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