Cubs Finally Win a One-Run Game, Thanks to Tigers Defense

The last 12 one-run games have ended with the Cubs coming up short, not tonight as the Cubs rallied in the 8th inning to break a 3-3 tie and beat the Tigers 4-3.  The Cubs held the Tigers down for most of the game and built a 3-0 lead by the 7th inning but once again the Cubs bullpen couldn’t hold it.  The Tigers strung together hits for the first time all game and managed to plate three runs in the top of the 7th inning to tie the game at three.  The tie didn’t last long as the Cubs were able to push across a run in the bottom of the 8th inning, with help from the Tigers.  Two different times the Tigers looked like they got out of the inning but both times Jhonny Peralta made terrible throws to pull guys off the bag.  Upon further review, it actually looked like both plays could have gone the other way as they were very, very close, but I’m not going to apologize, it’s about time the Cubs got some breaks.  In both instances speed is what caused Peralta to rush his throws, both times it was Tony Campana causing havoc.

Paul Maholm didn’t get the win tonight but he was tremendous on the mound going six innings, allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out seven.  Tony Campana was 2-for-5 at the plate, but it was his speed that was the killer.  As I mentioned it was Campana’s speed that caused the Peralta throwing errors, he also stole three more bases giving him 21 on the season.  Darwin Barney had a productive day at the plate going 1-for-3 with a double and three RBI’s.  That’s two wins in a row, doesn’t seem like much, but the Cubs only have 21 on the season, okay, it’s really not a lot, here’s to three in a row tomorrow.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Bats Come to Life as Cubs Salvage Finale Against Twins

The Cubs scored eight runs and Ryan Dempster was pitching, it’s okay to be shocked because that hasn’t happened all too often this year.  In fact that might have been the first time all year that Dempster received some real run support.  Thing is, Dempster didn’t need it as he was outstanding on the mound to earn his second win of the season.  Dempster tossed eight scoreless innings giving up only four hits while walking one and striking out six.  The Cubs brought their bats this afternoon and it was great to see, much better than watching zero after zero go up on the board.  For awhile it looked like the same old game as the Cubs held onto a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning.  The Cubs made sure to keep the bullpen out of it by scoring seven runs over the last four innings to win 8-2.

The top of the Cubs order did a lot of damage as Reed Johnson, leading off again, was 2-for-3 with two walks, and three runs scored.  Starlin Castro, who has been slumping at the plate a bit bounced back with a great game.  Castro was 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and three runs scored.  The Cubs didn’t leave the yard but managed to put together nine hits in scoring eight runs.  David DeJesus only managed one hit but had a very productive day with a double while driving in three runs.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Twins Stay Hot, Blow Out Cubs

Sure the Twins have a poor record this year, but they have been red-hot lately and the Cubs are in no shape to match that right now.  Jeff Samardzija had his worst outing of the season as he only last three and two-thirds of an inning giving up 8 runs, all earned on nine hits, he walked one and struck out one.  Samardzija falls to 5-4 on the season while his ERA sky-rockets to 3.96.  It was bound to happen I guess, Shark has been awesome all year-long, even if he held the Twins in check odds are he wouldn’t get a win.  The Cubs couldn’t solve a lefty at the plate once again as they only managed seven hits off of Scott Diamond who is now 5-1 on the season with a sub two ERA.  Alfonso Soriano continued to showcase his DH skills for any American League team that might be interested as he went 2-for-4 with his 12th home run of the season in the losing effort.  Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, and Reed Johnson all had two hits, but too many guys came up empty when it mattered as the Cubs were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  Too many times this year the Cubs have gone silent until the late innings, teams can only stay in games for so long, if the Cubs are going to turn this around anytime soon they need to put some runs on the board in the early innings.  The Cubs will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon, full box score and highlights after the jump.

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The “Cubs Way” Must Mean Lose by One, It Happened Again

I’ve never seen a team find a way to lose so many games like the Cubs have.  The opponent doesn’t matter either as they play every team tough, as illustrated by how many one-run ball games they are in.  The one problem is they never win those games, not even every once in a while, its uncanny.  If it’s a one run game the Cubs will lose it, just like they have for the last 12 of them.  Tonight the Cubs put up plenty of runs to win the game, but “kerosene” also known as Randy Wells couldn’t make it through an inning of work with a lead so the Cubs had to fight back.  Once again they did, taking a lead in the 8th inning, just like yesterday.  This time it was Alfonso Soriano hitting one of the farthest home runs ever at Target Field, had to be up in Aisle 64 with the frames.  But this is the Cubs we are talking about, and the Cubs have trouble doing many things, one is closing games out.  Carlos Marmol was so bad at closing games that he has now been relegated to the 7th inning blower of leads.

Tonight it was up to Shawn Camp, who in all honesty has been a tremendous bright spot out of the Cubs pen this year, but he didn’t have it tonight.  He quickly gave up a single, and a triple to a guy that can’t spell his name (This is only a joke, I really hope Morneau is healthy for good, concussions are no fun) to tie the game at seven.  Somehow Camp was able to get out of that jam without losing the game in the ninth, only a tease though.  After the Cubs went quietly in the top of the 10th the Twins jumped all over Camp in the bottom half and this time Josh Willingham ended it with a single through the five man infield.  Camp was bound to have a bad one, he’s only pitched infiniti-billion times this year.  12 straight one-run losses in a row, congrats Cubs, maybe they will fly a flag at Wrigley for this.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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LaHair’s Heroics Not Enough to Rescue Cubs

The madness continued this afternoon for the Cubs as they lost their 11th straight one-run game.  Think about that for a second, the last 11 games decided by one run have been losses.  That is hard to do, but I guess when a team can’t get clutch hits, and when they finally do the bullpen can’t hold the lead then that’s what happens.  Today was a perfect illustration of how the Cubs somehow find a way to lose a one run game.  Trailing 2-1 in the top of the 8th with two-out Dale Sveum turned to Bryan LaHair off the bench and he delivered.  LaHair launched a long two-run home run to right centerfield to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead and probably showed the most emotion he has all year rounding the bases.  That’s not a knock on LaHair but he’s pretty reserved, he we definitely jacked up when that one left the yard.  Unfortunately, like so many times this year when the Cubs take a lead late in the game they usually give it right back, and that’s exactly what happened.  The Cubs allowed the Brewers to tie it in the bottom of the 8th inning and Casey Coleman gave up a walk off home run to Aoki, his second of the game, in the bottom of the 10th to lose the game and series.

Matt Garza had one of his best road outings on the season as he went six strong innings allowing two runs on four hits.  His command was much better than it has been on the road as he only walked one guy and struck out six in the no decision.  Not much going for the Cubs at the plate as Randy Wolf completely shut them down.  Joe Mather was 2-for-4 at the plate and Bryan LaHair did more than anyone in just one at bat going 1-for-1 with a home run and two RBI’s… off to Minnesota.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Roles Reversed as Cubs Get Blown Out

 

Back to reality for the Cubs as one day removed from a 10-0 victory they were blasted by the Brewers 8-0.  I guess this was expected as Zack Greinke just doesn’t lose in Milwaukee, really he doesn’t, he’s 15-0 at Miller Park.  It looked like the Cubs knew that heading in and expected to lose.  These are the games that infuriate a fan base, three hits, no patience at plate, etc.  I’m not ignoring Greinke’s effort, sometimes pitchers shut down the opponent, I just wish the Cubs approach was a lot better. 

Paul Maholm wasn’t very good as he only made it through four innings giving up four runs on six hits en route to his 5th loss of the season.  Manny Corpas made his Cubs debut, and it was great as he worked a scoreless inning, striking out two including Ryan BraunCarlos Marmol continued to throw gasoline on his career and trade-ability by imploding on the mound in one inning of work by giving up three runs on three hits, at least he didn’t walk anyone.  Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, and Ian Stewart had the hits for the Cubs as they never really threatened the entire game.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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Cubs End a Couple Streaks in Blow Out Win

So that’s what it feels like to win on the road, Ryan Dempster must be saying the same thing about just winning a game.  Both the Cubs 11 game road losing streak and Ryan Dempster’s winless streak that stretches back to last year bit the dust Tuesday night in Milwaukee.  The Cubs took some frustration out on Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers as they pounded out ten runs on ten hits to beat the Brewers 10-0.  How many times have we been able to say any of that all season?  It’s been a struggle to say the least offensively, especially on the road, but the Cubs beat away those demons, hopefully for good last night. 

Ryan Dempster was awesome yet again as he might have had his best command of the season.  Dempster went seven strong innings, giving up no runs on three hits, while striking out three, no walks.  The offensive charge was led by Alfonso Soriano as he got things kicked off with a bang driving a Yovani Gallardo offering over the right center field wall for a three run home run.  Soriano finished the night going 1-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.  The much maligned Starlin Castro was 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and no mental lapses, although he did make a mistake on the base paths.  Bryan LaHair and Jeff Baker each home runs to add-on to the lead later in the game, good to see both those guys contribute as it’s been a while.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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