2 Runs, 1 Hit...3 Runs, 2 Hits...4 Runs, 3 Hits
Pretty much everytime they flashed the boxscore last night after the 5th inning, I just had to cringe. Rich Harden continued his stampede to free agency with another brilliant effort. He held the arguably best offense in the league to....well nothing, for 5.1 innings and then gives up a walk to #8 hitter Carlos Ruiz before Jimmy Rollins sent one in the bleachers to tie what was looking like an easy victory. So while the Phils efficiently scored their first 2 runs on a hit, the Cubs managed 7 hits through the first six, a few double plays and line drives right at people and only 2 runs.
Then the 8th happened, with Lou and Marmol providing the frustration. We know players are supersitious, some won't step on the chalk line, others eat a bucket of a chicken before every game and Marmol ceremoniously walks a batter when he comes in. He looked like he might wiggle out of it after getting Greg Dobbs and a loud out to Jimmy Rollins, but then uncorked a wild pitch that missed Shane Victorino, although the umps said it hit him in the ankle. The ball was so badly thrown though that Victorino probably deserves the base just on principle. Now the Phillies had Utley, Howard and Ibanez due up. Last I checked they were lefties and the Cubs have two of them in the pen. I know Carlos Marmol has danced along this highwire act a few times, and I could even live with giving him a chance to get a struggling Chase Utley. But Lou didn't even get Grabow warmed up until he walked Utley and in the meantime, Marmol walked in the go-ahead run. Finally Lou goes to Grabow who strikes out Ibanez on three pitches. The Phils actually score their 3rd run without the benefit of a hit.
The Cubs comeback in the 9th off troubled closer Brad Lidge with a clutch walk by Fukudome to lead off the inning, a sac bunt and a single by Milton Bradley continuing his second half surge and on to extra innings we go. In the meantime Guzman pitched 2 innings of perfect ball before handing the ball to Kevin Gregg in the 11th who actually got their big 3 lefties out 1-2-3 with Sean Marshall sitting in the pen. But then the 12th happened and Gregg does what he does best, which is leave something very hittable over the heart of the plate and Ben Francisco gave the Phils their 4th and final run on just their 3rd hit with a basket home run.
The good news of the night was that Rich Harden and Milton Bradley continue their regression to the mean, and the Cards, Rockies and Giants all lost. The bad news is that Lou still seems to trust Carlos Marmol. The blind faith he has in him has to be put to an end until he can find some control which is bloody unlikely at the moment. Guzman has more than proven his worth to this point and probably won't be perfect the rest of the way, but at least he'll make the other team earn it with a hit.