Cubs Rally to Tie Game in 9th, Then Lose in 10th
The Cubs rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game, only to see Gabe Gross key a Brew Crew four-spot in the top of the 10th with a PH HR, as the Brewers defeated the Cubs 10-6 before 9,977 fans on a sunny 70-degree day at Mesa’s HoHoKam Park.
Ryan Dempster got the start for the Cubs, and worked three innings (58 pitches, but only 33 for strikes, including a 33-pitch 1st inning), allowing one earned run on two hits, two walks, a HBP, and one K.
After laboring and throwing 33 pitches in the 1st inning, Dempster came back to retire the Brewers on only 13 pitches in the 2nd and 12 in the 3rd.
Tony Gwynn, Jr, led off the second with a triple, but was stranded there thanks to a one-hop come-backer to the mound, a Ricky Weeks strikeout, and a fly ball to RF.
Dempster retired the last six batters he faced, and appeared to grow stronger and more confident as his outing progressed.
With the Brewers leading 1-0, the Cubs scored three in the third. With one out, Kosuke Fukudome homered over the RF fence on an 0-2 pitch off Brewers starter Claudio Vargas, and then Derrek Lee drew a walk and Tyler Colvin yanked a single to right sending D-Lee to third, before Geovany Soto doubled both runners home with a hard-hit grounder down the third-base line.
Sean Gallagher worked the 4th and 5th innings for the Cubs (34 pitches total - 24 strikes), and he had trouble keeping the ball down and in the park. The youngster gave up a two-run HR to Gwynn following a lead-off double in the 4h, and a solo shot to Mike Cameron in the 5th. Another batter was retired on a fly ball to the warning track in RF.
The Cubs scored a run of their own in the 4th, when with two outs, Felix Pie pushed a perfect bunt between the mound and 1st base for a single, and then after a wild pitch moved Pie up to 2nd, Kosuke Fukudome chopped an opposite-field RBI single down the third-base line and into LF. For the day, Fukudome (hitting second in the order) was 3-3 (ground ball single to CF, HR to RF, and RBI single to LF). He is now hitting .400 in Cactus League action.
Kerry Wood entered the game in the top of the 6th and retired the Brewers 1-2-3 on two pop ups and a line drive. Although Woody threw just 12 pitches in his one inning of work and retired the Brewers in order, he struggled with his control, throwing only six strikes.
The Cubs missed a golden scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 6th, failing to get Alex Cintron home from 3rd with no outs. With Cintron on 3rd base following a lead-off double and wild pitch, Sam Fuld had his bat busted as he grounded out weakly to 3rd, Andres Torres struck out swinging (he's dead meat once he's got two strikes), and--after a two-out five-pitch walk to Derrek Lee--Tyler Colvin flied out to deep CF (the Cubs could have used that when there was only one or two outs!).
Chad Fox made his first Cactus League appearance today, and had a very poor outing. In his one inning of work, Fox allowed two runs on three hits and a walk, and had a lot of difficulty throwing strikes. Several of his pitches were head-high (or even higher).
Carmen Pignatiello pitched the 8th, and faced only three batters. Throwing strike after strike, Tiggy retired the Brewers on a 5-3 GO, and then after a hard-hit line single to RF by Craig Counsell, a 4-3 GIDP.
Kevin Hart pitched the 9th and struck out the side. He did allow a one-out single, but then he blew away the last two hitters he faced with an excellent fastball.
The Cubs trailed Milwaukee 6-4 going into the bottom of the 9th, and with two out and nobody on base, they managed to string together a Ryan Theriot single, a double to the RF fence by J. D. Closser, and an infield hit by Luis Figueroa that featured a two-base Brewer throwing error that allowed PR Ronny Cedeno to score the tying run. But Alex Cintron fanned to end the inning, stranding Figueroa (who was representing the potential winning run) at 3rd base, sending the game into extra frames.
Unfortunately, Jose Ascanio was absolutely rocked by the Brewers in the top of the 10th, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. Ascanio's outing would have been even worse if not for an outstanding diving stop & throw by 1st baseman Micah Hoffpauir to get the lead-off hitter 3-1. Ascanio had nothing today, and the Brewers "B" Squad relief-lineup treated him like a Batting Practice pitcher.
Besides Fukudome’s three-for-three afternoon, another notable offensive performance by the Cubs today was Geovany Soto going 1-2 with two walks and a two-run double. Also, Derrek Lee drew two walks, and Sam Fuld went 1-2 with a single and a walk (Pie started in CF, and was replaced by Fuld in the 6th). Fuld also had an outfield assist (8-3-5).
Eric Patterson started the game at 2B, and Mike Fontenot started the game at shortstop. E-Pat handled his one and only one chance (a 4-3 ground-out) and Fontenot handled his two (both 6-3 ground outs) without incident. And Kosuke Fukudome continues to make strong, accurate throws from RF. He has an OUTSTANDING arm.