Cubs Waste Garza’s Gem … Shutout by the Sox – Cubs 0 White Sox 1

Game Eighty-Four – Cubs 0 White Sox 1
WP – Phil Humber (8-4) LP – Matt Garza (4-7) Save – Matt Thornton (3)

The Cubs wasted their best pitching performance of the entire season because the team cannot hit with runners on base and in scoring position.

Matt Garza threw the Cubs first complete game of the season but was hung with the loss. Garza took a no hitter into the sixth but two questionable calls by the homeplate umpire, Gary Darling, resulted in a walk and the first hit of the game … a RBI single by Juan Pierre. Pierre’s second game winning RBI in as many days against the Cubs and his third straight game winning RBI dating back to Thursday in Colorado.

Garza allowed one run on four hits in nine spectacular innings. Garza walked two, struck out seven and threw 114 pitches, 81 for strikes.

The Cubs were shutout for the sixth time this season and they had plenty of chances to put runs on the board against Phil Humber. Q’s squad put the lead off man on in four of the first six innings … and the first two on in three of the first six innings. The Cubs offense hit into three double plays in the first three innings (two by Starlin Castro) and was a miserable 0-for-7 with RISP and left six on base.

The Cubs had a total of nine baserunners (five hits, three walks and a HBP) but could not push across a single run.

Paul Emmel ejected Mike Quade in the second inning for arguing a bad call at second base. Emmel ruled Gordon Beckham was on the bag on the front end of a 5-4-3 double play. Beckham was not on the bag … and it was not even close.

The White Sox won the season series against the Cubs (4-1) with Saturday’s victory. The Sox have won 15 of the last 20 games in the Crosstown Series.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs fall back to a season low 16 games under .500 with a 34-50 record. The Chicago Cubs join the Houston Astros as the only two teams in the majors that have already lost 50 games this season …

The Cubs wasted two chances in the first two innings with bad at bats following a walk. Kosuke Fukudome led off the bottom of the first with a single to right on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Darwin Barney worked a five-pitch walk and Castro stepped to the plate with runners on first and second with no outs.

Starlin Castro hit Phil Humber’s first pitch to short and the Sox turned a 6-4-3 double play. Fukudome ended up at third but was stranded when Aramis flied out to center.

The Cubs had a chance in the second after Carlos Pena led off with a bunt single to third. Marlon Byrd, in his first game since May 21, walked on four pitches. With runners on first and second with no outs, Alfonso Soriano swung at the first pitch … and grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

Gordon Beckham was well off the bag at second but second base umpire, Paul Emmel, called Byrd out. Mike Quade ran out and argued the bad call and was ejected from the game.

The Sox intentionally walked Geovany Soto to put runners on first and third with two outs … Matt Garza grounded out to short to end the inning.

Matt Garza continued to keep the Sox hitters off balance in the third. Garza retired the Sox in order and his pitch count stood at 33, 22 for strikes.

The Cubs hit into their third double play of the game in the bottom of the third. After Fukudome lined out to first on a 3-2 pitch, Darwin Barney singled to right but Starlin Castro hit a 1-1 pitch to third … and the Sox turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. The second time Castro hit into a double play in as many at bats on Saturday afternoon.

The Sox finally pushed across a run in the top of the sixth after two questionable calls by the home plate umpire Gary Darling. Matt Garza issued his second free pass of the game to Gordon Beckham to start the inning … after appearing to throw strike three on a 3-2 offering. Phil Humber sacrificed Beckham to second.

With one out and a no hitter still intact, Garza got ahead of Juan Pierre 0-2. Garza then threw a breaking ball in the dirt that allowed Beckham to advance to third. Garza appeared to strikeout Juan Pierre but the inside pitch was called a ball … and gave Pierre another shot.

Juan Pierre singled into left on Garza’s next offering … broke up the no-hitter and gave the Sox a 1-0 lead. Garza was visibly upset at that point and gave up a single to right to Brent Morel. Pierre was running on the play and advanced to third.

With runners on first and third with one out, Adam Dunn struck out looking on a 2-2 pitch. Paul Konerko flied out to Soriano to end the inning.

