The Buccos Bomb the Careless Cubs – Cubs 0 Pirates 10

Game Fifty – Cubs 0 Pirates 10
WP – Paul Maholm (2-7) LP – Randy Wells (1-1) Save – None

A Major League Baseball game that took only 2 hours and 28 minutes to complete nine innings and one team scored 10 runs … that speaks volumes on the aggressiveness of the other team.

Yes, the careless Cubs in more ways than one. Q’s squad made plenty of avoidable mistakes, and at times it appears this team couldn’t care less about the outcome of the game.

Paul Maholm cruised through one of the best outings of his career. Maholm tossed a three-hit complete game shutout and threw only 91 pitches. Maholm averaged just 10.1 pitches per inning and all three of the hits he allowed were tainted. Two of the Cubs three hits were of the infield variety that should have been turned into outs … and Andrew McCutchen misplayed a ball off of Alfonso Soriano’s bat into a double. The Cubs did not work a single walk and really made it easy on Maholm all afternoon.

Randy Wells returned to the Cubs rotation and did not help relieve any of the Cubs pitching woes. Wells labored through the first three innings (64 pitches, 35 strikes) then imploded in the fourth. The Pirates sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth and scored five runs on a two-run single by Steve Pearce and a three-run homer off the bat of Ronny Cedeno.

Wells has been his own worst enemy over the past two seasons. Seemingly every time Wells would take the hill he would have one bad inning that would do him and the Cubs in … Saturday was more of the same. Wells allowed all five runs in the fourth on four hits. While the Cubs defense did not help out Wells, the Cubs right-hander did not throw enough quality pitches to at least get into the fifth inning.

Randy Wells did not attack hitters and seemed to nibble around the plate. Wells had five three-ball counts to the first eight batters he faced and struggled with his command throughout his four-inning outing. It took Wells 92 pitches (49 for strikes) to complete four innings on Saturday afternoon.

After Wells left, the Mighty Pirates started launching balls out of Wrigley and even the ones that stayed in the park went for extra bases. The Pirates recorded 10 hits Saturday afternoon … three doubles and four home runs. Seven of the Pirates 10 runs came on home runs by Ronny Cedeno, Lyle Overbay, Chris Snyder and Andrew McCutchen.

James Russell was called upon again and gave up two of the Pirates four dingers. Russell has pitched in four of the Cubs last eight games (12 2/3 innings) and has thrown 175 pitches in those four appearances.

Scott Maine served up a two-run shot to Andrew McCutchen in the seventh that put the Pirates up 9-0. John Grabow gave up back-to-back doubles on consecutive pitches to Jose Tabata and Garrett Jones in the ninth that accounted for the Pirates’ 10th and final run of the game.

With the Pirates four longballs on Saturday, the Cubs have been out homered at Wrigley 25-14 this season.

The Cubs lost to the Pirates for the fourth time in five games at Wrigley this season. With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs are 11-16 at home and 22-28 on the season, six games below respectability …

The Cubs’ overpaid, aggressive offense looked horrible against Paul Maholm while the Pirates were very patient against Randy Wells early on. The Pirates patience paid off in the fourth in a big way.

Andrew McCutchen led off the fourth with a single to left. Neil Walker then hit a 3-1 pitch into left center. Alfonso Soriano misplayed the deep drive into a double off the wall … and that was the beginning of the end for Randy Wells and the Cubs.

Wells struck out Lyle Overbay for the first out but Steve Pearce ripped a 1-0 pitch back up the middle. McCutchen and Walker scored easily as Tony Campana’s throw sailed over the head of the cutoff man. Pearce took second on the second outfield blunder of the inning.

Randy Wells then walked Chris Snyder to put runners on first and second with one out.

Ronny Cedeno stepped to the plate and launched a hanging breaking ball over the wall in right center. Cedeno’s second homer of the year gave the Pirates a commanding 5-0 lead.

Randy Wells struck out Paul Maholm and Jose Tabata to end the inning … and his outing.

