After the Chicago Cubs let another game slip right through their fingers again on Monday night, Carlos Villanueva tried to get the team back on track against the Cincinnati Reds. Despite another blown save by Carlos Marmol, Darwin Barney saved the game in the tenth inning to give the Cubs a much needed victory.
The Cubs continued their streak of games decided by four runs or less, and have been pretty good at covering the spread this season.
Villanueva continued his red hot start to the season with another dominating outing. Besides a solo home run to Chris Heisey, Villanueva was cruising through the game and had a chance to throw his first complete game on the season. He took the mound in the ninth inning but lost the chance to go the distance after running into some trouble. After a leadoff walk to Choo, Zack Cozart bunted him over to give the Reds a scoring chance. Despite only throwing a 100 pitches, Dale Sveum decided to go with Carlos Marmol who had good career numbers against Joey Votto. But the move back fired and Votto tied the game and gave Marmol his third blown save of the year.
Another wasted outing by a Cubs starting pitcher. Villanueva ended up with a line of eight 8.1IP, 2ER, 3H. His ERA is a spectacular 1.53 after four starts.
The Cubs offense struggled again tonight but was able to provide just enough wins the get the win. In the second inning, Alfonso Soriano stole two bases after getting single. Then Cody Ransom hit a home run in his first at bat the give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Starlin Castro was unable to extend his hitting streak as he went 0-4 tonight. Antony Rizzo continued to struggle going 0-5 with two strikeouts. Alfonso Soriano was a bright spot tonight in the Cubs lineup going 3-4 with two stolen bases and a run scored.
After Marmol blew the save in the ninth, Barney bailed the Cubs out with a home run in the tenth. Dave Sappelt added some insurance with an RBI single. Kevin Gregg came on to get the save. Of course, he made it a little interesting allowing two hits. But he was able to retire Cozart and Votto to end the game.
Cubs win 4-2.
What’s Next: Rubber game tomorrow between the Cubs and Reds at 11:35 A.M.