A Mistake Filled Victory – Cubs 6 Royals 4

Game Seventy-Five – Cubs 6 Royals 4
WP – Sean Marshall (4-2) LP – Aaron Crow (2-1) Save – Carlos Marmol (16)

wflag.jpg The Cubs might have played one of their worst games of the season Friday night in Kansas City … but somehow Q’s squad pulled out a win. As Pat Hughes said, “The Cubs got the minimum out of the maximum.” Friday night’s game was very difficult to watch.

The Cubs scored six runs on 15 hits and committed four baserunning mistakes … three of the Cubs first 12 outs were made on the bases. The Cubs ran themselves out of the first and fourth inning in a game that should have been put away well before the ninth inning. Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto were both thrown out at third, Alfonso Soriano was cut down at the plate to end the fourth and Aramis Ramirez was thrown out at second in the sixth. The Cubs had three runners thrown out on the bases in a seven batter stretch between the fourth and sixth.

Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a RBI) had a big night at the plate and was solid in the field. Castro recorded his 100th hit of the season with a single to center in the first inning. Aramis Ramirez also tallied three hits and scored two of the Cubs six runs. Carlos Pena finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored. Pena scored the tying run in the seventh.

D.J. LeMahieu continued his impressive play. LeMahieu was 2-for-4 with a run scored and it was his single in the ninth that put Tony Campana on third with the eventual winning run. LeMahieu was solid again in the field and was one of the few players that ran the bases the right way on Friday night.

Ryan Dempster had another rough start and received a no decision after allowing four runs, two earned, on nine hits in six innings of work. Dempster struck out four, issued a free pass and uncorked a wild pitch that led to one of the Royals four runs. After a nine-pitch first inning, Dempster threw 108 on the night, 70 for strikes.

James Russell and Chris Carpenter kept the Royals from tacking on in the seventh and Sean Marshall pitched a perfect eighth … and was awarded with a win.

The Royals put the tying runs in scoring position in the ninth against Carlos Marmol but Marmol retired Alex Gordon on a grounder to short to end the game.

With Friday’s win, the Cubs improved to 31-44 on the season, 13 games below the mediocre mark …

The Cubs jumped on Bruce Chen in the first inning but due to the first baserunning blunder of the night, the Cubs scored only one run. Starlin Castro reached on a one-out single to center … Castro’s 100th hit of the season. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to center and the Cubs were in business with runners on first and second with one out.

With Jeff Baker at the plate, Castro took off for third on a 0-2 pitch. Brayan Pena threw Castro at third for the second out of the inning, the first time Castro has been caught stealing this season (10-for-11). Baker ripped Chen’s next pitch over Francoeur’s head in right. Ramirez scored on Baker’s first triple of the season. Geovany Soto struck out swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired the Royals in order on nine pitches, five for strikes, in the bottom of the first.

After the Cubs went in order in the second, the Royals tied the game in the bottom of the second.

Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to right to start the second. Francoeur flied out to left but Mike Moustakas blooped a single into center. With runners on first and second with one-out, Dempster uncorked a wild pitch to Brayan Pena on a 1-2 offering. Both Gordon and Moustakas advanced on the play.

Pena worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a fly to Soriano in left. Gordon tagged and scored … game tied at one. Starlin Castro took a RBI single from Alcides Escobar and Pena cleaned up his throw in the dirt to end the inning.

The Cubs had a chance to put four or five runs up in the fourth but they ran themselves out of a possible big inning. It is hard to have a bad inning when two runs are scored … but the Cubs found a way Friday night.

After Ryan Dempster wiggled his way out of trouble in the bottom of the third, thanks to bad baserunning from the Royals, Aramis Ramirez led off the fourth with a double off the top of the wall in left center. Ramirez just missed a home run. Baker grounded out to third for the first out of the inning.

Geovany Soto walked on four pitches that gave Pena a chance to hit with two on and one out. Pena singled to right center. Ramirez scored but Soto was gunned down at third by Jeff Francoeur. Pena took second on the Cubs second baserunning blunder of the night.

After Soriano worked the count to 3-1, Chen issued ball four intentionally. With two outs and runners on first and second, Luis Montanez launched a 0-1 pitch off the wall in left. Pena scored but Soriano was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

The Cubs took a 3-1 lead but it should have been more. Three of the Cubs first 12 outs were made on the basestwo at third and one at the plate.

Alex Gordon led off the bottom of the fourth and dropped a bunt to the third base side of the bag on Dempster’s first pitch. Dempster barehanded the ball … and threw it away. Gordon reached on the throwing error and scored two pitches later.

Jeff Francoeur launched a 0-1 offering from Dempster over the wall in left and tied the game at three … it was Francoeur’s first longball since May 22.

Dempster settled down and retired Moustakas and Pena but issued a two-out walk to Alcides Escobar. Chris Getz followed with a single to right center. Escobar advanced to third and scored the Royals’ fourth run on a single by Melky Cabrera.

With runners on first and second with two outs, Eric Hosmer grounded out to third to end the inning.

