Chad Billingsley had his way with the Cubs lineup, as he usually does, and the Dodgers knocked around Jeff Samardzija en route to a 6-1 victory in Los Angeles. Samardzija was repeatedly beat tonight ahead in the count, which is rare for him. Shark just couldn’t put any one away, he lasted 5.1 innings giving up five runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out three on the way to his ninth loss of the season. As I mentioned the Cubs offense was nothing to write home about as they seemed to sleep walk their way through this one. They only managed four hits on the night, and finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Luis Valbuena was the only Cubs player to register an RBI as he knocked in Darwin Barney with an RBI double in the 5th to tie the game at one. Unfortunately the Dodgers poured it on from there, scoring twice in the 5th and 6th to make it 5-1 on their way to the victory. There was a bright side tonight, I promise. Scott Maine, Alberto Cabrera, and Jeff Beliveau all had scoreless outings, nice to see some success out of the bullpen by guys not named Russell and Camp. Small change to the rotation as Chris Volstad will get the start against Clayton Kershaw tomorrow night instead of Justin Germano. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
On paper this matchup looks, well, horrible for the Cubs. Luckily for the Cubs they don’t play these games on paper, that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Given the matchups this weekend the Cubs are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to pitching. This could be said for the whole season, but it hasn’t ever been as bad as this, with Dempster gone, and Garza shelved it could be a long series for Samardzija, Germano, and Coleman. If the Cubs want any shot at winning this series they are going to need to get outstanding performances from said starters as the offense will be hard pressed to put up very many runs. The Dodgers rank third in the National League with a 3.38 ERA, compared to the Cubs who have a 4.31 ERA good for 14th in the NL. The only good news for the Cubs right now is that the Dodgers come into this series reeling despite acquiring Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez before the trade deadline. They were just swept by the Diamondbacks and currently sit .5 game out of first with the D-Backs hot on their tail for second. It will be interesting to see which Cubs team finishes this series as Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson have both been rumored to be getting the call very soon.
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
The Cubs losing streak now stands at four as Garza and the Cubs could not stop their losing ways on Wednesday as the Marlins beat the Cubs 9-1. Garza had been good in his first two outings, but tonight was not his night. The Marlins were powered by two early two-run homeruns which proved to be more than enough. The Cubs bats were once again nowhere to be found as Mark Buerhle allowed six hits and one run is 8 innings of work.