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Cubs waste another great start by Matt Garza, fall 4-2 to Phillies

The Phillies’ Chase Utley is thrown out home plate by Cubs shortstop StarlCastro eighth inning Phillies’ 4-2 wTuesday night Wrigley

The Phillies’ Chase Utley is thrown out at home plate by Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in the eighth inning of the Phillies’ 4-2 win Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 20, 2011 2:17AM



Agree with his rationale or second-guess his decisions, it doesn’t seem to matter which buttons Mike Quade pushes these days.

And if you think the Cubs manager is having a rough time, take a look at the season his starting pitcher Tuesday night has had to endure so far.

‘‘I’m pretty sure my guys aren’t doing it on purpose,’’ Matt Garza said after his bullpen snatched a win from him with a blown save for the fourth time this season and his second start in a row.

Five days after Carlos Marmol laid waste to Garza’s dominating start against the Florida Marlins, Sean Marshall blew the save Tuesday night in a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

‘‘They want to win just as bad as I do,’’ said Garza, who leads the starting staff with a 3.80 ERA but has just a 4-7 record to show for it. ‘‘You don’t blame anybody. Just the way the ball bounces. You just keep going, keep pushing and keep fighting. That’s all I can do.’’

Garza, who took a no-hitter one out into the fifth, had a three-hit shutout and 2-0 lead through seven innings, outpitching 2008 American League Cy Young winner Cliff Lee along the way. With 113 pitches, he was allowed to hit leading off the seventh, then was lifted after giving up a leadoff hit to Jimmy Rollins in the eighth — starting, as it turned out, the tying rally.

With several of his bullpen guys worked hard in recent days, including the unavailable Marmol, Quade tried to get more from Garza, as he has done with Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster in similar times this season.

‘‘He’d done everything we’d asked, but I was just going to go one hitter at a time and see if we couldn’t get an out or two from him,’’ Quade said. ‘‘He said he felt fine, and I’ve seen him close [strong] before. He’d handled Rollins fine, and you’ve got Marshall in your back pocket with a two-run lead.’’

Marshall, who gave up a single and two-run double to the first two batters he faced in the eighth, retired his first two in the ninth before a three-hit, winning rally, with Michael Martinez doubling home two runs.

Pitching depth has been a problem for the Cubs all year, and with 64 games left, some of the areas of strength aren’t looking so great, either.



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