Despite being spotted with a 2-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning, the Cubs found a new way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as Carlos Marmol imploded on the mound to give away the win.
Marmol started the ninth and walked Mike Stanton and Mike Cameron out of the gate. The next batter, John Buck, was also walked to load the bases. The Marlins replaced Buck with pinch runner DeWayne Wise, who would end up being the go ahead run after Greg Dobbs hit a bases clearing double to put Florida up 3-2.
But the pain wouldn’t end there. Marmol continued his walkathon, giving up a free pass to Emilio Bonifaco. Kerry Wood came in to replace Marmol, but promptly walked Omar Infante before giving up RBIs to Gaby Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez. James Russell then replaced Wood and got the second out of the inning, but also allowed in another run before the bleeding stopped.
The Cubs would score one more run in the bottom of the ninth to pull within three, when Tony Campana scored after a passed ball by Marlins closer Leo Nunez. But it wouldn’t be enough when Reed Johnson and Kosuke Fukudome went down on strikes to close out the game.
All of this spoiled a great outing by Matt Garza, who recovered from his disaster against the Nationals to throw seven shutout innings, giving up just six hits and three walks while striking out six.
The two teams will play again on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 P.M., CDT.