Cintron Comes Through When It Counts
Alex Cintron laced a two-out bases-loaded PH GW single into right-field, scoring Matt Murton with the winning run, as the Cubs defeated the Padres 3-2 this afternoon at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.
Jason Marquis got the start for the Cubs, and worked four shutout innings (59 pitches - 31 strikes, 7/3 GB/FB). He allowed just two hits and two walks, along with two strikeouts and a GIDP, albeit facing mostly Padre minor leaguers.
Marquis did benefit from two outstanding plays in the field, one a leaping catch by Kosuke Fukudome againt the right-center-field fence that appeared to pull back a HR, and the other a running catch by Sam Fuld in left-center where the lad crashed into the fence but gamely hung onto the ball.
Sean Marshall followed Marquis to the hill, and pitched three innings (50 pitches - 32 strikes, 6/1 GB/FB), allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits (including a solo HR in the 5th), one walk, two K's, and a GIDP.
The second run allowed by Marshall was unearned, thanks to a two-out error (bobble) by SS Ryan Theriot that was immediately preceded by a walk and immediately followed by an RBI single. But overall, Marshall threw the ball OK, struggling a bit with his command, but otherwise not looking too bad.
Meanwhile, the Cubs were scoring two runs of their own, one in the 4th and one in the 6th.
The run in the 4th was driven home on a bases loaded L-7 Sac Fly by Sam Fuld after the Cubs loaded the bases with one out (single to LF by Kosuke Fukudome, infield single by Mark DeRosa, and a walk to Geovany Soto)
The Cubs run in the 6th came about as the result of a lead-off single to right by Fuld, a ground out and a throwing error, and a line-drive RBI single to center by Ryan Theriot.
With the score tied 2-2, Tim Lahey had a 1-2-3 five-pitch 8th inning that included two rockets chased down and caught by Fuld in CF, and Carlos Marmol worked the 9th, struggling through a 29-pitch inning (one hit and two walks, plus a K) that forced the youngster to work out of a bases-loaded jam of his own making while facing only Padres minor leaguers. Not an impressive outing for Marmol today.
So the Cubs went into the bottom of the 9th needing only one run to win.
Soto struck out swinging to lead-off the inning, and then Fuld tapped out unassisted to the 1st baseman. But Matt Murton worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch, and Micah Hoffpauir followed with a line-drive smash to LF that sent Murton to 2nd base. Daryle Ward was sent up to PH, and he drew a five-pitch walk, before Cintron came through with the game-winning hit.
Today marked the "new look" Cubs batting order, featuring Theriot in the lead-off slot, Soriano hitting 2nd, and Fukudome in the #5 hole. For the day Theriot went 2-4 with an RBI and a SB (uncontested off Greg Maddux), a 6-3 ground-out and a F-9 flyout, Soriano went 1-3 with a BB and two 5-3 ground-outs, and Fukudome went 1-4 with a run scored, a 4-3 ground out, and F-8 to deep CF, and a K-swinging (REALLY big swing on strike three!).
Derrek Lee continues to struggle at the plate (0-4 with a K and a GIDP today) and is now hitting just .107, but Mark DeRosa appears to be back in full-swing, going 2-3 with a double, a single, and a walk, and a couple of nice plays in the field.