It was a beautiful day at the Friendly Confines.
The Cubs (23-25) and the Dodgers (26-21) were tied at 1 game a piece in the 3 game set coming into Thursday. The Cubs had Ted Lilly (1-4) on the mound while the Dodgers countered with a rookie named John Ely (3-1). No one expected a pitchers dual.
But that’s exactly what happened. Lilly went 7 shutout innings and allowed a measly 3 hits to a dangerous Dodger lineup. Lilly did walk 3 (all in 1 inning) but struckout 5 batters. Ely is a perfect example of a pitcher who gives the Cubs fits. He did just that allowing no runs on just 2 hits. Until the 8th.
Mike Fontenot replaced Jeff Baker (who left due to losing all vision in his right eye) in the top half of the 8th. Fontenot led off the 8th with a triple down the right field line and into the corner. A few batters, Tyler Colvin placed a liner in almost the same exact spot as Fontenot before him. Fontenot scored the game winner and Colvin ended up with a double but advanced to 3rd on an error by the right fielder Xavier Paul.
Carlos Marmol is quickly becoming an elite closer in Major League Baseball. With a 1-0 lead, Marmol shut the door on the Dodgers for his 11th save of the season. All 3 outs were recorded via the strikeout.
Sean Marshall (5-1) picked up his 5th win of the month and continues to be Lou Piniella’s most reliable pitcher in the bullpen save Carlos Marmol.
In addition to Jeff Baker’s injury, Carlos Zambrano was sent to the hospital with abdominal pains and missed the game. Stay tuned for details.
The Cubs win the series 2-1 but can’t enjoy it for long because their most hated rivals are coming to town in the form of the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s setting up to be an excellent pitching matchup with the Cubs sending Randy Wells (3-2) to the mound while the Cardinals will call upon their ace Chris Carpenter (5-1).