Cubs 2, Marlins 1

Box Score / Highlights

What Went Right

  • For once the Cubs had some good fortune. Alfonso Soriano hit a fly ball that should have been caught, which dropped in between several Marlins fielders, allowing two runs to score in the fourth inning.  Had the ball been caught, the inning would have been over and the Cubs would have blown a great scoring chance.
  • Hanley Ramirez tried to stretch a single into a double in the ninth inning and was cut down by Marlon Byrd for the second out of the inning.
  • Ryan Dempster pitched a great game.  It looks as if he is starting to return to form after a terrible April.  The Cubs need starters to go deep into games, and so far in the second half they have done just that.
  • Dempster’s good control, which has been an issue for him at times, was key today. He did not walk a man. Ryan gave up just four hits in eight scoreless frames, while recording nine strikeouts.  He also avoided having one bad inning, which has also plagued the right hander this year.
  • Sean Marshall struck out the only man he faced to pick up his second save of the year.

What Went Wrong

  • The Cubs won the game, but the offense did not do much.  If it weren’t for two unearned runs, they would have ended up losing 1-0 .  I would have liked to see the Cubs tack on to the two run lead, but the bats were quiet the entire day.
  • Mike Quade went to Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning again today.  Marmol should at least be given a day or two off to regroup.  Since Dempster gave Q eight innings, both Marshall and Wood were available to come in for the ninth.  With Marmol’s struggles last night, less than 24-hours ago, bringing him in against the same team with the same 2-0 lead was extremely risky. 
  • Marmol was bad once again.  He managed to notch two outs, one of which was on Ramirez trying to stretch his single into a double.  He fell behind in the count to every batter, allowing a run on a walk and two hits in 0.2 innings.  Carlos was yanked in favor of Sean Marshall after allowing an RBI single to make it a one run game.

The Takeaway

It was good to see the Cubs bounce back after what happened last night.  The Cubs have gotten better starting pitching in this series than any prior two day stretch this season.  Let us hope it continues tomorrow with Carlos Zambrano.  The Cubs offense was not expected to do much going into the season, but the starting pitchers have way underperformed.  If Dempster, Garza and Zambrano can all get it together, there is a chance that this team will play .500 ball in the post All-Star Break portion of the season.

Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Ryan Dempster (.507 WPA)

2nd Star – Alfonso Soriano (.167 WPA)

3rd Star – Marlon Byrd (.117 WPA)

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