A ninth inning melt down by the Cubs’ closer leads to the Phils beating the Cubs, 4-1.
The Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol had a melt down in the top of the ninth, allowing the Phils to come back to win the game, as the Phils defeated the Cubs, 4-1.
The game for the first six and a half innings was a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who in six scoreless innings would give up six hits and two walks, while striking out six Cubbies, while Cubs’ starter Randy Wells would pitch seven shut out innings, giving up seven hits and two walks, while striking out five Phils. The Cubs would finally take the lead in the bottom of the seventh as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Stalin Castro, who had earlier doubled, and then moved to third on pinch hitter Xavier Nady’s ground out, 6-3, would score on Ryan Theriot’s bunt single on a grounder to Hamels, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead. After neither team scored in the eighth, the Cubs sent their closer, Carlos Marmol, to the mound to wrap up the game. Instead, he had a melt down on the mound. After getting out the lead-off batter, he walks pinch hitter Brian Schneider. He then walks pinch hitter Ross Gload, sending Schneider up to second. After getting Shane Victorino to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, the just returned Placido Polanco followed by hitting an RBI single, scoring Schneider, who crossed the plate sliding head first as the Cubs’ catcher Geovany Soto is unable to hold onto the throw from the left fielder, tying the game up at one-all, while Gload would go to third on the throw, while Polanco moved up to second. One batter later, Marmol would walk his third batter of the inning, Jimmy Rollins, loading the bases, but Soto allowed ball four to get past him and go to the backstop, allowing Gload to score on the wild pitch, to give the Phils a 2-1 lead, while Polanco would move up to third, putting runners on the corners. After Rollins steals second base, Ryan Howard is intentionally walked, to load the bases. Jayson Werth then follows with the fifth walk of the inning, scoring Polanco from third, to give the Phils a 3-1 lead, while both Rollins and Howard both moved up a base. That would be it for Marmol, as he is taken out of the game and replaced by James Russell. Raul Ibanez welcome Russell by hitting an infield single to first baseman Derek Lee, as he had no one to throw to at first, scoring Rollins from third, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead, while moving both Howard and Werth up a base. After pinch hitter Cody Ransom hits into a force out, 6-4, wiping out Ibanez to end the inning, the Phils handed the ball to their closer Brad Lidge for the save. Lidge proceeded to record his seventh save of the year, by getting Theriot to fly out to right for the game’s final out.
Cole Hamels receives a no-decision as he pitches seven innings, giving up a run on eight hits and two walks, while he strikes out six. Chad Durbin gets the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. His record is now 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA. Brad Lidge records his seventh save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out one. Randy Wells also receives a no-decision, as he pitches seven innings, giving up only seven hits and two walks, while striking out five. Sean Marshall records his twelfth hold, as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up only a walk, while striking out two. Carlos Marmol blew his fourth save attempt, before taking the lost, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up four runs on one hit and five walks, while striking out a batter. His record is now 2-2 with a 2.91 ERA. James Russell pitches to just one batter, giving up a hit. Andrew Cashner pitches a third of an inning, giving out the only man that he would face.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez each leading the team with two hits apiece, with Victorino and Ibanez each having two hits, all singles, with Ibanez knocking in a run, while Werth had a single and a double, knocking in a run on a bases loaded walk. Placido Polanco, Ryan Howard and Wilson Valdez had the other three Phil’s hits, all singles, with Polanco knocking in a run, as the Phil’s other run came in on a wild pitch. The Phils’ offense is still trying to break out of its scoring and hitting slump, as they did not get a key hit until the ninth during Marmol’s melt down.
The Phillies (48-42, 2nd NL East) will conclude their four-game series with the Cubs (41-51, 4th NL Central) with a night game tonight, trying to end the series with a series split. The game will be played at Wrigley Field and will start at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (10-7, 2.19), who is coming off a nine innings no-decision against the Reds on July 10, as he gave up only five hits and a walk, while striking out nine, in the Phils’ 1-0 extra-innings win. In his last three starts, he went 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched twenty-six innings, giving up five runs on twenty-three hits and two walks, while striking out twenty-six batters. He will be trying to collect his eleventh win of the year, while hoping the bats will give him some real runs support. The Cubs will counter with Tom Gorzelanny (4-5, 3,16), who is coming off a win against the Dodgers on July 10, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Cubs’ 7-3 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he pitched sixteen innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on fifteen hits and ten walks, while striking out sixteen. He will be trying to even up his record. The Phils will be trying to end the four game series with a split before going on to St. Louis to meet the Cardinals for four.