The Prince Fielder-Ryan Braun Show – Cubs 0 Brewers 6

Game Eight – Cubs 0 Brewers 6
WP – Chris Narveson (1-0) LP – Matt Garza (0-1) Save – None

The Cubs slipped back to .500 on the young season with a poor performance in Milwaukee Saturday night. Q’s offense failed to show up and Matt Garza could not figure out how to get Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun out.

The middle of the Brewers lineup had their way with Matt Garza. Ryan Braun (2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a RBI and three runs scored) and Prince Fielder (3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBI) drove in all five of the Brewers runs against Garza.

Prince Fielder’s three doubles went to three different parts of Miller Park (left, right and left center) and all three were ripped on 0-2 pitches.

Garza was fine against the rest of Milwaukee’s lineup but not against the big boys.

Matt Garza’s final line: five runs on eight hits with three walks (one intentional) and eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Garza threw 107 pitches, 69 for strikes … four of the Brewers first five hits went for extra bases, three doubles and a triple.

After two games (12 2/3 innings), Matt Garza has struck out 20 batters and given up 20 hits.

Marcos Mateo had an impressive outing. Mateo did what Garza could not he retired the heart of the Brewers’ lineup in order in the seventh. John Grabow also did his job in the sixth but Jeff Samardzija is an entirely different story.

Jeff Samardzija issued four walks in the eighth and forced in the Brewers’ sixth run of the night. There is no excuse for a pitcher not throwing strikes when he enters a game with his team down by a 5-0 score.

The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent. Chris Narveson kept the Cubs off balance all night. Q’s squad was 0-for-5 with RISP and left six on in the first five innings … the Cubs finished the night with a total of six hits, two walks (both by Geovany Soto, one in the first and the other in the ninth) and left seven on base. The Cubs put the leadoff man on one time in nine innings, a leadoff walk by Soto in the ninth.

Carlos Pena had another good game in the field but continued his rough start at the plate. Before a fifth inning two-out single, Pena was 0-for-9 against left-handed pitching with fix strikeouts to start the season.

The Cubs were shutout for the first time on the young season … and for the first time a game was not decided by three runs or less. With the loss, the Cubs dropped to 4-4 after the first eight games of the season.

The Cubs had a big chance in the first inning after a two-out double by Marlon Byrd. Byrd put together one of his better at bats of the season and dumped a double into right on a 3-2 pitch. Aramis Ramirez actually struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt but was able to reach when the ball got away from Wil Nieves.

Geovany Soto walked to load the bases for Carlos Pena. Pena worked the count to 3-2 before swinging and missing to end the inning. After his at bat in the first inning against Chris Narveson, Pena was 0-for-8 against left handed pitching this season with five strikeouts.

The Brewers came out swinging against Matt Garza and jumped out to an early lead.

Rickie Weeks singled off Garza’s leg and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Nyjer Morgan. Ryan Braun ripped a 1-0 offering into left center. Weeks scored easily … 1-0 Brewers.

Garza got ahead of Prince Fielder 0-2 before elevating a fastball. Fielder deposited the mistake down the right field line. Braun casually trotted home with the Brewers’ second run of the game.

Casey McGehee popped out to second and Yuniesky Betancourt grounded out to short to end the inning.

Garza threw 21 pitches in the first, 16 for strikes.

Chris Narveson kept the overly aggressive Cubs offense off balance in the second and third innings. Narveson retired seven in a row after walking Soto to load the bases in the first. The Cubs simply do not make pitchers work.

The Cubs found themselves in a huge hole after the bottom of the third. Garza struck out Weeks to start the inning but Nyjer Morgan lined a triple into right center on a 1-0 pitch. Garza then issued his first free pass of the young season to Ryan Braun.

With runners on first and third with one out, Garza jumped out ahead of Prince Fielder 0-2 before leaving another fastball up. Fielder deposited the ball down the left field line. Morgan and Braun scored (after Soriano missed the cut off man) and the Brewers took a commanding 4-0 lead.

McGehee lined out to short on a 3-0 pitch and Betancourt lined out to center to end the inning. Garza was not fooling many of the Brewers’ hitters … four of Milwaukee’s first five hits went for extra bases, three doubles and a triple.

Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto led off with back-to-back singles to start the fourth … but Carlos Pena looked at strike three (second strikeout of the night) and Alfonso Soriano hit into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.

After his second at bat against Narveson, Pena was 0-for-9 on the year against southpaws with six strikeouts.

The Cubs tried to rally in the fifth after Reed Johnson (ground out to second) and Matt Garza (swinging strikeout) made two quick outs. Jeff Baker lined a single down the left field line. The ball hit the sidewall and bounced perfectly to Braun. Baker had to hold at first on what looked like a sure double.

Starlin Castro singled to center but Marlon Byrd flied out to left to end the inning.

After five innings, the Cubs had already left six on base and were a pathetic 0-for-5 with RISP.

