Randy Wells served up a three run homer to Jimmy Rollins in the 2 Randy Wells served up a three run homer to Jimmy Rollins in the 2

Cubs Feel Some Love from Mother Nature in Philly


The Cubs fell behind early in the game when Randy Wells served up a three run homer to Jimmy Rollins in the 2nd inning. Then during the third inning, the high winds of an incoming storm led the umpires to call for a delay in time to get the tarp on the infield. The rain delayed the game for a little over an hour. For once Mother Nature was responsible for giving the Cubs a break, as the delay knocked both starters out of the game.

This helped the Cubs because at the time the offense was struggling to get anything going against Kyle Kendrick. With the weather allowing the Cubs to get at the Phillies bullpen earlier than expected, the offense finally manufactured a run in the 6th inning to get on the board. Darwin Barney stole second base after getting hit by a pitch, and his double play buddy Starlin Castro drove him in with a single.

The Cubs threatened in the 7th inning, but did not break through for another run until the 8th inning, when Castro and Carlos Pena hit back to back two out doubles to bring the Cubs within one run. That set the stage for an interesting top of the 9th. The Phillies brought in Ryan Madson to close out the game, but Geo Soto spoiled those plans by hitting a home run to left center field. Not only was it Soto’s first home run since May 4th, but it was the first home run closer Madson had given up all season.

But the drama did not end there. A mere two pitches later, Tyler Colvin launched a ball into the stands for what appeared to the second set of back to back jacks for the Cubs in as many days. But after the Phillies manager came out to argue the home run call, the umpire crew went to the instant replay monitor to review the play, and ended up sending Colvin back to second on a ground rule double due to fan interference. On a night when the breaks seemed to be going the Cubs way, it was tough for this one to go against Colvin. You be the judge (video courtesy of MLB.com).

The young outfielder was that close to busting out of his 0 for 34 slump with a emphatic go ahead homer in the 9th, but Colvin had to settle for the double. Either way, it was good to see him break through considering he had been hitting the ball hard with no luck since his return from the minors. And although his teammates could not bring him in to score that frame, Colvin scoring the winning run seemed inevitable in hindsight, as he scored in the top of the 11th. He had reached on an infield single between first base and the pitcher, reached second base on a passed ball after both the batter and catcher whiffed on a pitch, and came all the way around to score from second when a routine ground ball out to third base led to a rare throwing error for Placido Polanco. His throw hit the infield grass just in front of the dirt cut out around first base and the extra long hop bounced off the chest of Ryan Howard. The large first baseman was not able to pounce on the ball in time to make a play on Colvin and the Cubs rode another break to a 4-3 lead.

Mean while the Cubs bullpen contributed their second straight solid outing. Long man Rodrigo Lopez picked up where Wells left off due to the delay and threw 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. The lefty three amigos consisting of James Russell, John Grabow, and Sean Marshall then combined to toss five innings of one hit, scoreless baseball. Closer Carlos Marmol capped off the comeback win with a solid 9th inning for his twelfth save of the season and second in as many nights.

The Cubs won back to back games for the first time since they swept the short series against Florida in mid May. The Cubs continue to seek their first three game winning streak of the 2011 season and will have to beat the very tough Roy Halladay if they wish to accomplish it tonight.