Morning Marquee: Jason Motte blows first save in loss to Phillies


Chicago Cubs reliever Jason Motte entered Friday afternoon’s contest 6-for-6 in save opportunities but would allow the Philadelphia Phillies to tie the ball game up at three a piece on an RBI ground-rule double by Cody Asche, allowing Freddy Galvis to cross home plate.

It was Asche’s second RBI double of the contest – his first came back in the top of the fourth off starting pitcher Jon Lester which gave the Phillies the 2-1 lead. Just like in the ninth, Galvis was on base at the time.

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Rookie third baseman Kris Bryant launched an opposite field home run during the bottom half of the first to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead – his 13th home run of the season. He’s hit 10 of those 13 at Wrigley Field, so it’s safe to admit that Kris loves playing on his own turf.

Just too bad his power wasn’t on display later on the game. Recently called up Rafael Soriano gave up his first big hit as a member of the Chicago Cubs – a two-run bomb off the bat of veteran Jeff Francoeur that found itself landing in the left field bleachers. It was his ninth home run of the season and enough to boost the Phillies to a 5-3 victory over their hosts.

Losing to a team like the Phillies has to sting considering how badly they’ve played this season. They currently sit with a 35-63 record entering Saturday’s game while the Cubs remain in third place with a 51-44 record of their own and only trail the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates by five games in the N.L. Central.

With the trade deadline slowly creeping on the league, rumors surrounding both the Cubs and Phillies involving Cole Hamels are beginning to heat up which isn’t a shock.

It’s obvious Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer want to add another arm to their rotation in hopes of hanging onto the final spot in the Wild Card race, but would the asking price be worth it in the long run?

The 31-year-old southpaw is expected to start opposite Jake Arrieta later on this afternoon in what could be the biggest match-up of this weekend series.

There’s always a chance he could be either pulled from the outing early on or scratched if the Phillies were able to find the right deal. In fact, some believe Starlin Castro or Javier Baez could be trade pieces used to acquire his services.

We’ll just have to wait and see if there’s any truth to that.

Here’s more from around the league:

Chicago Cubs rumors: Cole Hamels talks heating up‘ – Cubbies Crib

Mariners Game Recap: M’s send Canadian’s home unhappy, Take Opener 5-2‘ – SoDo Mojo

Could Troy Tulowitzki come to San Diego?‘ – Friars on Base

Cincinnati Reds lose 6-5 to the Rockies off wild pitch‘ – Blog Red Machine

Cardinals recap: Cooney finally breaks through‘ – Redbird Rants

Next: Open letter to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer