|Chicago's 8-4 loss to Arizona Diamondbacks has Cubs on brink of elimination|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 04 October 2007 19:55|
Every Chicago Cubs fan - and there were many in the Chase Field crowd of 48,575 - must have felt the same way. The Cubs finally make it back to the playoffs, and now they're almost out of them.
Chicago is one loss from elimination after an 8-4 loss to Arizona in Game 2 of their NL playoff series on Thursday night.
Arizona leads the best-of-5 series 2-0 heading into Game 3 Saturday night at Chicago. Diamondbacks fans chanted ``Sweep the Cubs!'' in the ninth.
Lilly wasn't the only frustrated Cub. The top four batters in the order - Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez - went a combined 4-for-19 with seven strikeouts.
The power outage at the top of the Chicago order began in the opener, with Jacque Jones batting second instead of Theriot. The Cubs' first four batters went a combined 1-for-16 with six strikeouts.
At least that was against Arizona ace Brandon Webb, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner. On Thursday night, the Cubs' top four struggled against Doug Davis, who had allowed 14 runs over 18 1-3 innings in his last four starts,
The free-swinging Soriano set the tone in the game's first at-bat, striking out on a breaking ball in the dirt. Soriano, who signed a $136 million, eight-year contract last winter, is 2-for-10 in the series with four strikeouts.
History isn't on the Cubs' side. The North Siders have won three postseason series in their history, and they didn't trail in any of them.
Manager Lou Piniella pulled Carlos Zambrano after 85 pitches in the opener, saying he planned to bring his ace back on three days' rest in Game 4. If the Cubs don't win on Saturday, Zambrano's next start will come in nearby Mesa, the Cubs' spring training base, but at least he'll be rested.
Lilly went 3 1-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season not counting a two-inning tuneup on Sept. 30 and a first-inning ejection on June 10.
Geovany Soto gave Lilly a 2-0 lead in the second. Lilly made it last five batters.
Chris Snyder singled leading off the bottom half and Justin Upton walked. Chris Young, a rookie who led the Diamondbacks with 32 homers this season, homered with two outs. As the drive landed in the left-field bleachers, 421 feet away, Lilly slammed his glove to the ground.
It might have been the best throw he made all night.