Ted Lilly and Yovani Gallardo were practically unhittable throughout the game as both the Cubs and Brewers struggled to produce any offense. Lilly went eight innings, allowing a single run on four hits, while Gallardo pitched seven strong without allowing any runs on four hits. Both guys left the game with a no decision.
Instead, it was the bullpens that decided this one. Carlos Villanueva replaced Gallardo in the eighth. After retiring the first two batters, Kosuke Fukudome singled up the middle. Fukudome then stole second and Derrek Lee walked giving the Cubs runners on first and second with two down. Up stepped rookie Tyler Colvin batting out of the fourth spot in the order. He proved himself worthy as he pulled one through the hole between first and second scoring Kosuke. The Cubs had drawn first blood and taken the 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Milwaukee to strike back as Lilly fed Corey Hart a meatball on the first pitch. Hart’s bat swallowed it whole and the ball left the field in a hurry tying the game at one. Lilly finished the inning strong, retiring the next three batters and keeping the Cubs hopes alive.
After a Fontenot groundout, Koyie Hill and Starlin Castro hit back-to-back singles to center to give the Cubs runners on first and third with one down. Alfonso Soriano was then brought in to pinch hit for Lilly. He grounded weakly to short, just weak enough actually, as Alcides Escobar’s only play was to first. Koyie Hill crossed the plate to once again give the Cubs the lead.
With Marmol coming in 12 for 14 in save opportunities and Milwaukee’s offense struggling all night, the game looked to be in hand. Unfortunately, Marmol’s control was off and the Brewers made him pay. Rickie Weeks lead off the inning and was hit by an arrant Marmol pitch.
After a failed sacrifice from Carlos Gomez, Weeks took it upon himself and stole second. Marmol then threw three straight balls to Fielder before deciding to intentionally put him on. It was now first and second with one away.
Ryan Braun came up and pulled a Soriano as he grounded just weakly enough to give Castro no choice but to take the out at first. With two outs and the winning run at second, Casey McGehee came to the plate. He grounded one towards the middle just passed a diving Ryan Theriot to plate both runners giving Milwaukee the 3-2 victory.
It was just more of the same for Chicago – a recurring nightmare that seems as if it will never end. I can only imagine how Ted Lilly feels (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K). Not even Brendon Fraser or Robert Redford could help this God-awful offense. It’s pretty clear that this team has no chance in 2010.