Cubs Can’t Follow the Dancing Ball – Cubs 1 Red Sox 5

Game Forty-Five – Cubs 1 Red Sox 5
WP – Tim Wakefield (1-1) LP – James Russell (1-5) Save – None

For the seventh time this season the Cubs began play on Sunday with a chance to win a series … and for the seventh time the Cubs came out on the losing end. Q’s offense could not figure out Tim Wakefield and managed only five hits and six total baserunners on the night. Wakefield allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings on four hits. The Cubs did not work a single walk against Wakefield and showed little to no patience at the plate. Wakefield threw 75 pitches, 54 for strikes.

The Cubs only run in the game came in the seventh after a leadoff double by Starlin Castro and a two-out double off the bat of Jeff Baker. Baker left the game after limping out of the box and sliding awkwardly into second base. Reports during the game stated Baker departed with a left groin strain and will be evaluated by team doctors Tuesday.

The Cubs managed only three baserunners and two hits over the first six innings … 11 of the first 17 outs Wakefield recorded were groundball outs.

James Russell pitched better than most thought he would especially after tossing three innings of shutout ball Friday night. Russell kept the Red Sox off the board over the first three innings but struggled in the fourth. The Red Sox scored a pair of runs on two sacrifice flies after they loaded the bases with no outs.

Mike Quade sent Russell out to start the fifth and Russell served up Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s second homer of the series. Russell gave up three runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in four-plus innings. Russell threw 57 pitches, 39 for strikes, after throwing 39 over three innings Friday night.

John Grabow and Kerry Wood gave up the Red Sox other two runs in the seventh. Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez reached on back-to-back, two-out infield singles off Grabow. Mike Quade brought in Kerry Wood and Kevin Youkilis tripled them in to complete the scoring.

With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs finished the seven-game road trip with a 3-4 record and slipped back to five games under .500 with a 20-25 mark …

Tim Wakefield retired the Cubs in order to start the game … on three groundouts. The Cubs’ timing was visibly off as they tried to figure out how to hit the knuckleballer.

James Russell took the mound less than 48 hours after throwing three shoutout innings. Russell was sharp, threw strikes and worked around a bloop and a misplayed ball.

Russell retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a ground out to first. Dustin Pedroia ripped a 1-1 pitch off of Aramis Ramirez’s glove as he dove to try to make a play on the grounder. Adrian Gonzalez then reached on a bloop single to left just over Ramirez. Russell jammed Gonzalez on the 0-2 pitch.

With runners on first and second with one out, Russell struck out Kevin Youkilis on a 3-2 pitch and retired David Ortiz on a groundout to first to end the inning.

The Cubs went in order in the top of the second.

James Russell faced the minimum in the bottom of the second. Jed Lowrie led off with an infield single up the middle but was erased on a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Mike Cameron. Carl Crawford flied out to left to end the inning.

The Cubs got their first hit in the third, Alfonso Soriano singled to left center. Welington Castillo grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Reed Johnson flied out to first to end the inning.

James Russell retired the Sox in order in the bottom of the third on just six pitches, four strikes. After three complete, Russell had thrown only 34 pitches, 24 for strikes.

The top of the Cubs lineup started the fourth … and did not fare any better against Wakefield. Fukudome, Barney and Castro did not show any patience and went in order rather quickly.

The Red Sox finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez reached on a single to left on a 0-2 pitch. James Russell walked Kevin Youkilis on five pitches.

David Ortiz stepped in and singled to left on the first pitch he saw from Russell. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jed Lowrie hit a deep fly to center. Reed Johnson made the catch but Gonzalez tagged and scored the first run of the game. Youkilis advanced to third on the play.

Mike Cameron hit a fly to center on a 1-0 pitch. Youkilis tagged and scored … 2-0 Red Sox.

Russell struck out Carl Crawford to end the inning … after four, Russell’s pitch count stood at 50, 34 for strikes.

Wakefield faced only four batters in the top of the fifth. Jeff Baker reached on a wild pitch on strike three to keep the inning going but Soriano popped out to second on the first pitch to end the inning.

Prior to the game Mike Quade said he was hoping to get four innings out of James Russell … and he did but for some reason sent him back out to start the fifth.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia launched a 1-0 pitch from Russell, his second offering and 52nd pitch of the game, into the last row of the Monster seats in left field. The Sox took a 3-0 lead.

Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an infield single to short on a 1-2 pitch and chased James Russell from the game.

Justin Berg replaced Russell and received a little pick up from his catcher. Ellsbury broke for second on a 2-2 offering to Pedroia. Welington Castillo threw a strike to Barney who tagged out his former college teammate for the second out of the inning … and the play ended up saving the Cubs a run.

