Cubs fall to Brewers in 13, lose Carlos Marmol to injury
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 11, 2012 10:33PM
David DeJesus reacts after hitting a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning Friday. He went 2-for-4 with two runs and five RBI. | Morry Gash~AP
Updated: May 12, 2012 1:42AM
MILWAUKEE — They didn’t win. They lost Carlos Marmol to a hamstring injury. They hammered their bullpen. And they played so long that Friday turned into Saturday morning, which turned the first two games of this series into what amounts to a doubleheader.
‘‘That was a great game, though,’’ Cubs manager Dale Sveum said after Corey Hart’s ground-ball single up the middle off the Cubs’ last reliever, Lendy Castillo, drove in the winning run in the 13th inning as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cubs 8-7.
‘‘Obviously, we finished on the bad end of it, but that was one heck of a game to watch and be a part of on both sides.’’
Marmol strained his left hamstring on his final pitch of the seventh inning, a slider to Hart. He threw two practice pitches in an attempt to stay in the game but was taken out. After the game, he was preparing to return to Chicago on Saturday for an MRI exam.
He’s expected to go on the 15-day disabled list, a move made all but necessary by the seven-plus innings the bullpen was forced to throw, including two innings each by Rafael Dolis and Kerry Wood.
Asked how bad it was, Marmol said, ‘‘I don’t know. It hurts. I’ll have the MRI [Saturday], and we’ll see.’’
Assuming Marmol goes on the DL, the Cubs are likely to get a much-needed second lefty for the bullpen in Scott Maine, who pitched well in a brief stint with the club before being sent back to Class AAA Iowa because of more limited contract options with other pitchers.
Beyond Marmol’s injury, the game was filled with 5 hours, 4 minutes of wild highs, lows and oddities, including a pinch-hit grand slam by David DeJesus, a pinch-hitting appearance by former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke (an inning-ending double play in the 11th) and Wood’s first plate appearance in five years (a strikeout in the 12th).
Every player from both teams except the starting pitchers not scheduled Friday were used, plus Greinke.
Hart was the hero twice for the Brewers. He also hit the tying two-run homer off Dolis in the ninth.
DeJesus was the hero twice for the Cubs. He came off the bench for the first-pitch, go-ahead slam in the seventh, added a tying triple in the ninth, then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
‘‘I can honestly say everybody contributed today,’’ said Cubs starter Matt Garza, who wasn’t at his best after a 12-day layoff because of the flu.
Harder to explain is the Houdini act Wood pulled in the 11th after throwing nine consecutive fastballs that weren’t particularly close to the strike zone, opening the inning with back-to-back walks. He needed only four more pitches to retire Hart on a fly to left with a curveball and Greinke on an 88 mph fastball for a double play.
Going against the team’s plans for him this season, Wood pitched a second inning, again walking the leadoff man before completing a scoreless inning.
‘‘Hopefully, that builds his confidence up quite a bit,’’ Sveum said.
Maybe the confidence issue was partly why Sveum didn’t use Wood in the seventh when Marmol got hurt, instead going to little-used Michael Bowden with two out, a runner on second and a 4-2 lead.
Three batters later, the Cubs trailed 5-4.
‘‘Well, we got put in a position in that case, and you had a three-run lead and you had to ad-lib,’’ Sveum said, ‘‘because the pitcher was coming [up, batting second next inning], for one.
‘‘You don’t get Woody up to sit him back down. Then he’s done for the night. We’ve talked about that.’’
Having enough time for Wood to warm up was not an issue.
‘‘There was plenty of time because there was an injury,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘But then you’re going to use him for one pitch, and then he wouldn’t pitch tomorrow.’’
Wood threw 25 pitches over two innings later in the game. Even if it’s just one pitch in the seventh, the Cubs would have maintained the lead into the eighth, when James Russell and Dolis took over for the final two innings.
‘‘We got the most out of him tonight,’’ Sveum said.
Bowen did get the grounder from the first batter he faced, Hart, but it went for an infield single to deep short before a walk and double got him.