The Cubs are falling back into their poor hitting ways. The Cubs had 11 hits and 7 walks, but scored only 3 runs in the 5-3 loss. The Cubs had their chances, but never seemed to come up with the clutch hit. After a 1-2-3 1st inning, the Cubs got at least 2 runners on base in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th innings, but never scored more than 1 run in a given inning. In the 5th inning, Micah Hoffpuair struck out with the bases loaded and 2 outs. In the 6th inning, the Cubs had the bases loaded with no one out and scored only 1 run on a Mike Fontenot ground out. In the 7th inning, the Cubs had the bases loaded and only 1 out, but scored only 1 run on Jake Fox’s sacrifice fly. And in the 9th inning, Derrek Lee walked and moved to 2nd on Hoffpauir’s single with no one out. But Milton Bradley struck out, Jake Fox flew out to deep right field and Kosuke Fukodome struck out to end the game. The Cubs are 1 for 19 with runners in scoring position during the 3-game losing streak and have averaged only 2.3 runs in each loss despite numerous scoring chances.
The pitching left a lot to be desired in the game as well in a rare off-night. Rich Harden needed 109 pitches to labor through 5 1/3 innings. He gave up 4 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks. Not a good start by any means. Aaron Heilmand gave up 3 hits in his 1 2/3 innings of work and walked in a run, while Jose Ascansio also gave up 3 hits and a run in his 1/3 of an inning. Manager Lou Pinella called upon Carlos Marmol to put out Ascansio’s 2 on, 2 out mess in the 8th inning and promptly walked the 1st 2 batters that he faced, giving the Tigers an important insurance run that pushed the lead from 1 to 2 runs.
All in all, another bad road showing from the Cubs as they provided little fireworks in an 11-hit offensive attack. Back at .500 – 34-34 – the Cubs still trail the Cards by 3.5 games in the NL Central race.