After throwing only 49 pitches (35 for strikes) over the first five innings, it took Garza 26 to retire the Sox in order in the sixth. At the end of six, Garza had thrown 75 pitches, 52 for strikes.

The Cubs had another chance in the bottom of the sixth to put a run on the board … but came away empty.

Darwin Barney led off the sixth with an infield single off Humber’s glove. Alexei Ramirez tried to make a barehanded play on the ball. Starlin Castro then reached on a swinging bunt to third. With runners on first and third with no outs, Aramis Ramirez fouled out to Paul Konerko. Carlos Pena popped out to second and Marlon Byrd grounded out to third to end the inning.

After six innings, the Cubs were 0-for-7 with RISP, six left on base.

Garza retired the Sox in order in the top of the seventh on 13 pitches (88 total, 61 for strikes).

The Cubs left Garza into hit for himself in the bottom of the seventh (struck out looking) and he took the hill in the eighth. Garza worked around a leadoff single by Gordon Beckham as the inning ended with Soto throwing out Beckham trying to steal second.

After the Cubs went down in order in the bottom of the eighth, Garza remained in the game after throwing 103 pitches, 72 for strikes, in eight innings.

Matt Garza retired Brent Morel (flyout to left), struck out Adam Dunn but gave up his fourth hit of the game, a single to center by Paul Konerko. A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to second to end the inning.

Matt Thornton retired the middle of the Cubs lineup in order to end the game (Ramirez, Pena and Byrd). The Cubs did not manage a single baserunner against Thornton in the eighth or ninth and did put a runner on base in the final three innings.

The Cubs can no longer use the injury excuse … and the ‘healthy‘ Cubs are truly a left on base machine.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Rodrigo Lopez against Gavin Floyd in the finale with the Sox on Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Ripsnorter1

    For once, Quade was right about that call at 2B. Those MLB umpires don’t care if you touch the bag while holding the ball at 2B. Anywhere within 25′ is generally good enough. I think it stinks . . . . ..

    Gotta love all of those double plays the Cubs hit into today. Runners on first and second, no outs, the pitcher having real control problems, and Castro swings at the first pitch to kill the rally. It was a good play . . . for the ChiSox.

    • Brp921

      To rub salt in the wound, didn’t Castro get nailed by the second base umpire the other day for not being on the bag on a double play? 

      • Neil

        Yep, he sure did.

  • Brp921

    I feel a sweep coming on with Lopez pitching.

    • paulcatanese

      Probably the reason Quade didn’t pinch hit for Garza in the seventh, he’s always thinking how not to lose and not how to win. He knows he’s going to need a lot of relief tommorow. I know he was ejected but for sure he had contact with the bench by phone and I believe he was still making the decisions.

  • Joey U

    So Bryd is back the there almost at full strength.. BIG DEAL!!! They are still and will be a bunch of looser’s. Starting with the GM and Clueless Quade.

  • diehardcubfan

    15 LOB between the 3-7 batters and going 0-7 with RISP.  That is the story of the game right there.  What happened to hit and run to try and stay out of double plays.  Starting the runner. 

    I am sorry but Quade has no imagination on the base paths.  This team is way to stationary.  There is no effort to make things happen, force the action. 

    I would much rather go down in flames trying than whimpering all the time.  This team just begs to lose.

    Ricketts though remains blind to the obvious listening to his delusional GM. 

  • paulcatanese

    So Garza threw the Cubs first complete game of the season. Who cares? They lost. The Cubs or Quade proved again he knows nothing about winning a ballgame.The bottom of the seventh 1-0 ballgame and he dosen’t hit for the pitcher? Garza was 1-22. All he is interested is how long he can get a pitcher to stay in a game. And he generaly leaves them in too long. Now he does the same thing when he should have pinch hit for him, all Quade had was seven more outs and he wasted one of them. But now he can boast that Garza went all the way. I applaud Garza, it was a great effort, but they lost. I think Garza is a team player and would have rather had a win istead of the complete game. No hit and runs, no hitting for Pena when they brought a lefty in. Just non- aggresive baseball.

