A Long, Terrible Trip – Cubs 3 Phillies 4

Game Sixty-Four – Cubs 3 Phillies 4
WP – Roy Oswalt (4-4) LP – Sean Marshall (3-1, BS 2) Save – Ryan Madson (15)

The Cubs long, 10-day road trip came to an end with their eighth loss (2-8, outscored on the trip 52-26). Sunday afternoon began with the Cubs’ offense putting up a three-spot on Roy Oswalt … but it ended with their 39th loss of the year.

Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double, RBI and a run scored) drove in Darwin Barney with the game’s first run. Castro was on board for Aramis Ramirez’s fourth home run of the season, the sixth of his career off Roy Oswalt. But the Cubs offense managed only two more hits off Roy Oswalt and the Phillies pen … and nothing after the third until a two-out single by Koyie Hill in the ninth.

The Cubs allowed Roy Oswalt to settle in with their ridiculous approach at the plate. Oswalt did not allow a hit after the third. Oswalt retired the last seven Cubs he faced (last two on strikeouts) and 11 of 12. The Cubs offense did not manage a single baserunner after a fifth inning walk by Carlos Pena until Hill’s two-out single in the ninth.

The Cubs managed only eight baserunners on the afternoon (1-for-4 with RISP, six left on base) while the Phillies put 13 runners on against Q’s pitching staff.

Doug Davis labored through five innings Sunday. Davis did not throw the ball well but did just enough to put himself in line for his first Cubs’ victory. Davis wiggled his way in and out of trouble and departed with the Cubs up 3-2. Davis stranded the bases loaded twice in the first four innings but allowed only two runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Davis threw 108 pitches (32 in the third inning), 63 for strikes.

Sean Marshall took the loss after allowing two runs in the seventh … the first time since July 30 and July 31, 2010 that Marshall has allowed runs on the road in back-to-back games.

Marshall made his sixth appearance of the trip (six out of 10 games) and hit Shane Victorino on a 2-2 pitch to start the inning. After a double by Chase Utley (1-2 pitch), Ryan Howard (3-for-3 with a double, a walk and three RBI) completed his big day with a two-run single to center.

Following Sunday’s loss, the Cubs finally revealed why Kerry Wood has not been used since the finale in Cincinnati. Wood is dealing with blister problems, and has been for weeks, Wood will likely be placed on the DL on Monday.

With the latest loss on a Sunday (Cubs 1-9 on Sunday in 2011), Q’s squad slipped to a season-low 14 games under .500 with a 25-39 record …

The kids jump started the Cubs offense once again Sunday. Darwin Barney singled to right on a 2-1 pitch after he stepped out of the box and seemed to take Roy Oswalt out of his early rhythm. Starlin Castro put together a good at bat that resulted in a double to left on a 3-2 pitch. The ball hit on the line and allowed Barney to score the games first run … Barney was off with the pitch.

Carlos Pena hit a mile high pop up to Rollins (around the second base bag) on Oswalt’s first offering. Aramis Ramirez stepped in and looked at ball one from Roy O.

Ramirez lofted Oswalt’s next pitch into the stands in left … 3-0 Cubs.

Blake DeWitt singled to center, the Cubs’ fourth hit of the inning. Tyler Colvin followed and popped out to shallow left to end the inning.

Doug Davis received rare run support but gave one right back in the home half of the first.

Jimmy Rollins singled to center to start the inning. Shane Victorino hit a grounder into the hole at short. Castro made a fine play, picked the ball and threw out Rollins at second. Chase Utley blooped a 0-2 pitch into left. DeWitt could not get to the ball and Victorino advanced to third with the play in front of him. Victorino challenged the second baseman, DeWitt’s throw was off … a good throw and Victorino was out by a mile.

Ryan Howard crushed a 2-2 pitch and just missed a homer to straight away center. The ball hit off the base of the wall and drove in Victorino. Utley held at third on Howard’s double. With the Cubs up 3-1, Davis walked Ben Francisco to load the bases with one out.

Davis struck out Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz lined out to third to end the inning. Davis really dodged a bullet in the opening inning.

Oswalt retired the Cubs in order in the second … and Davis sat down the Phillies in order in the bottom of the second.

