The Cardinals used some two-out magic in the third inning against Justin Germano to build a 3-0 lead and eventually went on to win the rubber game of the series 6-3. The Cubs did try to make a game of it as they cut the lead to one two different times today but couldn’t come all the way back. Justin Germano got the start for the Cubs as he continues his 2013 tryout and had some good, some bad today. Germano went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on ten hits while walking one and striking out three. The Cubs only managed seven hits today, six of them coming from three guys, the four, five, and six hitters. The rest of the lineup could only register one hit as the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Alfonso Soriano doesn’t want 2012 to end as he continues his tremendous season going 3-for-4 with his 31st home run of the season. Soriano also registered his 105th RBI of the season, a new career high which is amazing at this age and on this team. Welington Castillo was the only other offense for the Cubs as he went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored. Castillo is now hitting .282 on the season and has put up a really strong argument for why he should be the starting catcher in 2013.
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I’m not really sure how to explain tonight’s game, so many odd, weird, crazy, did I say odd, things happened. It was a pitchers duel early, Garza didn’t have his best stuff but was able to work out of jams to keep the game close. The game was close into the 7th inning where the Cubs trailed 1-0 with the bases loaded. David DeJesus pinch hit, and wasted no time sending the first pitch he saw from Cameron Lowe into the right field stands for a grand slam to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Pandemonium, everyone was jacked, it was a great time to be a cubs fan, then we all remembered that Carlos Marmol was coming into the game. Twenty minutes later, Carlos Marmol was hurt, Michael Bowden was in the game, and Jonathan Lucroy was sliding into third with a bases loaded triple, and the Brewers were up 5-4.
It didn’t end there, of course it didn’t. The Cubs, who have been resilient all year fought back again, thanks to the Brewers. Aramis Ramirez made an error to start the top of the 9th. David DeJesus, who else, made him pay for it as he ripped a one out triple to center to score Stewart to tie the game at five. Starlin Castro followed with his worst at bat of the year, it was so bad that he was able to reach first on a drop third strike and David DeJesus was able to score to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead. Joy! The Cubs weren’t done as Alfonso Soriano came through with a huge two out hit to give the Cubs a 7-5 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
No more joy. After Rafael Dolis seemed to hurt himself he hurt his team as he left a sinker up and the hapless Corey Hart ripped a two run homer to left to tie the game at 7. A lot of other stuff happened the rest of the way, most of it was really dumb or mind numbing or both, but the Brewers won the game in the 13th inning when Lendy Castillo came in the game and showed why he was the last guy in the bullpen. Full box score after the jump.
In news that almost everyone was expecting, Kerry Wood gas been placed on the 15 day DL retroactive to 4/14. Scott Maine called up to take his roster spot. More news coming.
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It’s only two games, but it’s certainly a disturbing trend. For the second straight game the Cubs played great baseball through 7 innings, and seemed to be on their way to a victory. Instead of being 2-0, they are now 0-2 after Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol both were terrible for the second straight afternoon. Heading to the 8th inning the Cubs led 4-2 with Kerry Wood taking the mound. Things went well enough early as Wood set down the first two Nationals hitters that he faced, then things got ugly, really fast. Danny Espinosa got the rally started launching a solo shot to the left center bleachers to make it a 4-3 game. No harm done, solo home runs will happen, especially with the wind blowing out, but Wood unraveled. Wood gave up a broken bat single to Ryan Zimmerman, then another base hit to Adam Laroche, and just like that his day was over. Sveum decided to go back to Marmol to try to get out of the inning, but that only threw gasoline on the fire. Marmol started his effort with a walk to Jayson Werth, he then gave up a two run single to Chad Tracy, and ended his day with by giving up a double to Bernadina and just like that it was 6-4 Nats, and the game was all but lost.
One of the first things Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer mentioned when taking over the Cubs was how devastating late game losses can be. They were referencing the 2011 struggle of Carlos Marmol, who last year was anything but automatic in the ninth inning. Fast forward to today, and what seemed like a perfect opening day victory, enter the Chicago Cubs bullpen. With the Cubs holding a precarious 1-0 lead with two outs in the 8th inning Ryan Dempster exited the game to a standing ovation from the Wrigley faithful. That was the last thing Cubs fans had to celebrate this day, as Wood went on to walk three straight hitters, two of which he was way ahead of, to force in the tying run.
The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Casey Coleman made that stand while he was in the game for three strong innings. However, Andy Sonnanstine had another rough outing which let the Sox right back in the game, and gave them a brief 5-3 lead. The Cubs were able to fight back and tie it late, but left runners on the corners in the 8th inning. Jordan Danks belted a 2-run homer in the 10th inning to give the White Sox a two run lead, and eventually the victory.