Carlos Gonzalez Walkoff: Cubs Invent Yet Another Creative Way To Lose

What else can you do after a game like the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Rockies last night but stare in open-mouthed astonishment?

Sean Marshall, who has one of the best curveballs in the business, starts Carlos Gonzalez out with a fastball up? What sense does that make? "Car-Go" (and can we please stop this kind of nickname?) launched the ball into the third deck in right field at Coors Field, giving the Rockies the win and dropping the Cubs to 13-23 in one-run games.

That's the worst one-run record in the major leagues. Yes, worse than the Orioles, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Indians, Royals, Mariners and Astros. Some of those teams (Orioles, Indians) even have winning records in one-run games. (Those are, incidentally, all the remaining teams with records worse than the Cubs. The Nationals won last night and have now equalled the Cubs at 46-58.) You can blame the Cubs' mostly rookie bullpen for some of those defeats, but not last night's -- Marshall has been one of the Cubs' only bright spots in the pen all year, but he has now had two really bad games in a row.

Incidentally, think the A's regret trading for Matt Holliday two winters ago? They sent the Rockies Gonzalez, Greg Smith and Huston Street. Street's been hurt but when healthy he's an effective closer, and Gonzalez, at only 24, is having an outstanding offensive season.

All of this ruined a nice Cubs comeback highlighted by a three-run homer by Derrek Lee, his first home run in 16 days. Tom Gorzelanny struggled at times but managed to make it into the seventh inning, when Carlos Zambrano made his first appearance since his return to the club. He walked the first batter he faced on five pitches and then gave up a single, but then struck out Seth Smith and got Brad Hawpe to pop up to end the inning.

The walkoff home run completed a cycle for Carlos Gonzalez. According to MLB Network, this has been done only five times in MLB history. The last time it was done was by Dwight Evans against the Mariners on June 28, 1984 in even more dramatic fashion -- it was a three-run walkoff in the bottom of the 11th inning.

And of course, one of the previous occurrences was against the Cubs -- Ken Boyer of the Cardinals in the second game of a doubleheader on September 14, 1961. This one was similar to last night's -- Boyer led off an inning, also, like the Evans game, the 11th inning.

The Cubs still can win the season series vs. the Rockies with a victory this afternoon. In a season of jaw-dropping bad, it would be nice to have a small "good" to enjoy. The game preview will post at 12:30 pm CDT.

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