The Cubs have been waiting for Randy Wells to return to the rotation but he did not help with all of the team’s pitching problems on the last Saturday in May.

Paul Maholm continued to roll along in the fourth. Maholm retired the Cubs in order and was perfect through four innings.

James Russell made his fourth appearance in the Cubs last eight games. Russell retired the Pirates in order in the fifth.

The Cubs finally got a hit off Maholm in the fifth. Alfonso Soriano extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double off the wall in center … McCutchen misplayed the deep drive. Luis Montanez then reached on an infield single to Ronny Cedeno. Soriano advanced to third on another ball the Pirates should have turned into an out. After Carlos Pena struck out swinging, Koyie Hill popped out to center on the first pitch of the at bat.

The Pirates started swinging for the fences in the sixth. Three of the Pirates four home runs came in the sixth and seventh innings.

Lyle Overbay led off the sixth with a long homer to center. After James Russell retired Brandon Wood, Chris Snyder launched a 1-0 offering from Russell into the bleachers in left. With the Pirates up 7-0, Russell retired Cedeno and Maholm to end the inning.

Scott Maine took over for Russell in the seventh and issued a leadoff walk to Jose Tabata. Walking batters down 7-0? Garrett Jones popped out to left for the first out. Maine continued falling behind and missed on his first two pitches to Andrew McCutchen … but McCutchen did not miss his third.

Andrew McCutchen hit the Pirates’ fourth homer of the game, a two-run shot that gave the Pirates a 9-0 lead.

The Pirates continued taking batting practice in the ninth. Jose Tabata and Garrett Jones doubled on the first two pitches from John Grabow in the ninth. Tabata scored on Jones’ RBI double and ran the score to 10-0.

Not to take much away from Paul Maholm’s outing but it is unacceptable for a Major League Baseball team not to make a pitcher throw more than 91 pitches in a game. The Cubs can see first hand what walks and patience at the plate can do for a team … and yet they continue to stroll to the plate swinging at every pitch and showing little to no game plan against the opposing pitching staff.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster will try to beat Jeff Karstens on Sunday afternoon and try to salvage one game of the three against the Pirates.

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
  • BillyFinT

    When I read “Laid Back,” I thought Neil was being nice. That title deceived me. I switched to the White Sox game as soon as the 7th run was scored by the Might Pirates.

    “The overpaid, aggressive offense looked horrible.” I see the Sox an overpaid team. But hey, they didn’t give up, never. And unlike Neil, I accepted this Cubs. That’s what they were built as. No patience. No drive to compete. As commented in the Live Talk by yours truly, the organization never thought high of patience; e.g. strikezone judgement; Ex. Tyler Colvin, round one.

    Winning? Well, the high management didn’t like Ryno Sandberg, who tried his best to not express that anger, disdain. You could tell, Ryno was distancing himself from the Ricketts and GM Hendry. They were too much for him. Miscommunication? I don’t think so. It’s all a grand scheme of things…

    You know, Tom Ricketts was attending, AGAIN, this game for the “speechless”… so what? Watch. A month from now, Barney will wear out. He’ll speak like another quitter.

    There’s no better solution for the Cubs than change. One or two call-ups won’t change a hair. Fire Hendry, move on.

    • Neil

      Dorasaga, sorry man I did not mean to decieve you or anyone else with the title. Believe me when I say I had other titles in mind but none were fit to publish.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Quade not worried about Soriano’s play in LF. “We’ve got plenty of other stuff to shore up — and get healthy.”

    • studio179

      Quade is not worried about the clean up hitter not hitting, either. lol.

    • OttawaBob

      Neil, The Cubs have to move this guy next year. I agree with Dave Kaplan on wgn, if it means eating 98% of the contract then thats what the Cubs have to do. We can not go another year with this BUST out in left. Hopefully the entire middle of the batting order should be gone next year…..just bought my dad a 42″ flat screen last weekend to watch the Bulls and Cubs,  thats working out well  ha ha !!

  • John_CC

    Yikes. 2 full games behind the Buccos, bottom 5 in all of baseball…when do the changes come?  When!

    The Cubs are so bad that I am considering a fantasy spot start for Jeff Karstens tomorrow.

    • Neil

      I do not play fantasy baseball but I would really look at doing so. Karstens has 15 big league wins, 4 have come against the Cubs. He is 4-2 against the Cubs with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP … at Wrigley, 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

  • Ripsnorter1

    NEWS FLASH .. . . …

    K. Hill was 0-1 with runners in scoring position today.For the year he’s now 0-24 with RISP. Current BA is a Carlos Pena like .207.

    BUT he gunned down Garrett Jones. OF course Jones is 6′ 4″ and weighs 240 lbs, and is not a speedster.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Mr. Carlos Pena is 5 for 42 with RISP. That is to say, he’s hitting .119 with RISP. Better than K. Hill, to be sure. 

    Aram is hitting 11 for 53, or .208.
    Sorry-oh-no: 10 for 48, or .208.

    Funko: 7 for 18, or .389.

    Bat Funko cleanup. 

    • gocubs

      I agree about batting Fukudome cleanup or 3rd.  His career numbers batting 3rd are very good and thats where he hit his entire career in Japan.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Pat Hughes said that “this was nearly a no-hitter. Both Cubs infield hits were dribblers that could have become outs, and the double by Soriano could have been caught.” 

    • John_CC

      Make that a near Perfecto seeing that the Cubulas worked ZERO walks as well.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Good News! The White Sox lost. Again. Corey. Patterson. Jacked. A. Game. Winning. HR. Bottom. of. The. 14th. Adam. Dunn. 1. For. 7. Corey. Patterson. 5. For. 7.Gavin. Floyd. Loses. Again. 5.-.5.

  • paulcatanese

    Wonderful,Quade is not worried about Soriono,he’s not worried about Aram,Apparantly he dosent know enough about pitching to be worried
    there either. Leads me to believe that he’s not even there every day. It looks
    like it. Neil you are right,they do not practice patience at the plate at all. The only
    hitters that do are Campana,Barney and Fukodome,they will take two strikes.
    The rest including Castro ( since he’s in the 3 slot ) oh again Pena, he also
    takes pitches, although he has trouble with the third one. Mercifully todays game
    was a short one.

  • paulcatanese

    Since there isn’t any comment to make about todays game. I thought
    it would be time to say few things about the players that were out there.
    Randy Wells, didnt do as well as expected, I thought that Quade
    would have been a little more stringent with the amount of innings that
    he was out there. Given it was his first time back he should have been
    held to four innings,no matter what the pitch count was. As it played out
    in the fifth he was getting in to trouble and there was no one warming up.

    And Pena, anyone notice how far he plays off the bag with a runner on?
    Every throw over there requires him to take two steps back and then try
    to tag the runner. He is no Derrick Lee over there.

    Aram, there are no words to comment about him. He did bring his glove to
    the park today,but again between him and Pena those must be gloves forged
    in gold.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Quade cannot handle a pitching staff. 

      Wells was not ready to return. He got racked at AAA, and his arm strength isn’t there just yet. He was throwing a ton of sliders. The first inning he threw something like 25 pitches. He had almost 50 pitches through two innings, and for the whole day 92 pitches, only 49 for strikes. He was rusty from the long lay-off.Russell–over used lately. He threw one pitch at 70 mph. I couldn’t believe it. That’s Tim Wakefield territory. For crying out loud, he had Samardzija warming up, and he had gone 2 IP the day before (27 pitches). HE’S BURNING UP HIS BULLPEN. And throw in the fact that we have only one starter right now–Z–since all the rest cannot be counted on to go past one inning. Dumpster is on and off; Davis is off. You know that Lopez won’t pitch 5 innings on Monday. And Wells isn’t ready just yet. Stupid starting staff management plus poor bullpen management = last place.

