Sabathia ‘Brews’ triumph; Cubs win
Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 6:46 pm
By: By The Associated Press
C.C. Sabathia punctuated his Milwaukee debut with a bellowing scream as he came off the mound after the sixth inning. It was almost as if he was putting the National League on notice.
If the Chicago Cubs didn’t hear Sabathia, they sure recognized the significance of his arrival in the NL Central. The division leaders went out and made a trade for their own top-line pitcher, Oakland’s Rich Harden.
Sabathia was wild in his first win since being acquired from Cleveland, giving up two earned runs on five hits and five walks in six innings as the Brewers beat the visiting Colorado Rockies 7-3 Tuesday night.
“It was just kind of a release,” Sabathia said. “You’ll see that from me from time to time — not much, but from time to time. I get riled up, I have to let it out.”
The reigning AL Cy Young winner’s five walks tied the season high he set in April.
“There are nerves. There’s excitement,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “And it’s hard to keep yourself calm in these situations.”
A day after the Brewers traded for Sabathia (1-0), the Cubs answered by acquiring Harden in a six-player deal before beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-3.
Harden was the best available pitcher, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.
“We felt that the two high-end guys who would possibly be available were the two that have already been traded. Those are legit one and two starters. So we tried to focus on trying to acquire one,” Hendry said. “It certainly wasn’t a reaction move. We would have gladly had Rich two or three weeks ago.”
Harden is expected to pitch this weekend against the Giants at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs are 31/2 games ahead of the Cardinals and four in front of the Brewers in the Central after the Cardinals stopped the Phillies 2-0.
“The rest of the summer, these last 21/2 months, it’s going to make it really fun and interesting,” Yost said.
In other NL games, it was: Pittsburgh 4, Houston 3; N.Y. Mets 7, San Francisco 0; Arizona 2, Washington 0; San Diego 10, Florida 1, and Atlanta 9, L.A. Dodgers 3.
Sabathia got in trouble in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs on an infield single by Matt Holliday and walks to Garrett Atkins and Ryan Spilborghs.
Yorvit Torrealba doubled down the right-field line, scoring Holliday and Atkins. Spilborghs appeared to have a chance to score the tying run, but instead came up limping at third with a strained left oblique and was taken out of the game.
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said Spilborghs would return to Colorado sometime today and he be placed on the disabled list.
Sabathia got out of the inning by striking out Brad Hawpe with a nasty 96 mph fastball without giving up the lead.
Ryan Braun, who hit his 22nd home run to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead in the first, saw the trade for Harden as the Cubs’ attempt to keep pace.
“I think they were probably looking to improve their team regardless,” Braun said. “But I think soon as they saw us get CC, they put the pedal to the metal and made sure they got something done. Obviously that improves their team and it’s going to be a fun race.”
The Cubs can now match Milwaukee’s one-two combination of Sabathia and Ben Sheets with All-Star Carlos Zambrano and Harden.
Harden, eligible to be a free agent after the 2009 season, is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts this season. He’s scheduled to make $4.75 million this season.
Chicago starting pitcher Ryan Dempster became the first Cubs pitcher to win his first 10 decisions at home since Rick Reuschel in 1977 as the Cubs defeated the Cincinnatti Reds 7-3 Tuesday evening.
What the Cubs need from Dempster “is another 10 (wins) in the second half and we’re in business,” manager Lou Piniella said.
The Cubs capitalized on Cincinnati starter Aaron Harang’s wildness. The 6-foot-7 right-hander walked a career-high seven and gave up six runs and five hits in 41/3 innings. Harang (3-11) had been scheduled to start last Saturday but was given a few extra days to recover from stiffness in his right forearm.
“I walked seven?” Harang asked.
Cardinals 2, Phillies 0
At Philadelphia, Joel Pineiro and three relievers combined on a six-hitter, and Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick hit solo homers for St. Louis.
Pineiro (3-4) allowed five hits and walked three in 61/3 innings for his first win since April 29. Cole Hamels (9-6) gave up three hits in seven innings.
Braves 9, Dodgers 3
At Los Angeles, Jair Jurrjens (9-4) pitched six solid innings, batterymate Brian McCann homered twice and Yunel Escobar hit a three-run double to lead Atlanta.
One night after Hiroki Kuroda took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Braves, Chad Billingsley (8-8) held Atlanta hitless until Kelly Johnson and Mark Kotsay opened the fifth with singles.
Mets 7, Giants 0
At New York, Mike Pelfrey (7-6) won his fifth straight start and Carlos Beltran drove in four runs for surging New York.
Beltran hit a three-run homer in the first and Carlos Delgado also connected off Tim Lincecum (10-2) to help the Mets win their fourth straight.
Lincecum allowed a season-high nine hits in six innings. He struck out four, increasing his NL-high total to 126.
D’backs 2, Nationals 0
At Washington, Brandon Webb earned his major league-leading 13th win, pitching six scoreless innings for Arizona. Webb (13-4) struck out six and allowed six hits.
Brandon Lyon worked the ninth for his 19th save.
Washington lost its sixth straight game.
Nationals starter Odalis Perez (2-6) was ejected in the third inning for arguing the second balk call in an inning against him.
Padres 10, Marlins 1
At San Diego, rookie Chase Headley had three hits and four RBI, including a three-run double, Scott Hairston had a two-run homer among his three hits and Randy Wolf snapped a four-game losing streak.
Brian Myrow hit his first major league homer pinch-hitting for Wolf leading off the seventh.
Wolf (6-8) won for the first time since June 11. Andrew Miller (5-8) lost for the fifth time in six decisions.
Pirates 4, Astros 3
At Pittsburgh, Nate McLouth’s two-run single off Doug Brocail (4-4) in the eighth capped a three-run rally and Pittsburgh sent Houston to its seventh loss in eight games.