The Cubs took 2 of 3 from the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers as Wrigley Field this week. It wasn’t all perfect, but at least the wins keep coming in.
I’m going to ignore most of the 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Most notable – I was very disappointed in the Cubs hitting. 14 hits and you only manufacture 5 runs?! The Cubs left 2 runners on base in each of the 1st 2 innings and only pushed 1 run across during those scoring chances. In the 3rd inning, the Cubs actually had the bases loaded and nobody out, and they only scored 1 run on a Mike Fontenot hit by pitch. Starlin Castro then grounded out to force an out at home, Koyie Hill struck out and Tom Gorzelanny grounded out to end the threat. The Cubs had runners on base in every single inning but the 9th inning, but never seemed to be able to push through more than a run at a time. The lowlight – Ryan Theriot grounded into inning-ending double plays in each of the 6th and 8th innings. Not good.
Tom Gorzelanny – we may have seen the last of TG as a starter with the return of Carlos Zambrano looming. Gorzelanny never seemed comfortable out there and he gave up a season high 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings. It least he gave the team the 5 innings though – gotta give him credit for that.
Now on to bigger and better things. Although it was a pitcher’s/defensive battle between Ted Lilly and Chicago-area native John Ely today, the Cubs eked out the 1-0 win late to make the Wrigley-faithful happy. The Dodgers actually out-hit the Cubs 5-4, but the Cubs made their hits count in the 8th inning. Mike Fontenot entered the game in the 8th inning after an undisclosed injury to Jeff Baker and he promptly led off the bottom of the 8th inning with a triple down the right field line that Xavier Nady had trouble fielding. After Geovany Soto struck out, Tyler Colvin (also in his 1st at-bat as he entered the game for defensive purposes), doubled to right field to drive in Fontenot with the 1st and only run of the game. It was frustrating to watch Ryan Theriot pop out on a bunt attempt that would have brought another run in because the Cubs continue to struggle in those situations. When you get a man on 3rd and less than 1 out, you have to get him home somehow, some way, and the Cubs have not been consistent doing that this year.
Ted Lilly was great –7 scoreless innings giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 K’s. He did not receive a decision however.
Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 8th inning although he did give up 2 singles in the inning.
Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning although he did walk Blake DeWitt with 1 out. It was Marmol’s 11th save in 13 chances and he has shown that he can close out games on a consistent basis this year. He continues to lower both his WHIP (1.14) and ERA (1.52) with good outings.
Next up is a HUGE 3-game set with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field this weekend. It should be a fun Randy Wells-Chris Carpenter duel on Friday afternoon at t he Friendly Confines – lucky for us, the Cards have a late afternoon game in San Diego today before heading to Chicago tonight – wonder who scheduled that one?