Four Errors, Four Unearned Runs and a Cubs Loss – Cubs 3 Rockies 5

Game Twenty-Two – Cubs 3 Rockies 5
WP – Esmil Rogers (3-1) LP – Matt Garza (0-3) Save – Huston Street (8)

On a cold, rainy night at Wrigley Field the Cubs gave away another game … and slipped to two games under .500 for the first time this season.

The Cubs took a 3-0 lead in the first inning with two runs coming off Darwin Barney’s first big league home run. Alfonso Soriano drove in the third with a sacrifice fly but that was the last offensive highlight of the game.

The Rockies tied the game in the top of the second on three Starlin Castro errors. The Cubs’ young shortstop had trouble fielding and throwing the ball Monday night and his mistakes allowed the Rockies to tie the game with only one basehit. Castro became the first Cub to commit three errors in the same inning since Jamie Navarro in August of 1996. Monday night was the second time in Castro’s career he’s committed three errors in a single game (May 10, 2010, first game at Wrigley).

Colorado took the lead for good in the fifth on the Cubs’ fourth miscue of the night, a throwing error by Matt Garza. The Rockies scored two runs on a bunt single, a walk, an error and a groundout to second … not one ball left the infield.

The Cubs out hit the Rockies 11-4, but not when it counted. The Cubs finished the game 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.

Kosuke Fukudome had a career night at the plate. Fukudome recorded five hits, all singles, in five trips to the plate. Jeff Baker also had a good game (3-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored) but Carlos Pena was 0-for again (0-for-4 with a walk, two strike outs and four left on base) and Starlin Castro (0-for-5 with four left on base) continued his struggles hitting third in Quade’s lineup.

Matt Garza threw the ball well but could not out pitch all of the errors. Garza took the loss after allowing one earned run (five runs total) on three hits (one bunt single), a walk and seven strikeouts. Garza technically put together a quality start in his third loss of the season. Matt Garza has not allowed an extra base hit in his first three starts at Wrigley.

Jeff Samardzija ran his scoreless innings streak to nine with an impressive two innings Monday night. Samardzija struck out two and allowed just one hit.

Monday night was about execution, both in the field and at the plate. The Cubs could not do either and lost for the 12th time this season (10-12).

The Cubs jumped out to an early lead after Kosuke Fukudome singled to left on a 3-2 pitch to start the inning. Darwin Barney then lifted a 0-2 pitch into the basket in left. Barney’s first career big league homer gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Barney’s line drive shot was the first homer allowed by Esmil Rogers in 13 road games, seven starts.

Jeff Baker reached on a one-out single to center and Carlos Pena walked. With runners on first and second with one out, Marlon Byrd walked to load the bases for Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano hit the first pitch into right. Baker tagged and scored … 3-0 Cubs. Geovany Soto hit a lazy fly into left center on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

The top of the second is a half inning that the Cubs would like to forget. Troy Tulowitzki reached on the first error of the inning by Starlin Castro. Castro bobbled the routine grounder and opened the floodgates.

Matt Garza struck out Todd Helton swinging then gave up his first hit of the game, a single to center by Seth Smith. With runners on first and third with one out, Jose Lopez hit a grounder to Castro that he bobbled for his second error of the inning. Tulowitzki scored … 3-1 Cubs.

Chris Iannetta then hit a grounder to the hole at short. Castro threw the ball into right field. Smith and Lopez scored and tied the game at three on Castro’s third error of the game.

With Iannetta at third, Esmil Rogers grounded out to short and Dexter Fowler struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs had chances in the third and fourth inning to take the lead … but could not hit with runners in scoring position.

While the top of the second was ugly, the top of the fifth was bizarre.

The Rockies took the lead in the top of the fifth without hitting a single ball out of the infield.

Esmil Rogers reached on a bunt single to third to start the inning. Matt Garza then issued his first (and only) walk of the night to Dexter Fowler. Jonathan Herrera tried to sacrifice both runners up ninety feet. Herrera got the bunt down … and Matt Garza threw the ball into the stands. Rogers scored the go ahead and eventual winning run.

With runners on second and third with no outs, Carlos Gonzalez hit a 3-2 pitch to Barney at second. Fowler scored … 5-3 Rockies. Herrera advanced to third on the play.

