Same thing every night it seems as once again the Cubs blew a ninth inning lead, this time it was Carlos Marmol giving up a game tying single to Joey Votto. Marmol then loaded the bases and narrowly escaped the jam, lucky he did as the Cubs responded right away in the tenth. An unlikely power source did the trick, Darwin Barney took Manny Parra deep to start the tenth, how unlikely you ask? I’ll tell you my inquisitive friend, that was Barney’s first home run away from Wrigley Field, in his career. The Cubs were able to tack on another insurance run for good measure and Kevin Gregg nailed down the save, with the tying run on base of course. Lost in this was the performance by Carlos Villanueva, he was sensational, but had to settle for a no decision and Carlos Marmol got the win…. yeah, the win stat in baseball doesn’t always tell the truth, sometimes it’s just a dirty liar, okay, Cubs win!
At The Plate – I know it’s easy to pin the blame on the bullpen with all of these close losses, but one of the other fingers has to be pointed at the offense as well, tonight was a perfect example. The Cubs jumped on the board early in this one, plating two runs in the second, that was it until the tenth, more times than not, that won’t be good enough. Hello Cody Ransom! Ransom made his Cubs debut tonight as was terrific, he went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Alfonso Soriano has located the fountain of youth, it’s in Cincinnati, weird place for it, but anyway. Soriano was 3-for-4 but his aggressiveness on the base paths was refreshing, he stole second and third on consecutive pitches which set up the first run, the Cubs need more of that. The Cubs stole four bases tonight, the two from Soriano, one from Sappelt, and one from Julio Borbon. Dave Sappelt had a solid night out of the lead-off spot as well going 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and an RBI. Darwin Barney had the game winning hit, a solo home run in the tenth which was his only hit in four at bats.
On The Mound – What else can be said about Carlos Villanueva, he has been outstanding in the early going and only has one win to show for it. Villanueva went 8.1 innings giving up two runs on just three hits while walking two and striking out six. Carlos Marmol blew the save, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one hit which allowed the tying run to score while walking two and striking out one. Kevin Gregg did a solid job in nailing this one down, I don’t expect any Cubs pitcher to go 1-2-3 in a save situation, he gave up two hits while striking out two to earn the save.
Up Next – Great match up in the series finale tomorrow morning at 11:30 AM CST on CSN Chicago. Jeff Samardzija battles Mat Latos, a series win would be fantastic, but again, the Cubs are trying to win a series tomorrow when they could be going for a sweep.
Thanks for reading,