Matt Garza makes his first start for the 1-1 Cubs against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Andrew McCutchen was a late scratch to the game with a stiff neck.
1st Inning – Top
Jose Tabata leads of game with a ground ball single to center field just under the glove of Matt Garza.
Garza strikes out Jones on three pitches on a nice slider on the inner half of the plate.
On the first pitch to Walker Tabata is thrown out stealing on an excellent throw from Soto to Castro.
On an 0-1 pitch Walker hits a solid ground ball to Barney who throws to Pena to end the top of the first.
1st Inning – Bottom
Ross Ohlendorf is on the mound today for the Pirates making his first start of the season.
On the first pitch of the game Castro shows bunt and jumps back to avoid an inside pitch and has the ball foul off his bat for strike one. Castro battles from a 1-2 count and walks on a 3-2 pitch. Nice at bat for Castro.
On a 1-0 pitch Barney hits a routine ground ball to Walker who flips to Cedeno who throws to Overbay to complete to 4 6 3 double play.
Marlon Byrd strikes out on 3 pitches ending the inning.
2nd Inning – Top
Garza strikes out Overbay swinging in a 6 pitch at bat which saw Overbay foul off 3 pitches.
Alvarez loops a 1-2 pitch into centerfield for a 1 out single.
Diaz inside outs a ground ball between Pena and Barney into right field for a one out single.
Garza is now in a one out jam with runners at first and third.
Garza gets behind Jaramillo 2-0 before bouncing back to strike him out on 5 pitches giving the Cubs a big second out of the inning.
Cedeno singles down the right field line on a 0-1 pitch scoring Alvarez with the first run of the game.
Diaz advances to third on the hit.
Ohlendorfer hits a one hopper back to Garza who fields and flips to Pena to end the inning.
But the Pirates score the first run of the game for a 1-0 lead.
Garza is at 29 pitches after 2 innings
2nd Inning – Bottom
Ramirez hits a ground ball single into center field to lead off the inning.
On the first pitch of the inning Pena tries to bunt for a hit towards third but is thrown out at first by third baseman Alvarez. Ramirez advances to second base. Curious since you don’t normally want to see your fifth place hitter bunting for a hit. I want to see a fifth place hitter driving runs and not merely advancing baserunners with bunts.
On the 0-2 pitch Soto hits a foul pop near the visitors on deck circle that is caught by Jaramillo for the second out of theinning.
On the 0-1 pitch Soriano swings at a slider low and off the plate that gets away from Jarmillo for a wild pitch. Ramriez advances to third base. On the 1-2 pitch Ohlendorfer jams Soriano who hits a weak popup that Overbay catches near the visitor’s dugout.
Terrible at bat for Soriano.
Ohlendorfer is at 23 pitches after 2 innings.
3rd Inning – Top
Tabata singles to deep right field on the 0-1 pitch. Colvin did a nice job cutting the ball off in the gap and holding Tabata to a single.
On the 2-0 pitch Jones loops a single to nearly the same spot Tabata got his hit.
Garza is now in a first and second no out jam.
On the 3-2 pitch Walker slices a one hopper to Ramirez who throws to makes a wild throw that Barney makes a great catch on to force out Jones at second base.
On the 12 pitch Overbay strikes out on a slider in the dirt.
Garza is one out away from pitching out of the jam.
Alvarez line the 0-1 pitch into center field scoring Tabata for the second run of the game for the Pirates.
Garza strikes out Diaz on 4 pitches to end the inning.
Garza has allowed 7 hits through 3 innings.
3rd Inning – Bottom
Colvin hits a sharp one hopper to second baseman Walker who fields and throws to Overbay for the first out of the inning
Garza strikes out on a 1-2 pitch for the second out of the inning.
Castro flies out on a soft fly ball to Jones to end the inning.
Ohlendorfer is at 38 pitches after 3 innings.
4th Inning – Top
Garza works a 1 2 3 top of the 4th inning retiring Jaramillo, Cedeno and Ohlendorfer.
Garza is at 60 pitches after 4 innings
4th Inning – Bottom
Barney flairs a single to right on the 1-1 pitch to lead off the inning. Barney made a wide turn at first before retreating to the bag. I like the hustle.
Byrd hits a line drive single back up the middle that just missed hitting Ohlendorfer in the head.
The Cubs are set up for a potential big inning with first and second nobody out. Ramirez needs to have a productive at bat.
On the 0-2 pitch Ramirez line a single into center field loading the base with nobody out.
Anything less multiple runs in this inning will be a disappointment.
