Game Sixty-Four – Cubs 3 Phillies 4
WP – Roy Oswalt (4-4) LP – Sean Marshall (3-1, BS 2) Save – Ryan Madson (15)
The Cubs long, 10-day road trip came to an end with their eighth loss (2-8, outscored on the trip 52-26). Sunday afternoon began with the Cubs’ offense putting up a three-spot on Roy Oswalt … but it ended with their 39th loss of the year.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double, RBI and a run scored) drove in Darwin Barney with the game’s first run. Castro was on board for Aramis Ramirez’s fourth home run of the season, the sixth of his career off Roy Oswalt. But the Cubs offense managed only two more hits off Roy Oswalt and the Phillies pen … and nothing after the third until a two-out single by Koyie Hill in the ninth.
The Cubs allowed Roy Oswalt to settle in with their ridiculous approach at the plate. Oswalt did not allow a hit after the third. Oswalt retired the last seven Cubs he faced (last two on strikeouts) and 11 of 12. The Cubs offense did not manage a single baserunner after a fifth inning walk by Carlos Pena until Hill’s two-out single in the ninth.
The Cubs managed only eight baserunners on the afternoon (1-for-4 with RISP, six left on base) while the Phillies put 13 runners on against Q’s pitching staff.
Doug Davis labored through five innings Sunday. Davis did not throw the ball well but did just enough to put himself in line for his first Cubs’ victory. Davis wiggled his way in and out of trouble and departed with the Cubs up 3-2. Davis stranded the bases loaded twice in the first four innings but allowed only two runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Davis threw 108 pitches (32 in the third inning), 63 for strikes.
Sean Marshall took the loss after allowing two runs in the seventh … the first time since July 30 and July 31, 2010 that Marshall has allowed runs on the road in back-to-back games.
Marshall made his sixth appearance of the trip (six out of 10 games) and hit Shane Victorino on a 2-2 pitch to start the inning. After a double by Chase Utley (1-2 pitch), Ryan Howard (3-for-3 with a double, a walk and three RBI) completed his big day with a two-run single to center.
Following Sunday’s loss, the Cubs finally revealed why Kerry Wood has not been used since the finale in Cincinnati. Wood is dealing with blister problems, and has been for weeks, Wood will likely be placed on the DL on Monday.
With the latest loss on a Sunday (Cubs 1-9 on Sunday in 2011), Q’s squad slipped to a season-low 14 games under .500 with a 25-39 record … The kids jump started the Cubs offense once again Sunday. Darwin Barney singled to right on a 2-1 pitch after he stepped out of the box and seemed to take Roy Oswalt out of his early rhythm. Starlin Castro put together a good at bat that resulted in a double to left on a 3-2 pitch. The ball hit on the line and allowed Barney to score the games first run … Barney was off with the pitch.
Carlos Pena hit a mile high pop up to Rollins (around the second base bag) on Oswalt’s first offering. Aramis Ramirez stepped in and looked at ball one from Roy O.
Ramirez lofted Oswalt’s next pitch into the stands in left … 3-0 Cubs.
Blake DeWitt singled to center, the Cubs’ fourth hit of the inning. Tyler Colvin followed and popped out to shallow left to end the inning.
Doug Davis received rare run support but gave one right back in the home half of the first.
Jimmy Rollins singled to center to start the inning. Shane Victorino hit a grounder into the hole at short. Castro made a fine play, picked the ball and threw out Rollins at second. Chase Utley blooped a 0-2 pitch into left. DeWitt could not get to the ball and Victorino advanced to third with the play in front of him. Victorino challenged the second baseman, DeWitt’s throw was off … a good throw and Victorino was out by a mile.
Ryan Howard crushed a 2-2 pitch and just missed a homer to straight away center. The ball hit off the base of the wall and drove in Victorino. Utley held at third on Howard’s double. With the Cubs up 3-1, Davis walked Ben Francisco to load the bases with one out.
Davis struck out Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz lined out to third to end the inning. Davis really dodged a bullet in the opening inning.
Oswalt retired the Cubs in order in the second … and Davis sat down the Phillies in order in the bottom of the second.
The Phillies added another run in the third as Davis loaded the bases again and wiggled out of trouble with minimum damage.
Chase Utley worked a one-out walk on the 10th pitch of the at bat. Ryan Howard followed with a single to right on a 1-1 pitch. Utley advanced to third and Davis walked Ben Francisco for the second time in the game to load the bases with one out.
Raul Ibanez stepped in 0-for-6 on the season with the bases loaded. Ibanez singled to right and plated Utley with the Phillies second run.
Carlos Ruiz struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch and Wilson Valdez grounded out to second on Davis’ 32nd pitch of the inning.
The Cubs led 3-2 after three innings.
Q’s team showed off their lack of fundamentals in the fourth.
After Blake DeWitt reached on a fielding error by Jimmy Rollins and Koyie Hill worked a one-out walk, Doug Davis bunted too hard back to Oswalt on a 1-2 pitch. Oswalt threw out DeWitt at third for the second out. Fukudome’s slump continued … pop out to right to end the inning.
Doug Davis walked a batter in the fourth (Victorino with two outs) and to start the fifth (Ryan Howard) but did not give up another hit.
Doug Davis departed after five innings and allowing two runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Davis threw 108 pitches, 63 for strikes.
The Cubs continued to do nothing against Roy Oswalt in the sixth and seventh innings.
Jeff Samardzija did his job in the bottom of the sixth … with a little help from homeplate umpire Alan Porter. Porter called Oswalt out on a low 3-2 pitch. Charlie Manuel was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes.
Sean Marshall had his second straight rough day at the park and blew his second save of the trip.
Marshall hit Victorino on a 2-2 pitch to start the seventh. Chase Utley then ripped a 1-2 pitch over Kosuke’s head in right. The ball one-hopped the wall and Victorino held at third on Utley’s double.
Ryan Howard gave the Phillies their first lead of the day with a single to center through the shift. Howard got just enough of a low outside pitch (2-1 count) to place the ball between Castro and Barney.
Placido Polanco hit for Ben Francisco and fouled out to first for the second out.
Raul Ibanez hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice and Ruiz struck out swinging to end the inning.
Koyie Hill reached on a two-out single in the ninth that gave Geovany Soto a chance to face Ryan Madson again. Soto launched a 2-1 pitch down the left field line … but it hooked foul. Soto blooped out to Utley in shallow right to end the game.
Two wins in eight games … with no relief on the schedule. It is easy to see but hard to believe the two different directions the Cubs and Phillies have gone in three short years.
The Cubs will limp home and open a seven-game homestand (four versus the Brewers and three against the Yankees) with the first of four against the first place Milwaukee Brewers. Ryan Dempster against Randy Wolf in game one.