Bleepin’ Ugly – Cubs 4 Reds 7

Game Thirty-Nine – Cubs 4 Reds 7
WP – Homer Bailey (3-0) LP – Carlos Zambrano (4-2) Save – Francisco Cordero (8)

Every loss is a bad one during the baseball season but Monday’s hurt just a little bit more than usual. The Cubs gave another game to the Reds (1-3) and in the process Q’s squad began a difficult road trip on a negative note.

The Cubs had plenty of scoring chances over the first six innings (1-for-7 with RISP, five left on base in first five innings) but still managed to build a 4-0 lead. Carlos Zambrano was in total control and very incredibly sharp. Z was working on a one-hit shutout and threw only 68 pitches, 40 for strikes in the first five innings … but that all changed in a blink of an eye with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

The Reds scored seven times in the bottom of the sixth after nine straight batters reached with one out.

Drew Stubbs reached on a misplayed ball by Aramis Ramirez and it opened the floodgates. Z walked Edgar Renteria then gave up four consecutive run scoring hits to Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen.

Scott Rolen delivered the knockout punch with a double to left that chased Z from the game. Alfonso Soriano misplayed the ball into a double as Brandon Phillips scored the tying run.

Z departed after recording only one out in the sixth with runners on second and third. Zambrano threw 27 pitches in a very ugly third of an inning.

After a wild pitch allowed the Reds to take the lead, Marcos Mateo served up a two-run shot to Jonny Gomes and closed the book on Z and the Cubs for Monday night. Zambrano was charged with six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Z walked three and struck out three on 95 pitches, 55 for strikes.

Carlos Zambrano lost his first game at Great American Ball Park since July 29, 2007.

The fundamentally challenged Cubs were on full display once again Monday night. The roster Jim Hendry assembled continued to struggle with every aspect of the game. The Cubs were 2-for-11 with RISP (only one RBI) and left seven on base. Plus two runners were thrown out at the plate. All toll the Cubs committed four baserunning mistakes that cost them runs as well.

Carlos Pena hit his fourth home run of the second in the sixth and gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead at the time. After going without a homer for his first 25 games, Pena has hit four in his last 11. Pena hit the Cubs first home run since May 7 … his solo shot in the ninth against the Reds that tied the game at one.

With Monday night’s loss, the Cubs are a season-low five games under .500 with a 17-22 record …

The Cubs had the right game plan to start the game against Homer Bailey. Q’s offense was extremely patient and allowed Bailey to walk the bases loaded with one out … Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez earned the free passes. But once again, Alfonso Soriano failed to deliver with the bases loaded. Soriano struck out swinging … and Marlon Byrd did as well. The Cubs walked three times in the first against Bailey but struck out three times as well.

The Cubs inability to plate runners in scoring position cost them a chance against the Reds once again.

Carlos Zambrano was very good in the first, retired the Reds in order in the second and wiggled his way out of a jam in the third. Z gave up a one-out single to Homer Bailey in the third then walked Drew Stubbs but was able to induce a 5-3 inning ending double play off the bat of Edgar Renteria.

Z retired the Reds in order in the fourth.

Carlos Pena reached on an infield single to third to begin the fifth. Pena checked his swing and hit a chopper to Rolen that the veteran third baseman could not make a strong throw on. Mike Quade called for a hit and run on the first pitch to Koyie Hill. Hill executed perfectly and hit the ball through the vacated side of the right infield. Pena advanced to third on the play.

Z hit a chopper down the third base line on a 1-1 pitch. Rolen tried to make a throw home but was off balance, threw low and Hanigan could not make a play. Pena scored after stopping and starting again … Pena saw the throw and stopped about ten feet from the plate, the Cubs first baserunning blunder of the inning.

Hill and Z advanced to second and third on Rolen’s error.

Kosuke Fukudome hit a weak grounder to third that Hill tried to score on. The Cubs catcher was caught in a rundown and Hanigan eventually tagged him out (baserunning blunder number two). Z advanced to third on the play.