The Ryan Braun-Prince Fielder Show continued in the bottom of the fifth. Garza struck out Weeks and Morgan to start the inning (the third and fourth consecutive strikeouts for Garza). Garza fell behind Braun 3-1 before he lined a single into right on a 3-2 pitch.

Prince Fielder then recorded his third double (second to left) on the third 0-2 pitch. Fielder ripped a double into left and Braun scored all the way from first … 5-0 Brewers.

After the Cubs failed to plate a run in the top of the sixth, the Brewers went back to work in the home half.

Mark Kotsay reached on a one-out single to right. Garza then walked Wil Nieves, the eighth place hitter in the Brewers’ lineup. Chris Narveson dropped down a bunt to third and advanced both runners ninety feet.

Garza ended his night by intentionally walking Rickie Weeks to load the bases.

John Grabow was summoned from the pen … and struck out Nyjer Morgan looking to end the inning.

Matt Garza’s final line … five runs on eight hits with three walks (one intentional) and eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Garza threw 107 pitches, 69 for strikes.

The game remained 5-0 until the eighth. Jeff Samardzija took the hill and once again proved he should not be on a Major League roster. Samardzija walked four batters in his inning of work and the fourth (Nyjer Morgan) forced in the Brewers’ sixth run. Samardzija threw 31 pitches … only 13 for strikes.

The Cubs were outplayed badly Saturday night at Miller Park …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Casey Coleman will face Yovani Gallardo in the series finale Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  • paulcatanese

    Nice recap Neil to a horendous display by the Cubs. Garza says that wasn’t him out there for 20 hits in two games. I watched both of them so maybe he can tell me who was out there. Sure looked like him. I guess it has not been as easy as he thought coming over from the American League. (Sam Fuld on Sport Center) no.1 on the highlight reel,what a catch.

  • Freeyourmind2000

    did Fielder sign an extension with the Brew Crew or will he still be a FA at the end of the season? Perhaps he was just showing the Cubs what he could do for them if they don’t get Pujols for 1B next year

  • Joe

    Jeff S. sucks! Cut our losses and let him go play football. He wasn’t particularly good at Notre Dame, and he didn’t throw 100 mph. Why did they think he would be good, or even half-ass in the majors? What a stupid waste of time and money.

    • Chris

      Trade him to the Bears!!

  • Wickitkevin

    I still think the Cubs were better off going into a 3 way deal in the Garza trade:

    Rays get Archer, Chirinos, Francisco and money from the Rangers.

    Rangers get Garza and Dolis.

    Cubs get Holland, Moreland or Davis and a PTBNL (which would be Michael Olt).

  • Ripsnorter1

    I like Coleman. I hope he does well today.

    Samardzija: he has good stuff. He just cannot locate his pitches. If he leaves his fastball out over the plate, it travels a long way. When he locates his pitches, he is effective.

    His line for 2011 thus far:

    3 IP/ just 1 hit off of him/ 8 walks!/ 3 strike outs. His WHIP is 3.00!
    For his career: 54 BB and 57 K’s in 95 IP. That very well may be the worst in MLB for that number of innings pitched.

    Jim Clueless ruined this guy in two ways:
    1. Too big of a contract
    2. Rushed him to the majors


    Shoulda kept Archer and dealt away Samardzija. But Tampa isn’t that stupid.

    • Cheryl

      I likke Coleman too. But where will they hide Jeff. There will come a time within the next month that they’ll have to do something about him.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I really think they keep him all year long, or else, hide him on the DL like they did Grabow last year. Grabow had a 7.36 ERA for the Cubs last year, and they stuck with him because of the contract. Samardzija will not be released or sent down because of the contract.

  • Ripsnorter1

    You think this is bad? The Cubs are hitting .273 as a team right now. That is going to get lower, not higher. They have out hit, out slugged and out OPS their opponents thus far in 2011. They are #3 in the NL in runs scored (33). #5 in HR. #5 in BA. #4 in RBI. Looks impressive, doesn’t it?

    It gets even more impressive. The Cubs have struck out fewer times than any other team in the NL. Incredible, considering that Mr. .196, Colvin, Funko and Soriano are on this team. Ultra incredibly, the Cubs have struck out fewer times with RISP than any other team in the league except Atlanta (Cubs, 10x/ Atlanta 7x. Compare Philly 26/Mets 25x). We lead all of MLB with our leadoff hitter’s BA at .484. Our #5 hitter leads the league at .346 avg.

    Here’s how we look vs. our own opponents:
    .273 vs .264
    .429 vs..389 slugging
    .763 vs. .724 OPS
    OBP is the same for Cubs & opponents at .335

    Unfortunately, we are 12th in the league hitting with RISP at .210.
    We are slugging just .355 with RISP, good for 11th in the league.
    As for Pinch hitting with RISP, we are 1 for 10 (DeWitt’s double).
    The Cubs do not have 1 SB as a team this year (last in the league).
    Our #6 hitter is #13 in the league with .138 avg.

    Thus far the only real slow starter we have is Colvin (2-19/.105 BA). Hill is hitting .000, but that is very close to his ST average of .036.

