Unfortunately it’s an all too familiar game and result for the Cubs as they couldn’t solve Matt Cain for 8+ innings en route to a 2-1 loss in San Francisco. Matt Garza had one of his best road outings of the year but a series of unfortunate events led to the Giants plating two runs in the 6th to erase a 1-0 Cubs lead. With Ryan Theriot on first after a lead-off single Melky Cabrera hit a soft fly ball to Alfonso Soriano, unfortunately it was Soriano circa 2011 as he played the fly out into a single. Soriano has played plus defense all year, but he should have had that one. Pagan followed with a one-out infield single, then Aubrey Huff coaxed a walk on a very close 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded that Matt Garza was visibly upset with to tie the game at one. The bad luck continued as Joaquin Arias hit a ground ball to the hole between third and short in which Castro could only get the force out at 2nd which allowed the eventual winning run to score, which coincidently was the guy who shouldn’t have been on base to begin with. The Cubs couldn’t get anything going at the plate against Cain, their only run came off the bat of David DeJesus as he launched a 400ft plus home run to deep right center. The Cubs only managed five hits the whole game as they didn’t get any from the 6 spot through the 9 spot in the order. Tony Campana had his second straight solid game at the top of the order going 2-for-4 with two stolen bases. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Jeff Samardzija is definitely getting the hang of this starter thing as he improved to 5-3 on the season with another stellar outing this afternoon against the Padres. Samardzija went seven strong innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, while walking only one and striking out eight. That’s been the most impressive thing from Samardzija, he is not only locating but pitching to contact when he can, thus limiting his pitches which is allowing him to go deeper into the game. The outcome might have been different if it weren’t for Shawn Camp in the eighth inning. Samardzija left in the eighth with a guy at 3rd and nobody out and Camp came in to get the next three hitters without allowing the run to score to preserve the 4-3 lead. Joe Mather and Darwin Barney were each 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles. Every Cubs hitter had at least one hit, I’m not counting Koyie Hill as a hitter. Alfonso Soriano hit his seventh home run of the season in the bottom of the 6th to make it 3-1, but the bigger play might have been in the top half as Soriano made an outstanding diving catch and doubled off Stultz at second to keep the Cubs ahead by one. The Cubs go for the sweep tomorrow, if they win that game that’s officially a winning streak, it has happened before. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
The losses are just running together at this point, add this one to the pile as the Cubs were never really in this one. Garza came into this game awful on the road, he lived up to those expectations by tossing five horrendous innings. He gave up six runs, five earned while walking only one (bonus!) and striking out six, he gave up three home runs. Rafael Dolis continued his audition for the Iowa Cubs bullpen by giving up two runs on two hits with two walks without retiring a hitter. Before the game Dale Sveum said that Dolis would no longer be the closer, not like we noticed really because when was the last time the Cubs needed a closer? James Russell and Shawn Camp will get opportunities to close games if the situation ever arises again. Once again the Cubs did nothing for the majority of the game with the bats until the game was decided then they went to work. Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI’s, and that was really it. The Cubs were only able to get four runs across the plate on seven hits. They only managed two hits in six inning off of Cy Young candidate Erik Bedard who came into this game at 2-5 on the season. Twelve straight losses, two more to tie the all-tim Cubs record… have to shoot for something right? Full box score and highlights after the jump.
No matter how the game is going right now, Cubs fans and players alike are just expecting the worst and once again the Cubs delivered. Rafael Dolis buried a 2-2 sinker into the ribs of the “dangerous” Matt Hague with the bases loaded to give the Pirates the win. Common theme during this streak and really the whole year, the Cubs never allow themselves to get beat, they beat themselves. Once again an opponent was trying to give up an out with a sac bunt in the ninth and Dolis couldn’t get a pitch close enough to the strike zone for the hitter to offer at it and he walked him. The inning would have been much different with McCutchen up with one out and a guy at second instead of 1st and 2nd and no outs. Anyway, Paul Maholm struggled with his command but battled his way through five innings in his return to Pittsburgh settling for a no decision. Alfonso Soriano was 1-for-4 at the plate with his 5th home run of the season, his solo shot brought the Cubs back to within one in the 4th inning. Starlin Castro was 1-for-4 at the plate as well with a big two-out RBI triple in the 5th inning to tie the game at two. Unfortunately for the Cubs they only managed six hits, and couldn’t string anything together, one thing they are good at stringing together is losses, the streak now sits at 11. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
I think Dale Sveum said it best after this one, “I’m a little lost for words now. It’s kind of the same thing” you’re not the only one Dale. Just when you think the Cubs have found every way possible to lose a game they go out and find another excruciating way to do so. Ryan Dempster was on the mound again for the Cubs so odds are it was going to be a low scoring game, and it was. Dempster was brilliant, what else is new? He went 7 and 1/3rd and only gave up one run on seven hits. Dempster had his command once again tonight as he only walked one guy while striking out seven, his ERA drops to 2.14, and his record falls to 0-3, amazing. Offensively the Cubs actually had something going, they pounded out 10 hits, but couldn’t push any runs across the plate, that’s hard to do. Starlin Castro, hitting in the two-hole for the first time this year was 2-for-5, but made the final out of the game by striking out against Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan with the tying run on third. David DeJesus made the biggest out just before Castro as he struck out looking with said tying run on third when a fly ball would have got the job done. Just terrible, the Cubs were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base, what more is there to say, that tells you everything you need to know. Full box score, and highlights after the jump.
Another day, another loss for the Cubs who got swept in Houston Wednesday night. However the Cubs did hold the lead for a short period of time in the series finale against the Houston Astros. The Cubs got the scoring started in the first when Reed Johnson hit a homerun just inside the left field foul pole to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Samardzija and the Cubs would hold the lead until the bottom of the fourth when with two outs and runners on 1st and 3rd JD Martinez blooped a ball into right field. DeJesus came racing in while Barney went back and just when it looked like DeJesus made the catch, Barney knocked it out of his glove and both runs scored on a triple by Martinez.
As you guessed the Cubs offense couldn’t get anything else going and when they did they once again couldn’t come up with a big hit. The Astros added three runs in the eighth off of Rafael Dolis, who was brought in to get some work in. He was not sharp in 2/3 innings, but it is hard to stay sharp as a closer when your team loses nine games in a row. Brett Myers came in and the Cubs went down quietly in the ninth losing 5-1. The good news is the Cubs will not lose their 10th straight tomorrow as they have a day off, before starting a three game series in Pittsburgh starting Friday. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Apparently it’s going to get worse before it gets better as the Cubs are quickly becoming the worst team in baseball. The number now stands at 59, it has been 59 innings since the Cubs have held a lead in a game. Process that for a second, and watch out Orel Hersheiser, one more inning and you no longer hold a record…oh wait, not the same thing. It’s almost impossible that a team can go almost seven full games without accidentally scoring first, but the Cubs have done it in spectacular fashion. The Cubs actually had a shot at winning the game on Tuesday night, but they couldn’t get a clutch hit or clutch out if their life depended on it and they fell to the Astros 2-1 for their 8th straight loss.
Travis Wood was surprisingly good on the mound for the Cubs. He went 5 and 2/3rds of an inning only allowing two runs on two hits. Wood left in the sixth with a guy on first and two outs. Shawn Camp entered and played hero for the Astros as he committed a throwing error for no reason to allow the runner to get to second then just like that it was 2-1 and a dejected Cubs team limped their way home after that. The Cubs had nothing going offensively once again as they only managed one run on six hits. The lone run coming on a mammoth solo home run from Alfonso Soriano which tied the game at one in the fourth, that was exciting. Full box score and highlights after the jump.