      • paulcatanese

        Rip.I dont think Quade can handle himself let alone anyone else.I totaly agree
        Wells was not ready and at best not to go as far as he did. Because Quade
        pitches batting practice every day must give him the impression that pitchers
        can do the same. He just has no clue what to do with pitching. It’s either him
        or the pitching coach, whom I dont see giving much input at all.

        Funny thing Ricketts is there at the games, dosent he see whats going on?
        Is he that out of tune with baseball? It must be true, he has no clue at all and
        bought a ball club as a toy and could care less about a win-loss team and
        where it finishes as long as he can sit in the bleachers and be on TV.
        He should have bought the re-runs of Bonanza and have himself inserted
        in a few of the scenes, It would have been cheaper.

        • Ripsnorter1

          It’s easy to see why he spent 17 yrs on the bench without a manager’s job. What’s hard to see is how he got this one. Moe hired Curly? Curly hired Larry? Idontgetit.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Diamondbacks are hot. Last night, down 6-0 to the Astros in the 5th, they come back and win 7-6. Tonight they are whomping the Astros 9-0 in the 8th. Diamondbacks are above .500 with a 28-24 record if they win tonight. And this is the team that had the 3rd worst bullpen in 2010 in the last 50 years of MLB! What happened?  

    Aaron Heilmann learned to pitch? 
    No. 8.62 ERA. He’s dead last on the team.  (3-0 record, too!).

    Their pitching is substandard.
    20th in ERA.18th in quality starts.
    19th in WHIP.
    22nd in BAA.It’s their hitting.
    7th in runs scored. That’s the whole banana right there. Everything else is substandard.19th in BA.
    16th on OBP.
    10th in slugging.

  • Ripsnorter1

    With the Astros getting chopped up by the Arizona Diamondbacks’ buzz saw, it will be impossible for the Cubs to drop into last place this next four games. They could tie us for wins, or even surpass us by a game should they sweep us out. We still have them in the loss column, though. 

    Last year, the Pirates were 17-64 on the road. With today’s win, they have already won 15 games on the road. (They won #15 last year in Sept). And of course they took two road series from the Cubs last year. 

    Dempster needs to pitch like he can tomorrow. The Pirates offense is VERY WEAK. Hey, they are hitting just .235 as a team (compare the Cubs at .278).

    The Cubs are next to last in the league in SB with 10. 
    WHO is dead last?
    But first this remark. You don’t need speed to win in MLB. Last place belongs to Atlanta. 8 SB with 13 CS. 

    Top SB team? KC. 51 steals but lousy 23-28 record–NEARLY IDENTICAL TO THE CUBS’ 22-28 record!

    The Cubs are powerless. Can’t hit a HR to save their lives–except for Sorry-oh-no. The Cubs have 36 HR–the EXACT SAME NUMBER THAT PITTSBURGH HAS! Yup, good for 24th in MLB. Sure, the Yanks lead MLB with 76. Winning teams almost always hit for power.

    We can’t Pinch Hit very well. .179 BA by our pinch hitters. When your top PH is a pitcher, you know you are in trouble. Who is worse than us? All the teams destined to lose in 2011. Padres. Giants. Mets. Nats. Trash teams.You don’t think the SF Giants are a trash team? Posey is out, and they are done. They only got there last year because they had several middling players get hot at the same time, ie, during the playoffs. The Giants are 28th in runs scored. FORGETABOUTIT. They ain’t staying in 1st place. I don’t care if they are 2nd in BAA, and 4th in runs allowed, and 5th in quality starts and 5th in WHIP. Man alive, the Cubs were #2 in quality starts last year–ahead of the SF Giants, I might add–and did they finish above .500? NO. Cody Ross hit 14 HR in the regular season, in 535 AB, and 5 HR in the playoffs/WS in 51 AB. So he got hot at the right time. But it ain’t a happenin’ again. IT just ain’t. 

    I know SF Giants need a catcher now that Posey is out. I hope Jim Clueless can trade K. Hill to the Giants.  For Tim Lincecum.