Darwin Barney came through with his 18th RBI of the season. Barney reached on a bloop single to right and drove in Z with the Cubs’ second run. Starlin Castro stepped in and hit Bailey’s first offering into right. The ball was hit well enough for Fukudome to tag and score but he misread the ball and could not get back in time to tag … baserunning blunder number three. Aramis Ramirez grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs should have scored at least three runs in the fifth … after five the Cubs were 1-for-7 with RISP, five left on base.

Big Z retired the Reds in order in the fifth.

Marlon Byrd extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a one-out single to right in the sixth … and was on board for the ride on Carlos Pena’s blast to right. Pena’s fourth of the year gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.

Carlos Zambrano took the hill in the bottom of the sixth with a 4-0 lead … that evaporated in the blink of an eye. Z struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo to start the inning … then nine consecutive batters reached base and seven of them scored.

Drew Stubbs reached on an infield single to third on a ball misplayed by Aramis Ramirez. Z then walked Edgar Renteria ahead of Joey Votto. Votto drove in the Reds first run with a single to left center. Stubbs scored and Renteria held at second.

Brandon Phillips made it 4-2 Cubs with a single to left on a 0-1 pitch. Renteria scored but Votto held at second with one out. Jay Bruce ripped a 0-2 pitch into right. Votto scored and Phillips took third on the play.

With the Cubs up 4-3, Scott Rolen hit a ball into left that a Major League baseball player should be able to catch, but not the Cubs’ left fielder. Instead of a sac fly and a tied game, the Reds tied the game on a double and had runners on second and third with one out.

Mike Quade made the trip to the mound and brought in Marcos Mateo to face Jonny Gomes with the game tied at four.

Mateo’s first pitch was up and in and Koyie Hill could not glove it. Bruce scored and gave the Reds a 5-4 lead. Mateo then served up a 1-1 pitch to Gomes that he deposited into the stands in right center … 7-4 Reds.

After back-to-back walks by Ryan Hanigan and Miguel Cairo, Drew Stubbs grounded out to third and Renteria struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance in the eighth to score a run … or two but came away empty again.

Alfonso Soriano led off the eighth with a double to right center off Sam LeCure. Marlon Byrd singled to center but Soriano got a late jump from second. Ivan DeJesus sent Soriano home anyway and Stubbs threw him out at the plate. Instead of first and third with no outs, Byrd stood at second with one down and the Cubs looking up at a 7-4 deficit.

Dusty brought in Bill Bray to face Carlos Pena. Pena grounded out to first and Hill grounded out to second to end the inning.

Horrible defense, can’t hit with runners in scoring position and baserunning gaffe after baserunning gaffe … It’s a Way of Life!

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza will face Edinson Volquez in the finale of the two game series Tuesday night.

Quote of the Day

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

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  • Wickitkevin

    Ok Do we all agree this team isn’t built to win anything? So what trade pieces do we have so, we can rebuild this team? Dempster and Garza are the only ones that come to my mind.

    • Cheryl

      We have to start with “trading” Hendry and Quade. 

      • Dorasaga

        LOL So true. The leader, namely, top management, needs to be accountable for the failure on the Major League level for three consecutive years of no-postseason, or nine, if the purpose is to win it all, that damned World Series.

        A lack of creative plan to move forward, such as placing talents on where they can succeed, is only adding weight to the demand of firing our current GM.

  • paulcatanese

    I guess it says everything about Quade and what he thinks of Hill,giving him the hit and run. The confidence that he(Quade) in Hill to call that tells me that Castillo is wasting his time here. And after the first game that Castillo played in and did not get a hit, it was clear in Quade’s mind that Hill was his man. 

  • Aaron

     Neil,

    Is it just me, or should Hendry be fired immediately after making this statement regarding Colvin:

    ********************************************************************************************
    “It’s something he definitely needs to go play,” general manager Jim Hendry said. “He had a really good year for us and since the first days of spring training he never played up to that level. We’re in the production business.

