Alfonso Soriano played the hero for the Cubs Saturday night, blasting a 2-run shot into the second deck to give Chicago a 6-5 lead over the Brewers in the 9th, a lead they would not relinquish. Exciting as that play was though, it was probably not the key play of the evening. That came in the 7th when, with the Cubs down 3-2, 1 out and the bases loaded, Soriano grounded into what looked like an inning-ending double play…except that he was called safe by first base umpire Angel Hernandez, allowing the tying run to score. Replays showed that Soriano probably was out – but, thankfully, such plays are still not reviewable (and hopefully never will be).
That apparent missed call seemed, for awhile, like it might not matter anyway: the Brewers went back up 5-3 in the bottom of the 7th, thanks to Prince Fielder‘s two run double off Aaron Heilman, and seemed ready to roll up the Cubs’ shaky bullpen. The Cubs got back to 5-4 in the top of the 8th courtesy of Aramis Ramirez who jacked a solo shot, his second dinger of the year. And then Soriano’s blast, which would prove to be the game winner. Thank you Angel Hernandez for missing the call that would’ve kept the Cubs from tying it and likely prevented their victory.
And thank you to Lou Piniella for, at least for one night, promoting Carlos Marmol to closer over the thus far ineffective Kevin Gregg. Marmol, who undoubtedly has the best stuff in the bullpen, allowed a one-out single to Corey Hart in the bottom of the ninth, but crushed Brewers rally hopes by whiffing All-Stars Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in succession. How about giving the job to Marmol on a full-time basis Lou? Just a suggestion.
The Cubs and Brewers finish their series Sunday night on ESPN. Ryan Dempster and Jeff Suppan will start.