Game One Hundred Forty-One – Cubs 5, Phillies 7
WP – Ken Giles (6-2) LP – Hector Rondon (5-4) Save – None
After rain delayed the start of the game for 50 minutes, the Cubs did not take advantage of a shaky Jerad Eickhoff early, left the Phillies in it and ended up giving them the game. Cody Asche launched a pinch-hit two run homer off Hector Rondon with two outs in the ninth and the Phillies walked off the Cubs on Saturday night.
Four two-out walks, three by Justin Grimm in the seventh, and one by Hector Rondon in the ninth all scored. Relievers have to throw strikes and execute each pitch. The Cubs did not Saturday and it cost them a game plain and simple.
The Cubs had only one hit through six innings, a towering home run by Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) in the third. The Cubs had a poor approach against Jerad Eickhoff and let the rookie right hander settle in. Despite the lack of offense, due to the performances turned in by Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill, the Cubs took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
Justin Grimm had another poor outing. Grimm has really struggled over his last eight appearances. And while an Anthony Rizzo error prolonged the seventh inning, there is no excuse for a pitcher to walk three batters, including one with the bases loaded that forces in the go ahead run. The Phillies scored five runs in the seventh, all unearned due to Rizzo’s error, on two hits and three walks. Zac Rosscup served up the bases clearing double to Cesar Hernandez that gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead.
To the Cubs credit as this team has done all season they did not quit. The Cubs scored four runs in the top of the eighth on a two run double by Chris Coghlan (1-for-4 with a double, a walk, two RBI and a run scored) that plated Dexter Fowler (1-for-2 with three walks and a run scored) and Kyle Schwarber. A double by Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) drove in Coghlan, and a sac fly from Miguel Montero (1-for-3 with a sac fly RBI) allowed Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a HBP and a run scored) to tag from third and score the tying run.
Hector Rondon was called on for the ninth inning with the game tied at five. Rondon retired Andres Blanco and Ryan Howard on five pitches. Rondon walked the .182 hitting Erik Kratz on five pitches. Cody Asche was sitting fastball and as he’s done throughout his career against the Cubs he delivered a run scoring hit … this one, a two-run walk off homer.
Travis Wood pitched the first three-plus innings Saturday night. Wood was sharp and allowed three hits, two singles and a double. Wood threw strikes and had his best outing in a couple of months. Wood struck out five and did not walk a batter. Wood made 53 pitches, 39 for strikes, in three-plus innings.
Trevor Cahill replaced Wood with one on and no outs in the fourth. Cahill completed three perfect innings and set down all eight batters he faced. Cahill threw 38 pitches, 25 for strikes. Maddon lifted Cahill for a pinch-hitter (Starlin Castro) in the seventh with two on and one out. Cahill probably had one more inning in him. Cahill had really good command and rhythm.
Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning as three of the five pitchers Joe Maddon used on Bullpen Day in Philadelphia did not help the Phillies.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 82-59 on the season.
The Cubs made Jerad Eickhoff work in the first before letting him off the hook. Dexter Fowler walked and Schwarber had him 2-0 before he chased a high fastball. Schwarber was called out on strikes (2-2 pitch). Chris Coghlan walked.
Anthony Rizzo hit a mile high pop out to right. Aaron Altherr caught the ball in foul ground near the side wall. Fowler tagged and went to third. Bryant went down swinging to end the inning. Eickhoff made 20 pitches, only nine for strikes in the first.
Travis Wood pitched a 1-2-3 first inning … 12 pitches, eight for strikes.
It was nothing-nothing after one complete.
Tommy La Stella led off the third inning of a scoreless game. La Stella rolled a 3-2 pitch past the mound on the third base side. Andres Blanco made an excellent barehand pickup and threw out La Stella at first. Fowler grounded out to first base.
Kyle Schwarber launched the first pitch from Eickhoff to deep right. Schwarber’s moon shot ended up in the stands and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Chris Coghlan flied out to deep left to end the inning. Eickhoff made only 43 pitches, 24 for strikes, in the first three innings.
Odubel Herrera reached on an infield single to Bryant with two outs in the third. But that was all for the Phillies. Freddy Galvis grounded out to La Stella at second for the third out. Travis Wood made 50 pitches, 36 were in the zone, over three innings.
The Cubs had a 1-0 lead after three innings.
The Cubs took the 1-0 lead into the seventh inning after managing just one hit in six innings, the solo homer by Kyle Schwarber in the third.
After Bryant struck out looking for the first out in the seventh, Miguel Montero and Javier Baez singled. With two on and one out, Maddon sent up Starlin Castro to hit for Trevor Cahill. Castro popped out to Cameron Rupp in foul ground for the second out. And La Stella rolled out to second base to end the inning.
Justin Grimm started the seventh inning. Grimm struck out Herrera for the first out after a lengthy at bat. Francoeur struck out swinging. Grimm could not put away Aaron Altherr and walked him. Andres Blanco hit a bouncer toward first. Rizzo went to his right and booted the ball. Pete Mackanin sent up Ryan Howard to hit for Darin Ruff.
Ryan Howard smoked Grimm’s first pitch into right. Altherr scored and tied the game at one. Blanco held at third on Howard’s double. Brian Bogusevic batted for Cameron Rupp. And Grimm walked him to load the bases with two outs.
Grimm couldn’t find the strike zone against pinch-hitter Darnell Sweeney. Grimm missed on a 3-1 pitch, walked Sweeney and forced in Blanco with the go ahead run, 2-1 Phillies. Maddon finally took out Grimm and summoned Zac Rosscup from the pen.
Cesar Hernandez ripped the first pitch from Rosscup into left center. And he cleared the bases with a double to left center … 5-1 Phillies. Galvis popped out to Coghlan in right to end the inning.
The Phillies led 5-1 after seven innings.
Luis Garcia replaced Eickhoff for the eighth and Dexter Fowler greeted him with a single to right. Kyle Schwarber worked a walk and put two on with no outs.
Chris Coghlan pulled a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner. Fowler and Schwarber scored on a double by Coghlan, 5-3 Phillies. Pete Mackanin went to his pen for Jeanmar Gomez.
Anthony Rizzo was hit by a 0-1 pitch and put two on with no outs.
Kris Bryant went from 0-2 to 3-2 to double into the left field corner. Coghlan scored, 5-4 Phillies. Rizzo held at third with no outs. Miguel Montero drove a 0-1 pitch to deep center. Rizzo tagged and scored after Herrera caught the ball. And the game was tied at five. With Bryant at third, the infield in and one out, Javier Baez smacked a 2-1 pitch back up the middle. Hernandez fielded the ball and threw home. Rupp applied the tag on Bryant for the out. The umps took another look, but the call on the field was confirmed. With Baez at first, Mackanin brought in his closer, Ken Giles. Addison Russell struck out swinging to end the inning.
Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. And the game went to the ninth tied at five.
The Cubs managed a one out walk by Dexter Fowler in the ninth against Ken Giles, but that was all. Schwarber struck out swinging and Coghlan fouled out to third to end the inning.
Hector Rondon started the ninth and picked up two outs on five pitches. Blanco struck out and Howard popped out to left. Rondon walked Erik Kratz with two outs. Cody Asche launched the first pitch from Rondon to deep right … game over.
The Cubs wrap up the series and season-series against the Phillies on Sunday afternoon (12:35pm CDT). Dan Haren is scheduled to face Aaron Harang.