    “It wasn’t that he wasn’t given enough at-bats. He didn’t earn enough at-bats. The other guys here outplayed him, too., He needs to go down and play for a few weeks and once he does we can go back to the plan we had for him. he completely understood and was looking forward to getting some at-bats.”
    ********************************************************************************************

    Let’s break this down….
    “It’s something he definitely needs to go play”.
    I’m pretty sure they did this same garbage with Patterson, Pie, and Murton, and it just doesn’t work. You either make the commitment to play your young guys everyday, or you scrap that idea altogether and trade your entire system for veterans. You really can’t have it both ways. Young player are going to struggle at times, just as veterans do, which brings me to my next problem with his quote…

    “….since the first days of spring training, he never played up to that level. We’re in the production business.”
    Unless I’m terribly mistaken, Colvin didn’t have an other-worldly spring like he had last year, but he also didn’t have a terrible spring. The thing that gets me, is that a majority of the veterans had dreadful springs, including the much discussed Koyie Hill, who had just 1 hit in Spring Training if I recall. If it was the ‘production business’ as Hendry states, then the following veterans wouldn’t even be on the team:
    Byrd (in spite of his high average, has just 1 hr, 8 RBI out of mostly the 3 hole. That, to me, is NOT producing)
    Soriano (need I say more? He leads the team in hr and RBI, but that’s like the equivalent of winning the “Tallest Midget” competition)
    Fukudome (who slides post April EVERY damn year)
    Hill
    Grabow
    Dempster
    Pena
    ARAM (has just 1 hr, 15 RBI batting clean-up, even though Castro and Barney, and even Byrd have 147 combined hits, and they’re usually batting ahead of him…the rest of the team combined, outside of ARAM, has 182 hits…Does anyone else realize how pathetic that is?)

    “…wasn’t that he wasn’t given enough AB’s”
    You sure about that Jimbo? Considering only Johnson, DeWitt, and Hill had less AB’s than him at 38, 33, and 30 AB’s respectively….I’m not really sure that argument holds, especially since you’re talking about a young player that needs ABs to get in a groove, unlike a lot of veterans that have a great deal of experience coming off the bench. You simply CANNOT take a young player that’s been an everyday guy his whole pro career, and after he has a great rookie season, relegate him to bench duty, and expect him to perform. It just doesn’t happen.

    “…other guys outplayed him too”
    Well, if you’re talking about average and OBP, then yes, but if you’re talking run production, then absolutely NOT! Colvin had 2 hr, 8 RBI in 62 AB’s. On the other hand, Byrd has just 1 hr, 8 RBI in 158 AB’s, and Fukudome has 0 hr, 3 RBI in 95 AB’s. Also, nevermind the fact that Colvin often had to face tough lefties, because early on Johnson wasn’t hitting, and Fukudome certainly wasn’t allowed to face lefties, so by default, Colvin had to face them, and struggled, shattering his confidence (which the Cubs specialize in). 

    “he needs to go down and play a few weeks…..and go back to the plan we had for him.”
    So…what is that plan, exactly, Jimbo?!? Are you talking about averaging 1 start every other week, and relegated to a pinch hit role in the days between?

    This organization, top to bottom, is an absolute joke, and I actually want to punch them in the face, because they’re so smug about everything, even though they haven’t won a damn thing in over a century.

    Sorry, but the Yankees have every right to say to fans they have a plan, and they know what they’re doing….BECAUSE THEY’VE ACTUALLY DONE IT AND BEEN SUCCESSFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hendry is a moron, and my ears bleed every single time he talks.

    • Anonymous47701

      I’m in absolute favor of sending Jim “Clueless” Hendry packing. This Guy should have been gone when he signed heaven forbid I mention his name
      in 2009.

    • Tedtop16

      “We’re in the production business.”  Is he for real? What part of this statement does Hill satisfy? Aramus- clean up hitter? Hendry is in total cya mode. What a great message to send back to the minors with one of your top prospects. Bring Jerry Hunsinger from Tampa in to run the operation. This current front office is a joke. The quotes will get even more strange as we slip further under .500

    • cc002600

      This may come as a shock to you, but I agree with everything you said.
      :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      That is well said Aaron. If they are going to go that route with Colvin everyone needs to be held to the same standard.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Aaron, and I might add that if Colvin had ANY confidence AT ALL left after the blasting that JH gave him,it is gone now. How can Colvin justify what has been said to him? It’s going to be a long time before he comes back,if ever. How much can an orginization demoralize someone so badly? Stinks of NO CLASS at all,and no wonder they are where they are now. 

