Over the course of 162 games there will be losses that are harder to take than others, this is one of those losses, in fact this might be the toughest one of the season. After an outstanding performance from Carlos Villanueva the Cubs held a 5-1 lead in the 8th inning. A poor outing from Kyuji Fujikawa made the game close and another Carlos Marmol meltdown gave the Braves a walk-off victory. All of this could have been avoided if the Cubs capitalized on a golden opportunity in the top of the 8th. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and failed to push across a run, that usually comes back to haunt you, and tonight is definitely did.
At The Plate – The Cubs finally found some offense, unfortunately it was the failed opportunities that will be remembered in this one. The Cubs pounded out thirteen hits, a season high by far, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Every Cubs hitter in the starting lineup registered at least one hit, even starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva. Anthony Rizzo got things going as he was 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI’s, and a run scored. Nate Schierholtz had another solid game going 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Welington Castillo and Luis Valbuena also had two hits with Valbuena hitting his first home run of the season.
On The Mound – A tale of two games for sure, Carlos Villanueva got the start and was outstanding. Villanueva went 6.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out six. Kyuji Fujikawa had a rough inning as he could only throw his fastball for strikes. Fujikawa gave up three runs in one inning of work on four hits while walking one and striking out one. Carlos Marmol was a disaster, he entered the ninth with a lead and could only record one out before the game was over. Marmol gave up two runs, on two hits, a solo home run to B.J. Upton and a solo home run to Justin Upton. Look for Marmol to be officially removed from the closer roll as early as before first pitch tomorrow.
Stat Of The Night – Coming into the night the Cubs had 16 hits on the season, they registered 13 tonight.
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That finish was sketchy to say the least. The game was all but over heading into the bottom of the ninth but Iowa pitchers could not find the plate and the result was Round Rock almost pulling off the upset. It was a headliner night for the Cubs big prospects as Castillo, Jackson, and Rizzo had solid efforts. Brett Jackson was back in the lineup after a day off yesterday and delivered with a solo home run late in the game which turned out to be an important run. Welington Castillo continued his hot start going 3-for-4 with a home run, and Rizzo went 3-for-4 with two home runs on the night. That brings Rizzo HR total to five in just nine games so far. Jay Jackson had a solid outing going 5 innings and only allowing two runs on five hits. Full box score after the jump.
With the I-Cubs trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning Anthony Rizzo launched a game tying three-run homer, shortly after that the I-Cubs walked off in the ninth inning with the win, 6-5 over Round Rock. The Rizzo – Jackson connection continued to tear the cover off the ball Sunday afternoon. Jackson went 2-5 with an RBI double, and a run scored to go along with the previously mentioned Anthony Rizzo bomb. Jackson is hitting .438 so far this season, and Rizzo is hitting at a .375 clip. Jeff Beliveau turned in his second straight outstanding performance out of the bullpen going two innings, and striking out four guys.