The Phillies added another run in the third as Davis loaded the bases again and wiggled out of trouble with minimum damage.

Chase Utley worked a one-out walk on the 10th pitch of the at bat. Ryan Howard followed with a single to right on a 1-1 pitch. Utley advanced to third and Davis walked Ben Francisco for the second time in the game to load the bases with one out.

Raul Ibanez stepped in 0-for-6 on the season with the bases loaded. Ibanez singled to right and plated Utley with the Phillies second run.

Carlos Ruiz struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch and Wilson Valdez grounded out to second on Davis’ 32nd pitch of the inning.

The Cubs led 3-2 after three innings.

Q’s team showed off their lack of fundamentals in the fourth.

After Blake DeWitt reached on a fielding error by Jimmy Rollins and Koyie Hill worked a one-out walk, Doug Davis bunted too hard back to Oswalt on a 1-2 pitch. Oswalt threw out DeWitt at third for the second out. Fukudome’s slump continued … pop out to right to end the inning.

Doug Davis walked a batter in the fourth (Victorino with two outs) and to start the fifth (Ryan Howard) but did not give up another hit.

Doug Davis departed after five innings and allowing two runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Davis threw 108 pitches, 63 for strikes.

The Cubs continued to do nothing against Roy Oswalt in the sixth and seventh innings.

Jeff Samardzija did his job in the bottom of the sixth … with a little help from homeplate umpire Alan Porter. Porter called Oswalt out on a low 3-2 pitch. Charlie Manuel was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes.

Sean Marshall had his second straight rough day at the park and blew his second save of the trip.

Marshall hit Victorino on a 2-2 pitch to start the seventh. Chase Utley then ripped a 1-2 pitch over Kosuke’s head in right. The ball one-hopped the wall and Victorino held at third on Utley’s double.

Ryan Howard gave the Phillies their first lead of the day with a single to center through the shift. Howard got just enough of a low outside pitch (2-1 count) to place the ball between Castro and Barney.

Placido Polanco hit for Ben Francisco and fouled out to first for the second out.

Raul Ibanez hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice and Ruiz struck out swinging to end the inning.

Koyie Hill reached on a two-out single in the ninth that gave Geovany Soto a chance to face Ryan Madson again. Soto launched a 2-1 pitch down the left field line … but it hooked foul. Soto blooped out to Utley in shallow right to end the game.

Two wins in eight games … with no relief on the schedule. It is easy to see but hard to believe the two different directions the Cubs and Phillies have gone in three short years.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs will limp home and open a seven-game homestand (four versus the Brewers and three against the Yankees) with the first of four against the first place Milwaukee Brewers. Ryan Dempster against Randy Wolf in game one.

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  • John_CC

    Man o man.  I keep thinking that they’ve hit rock bottom and it can’t get any worse, but they just keep finding ways to lose.

    Aren’t there any pitchers in the minors that are ready to come up get some big league innings?  I mean guys that have chance. They can’t do worse than Davis. Ten baserunners – 5 hits, 5 BB – in 5 innings is awful.  He got really really lucky today that he didn’t leave with 5 runs against him. Pure luck.  I’d rather see Coleman get the starts and keep learning how to pitch. Or even Russel for that matter.

    Send Fukudome and 5 million bucks somewhere. Anywhere.


  • erniesarmy

    Is there anyone, anyone at all out there in the Chicago area putting pressure on Ricketts to fire these three imbeciles Hendry, Kenney, and Quade?

    Media? Sports Talk Radio? Fan uprisings and protests?

    I live out here in L.A. so I’m out of the loop. I would like to believe there is tons of pressure being placed on Ricketts right now. That would give me some hope that Chicago fans aren’t going to let him get away with, “We’re fine, just too many injuries”, crap. 


    • Ripsnorter1

      Recently–I mean just this past week after the long losing streak to Houston, et al–there has been a call on 670theScore radio to fire Hendry. But Bruce Levine stated on ESPN 1000 AM radio that he fully believes that Ricketts will rehire Hendry with perhaps a liaison officer between Ricketts and Hendry.

       I fully agree that Hendry won’t be fired by Ricketts. My view of Ricketts is that he’s an empty suit who doesn’t understand baseball. Nice guy, but you know what Leo the Lip said, “Nice guys finish last.” And that’s exactly where I figure the Cubs will finish in 2011.

      • Anonymous47701

        If that’s the case, then Tom Ricketts had better brace himself for an “empty” Wrigley Field for years to come. Hopefully, he’ll wise up and realize that if he (Ricketts) keeps Hendry, Kenney and Quade around any longer, the Cubs fanbase may disappear sooner than he realizes.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park


      I listen to both sports talk outlets here in Chicagoland.
      Tom Ricketts is getting blasted. I will bullet point the comments:

      *  He is called “fanboy” by Steve Rosenbloom who writes for the Trib and doubles as a host on 670AM the Score. Rosenbloom refers to Tom’s Dad as “Papa Joe.” 

      * Rosenbloom often reminds us that Tom Ricketts barely graduated from college because he was often at the bleachers instead of studying.

      * Fans call in and often voice their disgust that Hendry still has a job, Quade is in over his head and wonder if Ricketts has ever fired anyone. One  fan called ESPN Radio 1000AM and blasted Ricketts for constantly being at Wrigley shaking hands and thanking people for showing up. The Man who called in mentioned that He would rather  see Ricketts put a winning team out on the field instead of greeting people.

      I could go on but you get the point. It is not fun listening to Sports radio here.

      As of late, Tom Ricketts has shunned the media.

      • erniesarmy

         Thanks Jim, you encourage me, but Rip depresses me … Hendry getting an extension? Oh my …

    • The Maven

      Unfortunately Ernie, Hendry has his own built in PR firm in Bruce Levine. The ESPN “insider” has been nothing but a dream for Hendry. Levine is almost never critical of Hendry’s moves, supports veteran players (he admitted, on air, to having a “special relationship” with former Cub Derek Lee), and is indifferent to overly critical of young players. He is one of the front runners in proclaiming Hendry as the Cubs’ “most successful” GM’s.

      • BillyFinT

        Man o man it is…

  • RynoTiger

    I was looking at mlbtraderumors and was reminded that ARAM already said he wouldn’t ok a trade this summer because he hopes to stay in Chicago after 2011.

    Shouldn’t the Cubs already make the decision to buy out his option and let him leave via free agency and then actually tell him that?  Why you ask…because if the Cubs don’t bring him back, he sure in the heck ain’t gonna get any kind of incredible contract in the off season like he has now given the last 2 seasons he has had. If they tell him know, maybe, just maybe and it’s wishful thinking, he’ll heat it up so that he can at least show that he’s worthy of another big contract from someone else.

    Just a thought (of course as I finish typing this I realize that if he does turn it on, someone in the Cubs organization will be like “hey ARAM, nevermind, we were just kidding, we’re going to keep you here”)

  • paulcatanese

    Quade’s comments are a dismal observation of this last roadtrip. “Time to go home.We have to regroup. We have a lot of work to do.” Thirteen pitchers on the active roster and all are being decimated by poor judgement as well as injuries.That is more than half of the roster in players.

    His lack of managerial experience and poor instinct has cost more than a few games. He must be under the impression that pitchers grow on trees.

    As far as “regrouping” I know he is waiting for the DL to clear and can once again
    install the veteran players to the lineup. I don’t think they are going to help all that much to move this team forward. The vets did not tear up the league when they were healthy. Coupled with a pitching staff that near exhaustion will not get it done.

    And yes, they do have a lot of work to do, but as long as they(Quade,JH) continue
    on the same path of the handleing players the way that they have, bring them up dont play them and send them down.

    If he is talking about work that has to be done and he means rebuilding with a different approach and look to the future then it has some merit. I could live with losse’s if youth were to be served that would bring hustle and determination and a completely different look to Cub baseball.

    They cannot keep waiting for homeruns to win games as that is almost non-existant
    in their repitior. The need is for patient hitters, hit and run and establish an offense that will put the defense on alert at all times,rush them, make them make plays,etc.

    It is clear that the pitching will not be there and losses will occur. But in reality the must build an offense that can sustain for a long while. Small ball needs to appear
    as they cannot play “long ball”at the present time.

    • BillyFinT

      You know, I wouldn’t be seriously pissed by Quade and his reluctance to encourage a youth movement. After all, no other GM but Jim Hendry would hire a minor league manager of 20 years (plus being lousy for years as a third base coach) to be his oarman.