Mike Quade brought his infield in. Troy Tulowitzki hit a grounder to Castro who threw a strike to Soto to cut Herrera down at the plate. With Helton at the plate, Tulowitzki broke for second and was tagged out by Garza to end the inning.

The Cubs best chance to tie the game came in the sixth. Reed Johnson hit for Matt Garza and was plunked to start the inning. Kosuke Fukudome followed with a single to center. With runners on first and second with no outs, Darwin Barney squared to bunt, pulled the bat back and popped out to short on a 2-1 pitch.

Matt Lindstrom replaced Rogers and retired Castro (groundout to short) and Baker (strikeout swinging) to end the inning.

The Cubs put runners on in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings but simply cannot hit with runners on base … especially in scoring position.

Q’s squad gave another one away … and all but put a bow on it for the Rockies.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Tuesday is another wonderful ‘Bullpen Day‘ for the Cubs. James Russell against Jorge De La Rosa.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver
  • Calicub

    I didn’t see the game but starlin is definately a second guesser when it comes to his throws. The double clutch last season drove me freaking crazy. Poor kid. I knew we were signing up for more errors with his extended range but that’s just plain toug

    5-0 too… rough day.

    • Tony

      The throwing error was not a double clutch and was very similar to Garza’s throwing error, ,moving to their right and trying to throw a wet ball on the infield grass. Both errors are totally understandable on a wet night, but both are avoidable, if they realize they need to set themselves before throwing on a wet night. Castros other errors are ones you see, just usually all in the same inning. No excuses, Castro should have made all 3 plays and it cost them the game. I will still take Castro 1st, if I get to pick off of this team.

      • paulcatanese

        Totaly agree Tony,and will stick with Castro. Too bad Quade didnt. His observation, the game was “gift wrap for the damn opposition”. Quade has a way of coming down on Castro that started last year when he benched him for a mental error,and now this, Castro know’s who Quade was refering to he’s not stupid as any player knows when his errors cost. But are we once again seeing Quade pick on a minimum salary player? Not cool on Quade’s part.

        • Gramps

          Sorry, Paul, but I can not agree with you. Quade (who I don’t particularly like either) spoke the truth. I love the Castro kid but this is the majors. Garza also made an error, so his quote also covers Garza. They are being paid handsomely and have to take the criticism when it comes their way. I have heard Quade gush about some of the things Castro has done and I have no problem when he says they “gift wrapped” the game for the opposition. He is only speaking the truth.

          • paulcatanese

            Gramps,thats okay that you disagree with my post as I have read many of youre’s and they are always good and I respect your’e opinion on all of them.

    • paulcatanese

      Two things,while I agree with the throws,these were not on throws,but if they were don’t forget JH signed a 10mil glove to prevent that. The other thing( and I am not telling you what to do ) Look up some of the All Star shortstops(Aparicio,Banks,etc.) and eventualy in the HOF and checkout the errors in their first year and the next. Castro is in the same range for errors. I feel the same as you do,I feel sorry for him,but hopefully will overcome what could be negative results,if not re-inforced by the others(Quade).

  • Tony

    I just don’t understand the logic…–20110425,0,3037553.story

    To say, that Russell is the best option, over someone who is starting at AAA or AA, because those guys are seasoned enough, this is how they get seasoned and all of them would do better than Russell’s outings.

    Our starters at AAA – Robert Coello, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Thomas Diamond, J.R. Mathes, Ramon Ortiz, Jay Jackson.

    Now I get Ramon Ortiz is just getting stretched out (and I’m not anxious to see that anyway), and that Jay Jackson is just coming back, but Bibens-Dirkx, Diamond, Mathes should have gotten the call over Russell. Either one should have been able to, at least give you 100 pitches to not make you burn up the bullpen so much.

    • Keith Moreland

      Only Diamond and Coello are on the 40-man, though, and someone would have to be outrighted off the 40 to make room for Bibens-Dirkx, Mathes, Ortiz, or Jackson. Of those, only Jackson to me is a long-term keeper; the rest are just filler.

      • Tony

        There are only 39 players on the 40 man roster, if I am counting right and is up to date. Either way, we have plenty of dead weight on the 40 man roster, to make room if needed.

