternoon in San Francisco. With their latest single-run defeat, the Cubs are a pathetic 16 games under .500 in one-run ball games.
After a horrible outing by Randy Wells, the Cubs came all the way back from a 7-3 deficit as late as the seventh inning and tied the game in the eighth. But in the end they came up short again. Andrew Cashner gave up a bases loaded one-out single to center to Andres Torres (another former Cub farmhand) that was the difference in the game.
The Cubs lost the series by the Bay 3-1 with all three games decided by just a single run.
Starlin Castro tied a career-high with four hits Thursday afternoon. Castro scored a pair of runs and drove in the tying run in the eighth with a two-out single. Kosuke Fukudome and Koyie Hill put together two-hit efforts and drove in two of the Cubs seven runs.
The Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out double by Xavier Nady and built a 3-1 lead in the fourth before Randy Wells started serving up home runs.
The Giants hit three home runs off Wells in five innings, the most homers allowed by Wells in a single outing.
Pat Burrell had a huge game once again. Burrell hit a pair of home runs and the second was a grand slam in the fifth that gave the Giants a 7-3 lead. Burrell and Pablo Sandoval hit back-to-back jacks in the fourth off Wells to tie the game at three … then Burrell gave the Giants what looked like a commanding lead in the fifth.
Randy Wells was yanked after giving up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits in five innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
The Cubs pen kept the Giants off the board until the ninth. Marcos Mateo, Casey Coleman and Sean Marshall did their job and gave the offense a chance to make the comeback.
Andrew Cashner took the loss, his fifth of the season, after Aaron Rowand reached on an infield single to start the ninth. Following a Freddy Sanchez sac bunt, Alan Trammell decided to walk Aubrey Huff to set up the force … and possible double play. But Cashner stopped throwing strikes and walked Buster Posey to load the bases with one out.
Andres Torres ripped a 2-0 pitch from Cashner over Marlon Byrd’s head to end the game.
The Cubs indefensible defense struck again Thursday afternoon. Jeff Baker’s throwing error in the fifth opened the door to the big inning.
The Cubs scored four of their seven runs with two out and out hit the Giants for the second game in a row (14-11). The offense finished the afternoon 5-for-12 with RISP and left nine on base.
The Cubs simply cannot do the little things that turn one-run losses into one-run victories. With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs fell to a season-low 19 games under .500 (48-67). $140 million just doesn’t go as far as it used to … Darwin Barney became the 15th rookie used by the Cubs this season, and the ninth to make his big league debut when he took over for Blake DeWitt in the ninth. For all of the issues this team (and organization) has, at least the kids did not quit Thursday … and they keep outplaying the over-paid veterans.
The Cubs actually scored runs against Matt Cain Thursday. Cain had not allowed an earned run to the Cubs since 2007 … and the Cubs touched him up for three runs in six innings.
Tyler Colvin led off with a single to center and advanced to second on an infield single by Starlin Castro. Kosuke Fukudome struck out swinging and Marlon Byrd struck out looking. But Xavier Nady ripped a double into left center. Colvin and Castro scored … 2-0 Cubs.
Randy Wells dodged a bullet in the bottom of the first … but was not as lucky in the second.
Pablo Sandoval tripled to right center and scored on a single to left center by Juan Uribe. After Travis Ishikawa singled to left, Cain struck out trying to bunt and Aaron Rowand tapped out in front of the plate to end the inning.
The writing was on the wall that the final score would not be 2-1.
Xavier Nady walked to start the fourth. Blake DeWitt grounded out to second, Nady was forced but DeWitt reached and advanced to second on a two-out single by Koyie Hill. Randy Wells then doubled to left and drove in DeWitt with the Cubs’ third run.
Tyler Colvin struck out swinging with runners on second and third to end the inning.
The Giants tied the game in the home half of the fourth. Pat Burrell launched a solo homer to left … and Pablo Sandoval tied the game with a splash down in McCovey Cove.
The Cubs went quietly in the fifth.
Aaron Rowand reached on a throwing error by Jeff Baker to start the fifth. Rowand stole second (Castro could not apply the tag again) and advanced to third on a sac bunt by Freddy Sanchez.
Randy Wells then issued back-to-back walks to Buster Posey and Aubrey Huff to load the bases for Pat Burrell.
The Giants’ first hit of the inning left the park … 7-3 San Francisco after the slam by Burrell.
The Cubs started chipping away in the seventh.
Starlin Castro reached on a two-out single to right. Kosuke Fukudome then doubled to center. Castro scored all the way from first … 7-4 Giants.
Casey Coleman retired the Giants in order for the first time in the seventh … and the offense went back to work in the eighth.
Blake DeWitt worked a walk to start the inning. Jeff Baker hit a single into left center. DeWitt ended up at third and scored on a double to right by Koyie Hill … 7-5 Giants.
Alfonso Soriano pinch hit for Coleman and popped out to Sanchez in shallow center. Tyler Colvin grounded out to second but got the run in. Baker scored, 7-6 Giants.
Starlin Castro drove in Hill from third with a single to left on a 3-1 pitch from Guillermo Mota … game tied at seven.
The Cubs have now lost 13 of their last 15 games … It’s a Way of Life.
Derrek Lee and Lou Piniella are expected to rejoin the team in St. Louis for the opener of the three-game series Friday night. Tony LaRussa will miss the first two games due to his part in the brawl in Cincinnati. Thomas Diamond versus Jake Westbrook in game one.