Aramis Ramirez committed the Cubs’ fourth baserunning blunder in the sixth. Ramirez ripped Chen’s first pitch down the left field line. Alex Gordon hustled to the ball and threw a strike to Getz at second base … Ramirez was out by a mile.

The game remained 4-3 until the seventh. The Cubs tied the game and scored one run on five hits in the inning.

Carlos Pena led off the seventh with a double off the wall in right. Ned Yost went to his pen and replaced Bruce Chen with Blake Wood.

Alfonso Soriano blooped Wood’s first pitch into right. Pena advanced to third on the play. Mike Quade sent Blake DeWitt up to hit for Luis Montanez. DeWitt grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, Pena scored and tied the game at four.

D.J. LeMahieu ripped a 1-1 pitch down the first baseline. The ball hit the bag and bounced high into the air. Hosmer fielded the ball in shallow right and almost threw out LeMahieu at first. Fukudome followed with a single to center.

With runners on first and second with two outs, Starlin Castro singled to right on a 2-1 pitch. Ivan DeJesus held LeMahieu at third. Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the inning.

James Russell retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh then handed the ball to Mike Quade. Chris Carpenter walked the first two batters he faced (Butler and Gordon) before retiring Francoeur on a comebacker to the mound to end the inning.

Sean Marshall retired the Royals in order in the bottom of the eighth.

The Cubs caught a break with one out in the ninth. Tony Campana bunted the ball toward third. Mike Moustakas appeared to make a shoestring catch but it was ruled he trapped the ball. Moustakas made the mistake of showing the homeplate umpire the ball and the delay cost him a chance of making sure of the out at first.

D.J. LeMahieu looked at three straight out of the zone from Aaron Crow. Campana took off for second on a 3-1 pitch. LeMahieu hit the ball right through the vacated hole at second. Campana motored around second and made it to third on LeMahieu’s single to right.

With runners on first and third and the infield at halfway, Kosuke Fukudome hit a tailor made double play grounder to Chris Getz but Getz took his eye off the ball and booted it. Campana scored the go ahead run and LeMahieu advanced to third on the play.

Starlin Castro made it 6-4 Cubs with his third hit of the night. Castro singled to center and plated LeMahieu with the all-important insurance run. Aramis Ramirez hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol made his first appearance since Monday and struggled with his command. Marmol walked Getz to start the inning. Cabrera looked at a 3-2 offering for the first out of the inning. Eric Hosmer was called out on a check swing but Billy Butler ripped a double into right. Getz held at third. Yost sent Jarrod Dyson to run for Butler … the would-be tying run.

Alex Gordon grounded out to short to end the game.

Ugly really does not describe the Cubs performance Friday night in Kansas City.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Carlos Zambrano will face rookie Danny Duffy Saturday night in game two.

Quote of the Day

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than you fear of failure." - Bill Cosby
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  • gocubs

    With LeMahieu playing well, what do they do when Barney comes back?  How about next year?  Maybe Castro shifts to 3rd base?  

    Fukudome, Castro, Ramirez seems to be a nice 1-3.  I bet Quade puts Byrd right back at #3 when he gets back.  

    This is kind of fun team…I wish they were better.  

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

      He is playing well but not that well. I imagine he is destine for AAA when Barney comes back unless Baker or DeWitt gets traded.

      • The Maven

        However, if they feel LeMahieu would benefit more by being with the parent club, they can send Luis Montanez down and use Baker primarily in the outfield.

        And, as someone else suggested, now is about the time of the season when Aramis Ramirez gets “hurt”.

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

          That was me that suggested it. You stated the exact reason he needs to be the one to go down. There is no place for him to play everyday and get his work in. I would rather see him in AAA where he can get consistent at bats than rotting on the bench. Remember that DJ is not yet a finished product. He has a lot of work to do.

          DJ plays a couple days a week right now in the big leagues but the workouts he is doing and the time he is getting with the coaches are helping see what he can be. He now knows what he needs to work on. He just needs consistent playing time. With Barney almost ready to get back I think to keep DJ progressing he needs to be on the field.

      • The Maven

        If you throw out LeMahieu’s seven pinch hit appearances and only focus on his starts, he is hitting .348!

        • paulcatanese

          Both your’e posts make a lot of sense. LeMahieu has a lot of upside to him. He swings a decent bat, fair speed and is heady on defense. If allowed to play at least on a sem-equal basis he would show attributes that DeWitt and Baker do not have. I would rather see him play than the other two. The influence that Barney has brought to the team seems evident in LeMahieu as well. Their Minor League training has been excellent, who supervised them?

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

    Lets hope that Z continues to work a good game. The more reliable and consistent he becomes the less money we have to throw in to get him traded. I still think we are looking at throwing in 6 million for this year and next. That gets him down to 12 million for next year and should get some interest at that point if he continues to pitch well.

  • paulcatanese

    The Cubs should leave the baserunning and stretching it out to those who actualy have legs and some resemblence of speed. Soriono looked as though he was about to pass out trying to make it home. He does not have the legs at all. Aram should not have tried to stretch it to two, and Denier talked to him about it in the dugout. Some of these guys just do not have the wheels or are blessed with intelligence to know their limitations. Wouldnt happen at all if they started hitting them out of the park.

