As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Monday, October 21

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Tailgate
« Chicago Reaches First Place with a Scoreless Game Tyrus Tweets 'bout Trades »

Baseball Sun Jul 12 2009

Cubs Split Double Header, Series with Cardinals

On a beautiful Sunday in Chicago, the type of day baseball was made for, the Cubs hosted a double header with the St. Louis Cardinals and completed the four game series heading into the All-Star break. Carlos Zambrano got his first win in six starts during the day game, allowing three runs over six innings. Zambrano helped his own cause by hitting his third home run of the season. Micah Hoffpauir also hit a three run home run in the first inning off Cardinals' starter Kyle Lohse. The Cubs managed to drive in three more runs in the seventh inning off a series of errors by the Cardinals defense, culminating in a 7-3 Cubs win.

The early win, along with an afternoon loss by the Brewers, put the Cubs in what could have been an advantageous position With a win in the night game, the Cubs would have found themselves tied for second in the division, 1.5 games behind St. Louis and one game ahead of the division in the loss column. For a team that was in fifth place only two days earlier, the Cubs were given yet another opportunity to prove that they can be competitive for the division and go into the All-Star break on a high note. But, in what has become a thematic display for the 2009 Cubs, when they had the chance to look like they may be over the hump, to make some momentum and crawl up the standings, they invariably faltered and lost.

Again, the offense struggled to produce runs against Adam Wainwright, who allowed two runs in eight innings pitched. Randy Wells was able handle most of the Cardinals lineup and keep Albert Pujols at bay. The one exception for Wells was Ryan Ludwick who went 3 for 4 with two two-run home runs in the game, which was the ultimate difference as the Cardinals won 4-2. It was a golden opportunity for the Cubs to make up some ground heading into the break. If they are planning on making a push at some point during the year, it will have to wait until the second half.

While the finale did not have the outcome Cubs were hoping for, the ninth inning proved to be one to remember. With the bases loaded and no outs, Lou Piniella sent then-pitcher Sean Marshall into left field, replacing Alfonso Soriano, and put Aaron Heilman on the mound. After Heilman struck out the first batter he faced, Piniella moved Marshall from left field back to the pitcher's mound to face the next two batters. In his second appearance during the same inning, Marshall struck out Jarrett Hoffpauir and got the third out on a diving catch by Reed Johnson on a Colby Rasmus fly ball to left field; the position Marshall had been previously playing. Johnson had stumbled while running to the ball and half dove, half crawled as the hit was tailing away from him but managed to make a miracle catch and save the Cubs from what was a bases loaded, no out jam. Further viewings showed that the catch was probably too good to be true and that Reed most likely trapped the ball. The bottom of the ninth was a half inning Cubs fans would like to forget. All three batters struck out looking to end the game on borderline pitches. Replays may have shown that some of the strikes were questionable calls by the home plate umpire - but realistically - when a hitter is trailing in the ninth inning with a two strike count, their job is to protect the plate and the Cubs could not do it.

 
GB store

Blake / July 13, 2009 10:14 PM

"The bottom of the ninth was a half inning Cubs fans would like to forget. All three batters struck out looking to end the game on borderline pitches. Replays may have shown that some of the strikes were questionable calls by the home plate umpire - but realistically - when a hitter is trailing in the ninth inning with a two strike count, their job is to protect the plate and the Cubs could not do it."

"Protecting the plate" is one thing. Swinging at the pitches that were called strikes is something else.

They were not close. And it happened to ALL THREE batters.

To be honest, I have never seen an umpire call three outs in an inning when NONE OF THE PLAYERS WERE OUT.

We're talking about an entire half inning here.

GB store
GB store

Tailgate on Flickr

Join the Tailgate Flickr Pool.


About Tailgate

Tailgate is the sports section of Gapers Block, covering all Chicago sports. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Chad Ruter, cr@gapersblock.com
Tailgate staff inbox: tailgate@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

Tailgate Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.


GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15