Adrian Gonzalez followed with a double off the Monster on a 2-2 pitch. Berg retired Youkilis on a pop out to center to end the inning.

Welington Castillo led off the sixth with the Cubs’ second hit of the game. Wakefield uncorked his second wild pitch of the game with Johnson at the plate. Castillo took second but did not advance after Johnson, Fukudome and Barney went down in order to end the inning.

John Grabow worked around a leadoff double by David Ortiz in the bottom of the sixth. Big Papi hit a deep drive to left that Baker misplayed (ball went off his glove) into a double.

Starlin Castro led off the top of the seventh with a double down the left field line on a 2-2 pitch from Wakefield. Aramis Ramirez tapped back to the mound for the first out of the inning.

Carlos Pena gave Wakefield’s first offering a ride, but Mike Cameron caught the ball several feet from the short wall in right. Castro advanced to third on the play.

Jeff Baker ripped a 0-1 pitch off the Monster. Castro scored easily as Baker limped around first on his way to second. Baker slid awkwardly into second after the two-out RBI … and left the game. Tony Campana ran for Baker.

Terry Francona made the slow walk and replaced Tim Wakefield with the hard-throwing Daniel Bard. Alfonso Soriano did what Soriano does best with runners in scoring position, he struck out swinging to end the inning.

At the end of six and a half, the Cubs were down 3-1.

The Sox put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh. John Grabow retired Salty and Ellsbury to start the inning. Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield single to third. Adrian Gonzalez also reached on an infield single, to Castro up the middle. Mike Quade brought in Kerry Wood to face Kevin Youkilis with two out and the Cubs down by only two.

Youkilis reached out and ripped a 1-2 pitch into right center near the 420-foot sign. Youkilis ended up on third with a triple and the Red Sox added to their lead. Pedroia and Gonzalez scored … 5-1 Red Sox.

David Ortiz tapped back to Wood to end the inning.

The Cubs offense went 1-2-3 in the eighth against Daniel Bard.

Kerry Wood plunked Jed Lowrie on the hip to start the bottom of the eighth. Wood and both benches were warned as the feeling was it was more retaliation for Saturday night. Mike Cameron grounded out to the hole at short but Wood appeared to get out of the inning when Crawford grounded into a 6-4-3 double play … but Welington Castillo was called for catcher’s interference, the second time in the series a Cubs’ catcher was called for interference. Both runners were safe and Quade brought in Scott Maine to face Salty with one out.

The Red Sox catcher hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out double off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth … but that was it. Pena struck out swinging to end the game.

The Cubs limped out of Boston with one win in the three game series.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs will spend Monday evaluating all of their injured players. Several roster moves should be made before the Cubs next game on Tuesday against the Mets. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Jon Niese in the opener of the three-game series.

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth
  • Anonymous47701

    I think it’s time for the Cubs to cut their losses and write the 2011 season off. There is just too many obstacles for them to overcome. Hendry claims there is a lot of talent, but the way I see it, there isn’t a great deal to look at, outside of Castro and Barney, not to mention Campana’s speed. 

    • Tony

      It past time to cut their losses…it’s past time to fire JH… 

      • Anonymous47701

         Well I’m waiting for Jim Hendry to be Fired, and waiting for Quade to follow him.

  • cc002600

    I noticed that Ryan Flaherty now has 10 hr 46 rbi.

    46 RBI at this point in season is really impressive. What position is he mostly playing these days ?

    • Aaron

      Here’s his breakdown in games played:
      *only made 4 errors switching between all those positions, and all 4 have been at SS.

      Now, the Smokies have only played 44 games, and if you add up those numbers, it amounts to 50 games, so obviously he’s played multiple positions in some games. 

      The Cubs have been playing Vitters at 3B and Ridling at 1B fairly consistently, so that’s why he hasn’t played those positions much, and LeMahieu has also played quite a bit at 3B when Vitters hasn’t been, or if Vitters is at 1B. 

      I believe the Cubs see him as corner IF or OF going forward, as they’ve publicly stated they see LeMahieu as a 2B.

      Flaherty deserves to get the call, but like I’ve mentioned ad nauseam on this site, he’s been blocked by completely unnecessary veteran signings, such as Johnson and Baker.

      The real problem though, as Tom has stated before, is that Hendry REFUSES to admit mistakes, and thus is married to every single FA signing or trade acquisition he makes, thus, you’ll see guys like Fernando Perez, Kyle Smit, DeWitt, etc. getting more chances than more deserving players. Winning organizations simply do NOT play politics like that, and therefore, Flaherty, LeMahieu, Ridling, Clevenger, and others are stuck, and might not ever get a chance under Hendry….or Quade for that matter.

