The Cubs took 3 of 4 from the playoff-contending San Diego Padres this week, as they continue their strong play under interim skipper Mike Quade.
Tom Gorzelanny tossed 6 scoreless innings in his final start of 2010. Gorzelanny scattered 3 hits and 4 walks during his outing and he struck out 3 Padres batters. He didn’t get a decision, but it was a great way to end the season for Gorzelanny as he had an up-and-down season while bouncing between the bullpen and starting rotation.
The bullpen shined in the win once again. Andrew Cashner has really finished the season strong – he retired all 4 batters that he faced with 2 strike outs. From August 12th through the 21st, Cashner got roughed up giving up 7 ER in 5 appearances. But since then – a stretch of 17 outings – Cashner has given up just a total of 3 earned runs. During the positive stretch, he has a 1-1 record and he has racked up 9 holds. The Cubs are going to need Cashner to play a prominent role in the Cubs bullpen in 2011 if they expect to have more consistency late in close games during the season.
Sean Marshall pitched 2/3 of an inning to keep the score tied at 0 at the end of 8 innings. He earned the win – his 7th of the season – when the Cubs scored in the top of the 9th inning. Carlos Marmol notched his 39th save by pitching a perfect 9th inning with 2 K’s. He has now lowered his ERA to 2.58 and his WHIP to 1.20. Marshall and Marmol should both expect to get big paydays – whether through a contract extension or arbitration – this offseason.
The Cubs offense was not great, but it managed to scrape across a run against Padres closer Heath Bell in the 9th inning. Aramis Ramirez singled to lead-off the inning. Darwin Barney pinch-ran for Ramirez and advanced to 2nd base on Xavier Nady’s sacrifice bunt. Then Brad Snyder delivered the game winning hit with a single to shallow left field. Blake DeWitt was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit in the game – he had a single and a double off of Jon Garland.
The Cubs finish their season with a weekend series against the Astros in Houston. Casey Coleman, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are scheduled to make the final 3 Cubs starts.