Ryan's Place

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cirillo Hits Game Winning RBI



Pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo was expecting a slider from Ryan Dempster. He got a changeup instead, and took advantage.

Cirillo, who had three hits in his previous 19 pinch-hit at bats, singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

"I thought he was just going to ride it out with sliders, that's basically what he's done to me all year when I've gotten behind on him," said Cirillo, who was behind 0-2 to Dempster. "He threw a changeup, and I didn't even really know he threw a changeup."

Cirillo's opportunity came when Nelson Cruz walked off Jermain Van Buren, the fifth Cubs reliever, leading off the bottom of the ninth. Bill Hall reached on a fielder's choice and Rickie Weeks was intentionally walked. Ryan Dempster relieved Van Buren (0-2) and struck Damian Miller.

Van Buren said he simply didn't do his job.

"Our relievers didn't do that bad," Van Buren said. "I just kind of stunk, though. I've got to go after hitters a lot better."

Cirillo batted for Derrick Turnbow (7-1), who blew his fourth save in the ninth as the Cubs tied the game with two runs. Hall and Weeks advanced on a double steal before Cirillo lined a 2-2 pitch to left to drive in Hall.

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