DeRosa won’t soon forget fifth-inning double play
Call him Downcast DeRosa.
No matter how many hearts Mark DeRosa crushed when he hit into an inning-ending double play in the fifth inning of the Cubs’ 5-1 loss to Arizona at Wrigley Field on Saturday -- a setback that left the North Siders eliminated from the postseason -- it might be difficult to find anyone more heartbroken than DeRosa himself.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I felt like I had a decent season and a lot of meaningful hits but also a lot of big opportunities that should have been better.
“This one is going to take a while for me to get over.”
The old park was rocking. Sure, the Cubs trailed 3-1 when DeRosa came up, but they had the bases loaded with one out. And so Wrigley Field was arguably as loud as it had been all season.
But DeRosa -- third on the team with 72 RBI in the regular season -- hit into a 6-4-3 double play, prompting Arizona starting pitcher Livan Hernandez to pump his fist and beat his chest as he ran back toward the dugout.
The next inning, Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol surrendered a solo homer to Eric Byrnes that gave the D-backs a little breathing room.
Hernandez had been in and out of trouble all night, but the Cubs really had him on the ropes in that fifth inning.
Ryan Theriot singled and stole second. After a Derrek Lee groundout, Cliff Floyd and Aramis Ramirez walked. The crowd noise was getting louder with each pitch during those dramatic walks.
DeRosa worked Hernandez to a 3-and-1 count.
“It was an awesome feeling, and I thought I was having a great at-bat to that point,” DeRosa said.
A fourth ball would cut the Cubs’ deficit to 3-2. But DeRosa swung and grounded the ball to shortstop Stephen Drew, who threw to second baseman Augie Ojeda, who whipped the ball to first baseman Conor Jackson for the inning-ending double play -- one of four twin-killings the Cubs hit into in the game.
“It was the same pitch I lined for a base hit the at-bat before,” DeRosa said. “This time, I got out a little in front of it and rolled over it. It’s the play of the game, in my mind. If I get a knock and tie the game – even if I walk and get it to 3-2 and give Jacque (Jones) a chance with the bases loaded, I think it changes the whole complexion of the game.”
Just DeRosa’s luck: He singled up the middle with the bases empty with two outs in the eighth inning, but it didn’t spark a rally because Jones flied out to end that frame.
“We’re going home,” DeRosa said. “I’m stunned. I was stunned when we were down 2-0. I’m stunned now. We didn’t swing the bats. It’s going to be a long offseason.”
-- The Daily Southtown