The Cubs are no strangers to grand slams. Thursday and Friday, the four-run homers were big reasons why the Cubs were able to extend their season-best winning streak. But Saturday, it was the reason that streak came to an end. Carlos Marmol gave up an eighth-inning grand slam to Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt that broke a 4-4 tie and broke the Cubs’ streak, as the North Siders fell, 12-4, at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had freshly tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a Nate Schierholtz home run, and Marmol entered, only to quickly find himself where he had so many times before. Marmol issued a leadoff walk to Willie Bloomquist, and Gerardo Parra hit a double into the right-center field gap with one out. Marmol got a little help from the ivy-covered walls, as Parra’s hit became lodged in the vines, preventing the go-ahead run from scoring. But then Marmol walked Didi Gregorius to load the bases for Goldschmidt, who hit a long blast high up into the left-center field bleachers to put the D-backs ahead for good. “I was behind in the count. I tried to throw a strike and get a ground ball,” Marmol said. “It didn’t happen.” But the beleaguered right-hander was hardly the only Cubs reliever to struggle Saturday. Before Marmol, it was James Russell allowing a three-run double to Jason Kubel in the seventh that momentarily put Arizona ahead, and in the ninth, newcomer Zach Putnam surrendered four runs. The relief corps was responsible for nine of the D-backs’ 12 runs and 10 of their 17 hits. The bullpen, along with starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, walked a total of eight D-backs, a stat that did not sit well with manager Dale Sveum. “The bottom line is: You walk eight guys, you’re not going to win too many games, not when you walk eight guys,” Sveum said. “Basically, it came down to the walks. Obviously they got a couple big hits to bust the game open, but the walks were the difference in the game.” Samardzija had started the game -- albeit after a rain delay that lasted two hours and 21 minutes -- and worked past a leadoff homer to Parra to pitch pretty well on the evening. He escaped a couple of bases-loaded jams and struck out 11, though he took no decision. It’s the second time this season Samardzija has struck out double-digit batters in a team loss.
Bullpen implodes as Cubs' streak ends
CSN Chicago | Jun 2