Carlos Pena steps to the plate with a great opportunity to drive in runs.
Pena takes the first two pitches for balls to go up in the count 2-0. Great hitters count. On the 2-0 pitch Pena fouls off a fastball just off the inside of the plate. Pena takes a pitch low in inside to go up 3-1 in the count. Pena swings and misses a low inside pitch that appeared to be off the plate for strike two.
On the 3-2 pitch Ohlendorfer leaves a belt high fastball over the outer half of the plate the Pena drives off the right field wall for a 2-run double tying the game 2-2. The ball just missed landing in the basket for a grand slam. Pena would have likely had a grand slam had a stiff wind not been blowing in from right field.
Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle comes out to speak with the first base Umpire. He appears to be asking for a fan interference call saying a fan threw an object on the field. After a brief discussion Hurdle leaves the field without the call being changed.
On the 0-1 pitch Soto pops out to left fielder Diaz. Ramirez tags up a third base and draws a throw form Diaz but does not try to score.
The Pirates bring the infield in with 1 out. This is a risky move so early in the game. Soriano pops out on a 1-2 pitch. Another unproductive at bat for Soriano. He looks lost at the plate.
The Pirates pitching coach makes a mound visit to likely discuss whether or not to pitch to Tyler Colvin or walk him to get to Matt Garza.
I would walk Colvin. Ohlendorfer has not looked sharp this inning so I would prefer to pitch to Garza.
Ohlendorfer intentially walks Colvin to get to Garza.
Garza hits a broken bat ground to Overbay who fields and makes the putout unassisted to end the inning.
After 4 innings the score is tied 2-2.
5th Inning – Top
I would like to see Garza have a nice shutdown inning.
Tabata loops a 1-1 pitch into right for a leadoff single.
In a weird play with Jones Tabata attempts to steal on the 0-1 pitch. Jones check swing appearing to be fooled on the pitch and lines a single to the vacated shortstop spot. The Pirates are not set up with a great scoring opportunity with runners on first and third and nobody out.
Garza had now giving up 9 singles in 4+ inngins.
Garza bounces back to strike Walker for the first out of the inning.
On the 2-2 pitch Overbay hits a lazy ground ball between Barney and Pena for an RBI single giving the pirates a 3-2 lead.
On a 0-1 pitch Alvarez blasts a ball to the base of the right field wall that is caught by Colvin. Like the Pena double this is another ball that would have likely been a home run if the wind were not blowing it. The runners tag up and advance to second and third base respectively.
Garza dodged a bullet on that Alvarez swing.
On the 2-1 pitch Diaz hits a two hopper to Castro that he throw to Pena to end the inning.
Garza did a decent job of pitching around the freak hit by Jones. But the 10 singles allowed in 5 innings is reason for concern.
Garza is a 82 pitches and has not look good today so you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank?
5th Inning – Bottom
It will be Ohlendorfer looking for the shutdown inning in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Castro blasts the 2-2 pitch off the center wall for a leadoff triple. Castro just missed hitting a homer.
Barney hits a 1-1 pitch just in front of the left field warning track that is caught by Diaz. Castro tags up and easily scores the run tying the game at 3-3.
On the 1-2 pitch Byrd swings at a slider in the dirt to strike out.
Ramirez draws a walk on a 3-2 pitch.
Ohlendorfer appears to pitch around Pena as he walks him on 4 pitches.
Soto get jammed on a 1-0 pitches and hits a dribbler to Cedeno who flips to Walker at second forcing out Pena to end the inning.
But the Cubs score a run following the leadoff triple by Starlin Castro to tie the game 3-3.
6th Inning – Top
I am hoping Garza get maybe one more scoreless inning today.
Garza strikes out Jaramillo on three pitches on a nice low away fastball.
Good looking pitch by Garza.
Garza strikes out Cedeno on three pitches on a nice slider low in the zone.
Ohlendorf hits a seeing-eye single between Castro and Ramirez for a single on the first pitch.
Now the hot hitting Tabata is up. He is 3-3 today so Garza has a challenge on his hands. Garza drop a 2-2 slider over the heart of the plate for strike 3. Tabata appeared to be looking fastball.
Garza has a nice inning striking out the side.
Garza his 10 strikeouts on 94 pitches in 6 innings.
I am sure Quade will be watching him closely in the 7th. How much does Garza have left in the tank?
6th Inning – Bottom
Soriano homers on a letter high fastball over the middle of the plate. He blasted it into the fifth row of the left center field bleachers giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead.
Colvin pops a lazy fly ball to Diaz on the first pitch of his at bat.
Garza hits a dribbler on the 0-1 pitch the Walker fields and throws to Overbay for the second out of the inning.
Castro hits a ball past Alvarez down the left field corner for a triple. Alvarez looked like he should have gotten a glove on the ball. Diaz was also slow getting to the ball. The ball looked like it was going to be a double but the hustle of Castro and slow fielding of Diaz turned it into triple.
On the 0-2 pitch Barney hits a routine fly ball to right fielder Jones who makes the catch to end the inning.
Nice inning by the Cubs taking a 4-3 lead on the homer by Soriano.
7th Inning – Top
Garza is back on the mound for the 7th inning. He starts the inning at 94 pitches. I am sure Manager Mike Quade will be watching Garza very closely.
On the 1-1 pitch Jones flies out to Byrd on a routine fly ball to center field.
Walker strikes out on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. Soto throws to first baseman Pena to complete the strike out.
Garza has just set a career with his 11th strikeout of the day.
Overbay hits Garza’s first pitch towards short. Ramirez ranger to his left makes a nice pickup and throw but Overbay beats it out for a hit.
Garza has just set a new career high by allowing his 12 hit of the day. All 12 hits have been singles.
Garza strikes out Alvarez swinging on three pitches for his career high 12th strikeout of the day.
Garza is now at 106 pitches.
I am guessing that Garza will be done for the day.
7th Inning – Bottom
Crotta now on the mound for the Pirates making his major league debut.
Byrd hits a comebacker to Crotta who throws to Overbay for the first out of the inning.
Ramirez hits a lazy fly ball on the 1-0 pitch to right fielder Jones for the second out of the inning.
Pena strikes out three pitches on a low fastball down the middle to end the inning.
8th Inning – Top
Kerry Wood relieves Garza to start the 8th inning.
Diaz called on strikes on a 1-2 pitch.
Jaramillo hits a solid ground ball single just past Barney into right field for a single.
Cedeno hits the first pitch between Barney and Pena for a solid ground ball single to right field.
The Cubs are now in a jam with runners on first and second and one out in the 8th.
John Bowker pinch hits for Crotta. Bowker hits chopper on the first pitch that Pena deflects towards Barney. Everybody is safe.
Now Wood has a big time jam on his hands. Bases loaded one out. Potential go ahead runner on second.
On the first pitch Tabata his a routine fly ball to medium depth right field near the line. Colvin makes the catch and makes a great one hop throw to the plate and Soto makes the tag on Jaramillo as he slides into the plate. Great throw by Colvin nailing Jaramillo at the plate. Nice job by Wood pitching around the error by Pena and working out the bases loaded one out jam.
I look for Marmol to be in for the 9th inning.
8th Inning – Bottom
8th Inning – Bottom
Jimmy Karstens now on the mound for the Pirates.
Karstens retires Soto, Soriano and Colvin in order on 14 pitches.
9th Inning – Top
Carlos Marmol is on the mound looking to save a Cubs 4-3 lead.
Marmol walks Jones on a 3-2 pitch to leadoff the 9th.
Walker hits the first pitch for a line drive single to right.
Marmol is now in a first and second no one out jam in the 9th.
Overbay bunts the 1-0 pitch which Ramirez throws to Barney at first to retire Overbay. The runners move to second and third with one out. Overbay is credited with a sacrifice bunt.
Clint Hurdle comes out to argue the call at first arguing Barney never touched the bag. Barney appeared be on the bag but Overbay never touched first base. Hurdle argues for a couple of minutes before returning to the dugout.
The Cubs bring the corner infielders in with Alvarez coming to the plate.
On the 1-1 pitch Alvarez hits a slow grounder to Castro that he fields and throws to first base pulling Pena off the bag. Jones scores easily from third and Walker who is running hard all the way from second base slides into the plate just ahead of Pena’s throw to give the Pirates their 5th run giving them a 5-4 lead.
Matt Diaz grounds the first pitch to Castro for a 6 4 3 inning ending double play.
9th Inning – Bottom
Jack Hanrahan is one trying to protect the 5-4 lead for the Pirates
Reed Johnson strikes out on a 1-2 pitch.
On the 1-0 pitch Castro hits a line drive single into left center field.
On the 2-2 pitch Barney hits what appears to be a tailor made double play ball that Cedeno throws into right field for an error. Castro advances to third base. The Cubs have a great opportunity to tie the game with Marlon Byrd coming up.
Byrd grounds the first pitch to Cedeno for a game ending 6 4 3 double play.
This is a very tough loss for the Cubs
The Pirates win 5-4