        By the way, good to hear from you.

  • Tony

    Congrats to Barney on his 1st major league Home Run!

    Very nice night for Fukudome as well.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Neil I still do not know why Russel is starting we just putting our bullpen in a bad position because our top starters are not giving quality innings either. I would rather Jeff Samardzija starting or someone in the minor league at this rate our bullpen will be burned by June.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Funko is very hot here in Fastball April. Soriano, although he has clubbed the six HR this month, is still just a .235 hitter. May is always Soriano’s best month. April is always his second best month.

    Samardzija is the big surprise. He has had, for the most part, control. I am so glad to see it. I’d like to see Mateo keep control. The guy has an arm, but he has inconsistent. And when his control is off, he is really off!

    Colvin needs to get started.

    • paulcatanese

      Thats what I said last night,Hide the Calander from the both of them,stop the ivy from growing,and serve stale hot dogs from last year,anything to keep next month off the books as long as possible. And the shark, I agree,give him a shot at starting,and they should support him. One more thing,Quade with his remarks to the media, is this dejavu? sounds a little like the previous manager.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cubs considered all of these men for 1B this year. Here’s how they are doing so far in 2011:

    Berkman: 69 AB…26 H…6 2B…6 HR…16 RBI….377 BA….449 OBP…725 slug

    DLee: 76 AB…16 H….2 2B….1 HR….2 RBI…..211 BA…..294 OBP….276 slug

    Mr. .196: 59 AB…10 H…1 2B…0 HR…5 RBI….169 BA….306 OPB….186 slug

    Overbay: 79 AB…20 H…5 2B…1 HR…10 RBI….253….339 OBP….354 slug

    Dunn: 57 AB…9 H…2 2B…2 HR…9 RBI….158 BA….314 OBP…298 Slug

    LaRoche: 69 AB…16 H…1 2B…3 HR…10 RBI….232 BA…346 OBP….377 slug

    Gonzalez: 85 AB…24 H…6 2B…1 HR…12 RBI….282 BA…348 OPB….412 slug

    Davis: 6 AB 1 BB .000 BA

    Nady: 24 AB…6 H…2 2B…0 HR…4 RBI….250 BA….337 OBP….333 slug

    And there you have it. These were all the candidates to play first base for the Chicago Cubs in 2011. And the winner is . . . .

    MR. .196!!

    • paulcatanese

      Ah yes Rip,but you miss the point. Quade has been looking for cosistancy in the lineup, and he has certainly found it in the 5 spot. You cannot deny that Pena is the most consitant ?hitter? he has on the team ,Mr..000 Pena.We should be thankful Quade has at least figured that out and of course stays with it.

  • Cannoncubfan

    Danny Cannon
    Every year Hendry makes at least a 10 million dollar mistake sometimes more than that. I wish my employer was that understanding. 10 million no home runs 196 batting average drives in no runs and still plays. Quade reminds me of Elmer Fudd Mr. Hendry’s yes sir man

    • paulcatanese

      Danny,now thats funny, Elmer Fudd, love it.

  • roughriider

    When Castro is batting 1st or 2nd he is hitting an even .400 when he is batting 3rd he’s hitting .118 and has 5 of his 7 errors. Anybody see a problem here ? Q ?

    • BillyFinT

      Small sample size.

  • paulcatanese

    Seems as though Castro is the first in along time to have three errors in one inning. Well he is becoming first in a lot of things for the Cubs(.300)last year,makes plays that have not even been approached before, and has developed into one of the best hitters they have. I say you cannot have it both ways,but the positive things he does far outwieghs the negative,and he should be reinforced not made an example of Mr. Quade.

  • Michael

    I dont like to second guess managers and head coaches but honestly I have found myself on a number of ocassions saying and thinking that Quade could have and should have done something different. Its early in his carrer as head skip but maybe we should have went with that “other guy”…..time will tell

  • paulcatanese

    Quade has a lot of nerve to say to the media that the game was “gift” wrapped for the opposition last night. How does he see the difference between last night and trotting Russell out tonight? Isn’t it the same thing?And this is another ‘Bullpen Day’for the Cubs Quade is making no sense these days.

