After losing the 1st 2 games of the Crosstown Classic to the White Sox (28-34), Ted Lilly (2-5) and the Cubs (28-35) looked to salvage game 3.
The Cubs couldn’t figure out Gavin Floyd (2-7) until the 7th inning. Floyd took a no hitter into the top half of the 7th until Alfonso Soriano doubled into left. Chad Tracy added insult to injury and singled in Soriano for the only run of the game.
Sure, Floyd was good, but he was the 2nd best pitcher at Wrigley on this gloomy night.
Ted Lilly has been robbed of multiple wins all season by his teammates’ lack of offense. Lilly decided that he had to do it himself. And that’s exactly what he did. The bulldog was almost unhittable. Lilly relied on his ability to change speeds which allowed him to take a no-no into the 9th inning.
In typical Cubs’ fashion, 1 of their former players had to ruin the fun. Juan Pierre proved to be too much for Lilly. Pierre led off the 9th in a pinch hitting appearance and promptly hit a solid single directly to center. And that’s when the game got interesting.
With the potential no hitter out of the picture, Lou Piniella yanked his left hander in favor of his dominate yet occasionally erratic closer, Carlos Marmol.
Marmol was shaky to say the least. He walked his 1st batter to put men on 1st and 2nd. Then while pitching to Alex Rios, Marmol balked, advancing runners to 3rd (Pierre) and 2nd (Andrew Jones).
The Cubs’ closer (who leads the league in strikeouts/9 innings pitched at 17) struck out Alexei Ramirez for the 1st out. Piniella decided to walk to bases loaded for the White Sox hottest hitter Paul Konerko. Konerko grounded to Derrek Lee who threw home to force Pierre out. Next batter, Carlos Quentin popped out to center to end the game. Marmol earned his 13th save of the season.
Cubs win 1-0.
The Cubs will have Monday off but will welcome Oakland to Wrigley on Tuesday for some more interleague play.