Game One Hundred Twenty-One – Cubs 1 Padres 5
WP – Clayton Richard (11-5) LP – Casey Coleman (0-1) Save – None
The Chicago Cubs continued taking their lumps on Wednesday afternoon … and lost yet another game. Lou’s crew have lost 18 of 23 and for the first time since the dismal 2006 season, the Cubs slipped 21 games below being an average team.
For the first time in the history of the organization the Cubs played 10 rookies in a single game Wednesday … six pitchers and four position players. Lou used six rookie pitchers (Coleman, Russell, Berg, Diamond, Cashner and Mateo) and four position players in their first season in the big leagues (Barney, Castro, Castillo and Colvin).
Casey Coleman made his first big league start Wednesday and did not make it through five innings. Coleman labored through an extremely long, 37-pitch first inning and gave up a pair of runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman. Coleman settled down in the second but served up a home run to Adrian Gonzalez in the second.
Coleman left after allowing three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Coleman walked three, hit a batter and struck out one on 82 pitches, 45 for strikes.
James Russell and Justin Berg did their job and got out of a big jam in the fifth.
Thomas Diamond was one of the few bright spots on Wednesday. Diamond worked two scoreless and gave up just one hit. But the big difference was he threw strikes. Diamond struck out two, did not walk a batter, and threw only 30 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Andrew Cashner and Marcos Mateo gave up single runs in the eighth and ninth to complete the rookie parade from the bullpen.
The Cubs offense was horrible once again. They scored only one run on seven hits, left eight on base and were a spectacular 1-for-9 with RISP.
Jeff Baker drove in the Cubs’ lone run with a double in the second inning … the Cubs only run off a Padres starter in the series and their only run in the last 18 innings.
The Cubs lost for the 71st time this season Wednesday (50-71), $140 million just doesn’t go as far as it used to …. With the rumors of Derrek Lee’s departure on every one’s mind, the Cubs put together another bad effort Wednesday. The Cubs are on track to lose 100 games for the first time since 1966 … Leo Durocher’s Cubs dropped 103 games 44 years ago.
Will Venable led off the game with an infield single up the middle. Venable took off for second with Jerry Hairston, Jr. at the plate. Welington Castillo threw him out … only the fourth time all season Venable has been thrown out trying to swipe second.
Hairston, Jr. ended up walking and so did Adrian Gonzalez.
Coleman hit Chase Headley on a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Matt Stairs stepped in and just missed a grand slam. Stairs ripped a 3-2 pitch off the top of ivy in left … the Padres took a 2-0 lead and never looked back.
Nick Hundley grounded into a 4-2 fielder’s choice and Tony Gwynn, Jr. grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs got on the board and cut the Padres lead in half in the bottom of the second.
Alfonso Soriano reached on a one out double to left center. Soriano stole third and scored on a double to left center by Jeff Baker … 2-1 Padres.
Welington Castillo flied out to right center and Casey Coleman flied out to a diving Matt Stairs in left center to end the inning.
The Padres got the run right back in the top of the third.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his 23rd longball of the year over the wall in left on a 2-1 pitch. Coleman settled down but the damage had been done.
Clayton Richard led off the fifth with a single to right. Jerry Hairston, Jr. singled to right center and Gonzalez walked to load the bases … and chase Casey Coleman from the game.
James Russell retired Chase Headley on a pop out to shallow left center. Piniella went back to his pen and brought in Justin Berg to face Chris Denorfia. Denorfia hit for Stairs and grounded out to third to end the inning.
The game remained 3-1 until the eighth.
Andrew Cashner struggled again and gave up a single to Adrian Gonzalez to start the inning. Chase Headley singled to right and Chris Denorfia reached on a bunt single to load the base.
Cashner uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the fourth run of the game to score. Hundley ended up flying out to center for the first out. Both runners held and were stranded after Scott Hairston and Everth Cabrera struck out to end the inning.
Marcos Mateo allowed the fifth and final run in the ninth. Will Venable singled to right center and Hairston, Jr. walked. Mateo then walked Gonzalez to load the bases with one out.
Chase Headley hit a sacrifice fly to left, Venable tagged and scored … 5-1 Padres.
Six Cubs’ pitchers gave up five runs on 11 hits, walked five, struck out seven, hit a batter and uncorked a wild pitch … now that’s growing pains.
Carlos Zambrano and Mat Latos in the finale Thursday afternoon.