    You cannot say Mr. .196 is off to a slow starter since he’s hitting .222, pretty close to his career average and above the Mendoza line (he hit below the Mendoza line in 2010). Besides, some on this forum expressed the opinion that if he could hit .220, they’d be fine with that. I’ll just say he’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. LOL He’s fanned 8 times in 18 AB (.444). I expected that.

    Soriano leads the Cubs with 5 RBI.

    Overall, I’d say we should enjoy the offensive outburst since our leadoff man is not going to continue to hit .484. Our #2 hole hitter is hitting .294, and those two table setters have made it possible for the rest of the team to hit .210 with RISP.

    And again I’m going to express my fears that Colvin will prove that he cannot hit the breaking ball at the ML level. My fear is that he may even find himself back at AAA sometime during 2011. He’s got to learn to hit that breaking ball!

    So I expect that, offensively, things will cool down some.

    • Tony

      Nice overview Rip, of what has been going on.

      The 3 C’s

      Castro – The Real Deal – but C’mon man – catch the ball first.
      Cashner – Looked good, lets hope he is fine
      Colvin – Yes he has struggled and if he needs to go to the minors for a few weeks, so be it. Confidence is everything, and he may need to go and get a dose of confidence. Many players who have had long major league careers, were sent down during their first couple of years, when needed.

  • Tony

    At least Garza’s excuses, have finally turned into him blaming himself.–20110409,0,625253.story

    • Ripsnorter1

      Garza still says,”This isn’t me.” He’s lying, or completely delusional. Just look at his starts in 2010, it looks just like in about half of his starts, he got his head handed to him. Here’s his 2010 “roughed up” starts:

      Sept 20 vs Yanks 5 IP/ 7 R / 8 H
      Sept 14 vs Yanks 4.2 / 6 R / 9 H
      Sept 8 vs. BoSox 4.1 IP / 6 R / 9 H
      Aug 11 vs. Tigers 5.2 IP / 3 R/ 7 H
      Jul 31 vs. Yanks 7 IP / 4 R
      Jul 20 vs. Orioles 6.1 IP/ 7 R / 10 H
      Jul 5 vs. BoSox 3 IP / 4 R / 7 H
      Jun 18 vs. FLA 1.1 IP / 7 R / 7 H
      Jun 12 vs. FLA 5.2 IP / 4 R / 9 H
      Jun 6 vs TEX 5.2 IP / 4 R / 6 H
      May 31 vs TOR 6.1 IP / 3 R / 10 H
      May 26 vs BoSox 5.0 IP / 5 R / 6 H
      May 10 vs LAA 7.2 IP / 4 R / 7 H
      Apr 23 vs. TOR 5 IP / 5 R / 8 H

      I didn’t make this stuff up. Read it here:

      So I’d say, “IT SURE IS GARZA.”

      • Tony

        Rip – I have tried to tell people that Garza is not an “Ace” in waiting. What everyone has been waiting for, is a consistent pitcher. I have used him in fantasy baseball, and he was an extremely frustrating pitcher to have on your roster. His hot streaks are great, but his cold streaks are not. JH seems to like players who are streaky.

        You listed almost half of his starts! What a deal!

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Probably not going to be popular but I have written this team off in 2011. I am looking forward to 2012 and beyond. Grabow, Fukudome, Samardzia, Baker, and Ramirez come off the books. Maybe Tom Ricketts will hire a new GM and this team will start anew with fresh ideas.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes, we can dream, can’t we? It is already “Wait until next year” in Wrigleyville! LOL

      Murphy’s Law, which seems to be operable in Wrigleyville, states, “If an organization loses a misfit, another misfit will be recruited to take his place.”

      That dream of yours may very well become a nightmare.

  • Tony

    Cubs Still waiting for those Aces? and waiting…and waiting…we don’t have any aces, so we will be waiting for one to develop.

  • David

    Jeff S is NOT a major league pitcher. If he isn’t now he most likely never will be! Bite the bullet!. You can’t pitch him in a close game.

    When will Reed Johnson show up? Still no hits! He ties up a roster spot. We have better players in the organozation!

    Again , bite the bullet!

  • paulcatanese

    Again Quade is messing with the lineup.At least today,there is a little more potental to score some runs. That aside,the players need to have some games in a row to have any kind of repeat success in their play,in and out of the lineup just does not do it. The lineup is built around Byrd,Aram,Pena and Soto. The rest are visitors every so many days. Not a good way to build streaks of winning. Is Quade saying that he has a crystall ball that tells him that the guys he leaves out cannot possibly hit against given pitchers?,and the ones he puts in can?

  • paulcatanese

    And another thing, Quade MUST know that Johnson, Hill and Pena are not great contact hitters. Why play Johnson at all? Hill we all know about,and since we do not have a backup catcher,Hill must play,I say only when Soto’s knees are worn down to a nub, and the put him back out there after a little new-skin is applied,dont even wait for it to dry. And Pena?,this guy has to bat no higher than no.8 in the lineup,need his glove, and someone needs to find him a bat,maybe a tennis racket?