Phillies Walk All Over Zambrano – Cubs 5 Phillies 7

Game Sixty-Two – Cubs 5 Phillies 7
WP – Roy Halladay (9-3) LP – Carlos Zambrano (5-3) Save – Antonio Bastardo (2)

To the Cubs credit they did not quit for the second game in a row … but they came up a couple of runs short Friday night in Philadelphia. The Cubs are still the only team in the majors that has yet to win three games in a row this season.

Carlos Zambrano struggled with his command Friday night and issued a season-high seven walks. Four of the free passes he issued scored on two home runs, a two-run homer by Domonic Brown in the second and a grand slam off the bat of Placido Polanco in the seventh. The Phillies plated six of the seven runs off Zambrano with two swings of the bat.

Z threw a season-high 128 pitches, most since May of 2008, and it was pitch number 128 that turned a 3-0 deficit into what appeared to be another embarrassing loss. Even with the bullpen being taxed Thursday night, Carlos Zambrano should have never been left in to face Ryan Howard, much less Placido Polanco. Simply said, Mike Quade left another starting pitcher in too long.

The Cubs only highlight in the first seven innings came in the fourth when Zambrano struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning. It was the 1500th strikeout of Zambrano’s career.

Z’s final line on Friday night in Philly: seven runs on seven hits with seven walks (one intentional) and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Z served up two home runs and threw 128 pitches, 68 for strikes.

The Cubs offense was able to get their hits against Roy Halladay but not when it counted. Halladay did not have his best stuff but still struck out nine (five to the first nine batters he faced) and allowed six hits in seven innings of work. The Cubs did not manage a single free pass against Roy Halladay.

Roy Halladay more than earned his first career victory against the Chicago Cubs (1-3).

The Cubs made the game very interesting after Roy Halladay departed. The Cubs scored five runs in the eighth against the Phillies’ pen, the first time since May 30 the Cubs plated more than four runs in a single game.

Aramis Ramirez (1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored) drove in the Cubs first two runs with a bases loaded single off Jose Contreras. Geovany Soto plated a run with a single and Luis Montanez drove in two with a pinch-hit single.

Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored) jump-started the Cubs five-run eighth inning that put runners on second and third with one out.

The Cubs out hit the Phillies (10-8) and finished the game 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base. The difference in Friday’s game was the Phillies took what Zambrano gave them … a ton of walks.

With Friday night’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 12 games below .500 with a 25-37 record …

Carlos Zambrano issued his first walk of the night to the first batter he faced, Jimmy Rollins. Shane Victorino followed with a single to center, Rollins advanced to third and Zambrano was in trouble right away.

Chase Utley hit a 1-0 pitch back up the box. The ball hit Zambrano; he picked it up then caught Rollins in a run down between home and third. Rollins was eventually tagged out but was smart enough to prolong the run down. Victorino and Utley advanced to second and third on the head’s up play.

Ryan Howard grounded out to first and plated Victorino with the first run of the game.

Placido Polanco grounded out to second to end the inning. Zambrano escaped the first with minimal damage.

The Cubs did nothing against Roy Halladay in the second.

Zambrano walked Raul Ibanez on four pitches to start the bottom of the second … and it cost Z a pair of runs. Zambrano served up a 1-1 pitch to the Phillies’ right fielder and Domonic Brown put it over the wall in right … 3-0 Phillies on Brown’s second homer of the season.

The game remained 3-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Phillies appeared to put the game well out of reach. Zambrano started the inning by walking Jimmy Rollinsthe third leadoff walk issued by Big Z on Friday night. Shane Victorino dropped a bunt up the third base line. Ramirez threw out Victorino as Rollins advanced to second.

After a visit from Mike Quade, Carlos Zambrano was left in and walked Utley to face Ryan Howard with two on and one out. Z got ahead of Howard 0-2 before walking him to load the bases.

Zambrano fell behind Placido Polanco 2-0 then threw one right down main that Polanco deposited into the stands beyond the left field wall. Polanco’s 100th career homer, a grand slam, gave the Phillies a comfortable 7-0 lead.

Mike Quade then went to his pen and brought in James Russell. Ibanez reached on a long single off the wall in right but Russell struck out Brown for the second out. Carlos Ruiz reached on an error by James Russell then Ben Francisco looked at strike three to end the inning.

With the Phillies up 7-0, Charlie Manuel decided Roy Halladay’s night was over.

