Cubs keep roster, beat Phillies

SportsChicago CubsPhiladelphia PhilliesBaseballMilwaukee BrewersNew York MetsWill Ohman

While the clock was ticking down on the trading deadline Tuesday afternoon, Lou Piniella was in his office with his shirt off.

Baseball was not exactly on Piniella's mind.

"I got a massage the last hour before the trading deadline," the Cubs manager said. "I thought that was more important than watching where people went, or didn't go."

As it turned out, Piniella didn't miss anything.

The Cubs stood pat at the deadline, then went out and beat Philadelphia 7-3 to remain one game behind first-place Milwaukee, which beat the Mets 3-2 in 13 innings.

With a raucous crowd of 40,495 on its feet, Bob Howry struck out Ryan Howard and Aaron Rowand with two men on to end it with a flourish.

"Everybody should get to play for the Cubs one time," catcher Jason Kendall said. "This is what baseball is all about."

Jason Marquis allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings for his eighth victory and relievers Will Ohman, Carlos Marmol and Howry combined for three scoreless innings. After allowing six runs in his last start, Marquis wiped it out of his mind.

"Obviously, I'm upset when I come out of the game and things aren't going my way," he said. "But you can't hold onto that. You have to let it go. You can't go back and change it."

After going 17-11 in June, the Cubs went 17-9 in July, their best July since winning 17 in 2000. They're 34-18 since June 3, the best record in baseball.

"If we keep winning games with consistency, things will take care of themselves," Piniella said. "That's really the important thing, whether we're in first place or wherever."

Jacque Jones played both the goat and the hero on a perfect summer night at Wrigley Field. He lost a fly ball in the lights in the fifth and watched it bounce into the bushes in center for a ground-rule double that allowed Jimmy Rollins to tie the game 2-2 with an RBI groundout.

But after Pat Burrell's solo shot in the sixth put the Phillies ahead, Jones made up for his gaffe with an opposite-field double with two on in the sixth, scoring Cliff Floyd. Mark DeRosa, who originally was held at third, took a chance when Burrell bobbled the pickup and also scored.

"Guys are stepping up and picking other guys up," Jones said. "We're just playing real good right now."

Mike Fontenot added a pinch-hit RBI single off Adam Eaton in the three-run inning, and Kendall added a two-run single off Geoff Geary in the seventh to make it 7-3. Marmol struck out three of the four batters he faced in the eighth before Howry finished it off.

Afterward the team settled back in the clubhouse and watched the Mets and Brewers battle into extra innings, knowing they could move into a first-place tie with a Brewers' loss. Piniella said he glanced at the center-field scoreboard "from time to time," but no more than usual, and not just to get the Brewers' score.

"I look at the American League scores as much as the National League scores," he said.

The Cubs will stay the course, roster-wise, a decision telegraphed by general manager Jim Hendry, who had one deal in the works to help out the bench.

"We have a lot of faith in what we have," Hendry said. "The one deal we did pursue didn't get made, and that player didn't get moved."

Piniella lauded Hendry's effort, but said he's completely satisfied with the team he has.

"Jim tried," he said. "He talked to a few different teams, and nothing transpired. He was hopeful that he could do a couple of things to improve our team, but it just didn't work out.

"Am I disappointed? No, I like our ballclub. We just have to go out and continue to grind like we have."

psullivan@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading