It’s gone beyond a troubling trend, it is now something that all Cubs fans have come to expect this season, late innings losses, and shoddy defensive work. Both were on display in Miami on Tuesday Night where the only thing uglier than the Marlins new home run sculpture was the Cubs defense and tremendous ability to ground into double plays like it was cool. Ryan Dempster turned in another solid outing, but Josh Johnson matched him as both starters did not figure into the decision. The end result was left up to each team’s bullpen, and usually when that happens the Cubs will come out on the short end of the stick, and they did.
Once again, as the familiar story goes the Cubs were downright competetive for the majority of the game, and got things started right. After two back to back singles to lead off the fourth, Alfonso Soriano turned in one of his best at bats of the season which resulted in a ground out to second base. That ground out scored Barney and moved Castro (who stole 2nd base) to third with only one out. Ian Stewart followed with a strike out and Clevenger grounded out to end the threat. The Marlins didn’t waste too much time in getting back in it, with some help from the Cubs defense of course. Gaby Sanchez led off the 5th inning with a double to left field. Dempster battled back and got John Buck to strike out, which was a huge out given the pitcher Josh Johnson was due up next. Ryan Dempster seemed to have out number two after he made a nice play on Josh Johnson but tried out his best Matt Garza impersonation and launched his throw into the stands down the first base line allowing Sanchez to score to tie the game at one. Dempster again battled and got Jose Reyes to strike out, but let his guard down and allowed Emilio Bonafacio to line a base hit to right scoring Josh Johnson to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
The game stayed that way until the Cubs half of the seventh. Steve Clevenger hit a one out double to center field setting the stage for Bryan LaHair, and he delivered. LaHair had a tremendous approach at the plate and took a fastball on the outside corner the other way for the game tying single. The game stayed tied until the Marlins half of the 8th when the fish staged a rally, started by… yep, you guessed it, a Cubs error. With Reyes on first thanks to a Barney error, Bonifacio drew a walk from Dolis bringing Hanley Ramirez to the plate. Ramirez must have thought it was 2009 as he took a 3-1 Dolis fastball out of the gaudy park to left center giving the Marlins a 5-2 lead which is where the game would end. Not like the Cubs didn’t have their chances, they grounded into four double plays on the night, that usually doesn’t bode well for scoring runs.
Born on Third’s Thoughts:
I hate Raffi Torres… I really can’t get a read on this Cubs team right now. For 90% of every game they have looked like a competent baseball team. The other 10% they have looked like the bad news bears minus the hilarity and underage drinking. It’s that 10% that has directly led to some if not all of their 8 losses on the year. So their record says they are bad, but most of the time they could be passed off as good…well, adequate. Maybe more wins will start coming, but right now this team is in a fragile state, and we are only 11 games in, things really could be over before they even start. Marlon Byrd O’Meter = .059, legally able to drive a car with this blood alcohol level.
Thanks for reading,