Another Sloppy Game … Another Loss to the Bucs – Cubs 2 Pirates 4

Game Forty-Nine – Cubs 2 Pirates 4
WP – Kevin Correia (7-4) LP – Doug Davis (0-3) Save – Joel Hanrahan (14)

From September 21, 2007 through September 29, 2009 the Cubs were 27-6 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, since the Cubs are just 6-15 versus Pittsburgh after Friday’s loss.

Q’s squad played another mistake filled game and the Cubs had just as much to do with the Pirates posting a win as the Bucs did. Doug Davis could not find the strike zone and labored through his 4 2/3 innings of work. Davis allowed only four hits but walked six batters and hit another … add in two errors, one by Davis, and 13 of the 27 batters he faced reached base. Not too many teams will win games with that kind of starting pitching.

The Cubs defense actually had more errors on the board at one point than the offense had hits off Kevin Correia.

The Cubs offense did nothing against Kevin Correia Friday afternoon. Correia threw less pitches (108, 66 for strikes) in his seven and a third shutout innings than Davis did in nearly three fewer frames (111 for Davis, 65 for strikes). The Cubs managed only four hits and two walks (seven total baserunners) against Correia and nine total baserunners through the first eight innings.

Alfonso Soriano provided the Cubs only offensive highlight. Soriano extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 12th homer of the year, a two-run shot in the ninth that cut the Pirates lead in half to 4-2. Soriano and Carlos Pena (2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) recorded four of the Cubs’ five hits on the afternoon.

Aramis Ramirez continued his struggles at the plate and in the field. Ramirez’s third credited miscue of the season gave the Pirates a run in the second. Ramirez was 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk … and three left on base. Ramirez popped out to Neil Walker with the bases loaded in the eighth to end the inning. Ramirez is 1-for-22 with two outs and runners in scoring position this season. When asked about Ramirez remaining in the clean-up spot following Friday’s loss, Mike Quade said he is not thinking about moving Ramirez from his spot in the lineup.

In another close game, the Cubs committed two errors, which led to two unearned runs and they finished the game 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position … and seven left on base.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to five game under .500 with a 22-27 record, fifth place in the NL Central …

The Cubs dodged a bullet in the first inning after the Pirates put two on with no outs. The writing was on the wall early that it was going to be another one of those games against the Battlin’ Bucs.

Jose Tabata led off the game with a single to left and swiped second with Steve Pearce at the plate. Davis struck out Pearce but gave up a single to Andrew McCutchen. Tabata held at third then tried to score on a grounder to Ramirez off the bat of Neil Walker. Ramirez threw out Tabata at the plate.

Matt Diaz grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs put two on with two out in the first (Kosuke reached on an error and Ramirez worked a two-out walk) but came away empty after Carlos Pena grounded out to second to end the inning.

Pittsburgh pretty much put the game away in the second inning … thanks to two errors by the Cubs.

Doug Davis walked Chris Snyder to start the inning. Lyle Overbay followed with a single to right. With runners on first and third with no outs, Ronny Cedeno tried to sacrifice Overbay to second. Cedeno bunted the ball back to Davis, who bobbled the ball. Kevin Correia stepped in with the bases loaded and no outs.

Correia hit a grounder to Ramirez at third. The ball went off his glove and Snyder scored on the Cubs second consecutive error. Davis struck out Tabata looking but Steve Pearce hit a sac fly into left. Overbay tagged and scored … 2-0 Pirates. Andrew McCutchen flied out to left center to end the inning.

The Pirates scored two runs in the secondon a hit, a walk, a sac fly and two Cubs’ errors.

Kevin Correia settled in and that point and threw strikes. Correia retired the Cubs in order in the second and third and did not allow his first hit until the start of the fourth … by that time he had a 4-0 lead.

Doug Davis labored through a 33-pitch fourth inning and gave up two runs on three walks, a hit batsman and one hit … and infield single by Neil Walker.