Jose Contreras took over in the top of the eighth and walked Kosuke Fukudome to start the inning, the Cubs first free pass of the night. Darwin Barney grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Starlin Castro doubled to left on a 0-2 pitch. With runners on second and third and one out, Carlos Pena worked a walk to load the bases.

Aramis Ramirez continued hitting Contreras and ripped a two-run single into right center. Barney and Castro scored the Cubs first two runs of the game. Manuel went to his pen and brought in J.C. Romero to face Blake DeWitt.

DeWitt walked on four pitches against the southpaw to reload the bases.

Geovany Soto worked the count to 3-2 before lining a single into left. Pena scored and the Cubs were down 7-3. Luis Montanez hit for Tyler Colvin and ripped a single into right on a 1-2 pitch. Ramirez and DeWitt scored … 7-5 Phillies.

After D.J. LeMahieu was announced, Manuel made another pitching change and brought in Michael Stutes. Quade countered with Brad Snyder and he looked at strike three. With two on (first and second) and two out, Kosuke popped up the first pitch into short left. Inning and threat over …

Jeff Samardzija sat down Rollins, Victorino and Utley in order in the eighth.

Darwin Barney led off the ninth and worked a walk against Michael Stutes. Starlin Castro swung at a ball in the dirt and well out of the strike zone on a 1-2 pitch. Castro whiffed but Barney tried to advance on the play. Ruiz threw out Barney for the second out of the inning.

Charlie Manuel went to his pen again and brought in lefty Antonio Bastardo to face Carlos Pena … three pitches later, game over.

The Cubs did not quit Friday night …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza will face Cliff Lee in game three on Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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  • paulcatanese

    If Colvin gained any confidence from last night,Quade took it away tonight with a pich hitter.

    • Joey U

      I disagree, you need to try and win the ball game and in the end it was a good move.Colvin will survive.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Weaver/51208629 Matt Weaver

        Aren’t we beyong trying to win ballgames now?

        We need to see what we have for next year and beyond. Tyler Colvin is either part of these plans or he isn’t. Riding the pine is NOT a good way to find out…

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

      Actually I think it depends on how he looked at the AB’s he was having. After getting 3 AB’s against Holiday and going 1 for 3,Quade has plenty of reason to go to Colvin and say your our guy ,you did a good job against a tough pitcher,but I like this match up better.

      When a kid is struggling as much as Colvin was you take positives out of every appearance. He did some stuff to hold his head high and move towards getting better. If he did not come through in the situation that Montenez did then you would have to rebuild what little good feelings he has been building the last couple days.

      Colvins main problem last year and to a worse extent this year was that he could not make adjustments from AB to AB so pulling him there so he didn’t have to think too much to succeed actually could be helpful. You just have to stay with the kid and say that you are still in his corner but and be positive in the reasoning.

      There was never a question about Colvin’s work ethic or his “moxie” for lack of a better word. The only question is can he be selective enough or make the adjustments that are needed to be an everyday player. The one problem I have had with Colvin outside of his hitting struggles so far is that he doesn’t seem to take control when he is on defense enough to be a center fielder. Then again he should not be a center fielder anyway.

      • paulcatanese

        Richard, that post was a quick afterthought almost when it happened. After looking further I knew it was the right move at the time. I was so disappointed after the result of the game I didnt even bother to post any further. You and Joey are right. It was the right move.

      • cubtex

        I don’t understand all this banter about hurting Colvin’s feelings or confidence? Cmon people….this is the mlb. You put players in the game late to give the team a better chance to win. This is not little league where we take the kid out for ice cream and say it’s okay Tylee you’ll get em tomorrow.

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

          It has nothing to do with feelings. It has to do with confidence and putting your guys in the best chance to succeed. Ego is a very brittle thing in any athlete. Yes they have a job to do and Colvin has always plug his way in there like a blue collar guy but you have to balance between him being out there and being successful. When he is struggling in a situation (changing his approach verses a pitching change) and he doesn’t do it again any progress you have made recently has been lost.

          Remember that according to Yogi Berra the game is 10% physical and 100% mental so anything you can do to help a kid with the mental side is a plus in the long run.

          • cubtex

            If a player is not self confident….he won’t make it no matter how he is handled. I don’t even know Colvin’s mental makeup but he needs to start getting tougher and producing more consistently or he will be a distant memory.

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

            That is very very true. But it is also a 2 way street. We know he works hard and puts work in all the time. What we do not know is how much he can improve in mental aspect of the game. Again it goes back to is it inbred or can you learn.