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, that statement blew me away. I agree players have to produce at the plate and that should go for in the field, on the mound and on the bases as well.

      • Aaron

        It’s a total double standard. Believe it or not, I actually would’ve respected him if he came out and said, “Look, these young guys have to produce to stay, because the veterans at least have a track record and we know what they’re capable of at this level. Some of our veterans have to pick it up as well, or we’re going to see some major changes in short order”

        But the problem is, the bar has been set so low with the veterans, because not many of them are any good. 

        For instance, with Pena, the bar has been set at a .196 average. I guess in Hendry’s mind, anything above would be a success, even if it’s a .210 average. Similarly, the bar has been set at a .260 average for Fukudome with a max of 13 home runs, 58 RBI in his career, so anything above a .260 average would be deemed a success.

        I could go on and on….The roster is filled with a “who’s who” of marginal starters at the MLB level. 

        I don’t think you’d find any other team in MLB where Soriano, Byrd, and Fukudome would be starting in the OF. I don’t think you’d find any other MLB team where Koyie Hill would be starting due to injury, much less on the roster to begin with. Enough is enough….Call it for what it is. 

        Soriano is a DH. PERIOD……………….

        Byrd is a great OF sub…………………

        Fukudome is a 4th OF at best, but mostly a 5th OF…….

        Hill belongs in AAA as a roster filler there (ie.-veteran that sticks mostly on 7-day DL throughout the season, and comes off when another guy gets injured)

        • Mike1040

           Amen ! and please, please get rid of Hill, he can’t hit the ball, catch the ball or throw the ball……………PERIOD!

    • studio179

      Your points are right on! Hendry saying ‘we’re in the production business’ is so hypocritical. He is wrong in his statements released. This is a management team that starts a LOOGY for the 5th spot and depletes the pen for days. Has Hendry watched Grabow, Ramirez, ec.? This is not just about Colvin. The Cubs run their business without a solid player development or overall plan. Does Hendry REALLY hear and believe what he is saying? This is nuts! 

      Now Quade has a closed door meeting. That is Hendry and Quade’s  answer to being ‘in the production business’ for basically a vet team. It might work for a bit of time with the young guys in Castro and Barney. They are ones producing! Granted, both make mistakes, but not closed door meeting worthy. Again, they are not the problem. How is that meeting going to improve Sori and Hill’s defense, Ram, Pena and Byrd’s ability to drive in runs, Grabow be effective, ec. MAYBE for tonight’s game and the next series, if at all. Again, this is nuts!  

              

  • paulcatanese

    Reading the comments about how “upset” Quade was after the game is classic. Sounds like a high school coach to me.  How in the world does he expect millionares to respond to that? Maybe he should throw bats around or cut their meal money.
    Seems  like he is losing control,he should look back to last year and see how the vets just layed down and went through the motions.Who made the lineups? Who stressed his fundementals to these guys? There are no real changes here,it’s the same bunch day after day. What happened to the lineup that had DeWitt in left and Johnson in Center, that was a change but never came off. If he wanted to stress that he means business,take one of his “vets” out immediatly after a bone head play.
    Do it at the point and that will make his point. You can teach a dog bathroom dignity
    as well as a monkey to open doors, are these guys dumber?