    • paulcatanese

      According to JH, that would what he and Quade think Hill is worth,.
      the same status as Lincecum.And speaking of the Giants, thats what
      JH thinks the Cubs are destined to do,bring all the old vets out to play
      and have fantastic seasons and win the World Series. After all the
      Giants had Posey and we have Hill, no doubt JH thinks they are one
      one and the same. We also have the best third baseman in baseball,
      he will come around as Quade says and lead this old decrepid team
      to a championship. And Soriono will hit 50 dingers this year along with
      Pena and his 45. According to Quade the second half should be good
      for Aram and 30 dingers. I really believe this is what these two think and
      have Ricketts believing the same thing. Talk about Fantasy Baseball, this
      trio are  Fantasy Management to the highest degree. 

  • Joey U

    Quade is dosen’t have a clue nor  does J.H.  My only hope is that  attendance drops off  so much, that the Ricketts family is forced to make move with the front office. Thank God guys like Fukudome,Aram, Dempster, and Pena will be coming off the payroll at the end of this year.I would trade anyone on this team except Castro. Hopefully, we will be sellers at the deadline.

    • John_CC

      Demp has a Hendry clause – i.e. a 14M$ player’s option for 2012. Do you think he’ll turn that down to test free agency after this year? 14 Million Dollars.

      • Kevinwickit

        I don’t think Dempster will be a Cubs by August. He will be a Yankee.

        • Ripsnorter1

          If only it could be so!

    • paulcatanese

      Joey,you are right about management not having a clue,and you are also right
      about attendence falling off and that should bother Ricketts,but with season
      ticketholders he will not feel the real crunch until the lost revenue from concessions show and I dont anticipate him making any moves with JH or
      Quade until it is too late for this year. As far as trading any of the veterans,
      who would want them? This is “wait till next year”all over and over again.
      And as long as JH is the GM of the Cubs,look for more vets again next year.

  • Cheryl

    Dorasaga mentioned that he had no idea what Ricketts was thinking. At this point it really doesn’t matter and many fans are at the point where they don’t care what he thinks. He isn’t running this team, Hendry is.  I am starting to follow other teams now because it just is too hard to watch this team and I am a long-time Cubs fan. I’d rather watch a team play good solid baseball. This team doesn’t fit that category

  • Anonymous47701

    Would it hurt to say that AJ Preller should be the NEW Vice President/GM of the Chicago Cubs? And What About Greg Maddux as Assistant GM?

  • Zonk

    The fact is that the Cubs went into this year as a mediocre team, and that mediocre team has been dealt some poor performances, and some bad-luck injuries.  This season is effectively over. 

    The last season like this was 2006; that cost Dusty his job.  At the time the Cubs retained Hendry, justifiably I think, because if you look at Hendry’s moves pre-2006, he had an excellent track record.

    I don’t think Hendy is an “idiot” or “moron”.  His trading record overall with the Cubs has been good, his FA signings prior to 2006 were also fairly good, the Soriano contract kicked off a string of bad ones.  Even then, that contract was signed in the steroid era when players routinely performed into their late 30s.  That doesn’t excuse Aaron Miles or Grabow, which were head scratchers at the time.

    The Farm system has improved under Hendry.  We have failed to produce a star player (I don’t think Castro is a star player, but that’s another debate), though we have produced decent major-league talent.

    If I were Ricketts, I would do the following:

    1.  I would fire Jim Hendry; I would consider retaining Wilkens, and I would want to keep some of my scouting and minor league management
    2.  I would release Quade.  He is flailing, time to hit the re-set button
    3.  This would allow us to Re-BUILD, which we need to do.  Hendry built a core group through trades and FA that did get us to the playoffs, (let’s not forget that), but that group is done.

    We save $50mil+ after this year in expiring contracts.  The Cubs, I predict, will be big spenders in Free Agency.  I doubt, looking at recent history, that Ricketts will want Hendry spending that money.

