8/30 Phillies 6, Cubs 5

It was a perfect homecoming for Ryne Sandberg at Wrigley Field, which has been anything but friendly to the Cubs this season. Back at the ballpark he called home for 15 seasons, Sandberg, now the Phillies interim manager, celebrated a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Friday. Michael Young had four hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the ninth, and Kevin Frandsen hit a game-tying home run in the seventh to lift the Phillies.

Last Friday in San Diego, the Cubs blew a six-run first inning lead in an 8-6 loss to the Padres. This time, they couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead after five innings. Chicago now is 25-42 at Wrigley, and are one of five teams with more wins on the road than at home.

“Twice in one week, to see this kind of game, and this one at home, with your big horse [Jeff Samardzija] on the mound, cruising along and all of a sudden he starts misfiring and gets the ball up [it's tough],” Dale Sveum said. “We can’t get a big hit to walk them off or get the chance. Michael Young hits the outfield grass [with his game-winning single] — we’re having trouble doing that at home.”

Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman, received a nice ovation from the fans in his return to Wrigley. He took time to sign autographs, meet the media and say hello to old friends at the ballpark he called home from 1982-94 and again from 1996-97.

“It was good,” Sandberg said of the reception. “I heard it. A little tip of the hat to the crowd for that. And once I got up there with the umpires, we chatted a little bit. I asked them if they wanted me to take them around the ground rules.”

Sandberg not only could offer advice on how to deal with the hitter-friendly wind or the tough infield at Wrigley, but may have had a few suggestions about dealing with Samardzija, who was once on his Triple-A Iowa roster. The right-hander was shut down last Sept. 8 in his first season as a starter because the Cubs wanted to watch his innings. This year, the kid gloves are off. Friday was Samardzija’s career-high 28th start, and it included his 500th career strikeout, which he notched when he struck out Young in the third.

“Any time you get the early runs, you can be aggressive and attack the zone,” Samardzija said. “It allowed me to cruise through the middle innings. I obviously had the hiccup in the sixth.”

Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz each hit solo home runs. The Cubs added on in the fourth on Starlin Castro’s two-run double. Brian Bogusevic hit a RBi single in the fifth. But it wasn’t enough.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen tripled to open the Phillies’ sixth and scored on Young’s second single of the game. Jimmy Rollins then singled, and he and Young scored on Chase Utley’s triple to pull within 5-3. Utley then tallied on Domonic Brown’s groundout.

Frandsen stayed in the game, and delivered a solo homer with two outs in the seventh to tie the game at 5.

The Cubs had runners at first and second and one out in the seventh but Zach Miner struck out Murphy. Bogusevic singled to right, and Dioner Navarro, who was on second, tried to score, but was thrown out at home.

“You think about pinch-running there, but at home, in the seventh inning, [Navarro] is coming up again, and unless it was to win a game, it’s tough to [lift him],” Sveum said.

“I knew they were going to send me, there were two outs, tie game,” Navarro said. “They told me he made a perfect throw to the plate. We couldn’t catch a break today.”

– Carrie Muskat

6 Comments

Joey got the result he wanted, another loss for the baby bruins. Pet Peeve told us weeks ago that Smardj was a “great” pitcher. I do not agree with either. Can`t pull for the opposition under any circumstance, and know a great pitcher when I see one, and Shark ain`t that guy.

I did, thank you. One more loss in a MEANINGLESS season results in a better draft pick next season? (Come on Sox and Astros….WIN SOME GAMES!!). I do indeed like Ryno to the point of pulling for any team he a ML manager of and will do so even when vs. the Cubs…..DURING MEANINGLESS SEASONS and our only positive result from such horrendous play is a better draft pick.

I’m a stupid old man, but will all you bright lights explain to me how this edition is an improvement under the brilliant new leadership. They should be ashamed to charge those ticket prices to endure the AA to AAA talent that’s run out there.

The improvement is to the foundation of the organization. Minor league prospects are improved, draft picks are improved….next in line then is the improvement of the manager, coaching staff and THEN ML roster. I like it.

Could’ve , would’ve , should’ve . Pinch runner for Navarro? Could’ve, should’ve .

Why would a manager pinch run for the SLOWEST runner on the team who represents the go ahead run let alone what could have been the winning run? Why? Oh yeah, because that would be a GOOD manager. Not so with Dale Sveum old, Sveum old….
Unless of course he is wolf in sheeps’ clothing? He knew his chances of winning would increase with a pinch runner (OR pulling Samarjidza for that matter. Samarjidza HAS shown signs of NOT closing out an inning before, Dale SHOULD have seen it coming as well as known Navarro IS SLOW….a big “DUH” moment for the “manager”) so he leaves the second coming of Tony Campana at 2B and rolls the dice for him being thrown out, thus another loss and a better draft pick?? Genius! Nahhhhhhh, can’t be. This is one of those games the manager had a hand in the loss, something a particular commentator says doesn’t happen, that it’s all on the talent of the players….uhh talent of the manager comes in handy on winning ball clubs.

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