Game One Hundred Three – Cubs 2 Brewers 3
WP – Chris Narveson (7-6) LP – Ryan Dempster (7-8) Save – John Axford (28)
So much for four wins in a row … The Cubs three-game winning streak came to an end after a bad first inning for Ryan Dempster. The Cubs and Brewers scored all five runs in the first inning and Ryan Dempster was handed a two-run lead before he ever threw a pitch … but Dempster gave up three runs on four hits and the Cubs offense could not push across another run.
Ryan Dempster took a rare loss against the Brewers (just the fourth of his career) after allowing three runs (all in the first) on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Dempster threw 102 pitches, 69 for strikes.
Casey McGehee (1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI) stuck it to his former team once again. Jeff Baker, starting in right field, misplayed a double off McGehee’s bat into a triple that allowed Prince Fielder to score the eventual winning run all the way from first base.
The Cubs offense out hit the Brewers 9-8 but was a miserable 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth against Chris Narveson but came away empty. Narveson beat the Cubs for the third time this season and improved to a perfect 6-0 in his career against the Chicago Cubs.
Aramis Ramirez (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) drove in the Cubs only two runs in the first inning. Ramirez hit his 19th longball of the season, a two-run shot, on the first pitch of the at bat … the ninth time this season Ramirez has hit the first pitch of an at bat over the wall. Aramis Ramirez (232) passed Gabby Hartnett for sixth on the Cubs All-Time Home Run list with his dinger on Tuesday night.
Starlin Castro recorded another multi-hit game and finished 3-for-4.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 19 games under .500 with a 42-61 record … The Cubs came out swinging against Chris Narveson and actually put up runs against the Brewers’ lefty in the first inning.
Jeff Baker started the game with a single to center on Narveson’s first pitch. Vic Carapazza (the homeplate umpire had an extremely large strike zone on Tuesday night) struck out Starlin Castro for the first out … but Aramis Ramirez lined Narveson’s first pitch over the wall in left. The ball got out of Miller Park in a hurry and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd grounded out to end the first.
Ryan Dempster took the hill with a 2-0 lead but it did not last long. Dempster gave up three runs on four hits (a single, two doubles and a triple) on 26 pitches … just about everything was flat and just hung there for Dempster in the first.
Corey Hart ripped a 0-2 pitch from Dempster into the left field corner to start the inning. Nyjer Morgan tried to bunt on the first two pitches before missing Dempster’s third offering. Dempster threw a 2-2 pitch high and in on Ryan Braun who shattered his bat but ended up blooping a double down the right field line. The ball landed just fair and Hart scored … 2-1 Cubs.
Prince Fielder followed with a single to left center past Castro on a 2-1 pitch. Braun did not realize where Castro was playing Fielder and could only advance to third. Vic Carapazza rang up Rickie Weeks on a 0-2 pitch … the ball missed the strike zone. With runners on first and third with two outs, Casey McGehee ripped a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner. Braun scored easily to tie the game at two … and Fielder scored the go ahead run when Jeff Baker misplayed a double into a triple.
When will the Cubs quit putting infielders in the outfield and expecting different results?
Yuniesky Betancourt ripped a 1-1 pitch to the hole at short. Starlin Castro made a strong throw to Pena to end the inning. But once again a Cubs pitcher could not keep the opposition from scoring in the next half inning after his offense gave him a lead.
After the first inning both Chris Narveson and Ryan Dempster settled in and did not allow another run.
Darwin Barney (two-out triple in the second) and Starlin Castro (one-out single in the third) did their jobs and got on base … but Ryan Dempster popped out to end the second and Ramirez (pop out to right) and Soto (struck out swinging) could not advance Castro in the third.
Dempster retired the Brewers in order in the second and faced the minimum in the third after Prince Fielder hit into a 1-6-3 double play to end the third.
The Cubs did nothing against Narveson in the fourth and Dempster worked around a single and a Marlon Byrd error in the fourth.
Yuniesky Betancourt reached on a two-out single to center in the fourth. Jonathan Lucroy ripped a 2-1 single into center. The ball hit off the heal of Byrd’s glove and skipped past him. Betancourt did not run hard from first and had to hold at third on the Cubs’ 89th error of the season. Narveson grounded out to first to end the inning.
At the end of four … 3-2 Brewers.
The Cubs had a chance to tie the game in the fifth after a two out single by Jeff Baker and a check swing single down the third baseline by Starlin Castro. Aramis Ramirez launched a 3-1 pitch to deep center … but Nyjer Morgan made a routine catch before unnecessarily banging into the wall.
Ryan Dempster retired the Brewers in order in the bottom of the fifth … with Dempster snagging a line drive off the bat of Ryan Braun just before it hit him in the face to end the inning.
Q’s squad wasted a golden opportunity to tie or take the lead in the sixth … bases loaded and no outs and the Cubs predictably came away empty.
Geovany Soto led off the sixth with a single to left. Marlon Byrd ripped a 3-1 pitch into the corner in left. Ivan DeJesus held Soto at third. With runners at second and third with no outs, Chris Narveson walked Carlos Pena to end his night.
Ron Roenicke went to his pen and brought in Kameron Loe to face Alfonso Soriano.
Soriano hit a 1-1 pitch to McGehee at third. Casey missed the bag but threw home to force Soto at the plate. Darwin Barney pulled a 0-1 pitch to McGehee … 5-4-3 double play, inning over. The Cubs’ horrible offense would manage only one other hit in the game (Castro, two-out single in the seventh).
Jeff Samardzija struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh … and Sean Marshall worked around a single and a walk in the eighth without allowing a run.
Francisco Rodriguez (11 pitches, eight strikes) and John Axford (19 pitches, 13 strikes) retired six of the seven batters they faced on just 30 pitches, 21 for strikes. K-Rod and Axford struck out four of the six batters they faced.
Kosuke Fukudome reached on an error by Rickie Weeks with two outs in the ninth. Tony Campana ran for Fukudome and stole second … but Blake DeWitt, hitting for Sean Marshall, struck out swinging to end the game (on a 3-2 pitch that was near his eyes and ball four).
Back to reality … just another loss for the Chicago Cubs.
Carlos Zambrano against Zack Greinke on Wednesday night.