  • CubsfaninBama

    Neil…I truely appreciate your recaps of the games…I rarely get to see it on TV anymore…just been too busy.  So, I try to pull the game up on Gameday and watch what is going on and check the boxscore.  At the end of the game, I look forward to going back and reading your recap to see what really happened to screw the game up.  I, like everyone else, am truely baffled at the complete lack of management and performance on this team. I love checking in on Castro and Barney because they seem to always have something positive every game.  How they can figure out major league pitching and all these over priced veterans can not is beyond me.  Just wanted to let you know how much this site is appreciated….and Aaron keep the posts coming…it’s nice to hear a realistic approach with realistic solutions.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you

  • Baron_S

    1. The Cubs are 5th from bottom in baseball for Home Runs
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/stats/byteam?cat=Overall&cut_type=0&conference=MLB&year=season_2011&sort=706

    2. The Cubs are 2nd from bottom in baseball for Stolen Bases
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/stats/byteam?cat=Overall&cut_type=0&conference=MLB&year=season_2011&sort=711

    3. The Cubs have the 3rd worst team ERA in baseball
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/stats/byteam?cat=Overall&cut_type=0&conference=MLB&year=season_2011&sort=837

    4. The Cubs have the 3rd worst record in the National League

    The true fools are fans with any hope this season……

  • Henry

     When are we going to address our wonderful 3rd base coach?  he is turning into Waving Wendell Kim!  How many runners is he going to get thrown out at home.  I believe we had 2 thrown out at the plate last Wednesday against the cardinals.  

    • studio179

      Quade stated he wanted to be more aggressive on the bases. If you remember, people were calling Quade ‘Waving Wendell’ after some bad reads and getting guys thrown out by plenty. I am not defending the coaches because there have been poor judgements sending guys home. Plus, I noticed a couple bad baserunning turns at 3rd by players. It is a combo of all the above.

      • BosephHeyden

         I was in favor of firing Quade when he was a third base coach BECAUSE of that.  He wasn’t good at being a third base coach:  he had way too many bad sends and bad holds.  Sure, he was better than his predecessor, but that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort.

        If Ricketts doesn’t can everyone Hendry on down that doesn’t have the last name “Jaramillo” (because, let’s face this:  they’re hitting…they’re not hitting with guys on but that’s on the players), I’ve already figured baseball is a sport I can afford to ignore, especially since it seems like our hockey and basketball teams seem to have Playoff-built teams for the foreseeable future (and, especially with hockey, their owners know how to build on winners…this year was a bad year because there were way too many top-heavy contracts to deal with last offseason).

    • Gary J

      This one I’m going to chalk up to the coaches pressing too due to the player production.  The hitting (or lack thereof) with RISP has been so dismal, I can understand waving the runners and making the other team make a play.  

  • studio179

    Does ‘we’re in the production business’ apply to Kenney and Hendry-Quade?

    • Anonymous47701

      The way Jim Hendry picked and signed his players with almost zero speed and power, it looks to me like there isn’t any “Production” going on. 

  • John_CC

    Anyone else feel like we are on the verge of something finally happening?  (that’s rhetorical, this string of posts and yesterday’s “talkin’ live” is getting down right intense!)

    But what happened with Quade and the closed door meeting, anyone know anything?  I just read it at the end of yesterday’s string.  I can’t even imagine Q raising his voice…I bet his crazy eyes are truly frightening when he finally blows his stack.

    It seems like hit the wall…the I can’t take it anymore Cubs wall that Lou hit a lot sooner.  I sure would love to see Soriano on his ass on the bench with Baker in LF, Byrd on his ass with Reed in CF, Hill — ugh just off the team…come Quade, you CAN do it!  

    • studio179

      All I heard is Quade was disgusted and said, ‘this $h1t has to stop’. Thus, the meeting. I heard Pena and Byrd and Ramirez say it is time to play better and they all said, ‘it starts with them’. Yes, that is true, but…

      Do I think something is close to happening? Not yet. But one has to believe the Ricketts ownership is taking notes and not liking how this season is shaping up for many reasons.

  • John_CC

     For once I really want to listen to Quade’s post game and of course cubs.com does not have it up!  That is just lame.  The excerpts that I read were almost Elia-esque. 

  • RICK B

    For all you know it all’s Hendry is not the problem, Well maybe he made one big mistake that’s not hiring Ryne sandburg. Then you have several useless players starting with Soriano, Ramirez and the rest of the clowns.