Game Seventy – Cubs 0 Mariners 2
WP – Jason Vargas (6-2) LP – Ryan Dempster (5-6) Save – David Aardsma (16)
A two-run homer by Franklin Gutierrez in the second inning accounted for all of the runs in Tuesday night’s game. Ryan Dempster made one mistake and picked up a rare complete game loss. Dempster threw 116 pitches and gave up just five hits in eight innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Jose Lopez led off the second with a single to left and scored on Gutierrez’s blast to left. Guiterrez’s sixth longball of the year came on a 2-1 pitch from Dempster.
The Cubs’ offense was non-existent again. Lou Piniella’s crew was shutout for the second time in three games and had plenty of chances once again. The Cubs out hit the Mariners 6-5 but were 0-for-6 with RISP and left seven on base. Jason Vargas struck out seven in seven innings … and David Aardsma picked up the Mariners’ eighth strikeout to end the game.
Alfonso Soriano (3-for-4 with a double) and Marlon Byrd (2-for-4 with a double) combined for five of the Cubs’ six hits. Soriano ran the Cubs out of a scoring chance in the fifth when he misread a liner off the bat of Tyler Colvin. Soriano was doubled off second.
The Cubs hit into two double plays and other than a couple of exceptions did not hit the ball hard all night. Colvin’s lineout in the fifth was probably the hardest hit ball all night.
Tyler Colvin had a chance in the ninth with runners on first and third with two outs. But Colvin struck out on foul tip to end the game. Colvin finished the game 0-for-4 and left five on base.
Milton Bradley faced his former team of the first time. Bradley was 0-for-3 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts.
The Mariners won their fifth in a row after holding the Reds to one run in the three-game series last weekend. With the way the Cubs have not hit mediocre pitching this season, it is not out of the realm of possibility they could finish the three games in Seattle without scoring a run.
With the loss, Lou Piniella’s crew slipped back to eight games below the mediocre mark … 31 up and 39 down. There is not much to say about Tuesday night’s loss. Both teams have poor offenses and Ryan Dempster made one big mistake. Dempster pitched from behind in the count early in the game, which cost him. While Jason Vargas was busy throwing strike one, Dempster fell behind 1-0, 2-0 to a majority of the hitters he faced the first time through the lineup.
The Cubs offense leaves little to no room for error for the pitching staff. A complete game loss, giving up just two runs on five hits is inexcusable.
Randy Wells is next up … and he will face Cliff Lee Wednesday night.