Pitcher’s duel between Ryan Dempster & Tim Lincecum? Not a chance as each team racks up 14 hits as Cubs win 8-6. It was a rare impressive offensive attack for the Cubs as Tyler Colvin, Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Kosuke Fukudome led the way.
Although Colvin has struggled recently, you have to like what he brings to the table every day. And Starlin continues to shine night in and night out. Take the 1st inning for example — Colvin led off with a single and stole 2nd base. Castro drove him in with a single and then stole 2nd base too to get into scoring position. Ramirez then drove him in with a single and then scored on Fukudome’s home run. Now I know it doesn’t happen like that too often, but you had to like 4 runs on 4 hits and still only 1 out in the 1st inning.
Colvin and Castro also came through in the 4th inning for the Cubs. Colvin earned a 2-out walk with the bases loaded and then Castro came through with the clutch 2-out single that plated Koyie Hill and Ryan Dempster to extend the Cubs lead to 6-2.
Ramirez ended up with the best night – 3 hits, and RBI and a run scored.
And Mike Fontenot came through with a clutch 2-run pinch-hit double in the 8th inning that gave the Cubs a much-needed 8-4 lead (see below).
Dempster pitched “OK”. The Giants are not the best hitting team, so when you’re staked to a 4-0 1st inning lead against a pitcher like Tim Lincecum, you cannot give back lone runs in the 1st 2 innings of the game. Sure one of the runs was unearned, but Dempster has to be better. He gave a light-hitting Giants lineup way too many chances to score with 8 hits and 2 walks over 6 2/3 innings. He gave way to Andrew Cashner in the 7th inning after he gave up a single and a walk with 2 outs. Cashner gave up Buster Posey’s 2-out double which cut the Cubs lead to 6-4, but he buckled down to strike out Pat Burrell to end the threat.
Sean Marshall struggled again with a walk and a hit in the 8th inning, but he kept the Giants off the scoreboard.
And Carlos Marmol gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in a non-save situation in the 9th inning.
Marshall and Marmol have been so good all season long, but they have made way too many appearances because the rest of the bullpen was so bad. Marshall has made 59 appearances – 6-3 record, 1.11 WHIP, 2.45 ERA, 69 K’s and 19 walks. In all of 2009, Marshall appeared in just 55 games (with 9 starts). Marmol has appeared in 52 games – 2-2 record, 1.24 WHIP, 2.75 ERA, 96 K’s and 34 walks. Marmol appeared in 79 games in 2009 and 82 games in 2008, but there is NO reason to throw him that many times in 2010. Lou or Alan – whoever is managing the club day in and day out – please rest Marshall and Marmol!
Tom Gorzelanny battles Barry Zito in Game 2 of the series. It should be another good picther’s duel, right?!