Game One Hundred Thirty-Three – Cubs 4 Brewers 6
WP – Yovani Gallardo (15-8) LP – Ryan Dempster (10-10) Save – John Axford (39)
The Cubs dropped their seventh straight game at Miller Park on Saturday night. Ryan Dempster did not have anything and was lifted after just four innings … the shortest outing of his career against the Brewers.
The Brewers basically took batting practice against Dempster. The Brewers scored three runs in the first and put up runs in each of the first three innings. Six of the Brewers seven hits off Dempster went for extra bases … three doubles, a triple and two home runs.
Ryan Dempster departed after four innings and allowing five runs on seven hits (two home runs) with two walks and three strikeouts on 89 pitches (62 for strikes). Dempster could not put hitters away and found himself in long at bats in a short outing.
The Cubs offense struggled once again with runners in scoring position. Q’s offense out hit the Brewers 10-9 but only two of the Cubs 10 hits went for extra bases. The Cubs finished the game 3-for-9 with RISP and left eight on base. In the last six games, the Cubs are 8-for-58 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 52 baserunners.
Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a double, four RBI and a stolen base) drove in all four of the Cubs’ runs with a second inning single and a bases clearing double in the eighth. The four RBI represented a season-high for Soriano. Soriano also stole third in the eighth, his second stolen base of the year.
Both Starlin Castro (11 games) and Aramis Ramirez (16 games) extended their hitting streaks. Starlin Castro singled and walked in five trips to the plate and tied his career long hitting streak with 11. Aramis Ramirez singled twice and scored on Soriano’s double in the eighth.
Tyler Colvin was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored hitting out of the fifth spot in Mike Quade’s lineup.
With Saturday’s loss (lost six of last seven), the Cubs dropped back to 57-76 on the season, 19 games below .500 … After the Cubs did nothing against Yovani Gallardo in the first, the Brewers came out swinging against Ryan Dempster … and put the game away shortly after it started.
Corey Hart ripped a 1-2 pitch over Marlon Byrd’s head in center for a double. Dempster struck out Nyjer Morgan but could not get one past Ryan Braun. Braun doubled to left on a 0-1 pitch and drove in Hart with the game’s first run. Dempster struck out Prince Fielder swinging on the 10th pitch of the at bat.
Casey McGehee, who has promised to always stick it to the Cubs, did it again on Saturday night. McGehee launched Dempster’s first pitch over the wall in left … 3-0 Brewers five batters into the game. Betancourt lined out to Soriano to end the inning.
At the end of one, 3-0 Brewers and with Yovani Gallardo on the mound the game was basically over.
Carlos Pena led off the second with his third bunt hit of the week. Gallardo was charged with a throwing error that allowed Pena to reach. Tyler Colvin followed with the Cubs first hit, a single to left. Pena held at second with no outs.
Marlon Byrd’s struggles continued. Byrd struck out swinging for the first out of the inning.
Alfonso Soriano picked up his teammate and drove in Pena with a single to left. Colvin held at second with one down. Geovany Soto struck out swinging … and so did Dempster to end the inning. Two more runners left on base by two players that are supposed to drive in runs.
Ryan Dempster just did not have anything on Saturday night. After his team took advantage of an error and put up at least one run, Dempster gave it right back in the next half inning.
Dempster walked Jerry Hairston, Jr. to start the second. Jonathan Lucroy hit a weak grounder to short. Castro threw to second and forced Hairston, Jr., but they could not turn two. Gallardo bunted Lucroy to second and the Brewers’ catcher scored on a triple to center off the bat of Corey Hart … 4-1 Brewers.
Nyjer Morgan flied out to center to end the inning.
Aramis Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single to center in the third … but that was all for the Cubs in the third.
The Brewers scored for the third inning in a row thanks to a big fly off the bat of Prince Fielder. After Marlon Byrd robbed Ryan Braun of an extra base hit with a tremendous leaping catch at the wall in center to start the inning, Prince Fielder launched Dempster’s first pitch over the wall in right … 5-1 Brewers.
Casey McGehee followed Fielder’s homer with a single but was caught trying to steal second … Betancourt flied out to right to end the inning.
At the end of three, 5-1 Brewers.
Marlon Byrd collected a one out single to right in the fourth … but that was it.
Former Cub, Jerry Hairston, Jr. led off the bottom of the fourth with a ground rule double to right center. Dempster struck out Lucroy and retired Gallardo on a ground out to short. Hairston, Jr. advanced to second on the Gallardo grounder and held when Dempster walked Corey Hart on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Nyjer Morgan grounded out to second to end the inning … and Dempster’s outing.
Ryan Dempster was lifted in the top of the fifth for Tony Campana. Campana flied out to center for the first out.
Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an infield single but was erased when Barney grounded into a 1-4-6-3 double play.
Ramon Ortiz took over in the fifth … and sat down the Brewers in order.
The Cubs did nothing against Gallardo in the sixth … and the Brewers did nothing against Ramon Ortiz in the home half of the sixth.
At the end of six, 5-1 Brewers.
Marlon Byrd led off the seventh with a single to center. After Soriano struck out swinging and Soto struck out looking, Blake DeWitt hit for Ortiz and walked. Starlin Castro then walked to load the bases with two down.
Darwin Barney struck out swinging on five pitches (2-2 count) to end the inning.
James Russell started the bottom of the seventh and struck out pinch-hitter Josh Wilson to start the inning. Corey Hart made it 6-1 with his third extra basehit of the game. Hart launched Russell’s first pitch over the wall in left.
Nyjer Morgan singled to left but Russell retired Braun (foul out to Pena) and Fielder (groundout to second) to end the inning.
The Cubs made it a little interesting in the eighth against LaTroy Hawkins.
Aramis Ramirez led off the inning with his second hit of the night, a single to left. Carlos Pena flied out but Tyler Colvin doubled to left. Ramirez held at third with one out. Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Alfonso Soriano stepped in and quickly fell behind 0-2. Soriano worked the count back to even before ripping a bases clearing double to left … 6-4 Brewers.
Ron Roenicke went to his pen and brought in Francisco Rodriguez with one out and the tying run stepping to the plate. With Soto at the plate, Soriano stole third but was stranded when Geovany Soto struck out for the third time in the game. Reed Johnson hit for Russell and grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Brewers did nothing against Sean Marshall in the bottom of the eighth.
John Axford retired the top of the Cubs lineup (Castro, Barney and Ramirez) in order on just 11 pitches (seven for strikes) to end the game.
Another poor performance by a Cubs’ starter … and a lot of runners left on base in a close ballgame.
Casey Coleman against Zack Greinke in the finale on Sunday afternoon.