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

            Your comment kind of reminds me of Mickey Mantle being sent down his rookie year. He was struggling in the minors for a couple months when his dad came and saw him play. His dad after the game ask him if he wanted to go find a real job. Mick ask why he would think such a thing. His dad said that he already quit the one you want. You might as well give up totally and come to work with me.

            Mantle had the self confidence he just needed to remember it was there. So like I said in athletes ego is a very very fragile thing. It can be broken in a hurry no matter how long you have been playing.

            You seem to think that by playing it safe with a young guy like Colvin you are spoiling him or coddling him. That is not the case every time. Each person is different and react to a different approach.

          • cubtex

            I don’t mean to sound harsh but when a manager cannot make a baseball decision based on merit or in other words “giving his team the best chance to win a game” because he is afraid of ruining a player’s confidence? Something is wrong there. Colvin has been playing baseball his whole life…he understands he is hitting .100 and his confidence cannot be damaged any more than it is by being pinch hit for in a game last night

  • Anonymous47701

    2012 lineup idea

    B.Jackson-CF
    D.Barney-2B
    S.Castro-SS
    J.Bour-1B
    R.Ridling-3B
    T.Colvin-RF
    A.Soriano-LF
    W.Castillo-C
    Pitcher

    bench

    M.Gonzalez-SS,2B
    J.Vitters-3B,1B
    S.Clevenger-C
    T.Campana-CF,LF
    L.Montanez-RF

    • Aaron

      Problems:
      Bour would need to be at AA this year for that to happen, and with Ridling there right now, it makes it unlikely.

      Secondly, Ridling has never played 3B

      Thirdly, if Vitters comes up, it will be to play everyday, NOT ride the pine in a bench role. It’ll either be as a 3B, 1B, or LF (unlikely, unless he gets more PT there this fall).

      Lastly, I don’t see Gonzalez making the team. At least not with LeMahieu already up with the Cubs now.

      I think you have to look at it like this:
      C-Hill
      1B-Pena
      2B-Baker, DeWitt (both arbitration)
      3B-ARAM
      CF-Johnson
      RF-Fukudome

      All of those guys are in the last year of their deals. Therefore, they might be replaced by….
      C-Castillo
      1B-Ridling
      2B-LeMahieu, M. Gonzalez
      3B-Flaherty
      CF-Campana
      RF-Jackson

      Aside from those guys, you’d have to think the Cubs would try everything possible to move Soriano, and possibly Byrd, if he comes back healthy and produces well. I also think it’s likely they might try to move Soto. But that’s how you have to look at things with this team, especially if Hendry is still the GM.

      • Dorasaga

        I’m sort of confused right now. Isn’t Brett Jackson the better center fielder?

        I also thought Flaherty is a utility guy. At least that’s how the Cubs play (and train) him so far.

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

          They think that Brett Jackson is a young Barry Bonds type of outfielder (on defense guys don’t read to much into this). Meaning he has the tools to be a good CF’er but he can be superior outfield on the corner.

      • PeteM

        I personally would like to see Byrd stay around, he is the kind of influence you want on young players on how to play the game.

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

          But you have to balance return verses leadership. Besides that is it was true that he prefers to just play center then I say he can play it on another team because he doesn’t seem to fast enough to be a good center fielder anymore.

          He will get the best return in a trade if he is healthy when he comes back.

          • paulcatanese

            There are three players that have better speed in CF,Campana,Johnson and
            Colvin, all are good with the glove as is Byrd,but he does not have the speed.
            I think the time has come where the team should be ahead of individual preferences and management should take that into account. management needs to quit trying to play individuals in a certain spot and hope someone takes them. Showcasing players in hopes of trading them is stupid. Sink youre own team to promote a trade. Results are what makes a player desirable. 

            It became clear last fall when Aram did not end up on 1B per his decision and
            now Byrd and center field. Doing it the way they are (management ) in my eyes only diminishes the value and the return would be minimal. Byrd is an
            outfielder but not a center fielder if he does go to a corner I would then say
            he is no better than Fuko as a corner.

            I don’t know what the real answer is here, but I do know that he is not a center fielder any longer. But he will get the shot there if only that he has recovered from a nasty accident.

  • Aaron

    Has anyone else seen the rumors about the Angels dumping Kazmir, who is struggling, trying to comeback from injury at AAA right now?

    There was a rumor they were showcasing him in EXST for Cubs scouts in attendance. 

    I find it hard to believe the Cubs would continue with Doug Davis or even Lopez (perhaps Kazmir could be the swing-man?), especially if Kazmir is DFA’d and the Angels pick up the rest of his deal. 

