Posted on 02 May 2009 by Lou
It wasn’t pretty, but the Cubs defeated the Marlins 8-6 on Friday afternoon at a rainy Wrigley Field. The Cubs trailed for much of the day, even by as much as 5-1 in the 4th inning. But the Cubs rallied to take the lead in the 6th inning on an Aaron Miles walk and a Mike Fontenot single. With 2 outs, the Marlins decided to pitch carefully to Alfonso Soriano who ended up walking to load the bases for Ryan Theriot. Theriot hit his 1st career grand slam to the bleachers in left field to put the Cubs ahead for good with a 6-5 lead. The Cubs added some insurance runs in the 7th inning on a Geovany Soto single and a Mike Fontenot sacrifice fly.
The pitching was a tale of 2 stories for the Cubs. Rich Harden was atrocious – 3 2/3 innings – 86 pitches, 5 earned runs, 6 hits, 4 walks and 1 hit batter. He only had 2 strikeouts – the 1st time he did not strike out at least 8 batters in a game.
The bullpen did a great job of keeping the Cubs in the game after Harden’s departure. Jeff Samardzija got the Cubs out of Harden’s 4th inning jam, David Patton worked 2 innings of hotless and scoreless relief and Neal Cotts works a scoreless / hitless inning as well. Carlos Marmol had an interesting inning – after walking the first 2 batters he faced like he did on Thursday night, Marmol struck out the side to end the threat and received a standing ovation for his tremendous, frustrating effort. And Kevin Gregg picked up his 2nd save of the year, despite giving up a run on 2 hits in another frustrating inning for the Cubs closer.
The weather summed up the day at Wrigley – rainy early with a lot of clouds, but sunny by the time everyone left the friendly confines for the evening. The Cubs trailed for much of the day, but after Theriot’s first ever grand slam, there was nothing but smiles to go around the park.
Let’s hope the Cubs can keep up the momentum with an afternoon win today at Wrigley. Ted Lilly will face off against Anabel Sanchez.
Posted on 02 May 2009 by Lou
Good news Cubs fans – Aramis Ramirez is not headed for the disabled list. Ramirez came out of last Friday night’s game against the Cardinals with a strained left calf and has not returned to the Cubs lineup. The Cubs were prepared to make a move, but an MRI on Thursday revealed inflammation but no further damage. Pinella had this to say about Ramirez’s status: “He went through a fairly extensive array of stretching and running exercises, and he’s pretty much better than he was in Phoenix two days ago. The feeling is, the next few days we can get him out there to play.”
The Cubs believed he would be ready to play before 15 days on the DL, so they opted not to place him on the DL. And in fact, Ramirez appeared as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning of Friday afternoon’s 8-5 win over the Marlins at Wrigley Field. Ramirez flew out to right field, but it looks like he might be ready for full-time action sooner than expected. This is great news for the Cubs who have been struggling to score runs all season long. Milton Bradley and Derrek Lee have each played in back-to-back games now, and having Ramirez’s bat back in the middle of the lineup can only mean good things for the Cubs offense.
Posted on 01 May 2009 by Lou
The Florida Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs 8-2 in 10 innings to open up a 4-game series at Wrigley Field on Thursday night. The Cubs managed only 5 hits on the night – solo back-to-back home runs by Milton Bradley and Mike Fontenot in the 5th inning, 2 hits by Ryan Theriot and a pinch-hit single by pitcher Carlos Zambrano with 2 outs in the 8th inning. Can you say pathetic?
Granted, the 2 runs should have been enough to get the Cubs and Sean Marshall the much needed win. But Carlos Marmol walked the 1st 2 batters in the 8th inning and then threw away Chad Maybin’s bunt allowing Ross Gload to score the tying run. Marmol miraculously escaped the 2nd and 3rd no out rally to preserve the 2-2 tie, but the Cubs bullpen imploded in the 10th inning. Aaron Heilman gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks to let the game slip away from the Cubs. Heilman did not even record an out.
The Cubs wasted Sean Marshall’s best start of the year – 7 innings, 1 earned run, 6 hits, 2 walks and 6 K’s. He put the Cubs in position to win with the Marmol – Gregg 8th-9th inning combo, but that ended quickly with Marmol’s disastrous outing. Let’s hope the Cubs can turn it around soon. At 10-11, the Cubs fell below the .500 mark for the 1st time all season, and are already 5 games behind the Cardinals who are in Washington DC to take on the lowly Nationals this weekend.