    • twentytwo

      Um, so you are assuming Quade was still making all the calls from his office? He had been sitting there since the second inning….

      • Tony_Hall

        22 – Most managers do still make all the calls, after being ejected, from the hallway behind, the dugout…or even from his office.  Technology could let him make the decisions from the bleachers.

        • twentytwo

          Understand that Tony, but I wouldn’t say EVERY determination and every call is coming from behind an office desk IMHO….

          • Tony_Hall

            Absolutely right.  The ejected manager won’t move the infielders or outfielders, he won’t call pitches or a pitch out, won’t call to steal a base, etc.  The ejected manager will still decide, pitching changes, pinch-hitters, pinch-runners, all the moves that NOBODY made yesterday.  

      • paulcatanese

        Absolutly,I think the manager was still making the important calls. The only question is the term “manager” and Quade, they don’t quite go together.
        Don’t you remember Bobby Valintine hovering in the walkway after being ejected wearing a fake mustache and glasses? It’s probably easier for Quade, as he dosen’t have to look anyone face to face. But the TV moniter in the clubhouse gives him a better perspective.

  • J Daniel

    Just continual bad baseball, poor fundamentals, and the lack of professional hitting.

  • Mike1040

    Why not put Campana in and he could have beat out a bunt and stolen 3 bases for a run. If he did that twice, we win the game. Just a thought since mr. no hustle and mr. pena and mr. byrd couldn’t get one single run across the plate. (or mr. sorry or mr. fuko or mr. soto either, I might add.) Could it be that someone is not doing the job that they get millions for??
    By the way, WTG mr Garza, a star today among a mis-managed gaggle of lollygaggers.

    • roseyc

      Your ideas require thinking and that is something Quade can’t do he can only follow orders and fail

  • Demitri

    Castros in a slump.. Take him out the three whole, hes not ready! Put him where hes comfortable.. Hes hurting my fantasy baseball team the last couple of days…

    • Joey U

      I agree he is better off in either in the one or two whole.Again Quade is clueless.

    • Tony_Hall

      I kept saying in the offseason and early on this year, put him in the 2 hole and build the lineup around him.  That is the perfect spot for Castro, to help this team and for his own personal development.  

      But Q and JH just don’t get it.  They won’t admit their mistakes, they just like to compound them.  Just watch, JH will give ARam a new 3 year deal, and Pena will get a 3 year deal after this season.  It also wouldn’t shock me, to see him bring back Fukudome on a 2 year deal.   Remember what this guy has given guys like  Neifi Perez and John Grabow for contracts…scary if you think about it.

  • Theboardrider

    I am not giving any credit to Hendry but the fact is…Garza can pitch.  If we had an average run-producing lineup he would win 15 plus even.  As the dominoes fall in the next year or so and we trim some of the fat and go young,  I think Garza could be a front end starter for us.  The guy throws strikeouts.  He has no business having a record like he does.  If he’s on a winning team he’s probably in the discussoin for NL Cy Young.  Just kidding about that, it’s really not a discussion thanks to Doc Halliday.  Garza is in the “everyone else,” category behind Halliday…if he had some offense.  

    I think that has turned out to be an acceptable trade. 

    • Tony_Hall

      You do realize that he is exactly what we thought he was…his ERA (upper 3’s low 4’s) and WHIP (1.25-1.3) are right in line with his career #’s.  No big drop off moving to the NL.  He had a very nice game, that has been his career, stretches of total dominance and stretches of mediocricy. 

      These numbers are just above the average numbers for SP’s.  Nothing great, but you would rather have him than a little over half of all the starters,   that is what makes him a #2 or #3 starter.  

  • Tony_Hall
    ESPN Insider article on all-defensive team for the year so far. 

    Based on John Dewan’s Runs saved.

    Obviously, no Cubs are on the list, leading their position, but an ex-Cub is the worst at his position…SS Ryan Theriot (negative 15 runs saved).

    • JimBo_C

      It is baffling, how a well run organization like the Cardinals would decide to go from a strong defensive SS like Brendan Ryan to Ryan Theriot.