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

      I keep thinking that a lot of the problem last night was the players getting tired of hearing that they do not try. Seems that they took some of the shots lately a little personal and were actually trying to try to be more aggressive. The problem is most of them lack the baseball IQ to make smart decisions enough to be that aggressive. DeJesus should have tripped Soriano coming around third that way he had to go back.

      • paulcatanese

        You are exactly right, and we saw that the night that Soriono took second on a steal,plus two walks. The at bats were improved as well,especialy Castro who has been accused of “no walk syndrome” and he is taking more pitches. It says that the coaches must also accept some responsibilty for runners action coupled with the runners picking up the coaches, all should work together. It does prove one thing without a doubt, sombody there is paying attention to what the fans are saying and the fans are not stupid. Their are a lot of clear intelligent suggestions by people on this site alone,and I believe it is being read and some changes,of course not all are being taken, but more than a few.

      • paulcatanese

        In an additional comment Richard,as I said, I agree,but one other thing I think we have both overlooked the arms in the outfield for Kansas City as they had the strongest and most accurate I have seen all year. Thats not an excuse for what happened,and they should be aware of the arms out there and when to push it. The right fielder Francouer already has what,25-26 assists.,and some great throws were made in the game.

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

    In the SunTimes today there was a story about the Cubs not wanting to start a purge of talent and getting ready for next year. Ok this is the dumbest move I can imagine to make. If you wait the next 2 weeks to gauge where we are at when healthy then you also wait for more sellers to realize they need to build for the future. You can get the most of your fringe guys now before more one year rentals are on the market. To me this says loud and clear that Hendry is thinking of adding pieces still instead of a retooling. He needs to be fired now before he does something really dumb and kills any chance we have of being competitive next year or even 2013.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/6155968-573/cubs-in-no-hurry-to-start-purging-salary.html

    • Aaron

      I was just going to post the same thing, just from the Tribune…

      Does this sound like a guy that is clinically sane to even run a professional sports franchise?:
      ************************************************************
      Still, Hendry believes the Cubs have enough talent on the roster to turn things around, and believes it can happen once the entire team is healthy.

      “It’s not as complicated as people would think,” Hendry said. “You want to get healthy, you want Marlon (Byrd) to come back and (Darwin) Barney and let Mike manage the club that looks a little bit more like the club we broke camp with and see how we play for a while.”
      http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0623-side-cubs-white-sox-chica20110622,0,498782.story

      **************************************************************************************

      Funny…because I’m pretty sure the Cubs were upwards of 5 games out and under .500 when they had Byrd and Barney…..hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      I can’t stand Hendry….he’s an imbecile 

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron, it’s like JH has a brick for a brain. Totaly,totaly oblivious of the correct move to make. I don’t think anyone on the planet can get thru to him except Ricketts and I think he feels he is overmatched and won’t even try.

    • cubtex

      You need to realize that this is what is said to the media. Even Hendry is not dumb enough to go out and publicly say….We are selling and come take our players.. Do you honestly think if there is a descent offer for Dempster,Fuko etc…he would hesitate?

      • Aaron

        That couldn’t be further from the truth. We all know Hendry tips his moves, which has caused him to be one of the most ineffective GM’s in the game. He tips off who he is unhappy with, ruins their trade value even more, and in the case of FA’s, he will make moves where agents can ask for max money, because he has no other options.

        It’s really funny, because everyone says how tight-lipped he is, yet the ESPN boys, and guys like Miles, etc. break stories before they even happen.

        It was funny, because Hendry wouldn’t acknowledge he was going after Brian Roberts and Jake Peavy, and yet the ENTIRE baseball universe knew he was spending all of his energy doing so. And to compound the problems with those leaks….especially with regard to Peavy…….he totally tipped his hand.

        If you’ll recall, Hendry vehemently denied going after Peavy, then we all learned the Padres were high on Garret Olson. So what does Hendry do? He trades Pie for Olson….then the Padres deal falls through, and he ditches Olson along with Cedeno for Heilman, because they had no use for Olson….it was hilarious.

  • http://twitter.com/cornerlots Marvin Ferguson

    It was fun to watch the Cubs hit away and put their best foot forward to win a ball game. It get’s me excited for more Cub victories.

  • cubtex

    Watching Moustakis play for the Royals makes you hope Vitters will be playing 3rd everyday for the Cubs by June of next year. The 2007 draft went 1. David Price 2. Mike Moustakis and 3. Josh Vitters.  I hope Vitters glove improves enough to keep him at 3rd. He was rated by Baseball America as having the best High School bat in the nation that year.
    On a side note…Darwin Barney was the Cubs 4th round pick that year and Brandon Guyer was the 5th round pick.

  • paulcatanese

    Only one lefty in the lineup today, that ought to work well,now Quade has DeWitt sitting next to him and giving him advice. Can’t wait till until DeWitt tells Quade he is ready to pinch hit, is announced and then a lefty comes in. Hope its another 1st and 3rd and 0 outs so DeWitt can hit into another productive double play. Quade really looks into the mirror and see’s Casey Stengel.