Game Nineteen – Cubs 2 Dodgers 12
WP – Chad Billingsley (2-1) LP – Casey Coleman (1-1) Save – None
The Chicago Cubs slipped back to a game under .500 following an hour and 14-minute raid delay and a miserable performance against the Dodgers.
While the Cubs offense could not manage a hit for the first three and a third, the Cubs pitching staff could not throw a strike. Casey Coleman had another horrible outing at Wrigley Field and left before he could record three outs in the third inning. Once again Coleman struggled with his command and when he threw a strike it resulted in a hit and a RBI.
Coleman threw an astonishing 90 pitches in 2 2/3 innings. It took him 51 pitches to record two outs in the third alone. Coleman departed with his team in a 6-0 hole and with an offense that is simply not built to mount a comeback of that size against a quality starter like Chad Billingsley.
Coleman gave up six runs, all earned, on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts (two of which was Matt Kemp) in 2 2/3 innings. Coleman threw 90 pitches, 49 for strikes. The Dodgers scored all six of their runs against Coleman in a long third inning.
Jeff Stevens replaced Coleman and took one for the team. Stevens threw 89 pitches, 50 for strikes, in 3 1/3 innings. Stevens surrendered just one hit but walked six batters, with only two strikeouts, and gave up three more runs.
Marcos Mateo struggled again and gave up three runs in the 9th with two coming on one swing of the bat, a two-run homer by Marcus Thames.
Cubs pitching simply could not throw strikes and worked from behind in the count most of the afternoon. Q’s staff tossed 230 pitches, 132 for strikes, while the Dodgers threw only 149, 92 for strikes.
The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent. Darwin Barney recorded the team’s only RBI of the game. The Cubs first run scored on a passed ball in the fourth. The Cubs managed only eight hits, one for extra bases, and three walks (11 total baserunners for the Cubs, 24 for the Dodgers). The Cubs finished the day 2-for-9 with RISP (one RBI) and left 11 on base.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a game under .500 and 2-2 on the current nine-game homestand …
Casey Coleman labored through a 31-pitch first inning. Coleman issued a pair of walks but not hits and kept the Dodgers off the board. Coleman came out in the second and retired Los Angeles in order on eight pitches and it appeared he’d made the right adjustments.
Chad Billingsley led off the third with a long at bat that resulted in a groundout to second. Coleman fell behind his mound opponent 3-0 before notching the first out of the inning.
Jamey Carroll recorded the first hit of the game with a double down the right field corner on a 2-2 pitch. Casey Blake followed with a single to center. Carroll held at third.
Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a RBI single to center. Coleman then struck out Matt Kemp for the second time … and for the second out.
Juan Uribe singled to center on a 1-1 pitch. Blake scored the Dodgers second run. Coleman lost his command after the Uribe single and issued back-to-back walks to James Loney and Jerry Sands that forced in the Dodgers third run of the game.
A.J. Ellis ripped a single into center on a 2-2 pitch and drove in Uribe and Loney. With the way the Cubs were not hitting Billingsley, the game felt over at that point … but the Dodgers were not done.
Chad Billingsley got his second at bat of the inning and singled to left on a 3-2 pitch. Sands scored and ended Coleman’s day.
Jeff Stevens came in and fell behind Jamey Carroll 3-2 before the Dodgers’ shortstop lined out to a diving Aramis Ramirez to end the inning.
After the Cubs went quietly and without a hit in the third (a two out walk by Kosuke Fukudome), Stevens retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the fourth. Stevens walked Matt Kemp after falling behind 3-0 earlier in the at bat. Juan Uribe turned an ugly 6-0 deficit into an embarrassing 8-0 hole. Uribe ripped a 0-1 pitch over the wall in left, his second longball of the season.
The Cubs actually scored a run in the bottom of the fourth … without a hit.
Aramis Ramirez singled to left on a 2-2 pitch … the Cubs first hit of the game. Carlos Pena walked and Marlon Byrd hit what appeared to be an inning ending double play ball to Loney. The Dodgers forced Pena at second but Carroll’s throw was off the mark. Byrd was safe.
With runners on first and third and two outs, A.J. Ellis let one get past him. Ramirez scored and Byrd advanced to second on the play. But Alfonso Soriano grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Dodgers tacked on another run in the sixth after Jeff Stevens walked the bases loaded to start the inning. Stevens issued three straight walks to Casey Blake, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Juan Uribe drove in his fourth run of the game with a sac fly to center. Blake tagged and scored … 9-1 Dodgers.
Stevens escaped further damage by retiring James Loney on a groundout to first and Jerry Sands on a fly out to right … on the 11th pitch of the at bat.
The Cubs finally scored a run with a hit in the seventh. Blake DeWitt and Kosuke Fukudome reached on back-to-back one out singles. Darwin Barney singled to center on the first pitch of his at bat and plated DeWitt with the Cubs second and last run of the game.
John Grabow did his job. He pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Jeff Stevens … but Marcos Mateo once again proved he should not be at the big league level right now.
Mateo gave up a leadoff single to James Loney in the ninth but induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Jerry Sands. A.J. Ellis then singled on a 3-2 pitch and scored on Marcus Thames home run to left … but the Dodgers were not done.
Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake singled ahead of a bloop single by Tony Gwynn, Jr. The Dodgers’ 14th hit drove in their 12th run of the game.
Friday was one of those days for Q’s squad.
Ryan Dempster against Ted Lilly in game two Saturday afternoon.