Cubs Lose Thursday's "Other" Game: Fish 8, Cubs 2
The Bulls game was great.
The Blackhawks game became compelling.
And the Cubs game...made me glad the Bulls and Blackhawks games were on.
Why the Cubs lost: The Cubs unraveled in the Marlins' half of the 10th inning, allowing six runs to cross the plate, with an error by shortstop Ryan Theriot, who simply missed a toss from Derrek Lee, in the middle of it all. After Theriot's misplay allowed the lead and eventual winning run to score, Jorge Cantu put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing double against Aaron Heilman, who pitched to six batters without retiring a one and saw his ERA jump from 0.82 to 4.91 in taking his first loss as a Cub.
But there was plenty of badness before the 10th inning. Carlos Marmol came on in relief of starter Sean Marshall, who allowed just 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks in 7 IP, to start the eighth. He walked the first two hitters he faced, then made an errant throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt which allowed the tying run to score and deprive Marshall of a victory.
From Paul Sullivan's game story in the Tribune:
Marmol now has walked six batters and allowed five runs in his last two
innings of work since returning from a knee sprain. Piniella didn't
think the knee was affecting him and theorized it was because of four
days of not pitching while letting the knee heal.
feel very good," Marmol said. "I don't know what happened to me. I have
to get back to throwing strikes. My knee feels good. There's no problem
And then there's the Cub offense, which is currently just a rumor. Back-to-back home runs by Milton Bradley and Mike Fontenot in the fifth inning accounted for all of the Cub scoring and two of the Cubs' paltry five hits. (Ryan Theriot had two hits and Carlos Zambrano, who pinch-hit for Marmol in the eighth, had the other hit, a sharp ground ball single.)
Derrek Lee, who went 0-for-4 and struck out with the potential winning run at second base in the bottom of the ninth, looks especially feeble. He is now hitting .189.
Per Sullivan's game story, Lee blamed the loss on his inability to drive in any runs. It's good that Lee knows how bad he has been, but Thursday night, he had a lot of company in the failure department.
Double-take Moment: If you were hopscotching between the various games Thursday night and thought you saw Koyie Hill playing third base for the Cubs, you did. Hill started the game behind the plate but moved to third base as part of a double switch after the eighth inning. It was the first time in Hill's 105-game Major League career he has played the infield, though he did play one inning in the outfield in a one-sided loss to the Cardinals in '07.
An even more marvelous Marshall: This seemed like it had to be one of Marshall's best starts ever, but with just a couple mouse clicks, I found a better one. Ironically, this one, also in Wrigley Field, also in late April, in another game the Cubs only had five hits, was also against the Marlins.The difference is, the Cubs won that game.