Jeff Samardzija is quickly turning into one of, if not the best number three starter in baseball. Samardzija’s brilliance was on display again last night as he went seven strong innings en route to a 5-1 Cubs victory, which moves Samardzija to 4-1 on the season. The Cubs used the same recipe that has been working the last few games, home runs and solid pitching. Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart went back-to-back in the 4th inning to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Geovany Soto took the stress out of the ninth inning by launching a two run home run in the bottom of the 8th to give the Cubs some breathing room at 5-1. Carlos Marmol had an eventful inning which saw him strike out Dan Uggla with the tying run at second base in the 8th after he walked the first two batters of the inning. As the fog descended upon Wrigley Field James Russell recorded the final three outs for the Cubs victory. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
The Cubs continue to show a fight that seems to have been missing for years. Trailing 3-2 for most of the day, and into the ninth, the Cubs finally broke through. With runners at 1st and 2nd and one out, Tony Campana roped a double to right center field to tie the game at three. For a moment it looked like Campana’s double would also be a game winner, but two perfect throws from the Dodgers resulted in DeJesus being cut down at the plate. If a 2 hour and 41 minute rain delay wasn’t long enough, the Cubs and Dodgers were headed into extra innings. Darwin Barney led the 11th off with what looked like a ground out, but Adam Kennedy played it into a lead off double. Two batters later, with the bases loaded and nobody out, David DeJesus walked off, literally, drawing a free pass to give the Cubs a 4-3 victory. Travis Wood, pitching in place of a sick Matt Garza, turned in a tremendous effort going six innings and only allowing three runs in a no decision. The Cubs bullpen continued their stellar work going 5 scoreless innings. At the plate Bryan LaHair continued his unreal start to the season going 3-for-4 to raise his average to .390. Full recap and highlights after the jump.
It doesn’t get any worse than this, 8 innings of dominant stuff from Dempster only to have Carlos Marmol come in and crap all over it. Not the first time either, as Marmol has been an absolute disaster this year. After building a 3-0 lead behind solo home runs from Castro, LaHair (what else in new), and Soto, yes Soto, the Cubs were sitting pretty. Then the wheels fell off. Marmol faced five batters in the ninth and retired none of them en route to yet another blown save. Rafael Dolis was able to keep the Cubs alive by cleaning up Marmol’s mess, but the damage had already been done, on the scoreboard and mentally. The Cubs were done after Marmol blew the save, it was obvious, and the Reds made it official in the bottom of the 10th on a sacrifice fly by Rolen to win 4-3. Full box score, and highlights after the jump.
Jeff “Shark” Samardzija was outstanding once again tonight winning his third game of the year. He gave up one run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking two. Helping Samardzija tonight was the Cubs defense as they made several good plays, including a great diving stop by Blake Dewitt to start a pretty inning ending double play. Offensively, The Cubs got the scoring started in the second when Bryan LaHair led the inning off with a solo home run, his sixth of the year. The Cubs then did something they have not done much this year when Ian Stewart hit his second home run of the year. Yes, you read that correctly the Cubs hit two home runs in the same night. The rare events would not end there as Geovany Soto extended the Cubs lead to 3-1 with a two out RBI single in the sixth, his first hit with runners in scoring position after previously going 0-10 this season. Just to prove it was the Cubs night, Carlos Marmol worked a perfect ninth to end the game with no drama. This was definitely a good win for the Cubs. They made some several good plays defensively throughout the game, hit some homers, had a clutch two out hit, and got some great pitching. Hopefully more good baseball to come as things have been a lot better as of late. Full Box Score after the jump.
Hard to believe that the Major League season is already a month old, we take a look back at the month that was and select the top hitter and pitcher on the north side. Players of the Month after the jump.
Some nights it’s just not there, this was one of those nights. Randy Wells looked pretty good in the first three innings, problem is he didn’t make it out of the fourth. Someone apparently told Randy that the distance between the rubber and home plate was now 50′ because that’s about as far as half the pitches he threw in the 4th went. Wells was tagged with the loss only going 3 and 2/3rds of an inning and surrendering four runs. The Cubs weren’t much better at the plate as they made Joe Blanton look like someone much better than Joe Blanton. Every Cubs starter had a hit except for Castillo and Stewart, however they couldn’t string anything together and ended up on the short end of a 5-2 decision. Full highlights, and box score after the jump.
Cubs Win Series 2 – 1
Full recap after the jump.