Game Sixty-Eight – Cubs 0 Angels 12
WP – Jered Weaver (7-3) LP – Ted Lilly (2-6) Save – None
The game might have lasted three hours but it was over 16 minutes after Ted Lilly’s first pitch. Saturday was by far Ted Lilly’s worst outing of the season. After allowing one run on five hits in his two previous starts (16 innings), the Angels scored four in the first on a Howie Kendrick homer and a bases clearing double by Juan Rivera.
After the four runs by the Angels in the first Saturday afternoon, the Cubs have been outscored in the first inning this season 50-28.
The Angels first six runs were scored on three extra base hits … Howie Kendrick’s first career leadoff dinger, Juan Rivera’s double and a two-run homer by Torii Hunter in the fifth. Hunter continued his impressive series with his second longball in as many days and put on a clinic in center.
Bobby Abreu finished the game 4-for-5 with a walk, two runs scored and a RBI. Abreu has picked up where he left off hitting at Wrigley.
Ted Lilly left in the sixth after allowing eight runs, six earned, on nine hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 5 1/3. Lilly also committed the Cubs’ 10th error in five games that led to the two unearned runs in the sixth … and Starlin Castro added an error in the ninth for good measure, the Cubs’ 11th in five games. The Cubs defensive miscues led to four more unearned runs Saturday afternoon. The Cubs have allowed a Major League leading 44 unearned runs this season … Lou Piniella’s crew has allowed eight unearned runs in the last two games.
The Cubs anemic offense managed just two hits against Jered Weaver … a single by Mike Fontenot in the second and a single by Marlon Byrd in the fourth. The Cubs only other baserunner was Tyler Colvin. Colvin reached on a wild pitch in the sixth after he swung and missed at a ball in the dirt. Weaver worked around his mistake and struck out Marlon Byrd to end the inning … his ninth of the game at the time.
Jered Weaver dominated the Cubs, and made them look foolish in the process. Weaver struck out five of the first nine he faced and 11 in seven innings. Weaver threw only 109 pitches, 74 for strikes, and did not walk a batter. Angels pitching struck out 12 Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
The Cubs stretch of working at least one-walk in a game came to an end Saturday. Lou’s crew had walked at least once in 39 straight dating back to May 6 … their longest stretch since July 21-August 31, 2008.
The Cubs did not advance a runner past first base all afternoon … only three players reached in nine innings. Jered Weaver and Scot Shields faced 30 batters, three over the minimum.
The Angels put on a clinic once again at Wrigley … maybe the Cubs’ front office took notes on how baseball should be played.
Prior to Saturday, the Cubs worst loss of the season was a 14-2 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati on May 8. With another embarrassing loss, the Cubs slipped back to eight games under .500 with a 30-38 record.
Saturday was the Cubs worst shutout loss at Wrigley since September 4, 1988 … a 17-0 at the hands of Pete Rose and the Cincinnati Reds.
As Ron Santo said, “This is bad, real bad.” Ted Lilly did not have it from his first pitch of the game. Lilly was missing high throughout the opening frame and threw 35 of his 104 pitches.
Howie Kendrick hit his second homer of the series into the basket in right center on Lilly’s fourth pitch of the game. Kendrick’s first career leadoff blast came on a 2-1 pitch from Lilly.
Kevin Frandsen and Bobby Abreu followed with back-to-back singles. Lilly struck out Torii Hunter on the seventh pitch of the at bat but walked Mike Napoli to load the bases.
Juan Rivera then cleared the bases with a double to right center … 4-0 Angels, again just 16 minutes into the game.
While Jered Weaver was busy throwing strikes and embarrassing the Cubs once again, the Angels went back to work in the fifth inning.
Bobby Abreu singled to left with one-out in the fifth. Torii Hunter then ripped a 2-1 pitch from Lilly into the bleachers in left center … almost the same exact spot as his dinger on Friday.
Lilly got out of the fifth but the game was far from over at that point.
The Angels received another gift in the sixth … this time courtesy of Ted Lilly. Brandon Wood reached on an infield single to third. Jered Weaver then bunted back to Lilly. Lilly spun and threw the ball into centerfield. Wood advanced to third and scored on a single to right by Howie Kendrick … 7-0 Angels and Ted Lilly’s day was over.
Jeff Stevens replaced Lilly and could not find the strike zone. Kevin Frandsen flied out to left but Bobby Abreu recorded his fourth hit of the game, a single to right center drove in Kendrick with the Angels’ eighth run.
Torii Hunter walked on four pitches then Mike Napoli flied out to right to end the inning.
Stevens took the hill to start the seventh and issued a one-out walk to Bobby Wilson. Jered Weaver then blooped a single into right … his third career hit. Howie Kendrick continued torching Cubs’ pitching. He singled to right and drove in Wilson with the Angels’ ninth run.
Stevens issued his third walk to Kevin Frandsen to load the bases.
John Grabow replaced Stevens and retired Abreu on a ground out to first. Grabow was late covering first in another mental breakdown and replays showed Abreu was safe … or the final score would have been worse.
John Grabow faced the minimum in the eighth. When John Grabow is the highlight of a team’s pitching staff, it has been a bad day.
The Angels added insult to bad play in the ninth and scored three more runs off of Bobby Howry.
Bobby Wilson doubled to left off of Chad Tracy’s glove. Brandon Wood blooped a single to left center on a 0-2 pitch. Wilson scored, 10-0 Angels. Robb Quinlan then hit a ball into the hole at short. Castro got to it but threw the ball away down the right field line. Wood scored and Quinlan ended up at second.
Kevin Frandsen doubled to left and drove in Quinlan with the final run of the game.
Lou Piniella said after the game he spoke with his players. He told the media, “We’ve done everything that I can humanly do to get this thing turned around. That’s all I can do.” Piniella said he’s tried everything there … they’ve pitched everyone, played everyone. Piniella sounded disgusted as he acknowledged the fact his team managed only two hits with the wind blowing out.
He finished with, “What am I supposed to do? Yell and scream?”
Carlos Zambrano will face Joe Saunders in the finale of the series and homestand Sunday afternoon.