Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 3 Diamondbacks 4
WP – Daniel Hudson (2-4) LP – Casey Coleman (1-2) Save – J.J. Putz (6)
The Cubs simply cannot win games on Sundays and close out series with a victory. Q’s squad began play at Chase Field with not only a chance to win a series on the road but to win their third game in a row … and pull within a game of .500. The Cubs led 1-0 early on but stopped hitting as Casey Coleman stopped throwing strikes.
The Cubs lost for the fifth time this season on Sunday (0-5) and for the eighth time on the final game of a series (1-8).
Casey Coleman could not throw strikes and pitched from behind in the count for a majority of his five-inning outing. Coleman allowed only one run in the first three innings before falling apart in the fourth.
The D’Backs were given three runs in the fourth and put the game away because Coleman could not throw strikes. Casey labored through a 39-pitch fourth inning that included three free passes and only one hit. Coleman committed a balk that allowed the go ahead run to score and a wild pitch that gave the D’Backs their fourth run of the game.
Q’s pitching staff allowed just five hits but walked eight batters, committed a balk and a threw a wild pitch that allowed two of the D’Backs four runs to score.
The Cubs made it 4-3 in the seventh on a two-run double by Geovany Soto but Q’s offense continued to struggle, especially with runners in scoring position. The Cubs put the leadoff runner on in seven of the nine innings (including three leadoff doubles) and out hit the D’Backs 10-5 but were a miserable 1-for-14 with RISP, hit into three double plays and left six on base.
Marlon Byrd led off the ninth with the 200th double of his career and the Cubs third leadoff double of the game. Carlos Pena launched a 2-2 pitch to right that Justin Upton caught fully extended at the wall. Byrd advanced to third and Geovany Soto walked but Jeff Baker, hitting for Marcos Mateo, swung at J.J. Putz’s first pitch and grounded into a 6-4-3 game ending double play.
Even with Sunday’s loss, the Cubs won the season series (4-3) but stumbled out of Arizona with a series split (2-2) and three games below .500 on the season (12-15) … Kosuke Fukudome led off the game with a double down the left field line … but the Cubs could not push the run across the plate. Darwin Barney grounded out to Daniel Hudson, Fukudome advanced to third but Starlin Castro popped out on the first pitch and Aramis Ramirez swung at three balls well out of the strike zone to end the inning.
Casey Coleman retired the D’Backs in order in the first, with two strikeouts and got his offense back in the dugout rather quickly.
Alfonso Soriano led off the second with a line drive double down the left field line. Marlon Byrd grounded out weakly to third but Soriano took off for third as soon as Ryan Roberts released the ball. Soriano beat Miranda’s return throw with a headfirst slide.
Carlos Pena continued his struggles at the plate but was able to hit a weak grounder past Hudson that allowed Soriano to score from third … 1-0 Cubs. Geovany Soto ripped a double to the corner in left on a 1-1 pitch but was stranded when Casey Coleman flied out to the track in left to end the inning.
The D’Backs tied the game at one in the bottom of the second. After retiring Stephen Drew and Miguel Montero rather quickly to start the inning, Ryan Roberts hit his sixth homer on a 1-1 pitch. Coleman then issued a four-pitch to walk to Juan Miranda but retired Gerardo Parra on a pop out to left to end the inning.
Coleman was able to get through two innings on 32 pitches, 18 for strikes.
The Cubs began swinging at everything thrown up by Daniel Hudson in the third. They went quickly and quietly in the third and Hudson faced the minimum in the fourth after Soriano grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
The bottom of the fourth was incredibly ugly for Coleman and the Cubs.
With the game tied at one, Casey walked Miguel Montero to start the inning. Ryan Roberts singled to center on a 2-2 pitch. Montero advanced to third on the play. With Juan Miranda at the plate, Roberts broke for second. Casey stepped off but did not throw the ball to first … the balk allowed Montero to score the go ahead run, 2-1 Arizona.
Miranda ended up flying out to right. Roberts advanced to third with one out. Coleman missed on three straight to Parra before issuing ball four intentionally. With runners on first and third with one out, Daniel Hudson squared on a 2-0 pitch. Hudson got the bunt down and the safety squeeze was on.
Roberts slid in safe under Pena’s toss … a play the veteran first baseman should not have tried to make. Hudson reached as Roberts scored the D’Backs third run.
With runners on first and second with one out, Chris Young flied out to left center. With Kelly Johnson at the plate, Parra stole third. Johnson ended up walking to load the bases.
Coleman uncorked a wild pitch on the first offering to Justin Upton. Parra scored … 4-1 Arizona with runners on second and third. Justin Upton helped out Casey and struck out swinging to end the inning.
Coleman threw 39 pitches in the fourth inning and added a balk, a wild pitch and three walks to his line.
Casey Coleman left after five innings and 94 pitches (48 for strikes). Coleman allowed four runs on four hits with five walks, three strikes, a balk and a wild pitch.
The Cubs made a game of it in the seventh after a one-out single to center off the bat of Marlon Byrd. Carlos Pena worked the Cubs first walk of the day.
Geovany Soto stepped in and ripped a 2-1 pitch from Hudson into right. Byrd and Pena scored … 4-3 Arizona. Tyler Colvin hit for Samardzija, worked the count to 3-2 but tapped back to the mound for the second out. Soto advanced on the play.
Kosuke Fukudome tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
While the Cubs pen was busy keeping the D’Backs off the board, Darwin Barney led off the eighth with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch with no outs. Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez (pop outs) and Alfonso Soriano (strikeout) could not deliver.
Marlon Byrd started the ninth with the Cubs third leadoff double of the game. Carlos Pena just missed his first home run as a Cub with a long fly to right that took Justin Upton all the way to the wall.
Byrd advanced to third on the play. Putz walked Geovany Soto on four pitches … Putz did not look like he wanted anything to do with Soto. The injured Jeff Baker hit for Marcos Mateo and hit the first pitch to Stephen Drew … the 6-4-3 double play ended the game and the series.
The D’Backs did not beat the Cubs Sunday, Q’s squad gift-wrapped it for them … wonder what color the bow was?
One step forward, two steps back … It’s a Way of Life
The Cubs travel to Los Angeles Monday and open a three-game series against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Monday night is another ‘Bullpen Day‘ with James Russell getting the ball to start the game.