Archive - Sep 18, 2008

Brewers Give the Cubs a Game, Cubs Happily Accept

 

W - Wood (5-4), Rob G's childlike faith in spells, fairies and magical comebacks
L - Villanueva (4-7), Brewers' base-running coaches.

 

 

Things to Take from This Game

 

1. Harden reprises Marquis
Like Marquis the night before, Harden got into all sorts of trouble in the first before settling down.  The difference between the two starts being that Harden escaped with only one run allowed. Three very economical innings allowed him to get to the fifth, where Harden again struggled.  There he snuck out of a bases loaded jam with 115 pitches thrown, and just the one run from the first.  Velocity looked good, but Harden had no command on the fastball.  6 walks, 9 K's

 

2. DeRosa struggles at 2nd, Cubs struggle in 6th.
DeRosa had a throwing error in the first as he chose to try to turn a very tough DP instead of going to first.  The first run of the game scored on the play.  A bobbled grounder in the sixth helped spark a big inning for the Brewers, abetted by Samardzija's struggles to throw strikes.

 

3. Solo Scoring
Edmonds and Ramirez hit solo home runs, but that was the extent of the Cubs scoring.

 

4.  Crazy-ass rally.
The Brewers ran into two outs on the basepaths in the top of the ninth, squandering a chance to blow the game out.  Instead it's "just" 6-2.  Bottom of the ninth, two outs, and Ramirez squeaks a double just under Braun's glove. Edmonds and DeRosa single, scoring Ramirez.  Soto, who had made a nice block of the plate and nice throw in the top of the inning, takes the first pitch from Salomon Torres and hits a game-tying 3-run homer.

 

5. Lee wins it.
With runners on 2nd and 3rd in the bottom of the 12th, Lee singles up the middle to drive in the winning run.  The Brewers had 25 (yes, TWENTY FIVE) runners LOB to the Cubs' 11, plus the running gaffes.  The Cubs certainly had their issues between Harden's wildness and DeRosa's early-game defense, but overall the Brewers deserved to lose this.

 

The almost-there details, below.

 

Tags: 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP David Bush SP Rich Harden
9-10, 4.24, 103 K, 42 BB, 172 IP (NL)
5-1, 1.65, 78 K, 19 BB, 60 IP
       
CF Mike Cameron LF Alfonso Soriano
2B #Ray Durham SS Ryan Theriot
3B Ryan Braun 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Prince Fielder 3B Aramis Ramirez
SS J.J Hardy CF *Jim Edmonds
RF Corey Hart 2B Mark DeRosa
3B *Craig Counsell C Geovany Soto
C Jason Kendall RF *Kosuke Fukudome
P David Bush P *Rich Harden

 

I sat through last night's loss at Wrigley, which I could have done without. On the other hand, I may have the distinction of having seen Ben Sheets's last-ever appearance for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Today's starters, Bush and Harden, matched up during that fateful series in Milwaukee at the end of July. The Cubs won that game, 11-4, and Bush (1-7, 5.16 lifetime against the Cubs) allowed seven runs in 6 1/3 innings. Harden fanned nine and allowed just one run in his only career appearance against the Brewers. Overall, the Cubs have won 8 of the 10 games he has started since coming over from Oakland.

On the subject of magic numbers and division-clinching, Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald points out that if the Cubs clinch the NL Central on Friday, the clinching wouldn''t be official until the Brewers play at night in Cincinnati, long after the Cubs/Cardinals matinee is over. Same thing could happen on Saturday. In other words, there might be no in-Wrigley celebration for the players or the Cub faithful this weekend.

A few players we talked to Wednesday came up with some other ideas.

First of all, they're certain the team leaders, Ryan
Dempster and Kerry Wood, will organize a group outing to a restaurant
or bar where the club can watch in private, and, if necessary, douse
each other with cheap, sticky, smelly beverages that never fully leave
your clothes.

I wish Rozner's sources had been a little more specific about the possible site of this player party. I'm thinking I'll just camp out at the TGI Friday's I know of in Oak Brook and cross my fingers.

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