    • Bedomami

      It is a sad situation when they think Baker, Soriano and Reed will be the answers to getting this club to win some games. I would much rather see the kids play. 

  • Doel Rivera

    Seeing like Dallas won the NBA championship, Iwonder, how would the Cubs if they had a winner like owner Mark Cuban?

    • cubs1967

      ya mean if uncle bud & prick reinsdorf had allowed him to buy the team…..instead of needledick ricketts……..but then look at what selig allows in…….mccourts to ruin the dodgers in the #2 market, letting the wilpons ruin the mets in the #1 market becuz they are friends and now w/ the #3 market let ricketts make the cubs again the laughingstock of baseball!!

      • studio179

        You’re right about Reinsdorf and the basketball connection with Cuban. Again, I was not for or against Cuban buying the Cubs But I find it interesting how Reinsdorf’s close friend Selig would not allow Cuban to buy a higher bid for the Cubs when you have the McCourts with another of baseball’s storied franchises and the Wilpons and the Mets situation (not a storied franchise, but in the #1 market as you point out and an MLB team regardless) as MLB embarrasments. Also, keep in mind the elegant shady dealings Reinsdorf’s other good friend Zell did with the Cubs in the first place. Selig turns the other way for those situations. In the case of the Cubs, He did not want to stir up anything with Reinsdorf.

    • studio179

      I understand what you are saying. It makes for a debate since Cuban was a Cub bidder who offered more money to buy the Cubs. Keep this in mind. Some may say Cuban has more money to fix the problems in the ball park or on the field or has the leadership of making moves to make changes to get it done. Regardless, it took Cuban 11 years to win a title as an NBA owner. Some like Cuban for his boldness, some dislike him as arrogant. I am not a Cuban basher or supporter. Bottom line, Selig and MLB was never going to allow Cuban to own the Cubs, which is one of baseballs three or four storied franchises. Glad the Mavs won though. They use to be a laugh stock team. Cub fans know that feeling all to well.   

      • cubs1967

        remember this; any team w/o a championship in over 100 years and needs at least 200M if not 400M (tear it down and re-build except bleachers) ballpark, is not storied; it’s a joke!
        what makes the cubs special or storied; is they are the only team in any sport that plays in a neighborhood (and suffers becuz of it w/ idiotic nitegame rulls and asinine landmark status that cost millions in advertising dollars) and the fans………the most loyal diehard “will a team to victory” fanbase you’ll ever see…….so selig and MLB need to address the storied fanbase w/ a winner.
        let’s remember cuban is not a crook, felon or anything else; and last time i checked it took reisndorf 20 plus years to win his WS; cuban won his w/ a white foreign b-ball player!

        • paulcatanese

          Maybe Cuban should hang around with his checkbook, I have a feeling that their could be a team for sale at a discount, because that “storied fanbase” is becoming a “short story” and may even burn the book.

          The nightgame rules are not new. If I remember Philidelphia had a rule that in a night game no inning could start after a certain time. Of course no longer applies. That was when the A’s were there as well,and the old ballpark.

        • studio179

          Hmm…white, foreign basketball player…who cares of the color. As far as the ‘storied franchise’ thing, I agree the rules and landmark status hinder and hurt any ownership of making more money. The Ricketts family needs to get real creative to fix multiple messes. 

          It’s all about selling someone something. Tom sold his dad to get the money. Zell sold Ricketts in questionable dealings. Kenney and Hendry sold Ricketts to keep their jobs to this point. The Vets sold Hendry that Quade was the guy. Before the year started, Rickets, Hendry, Quade and the Cubs tried to sell fans they would play kids and the size of the contract did not matter and they would be competitive this year. The big wrench in it all is the fans are not buying any of it, or showing up like anyone thought. After hearing what Joe Ricketts said recently, you have to wonder if he was just venting or how committed he really is long term.

          • cubs1967

            Don’t be ignorant …. Last team to win a title with white players was 30 yrs ago with bird and Mchale and the celtics….

        • Ryan7_21_05

          You can’t tear it down. About 3/4 of the ball park is a landmark. It can’t be touched or moved. I wish people would stop thinking u can just plow it over and build a new one