    Calling Hendry an “Idiot” or whatever is missing the point entirely.  I like Hendry, he signed Lilly while he was having a heart attack, which is all you need to know about his effort.  He made some good moves early-on, and acquired a core group of players that we rode to the playoffs, and best record in the National League in 2008.  He overreached and lost his touch, though, and needs to move on, because the fans demand it.

    • diehardcubfan

      Yes, I would have to agree with you Zonk that JH made some decent moves early on that included bringing in Lofton, ARAM, Clement, Grudzielanek and Derek Lee but those moves as you noted were very early on.  Only Lilly and DeRosa comes to mind as a good acquisition after 2004. 

      Yes these moves led to playoff appearances in 2003, 2007 and 2008.

      Since then everything else has blown up in his face.  My argument was that he has made many bad contractual decisions overpaying or over extending veterans.

      Yes, also the farm system has improved but as you noted only Castro has emerged as a potential star and as we have seen there is no relief at Iowa for our beleaguered pitching staff.

      The other core of young players are at least a year away and the veterans we have are done.  With our pitching such a mess our ability to contend for at least two years in now completely in question.

      It would take a miracle and a series of brilliant moves this off season to restore us to credibility.

      Not having a core of ready players at Iowa to me there is no excuse for.  Injuries are a part of baseball and good teams overcome them.  The Cubs should also be realizing they have had their share of arm injuries over the past few years and should have been prepared for that.

      This team has no philosophy and needs direction. 

      As you said it is time for JH to move on. 

      Given the bad press over the Sandberg debacle, I do not see the Cubs saying goodbye to Quade unless they are in the same situation here next year and show no fundamental improvement.

      They would just be vindicating Sandberg’s decision to leave and all the critics out there of the decision in the first place.

      The Cubs are a mess and it will take a long time to fix it.

    • paulcatanese

      Pretty good post Zonk, you make a lot of good points. also would not call
      JH an” idiot” but a “control freak”.He owns Quade and that problem is one
      that ties the hands of a manager. That alone deserves to go a long way to
      the dismisal of both. No one can say that the moves that Quade has made
      this year were his idea,especialy the Aram situation and the pitching staff
      along with Hill, those have to be forced decisions byt Quade, if they are not
      then Quade would have to be the most inept manager to ever step on the
      I give Hendry credit for signing Lilly when he was having a heart attack is
      a good effort, but as one who has had the same thing (quad bypass)and
      four other times for stents, I would question the severity of his, all are
      diferent types and allow things to be done. I finished 18 holes before going
      in the hosp.for surgery,not a hero but had the pain but played on not knowing.

      The real thing again about JH is the spin he puts out to the media with the
      direction the team should be going. By hiring Quade he was assured of a
      yes man, and actually a scapegoat if things did not go well as he sure knew
      before the season that they would not. That didn’t take brain surgery.

      He may have made good moves early on but has erased them last fall
      and so far this season. The point is “what have you done for me lately?”
      It is an ongoing work and being decieving in his efforts is a cover up

      I am not going back to should have hired Sandberg,as I think he got a
      break not being hired, and don’t think e would have had tha more
      success that Quade with this GM. I am totaly convinced that the buck
      stops with management including Ricketts. Waiting for things to come
      off the books is a poor excuse to disguise honesty with what you have.

      • Richard Hood

        Good post Paul.
         My thing with Hendry is real simple. When he had a Baseball guy as Team President he was held accountable and did a lot better than most GM’s. It may be the law averages because no one is perfect but it seems through the last 2 Presidents of the team Hendry has slowly gotten worse and now is in a free fall.
        That is why I have always said that the first move should be show Kenny the door and put a baseball guy back into the team presidents spot. Let him decide if he can fix Hendry. I think that JH has had free range too long now and is going to have to go now though. The first move should be a baseball guy in the Team Presidents chair and let the accountability start there.

  • Neil

    Brad Snyder is with the Cubs, no roster moves yet.

    • Richard Hood

      does that mean Baker is going to the DL?

      • Neil

        Reed Johnson to the DL

        Adding Snyder takes another roster move