  • studio179

    If they are going to be stubborn and keep trotting Russell out there for the ‘bull pen’ game every five days, at least call up another reliever. Play the Chicago-Iowa shuttle shuffle. I thought Russell was a loogy then and is a loogy now.

    I wonder if the Russell ‘bull pen’ game thing is Hendry’s way to let Quade know he was not happy with the handling of Wells and especially Cashner. Hendry came out right after Cashner went down and stated he was not in favor of Cashner as a starter. Sounds like I big ‘I told you so’ and a manager and GM not in agreement. Then again, I can’t think Hendry would do that to Quade. It was his bad call to hire him. Hendry has to know he sinks if Quade sinks.

    In some respect, Quade’s hands are tied with the way Hendry put together and the way Hendry is managing the roster. However, Quade has not shown much, either. He has made terrible moves. Whatever the behind the scenes reasoning for this decision to press on with Russell to start every fifth game, it is yet another embarrassment on the organization. It is beyond me to think anyone in management feels this option gives them the best chance to win. The bull pen ‘all hands on deck’ mode is fine for an emergency situation, clinching a playoff win, preventing a playoff loss, but not as standard mode of operation every fifth game for the Chicago Cubs.

    • Keith Moreland

      Russell is starting because the Cubs don’t really have other options at this point. Bibens-Dirkx and Mathes are not on the 40-man. Ortiz and Jackson are not ready. Diamond and Coello both have ERAs over 9.00 at Iowa. There isn’t a viable option that looks any better.

      Once Jackson is up to speed, he is the next choice. I am not the biggest Hendry fan, but losing 2 starters the first week of the season is tough to plan for. It’s a bad break for us.

      Russell isn’t good, but if you go 7 starters deep on any team in mid-April, it wouldn’t be that much better……

      This year is a wash anyway; it’s the year of burning bad contracts

      • Tony

        I would take any of the options at Iowa to at least be able to give us 100 pitches and pitch as bad, or maybe even better than Russell. It also wouldn’t blow out the bullpen as bad.

        Their is an open slot on the 40 man roster.

        • Neil

          Tony, thanks for checking the 40 man. They had not added back Brian Schlitter the last time I checked. I will update the site’s 40 man later.

          With Schlitter back, your count of 39 is right.

    • paulcatanese

      Very good observation. As I have posted more than once, I believe Quade is a “yes man” and was hired as such. Quade is a good “coach” but very much a flip flop in his emotions and judgement as a manager. Management is in a self destruction mode and is only increasing the demise of the Cubs this year. I would hope ownership would step in and make the required adjustments as this year,is going no-where and the attendance dwindling will exemplify no decision.

  • gocubs

    For now, you bat Fukudome 3rd. Move Castro back to lead off where he looks comfortable…


    • Tony

      Fukudome 3rd???? based on what? He is not a middle of the order bat.

      1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th is where Fukudome should bat and the 6th is a stretch.

      Plus remember, April is almost over…

      • gocubs

        Based on what? He is a career .282 BA .431 OBP .851 OPS MLB hitter in the 3 hole…not to mention thats where he is most comfortable being that is where he hit his entire career in Japan.

        What do you mean by “he’s not a middle of the order bat?’

        • Tony

          Well he doesn’t hit for power, or is a run producer. All things I like to see in a middle of the order bat. He is a slap hitter, who goes in prolonged slumps, as in May thru Sept.

          He has batted 3rd 168 times in just over 3 years. Not exactly a large sample size and most likely was in April. Any way you look at it, he is not a 3 hole hitter in major league baseball. Maybe in Japan, but that is AAAA baseball.

  • paulcatanese

    Left out on the posts was Marlon Byrd who actually had a good night at he plate and in the field. First time up impressed me,a walk to Pena and Byrd wisely took the first pitch a strike down the middle, and from behind in the count worked a walk GAB. Later a base hit under the same circumstance. In the field went back and on the track to catch a ball. All said and done a good workmans night. And he does look comfortable in the 6 spot and maybe in the 5 spot as he or no one else including the bat boy could do worse than Pena.

  • PeteM

    Well one thing with this offense to you dont have to watch the Cubs at bats after the first inning