The free-swinging Ronny Cedeno worked a one out walk. Kevin Correia then sacrificed Cedeno to second. Jose Tabata walked ahead of Davis plunking Pearce on a 0-2 pitch to load the bases.

Davis walked Andrew McCutchen with the bases loaded to force in the Pirates third run. Neil Walker then ripped Davis’ first offering down the third base line. Ramirez made a nice diving stop then dove for third trying to beat the hustling Steve Pearce. Pearce slid in headfirst and just beat Ramirez to the bag. Tabata scored on the play … 4-0 Pirates.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Matt Diaz flied out to short right to end the inning.

The Cubs put two runners on in the bottom of the fourth … and came away empty.

The Cubs pen shutdown the Mighty Pirates after Davis was lifted with two outs in the fifth. Davis issued his sixth walk of the game (Kevin Correia) and at that point Quade decided that was enough. With two on and two out, Casey Coleman came in and retired Jose Tabata on a ground out to short.

Jeff Samardzija, Scott Maine and John Grabow kept the Pirates off the board over the last four innings … but the Cubs offense could not get anything going.

The Cubs best scoring chance came in the bottom of the eighth after Koyie Hill led off with a soft single to center, at the time just the Cubs’ fourth hit of the game.

Jeff Baker hit for Maine and flied out to right but Kosuke Fukudome walked and chased Correia from the game. Jose Veras retired Barney on a fly out to center for the second out.

Starlin Castro worked a walk to load the bases with two outs.

Aramis Ramirez popped out to Neil Walker in shallow right to end the inning.

Carlos Pena led off the ninth. With his team down 4-0, Pena worked a walk against the lefty Joe Beimel. Alfonso Soriano launched a 1-1 offering from Beimel into the bleachers in left … 4-2 Pirates. At that point, Clint Hurdle decided he’d seen enough and he brought in Joel Hanrahan.

The Pirates’ closer struck out Tony Campana, Koyie Hill and Blake DeWitt to end the game.

Sloppy defense, poor starting pitching and no patience at the plate … It’s a Way of Life.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Casey Coleman was optioned down to Triple-A Iowa following Friday’s game to make room for Randy Wells on the active roster. Wells will make his first big league start since the fourth game of the season. Wells will face lefty Paul Maholm in game two Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne
  • Ripsnorter1

    Lots of observations on today’s game:

    #1 The Astros are winning 6-0 tonight with Brett Myers on the mound. The Cubs will lose ground vs. the Pirates and the Astros. There is a possibility–maybe even the likelihood–of the Cubs sliding right into last place in the next five games. 

    #2 Doug Davis ain’t worth his $900,000 contract. 3 starts; 3 losses; averaging 4.1 IP per start. WHIP is 1.95. ERA is 6.75 and BAA is .276. Lovely. .

    #3 Aram is awful. 1 for 22 with 2 outs with RISP. It’s incredibly bad, and absolutely stupefying that Quade has no plans to move him out of the cleanup spot! Just more evidence that we have another bad manager. Another. Bad. Manager.

    #4 K. Hill allowed 3 more steals today. He’s gunned one base stealer down, the other 9 got away with it. In 13 starts, 5 errors. Add in 2 passed balls and a catcher’s ERA of 5.06, and toss in a BA of .218, and he’s your man to help guide the Cubs safely into last place.

    #5 The bull pen was spotless in 5.1 IP today.

     #6 The Pirates are certainly the worst offensive team in the NL Central. But their starting pitching is far superior to ours. And their bullpen is not awful, either. If they got a couple of bats, they might move up to #3 in the division. They look likely to remain #4.

    #7 Samardzija has really pitched well. Somehow, some way, he just turned it on after the first two weeks of the season. Incredible. Now what about next year? He’s overpaid already. He’ll want more money. And he isn’t worth any more money already. The Cubs will probably get nothing for him or else over pay for him. Again.

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Astros, and their lovely bullpen (MLB’s worst) blew a 6-0 lead over the Diamondbacks and lost. 

    • Tony

      Rip – Just think of how that 900K could have been spent better.

