That was certainly one of those annoying losses, particularly because the Cubs had two excellent scoring opportunities scuttled by double plays, the second of which came one out after a bases loaded, nobody out situation in the 8th inning. Dexter Fowler hit a sac fly, Jason Heyward hit into a double play. The first was a first and third situation with nobody out, but Miguel Montero hit into a (run-scoring) double play.
Outside of those opportunities, which netted the Cubs their only two runs in frustrating fashion, the only real threat came in the 9th, thanks to hits by Anthony Rizzo and Tommy La Stella. The latter came with two outs, and was about one foot from squirting through in the gap all the way to the wall and tying the game. But Peter Bourjos was just able to cut it off, saving a run. David Ross grounded out to end it thereafter. Dang.
Offensively, it might look to you like the Cubs were bad, but credit Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff. He came into the game with baseball’s third most valuable curveball, and he sure showed it off tonight. I am not too bothered by the Cubs’ performance in that regard, because it’s just a good pitch, and he used it well.
The part of the night that really bothered me was the third and decisive Phillies run. No, it wasn’t the fact that Clayton Richard gave up another hit – a bouncing ball that found a hole, naturally – that scored the run. It was because the Cubs completely fell asleep with catcher Carlos Ruiz on first base, and allowed him a free steal of second – just his second stolen base in two years. He later scored that decisive run.
It’s a long season. The Cubs will lose many games. But I’ll remember this one as the one they lost because Carlos Ruiz stole a base.