    Kazmir at 80% is still better than Davis at 100%

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

      I think that if Kasmir is DFA’d then there will be a number of teams that will line up to sign him for the league minimum.

    • cubtex

      Have you seen Kazmir’s numbers?????

      • cubtex

        Kazmir is 0-4 15.15 ERA 17 walks in 13.2 innings and 5 hit batters. He is not good anymore!

        • cubtex

          And that is in AAA!!!!

  • Tom U

    I normally don’t get into the trade/signing speculation, but something I saw today peaked my interest.
    Oakland outrighted Kevin Kouzmanoff to Triple-A today. The Cubs should monitor this situation closely. If he accepts the assignment, Oakland might be willing to deal him. The Cubs could make an offer of Marquez Smith and Bryan LaHair, or something like that, for him. If he refuses the assignment, the  Cubs should look to sign him to a minor league deal.

    Acquiring Kouzmanoff could give the Cubs leverage in trying to get Aramis Ramirez to waive the trade clause in his contract. Ramirez and his agent feel the Cubs will pick up his option. With Kouzmanoff in the organization, they may alter their thinking. 

    If they are able to deal Ramirez, Kouzmanoff would offer a low cost hedge as the team explores Ryan Flaherty and DJ LeMahieu at third, and Tyler Colvin and Rebel Ridling at first.

    • cubtex

      Don’t you think that will just add another average veteran blocking Vitters and Flaherty from getting a look this year? Is Vitters still in the 3rd base mix or are they thinking more 1b? I noticed Vitters got his average over .280 and he is still just 21. I hope he is still looked at as a 3rd baseman. He has much more pop than LeMahieu for that position.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Vitters and Flaherty are not ready for the big leagues and will not be this year. Vitters is hitting, I think he has a eight game hitting streak. He continues to struggle in the field. With Flaherty, there is no reason to rush him. Let him continue to develop.

        From the way I understand it, they would like Vitters to remain at third but right now he’s not cutting it. As you pointed out, he’s only 21.

        Both of these players need time …

        • cubtex

          This question is for Neil or Tom…..What is the book on Vitters as a 3rd baseman? What are his weaknesses? What does he do well?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Vitters has a strong arm, above-average according to most scouts and very solid from what I’ve seen. He makes the routine plays, sometimes, but can get rushed and that’s where the throwing errors come from. His range is questionable and inconsistent. The biggest issue on and off the field for Vitters is maturity.

          • cubtex

            Thanks Neil!

          • Dorasaga

            Defensively, Vitters should be in his prime (one fangraphs article says age 21-25). Completion of routine plays should be a skill learned since at latest high school, and Vitters is still struggling to obtain such skill during his fourth year in a pro. organization.

            He’s not a future third baseman. He needs to be tried in other positions. I agree with Tom U that ARam needs to be pressured by a viable replacement. But an easier way to manage this team is to trade him for salary relief.

            Jim Hendry has been complaining about a lack of fund since 2009. Well, then clean the house, Mr. GM!

      • paulcatanese

        I would have to say from what I have seen of LeMahieu there hasnt been any indication of “pop” at all. Just a comment on him and not comparing him to anyone else.

        • cubtex

          I agree Paul. Unless he alters his hitting approach dramatically…I think he has a second basemans bat. With Wrigley Field as their home park…you can’t get away with an infield of LeMahieu,Castro and Barney from 3rd to 2nd. No thunder whatsoever. That is why I am hoping Vitters can stay at 3rd.

          • paulcatanese

            I’m glad you agree on LeMahieu, with the press that has been on him and many posters that have supported his being here I thought I was missing something. If ever I saw a nervous player he would have to be that. With additional time to progress he may well be a player but not just yet.

          • cubtex

            I just don’t think he has the bat to play 3rd right now. That is not to say he can never. He is 6’2…. but he needs to alter his approach and drive the ball more.

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

      I was saying they should have done that last off season with Andy Laroche but most guys would not have seen it that way then.

    • Tno13

      If I were Aram and my agent believed the Cubs were going to pick up my $16MM option for next year; I’d get a new agent.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree with you,but we are not the ones going to make that decision, without any stretch here if JH is still here next year,I would not be surprised at all if Aram came back. With the constant backing of Quade of Aram, and we know who is running things, JH must believe in Aram also. And he will keep him out there. Hope I’m wrong, but have little faith in management.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    It was a tough night for Carlos Zamrano. Perhaps if the the Cub hitters got a few more hits in the 8th and 9th inning, the results would of been different.