      2 years of paying a 0-3 player, to play LF everyday, instead of Soriano…

    • Tony

      Here’s one that Neil may have to answer.

      Samardzija – the team holds club options on him for 2012 and 2013, but for how much?

      He doens’t even have enough service time to even be arbitration eligible, what happens if they decline the options?  Arbitration, Free agent, still in controlled years?

      • BillyFinT

        Tony, I recall a similar question was asked once. Anyway, the arb. is related to service time = how many days the Shark was registered on the Major League 25-man roster. The option, i.e. his contract, is related to his contract and how the years or timeline be priced in this contract.

        If the Cubs decline a club option for 2012 that came with his Major League Contract, then he’ll end up a minor league free agent (without the need of clearing waivers, I believe). The next club (including the Cubs) who signs him may or may not arb. him, depending on how they manage his service days on the new club’s 25-man roster.

  • Neil

    Robert Whitenack left the game against Mississippi Braves w/ 2 outs in 3rd. Whitenack
    delivered a pitch then bent over, called for coaches. Left field on own power but according to play by play on Smokies Radio, he was shaking his pitching arm.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Who will be sent down to make room for Lopez? 

    Scott Maine?

    • Neil

      Rip, they sent down Justin Berg to make room for Lopez. Robert Coello was DFA’d to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Lopez. Casey Coleman was sent down after today’s game so they can activate Randy Wells for tomorrow’s start.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Thanks for straightening me out on this. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    James Russell–as a reliever has been outstanding this year.
    BAA-.190  LOVELY
    Slug-.238 WONDERFUL

    He’s really a fastball pitcher. Throws the fastball 51% of the time.And when he’s behind in the count, it’s 68% of the time.He’s been doing his job out of the pen.

    • diehardcubfan

      Yes, Russell has been a beast in the pen.  Maybe that will allow the Cubs to say goodbye to Mr. Grabow next year as he is becoming excess baggage.

    • Richard Hood

      It goes back to the idea of the coaches knowing your players and putting them in spots to succeed. The great coaches no matter what sport have always seemed to get the most of out of marginal players because they seem to put them in situation that they can handle more than just throwing them to the wolves.

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to Marco Carrillo on his promotion to Iowa, or should I say

    Buena suarte, Señor Todo

    I’ve been following Carrillo’s progress since winter ball, and if anyone deserved a shot at the big time, it would be him.

  • studio179

    “When asked about Ramirez remaining in the clean-up spot following Friday’s loss, Mike Quade said he is not thinking about moving Ramirez from his spot in the lineup.”

    I thought Hendry said they were in the business of ‘producing’.

    What a double standard.

    • diehardcubfan

      JH is becoming a fine politician.

      My question is how can JH wake up every morning look at himself in the mirror and not call himself a hypocrite.

      As others have commented using the word “production” in reference to the demotion of Colvin is coming back to haunt him.

      He needs to stop speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

  • diehardcubfan

    Granted I do not get to watch many live games because I live here in Texas but it just boggles my mind how empty Wrigley was for the game against the Pirates.  Yes, it is a day game in May but still you do not see the park normally that empty.

    I used to live in Indiana and all the empty seats from today reminded me of what it looked like watching the Cubs back in the late 70s when they really stunk.  Wrigley Field back then was a ghost town.  

    Others continue to mention that the park remains empty during the year.  Who would want to pay those outrageous ticket prices to watch little league rs.  If this continues it is the best mechanism to hopefully get change within the Cubs organization.

    One can only hope right?

    • paulcatanese

      I think I have said this before,but the attendence this year is still not what I have seen in the late 50’s,and 60’s sometimes there were as little as 1500 and the upper deck was never open at all. But they keep going the way they are will get there.

    • Tony

      To really get an idea of the lack of fans willing to pay to go to Wrigley, I was talking the other day about the Cubs with a fellow Cub fan, and he said “I wouldn’t spend the money (parking, concessions, tolls, gas, etc) to go to Wrigley to watch this pathetic team, IF someone gave me the tickets!  On top of that why would  I spend the TIME, as being from the Rockford area, it is usually a full day to go to the game. 