      • paulcatanese

        While not quite on the subject, you being an ex-pitcher I would ask about Byrd getting hit. Seems to me that throwing at someones head is usually fairly easy to get out of the way of the ball. As I recall not too many beanings have taken place in relationship to the other parts of the body. A brushback is meant to be just that, and I don’t think this one was thrown behind Byrd’s head, it just seemed to sail. I do recall that on suicide squeeze plays the pitcher was to throw at the hitter to get him out of the way. I feel this was an unfortunate happening but do not think it was intentional, as no pitcher would want that to be the result. The other is Byrd may have been looking for a curve ball and just hung in there a split second too long. 

  • Mike

    Is it me, or does everytime Kerry Wood leave the pen he gets hit hard? Everytime I watch him throw he either escapes some self-induced danger that doesn’t reflect his line, or getting hit around.

    • BillyFinT

       ripsnorter made a thorough game-by-game analysis of Wood’s days with the Yankees the last months of last season. He basically needed Mo Rivera to save the mess he created.

  • Anonymous47701

    HEY RedSoxGirl, I don’t have twitter to reply on, but if come to Chicago Cubs Online, lemme ask you this……DON’T YOU HAVE SOMETHING BETTER TO DO THAN BRAG ABOUT THE CUBS LOSING TO THE RED SOX ON A CUBS TWITTER PAGE?! 

    • diehardcubfan

      First that would require guts and second just shows how bad we suck as it seems everyone is poking fun at the Cubs. 

      It is really getting embarrassing.

  • jw

    I liked the fact that the Cubs retaliated with hitting the Red Sox batters…in the past the Cubs were not likely to “stir the pot” but when your players are getting drilled intentionally or not the ledger needs to be equalized…it is a fundemental concept that is necessary for a team to feel protected and connected. I thought Quade indicating 2-1 with his fingers was showing his emotions and in this case you just do it and don’t act like you are whining…the other team knows what’s going on and you don’t owe them a justification. 

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with analysis of Quade on his showing his fingers. That was bush on his part. The class act is as you say, just do it and go on with the game, I didn’t see any reaction from the Red Sox dugout, they knew what had taken place and  accepted it. Thus the Red Sox knew they got Quades goat. Can’t let the other team know that. Show how immature Quade is. 

    • studio179

      Exactly. Wood retaliated by throwing at the butt /hip area, not his head. The Red Sox knew what was happening and moved on. No need to act like a minor league skipper with the 2 for 1 fingers showing.

  • studio179

    “Prior to the game Mike Quade said he was hoping to get four innings out of James Russell … and he did but for some reason sent him back out to start the fifth.
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia launched a 1-0 pitch from Russell, his second offering and 52nd pitch of the game, into the last row of the Monster seats in left field. The Sox took a 3-0 lead.”

    Quade was hoping for 4 IP out of Russell and got a good enough start. He scraps his plan and brought him out for the 5th. After 2-3 IP and holding the score down, Quade should have considered it a quality start for Russell. Fine, he planned on getting 4 IP out of Russell and got it. I realize the team is in disarray, but it is not like Quade is asking to get a starter in Zambrano or Dempster an extra inning and hope it works out. That might backfire on a manager, but sometimes you see what they thinking and what shape the team is in at that point. But I do not understand Quade getting greedy and stretching out Russell…a LOOGY. Especially, considering most of Russell’s starts. Quade should have stuck to his plan and let Russell leave the game on a good note.

    • paulcatanese

      You said exactly what I think, Greedy on Quade’s part. He showed that he really dosent give a darn about the pitching staff, and has no knowledge of how to manage it. Russell was not meant to go five right after two days ago where he threw two more. He has arms going down all over the place because of his lack of knowledge, and now he really could have injured Russell as well. 

  • Anonymous47701

    Coaching Staff that should have been

    Manager-Ryne Sandberg

    Bench-Pat Listach
    Hitting-Rudy Jaramillo
    Pitching-Mark Riggins
    1st Base-Bob Dernier
    3rd Base-Jody Davis
    Bullpen-Lester Strode
    Bullpen Catcher-Edgar Tovar
    Bullpen Catcher-Koyie Hill

  • paulcatanese

    Wakefield pitched one of the best games of his life. It was so good that even the home plate umpire was fooled as well. I don’t think they were all strikes. Cub hitters were totaly mystified at what they were seeing. Now they face another this week,maybe they should consider bunting a little more instead of trying to hit it a mile. 

    • PleaseStopLosing

      The Cubs frequently let opposing pitcher have the game of their life against them… 

      • paulcatanese

        Great answer, can’t disagree with that. 

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Tim Wakefield did a good job pitching the Red Sox to a 5—1 victory. I liked the way he threw the knuckleball. When it left the mound it had nothing on it (no spin). But at the plate it broke away from the batter. Cub hitters struggled trying to connect with the knuckleball.