      TR WAKE UP!  Your fan base is erroding right before your eyes, and there is no guarantee, they will come back!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Do you want Jason Werth on your team? The Nats thought enough of him to–inexplicably–give him $126 million dollar contract. He’s 32, never driven in 100 in his 8 years, never hit .300, never stole more than 20 bases. He had a career year in 2010–46 2B, 27 HR, .296 average–so now with the big contract he’s off of his feed and complaining about having to play with a losing team like the Nats. 

    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were a last place team in 2010. Lost 93 games. 
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were a last place team in 2009. Lost 103 games.
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were a last place team in 2008. Lost 102 games.
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were next to last place team in 2007. Lost 89 games.
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were a last place team in 2006. Lost 91 games.
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were a last place team in 2005. Lost 81 games.
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were a last place team in 2004. Lost 95 games.
    SURPRISE!!! The Nats were next to last place team in 2003. Lost 79 games.

    And now he’s tired of losing–having to play for Tom “Losing-est Manager in MLB History” Riggleman for a mere $126 million dollars. Plus he’s hitting a ro-BUST .254 with 8 HR and  a ARAM-LIKE 18 RBI’s. 

    Want a good cry? Read this:

    • BillyFinT

      I’m more surprised that they could get “as far as last place” in 2005 with only 81 losses (a win-loss of .500!!!).

      I guess the league was either strong (including the Nats) overall, or weak throughout (excluding the Cards), for the wretched to be performing but not good enough.

    • Tony

      Just another ballplayer who took the money, without thinking “WHY are they offering so much more money than the other teams?” 

      Did he not look at the makeup of this team?  It’s past years?  Did he think Harper and Strasburg were playing this year?  Did he not compare the parks and the hit it would have on his numbers. 

      He did none of those things.   HE GOT PAID!  That is all he cared about, and now, he has to live with it for a long, long time.

    • Richard Hood

      I said last year during the AllStar break that I thought Werth was only as good as the line up around him when everyone for Phillie was hurt. Now we see from the Nationals that is what the case is.

  • Ripsnorter1

    You wanna know just how bad Aram is these days?

    K.Hill–55 AB….1 HR….6 RBI
    Aram–172 AB…1 HR…17 RBI

    Now prorate K. Hill for 172 AB and see what you get:K.Hill–172 AB…3 HR…19 RBI…
    He outclasses Aram. GAG!

    I know Aram is hitting .285 and Hill .218. BUT the fact remains: K. Hill has always hit better with RISP. Last year (2010) he hit 14 for 49 = .286 with RISP.
    How about 2 out, RISP? .241

    Sadly, K. Hill is 0 for 23 with RISP in 2011. Yup. Cooled off somewhat, eh?
    That’s why Wellington Castillo should not get a chance to play. He can’t match those numbers.

    Aram: 2011 stats:RISP…..62 PA…52 AB…11 hits…212 BA….269 slugging…13 RBI.
    2 out, RISP….25 PA….22 AB….1 H…..045 BA….1 RBI.Mr. Clutch in 2011.

    Don’t forget: Aram is 32–if he’s really 32.

    My point? K. Hill is out-powering, out-RBI-ing Aram. SO Mr. Quade, keep Aram batting cleanup. Please.

    • Tony

      ARam is the best 3B, this team has had since Ronnie.  But he sure has changed ever since he hurt his shoulder.  Whether that’s the reason, or just plain laziness, he is not helping the team, one bit, and shouldn’t be just moved down in the lineup, but let him have a seat on the bench, would be more fitting. 

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Winning ball games retires more than offensive and defensive skills. It’s also a mental game—a mind set that requires full concentration to a fast moving game. With so many errors and poor performance at the plate when it counts, the Cubs didn’t have it last night. But, as a die hard Cub fan, I am confident that the Cubs can do better.