Everything Went Right for Wang – Cubs 1 Nationals 3

Game One Hundred Sixteen – Cubs 1 Nationals 3
WP – Chien-Ming Wang (1-2) LP – Matt Garza (5-9) Save – Drew Storen (30)

The Cubs managed only three hits on Tuesday night and Matt Garza made only two mistakes … and both left the yard. After winning seven in a row, the Cubs lost for the second time in as many games after not generating any offense against Chien-Ming Wang.

Tony Campana broke up Wang’s no-hit bid with an infield single to start the sixth … the Cubs only hit in six innings against Wang. The Cubs showed little to no patience against the former Yankee and handed him his first win of the season. Q’s offense managed only one hit, two walks and Marlon Byrd was hit by a pitch in the second, that was it. Wang faced only three over the minimum.

Matt Garza took the loss after putting together a quality start. Garza struck out nine in six innings but gave up two home runs in a three-batter span in the sixth that accounted for all three of the Nationals’ runs. Michael Morse hit a monster shot over the batter’s eye in center for the first run of the game and Jonny Gomes hit a two-run homer that barely made it into the first row of the bleachers in left center … just the 10th and 11th homers off Garza this season.

Garza received no run support once again. Matt Garza’s final line … three runs on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in six innings. Garza threw 105 pitches, 68 for strikes.

James Russell and Kerry Wood did their job in relief of Garza but the Cubs offense could not manage a comeback on Tuesday night. Russell retired the Nationals in order for the first time in the seventh and Wood struck out the side in the eighth (Zimmerman, Morse and Werth).

Carlos Marmol struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth and retired the Nats in order. Wood and Marmol struck out five straight and the Nationals offense did not put a single runner on base over the last three innings.

On a night with the wind blowing out … the Cubs recorded only two hits until Starlin Castro stepped to the plate in the eighth. Castro extended his inning streak (nine games) and run-scoring streak (10 games) with one swing of the bat.

Starlin Castro ripped a 1-0 pitch from Tyler Clippard into the bleachers just to the right of dead center. Castro’s sixth home run of the season and 53rd RBI of the year put the Cubs on the board. Castro’s dinger on Tuesday night was his third in six games.

Starlin Castro is responsible for both runs the Cubs have scored in Matt Garza’s last two outings.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to 18 games under .500 with a 49-67 record …

Matt Garza started his night by striking out five of the first eight batters he faced. Garza gave up a two-out infield single to Ryan Zimmerman in the first and a one-out double to left center in the second off the bat of Jonny Gomes. Garza tossed 18 pitches (14 for strikes) in the first and at the end of two, Garza’s pitch count stood at 36 (26 for strikes).

As for the Cubs offense, they managed one baserunners over the first two innings. Chien-Ming Wang hit Marlon Byrd on a 0-2 pitch with one out in the second … but Soriano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Wang faced the minimum through two.

Garza gave up a one-out single to Rick Ankiel in the third but that was all. It took Garza only nine pitches (six for strikes) to record three outs in the third.

Geovany Soto worked a one-out walk in the third. Garza got the bunt down on a 0-2 pitch. Soto advanced to second but was stranded when Castro grounded out to short for the second time in as many at bats.

Matt Garza struck out two more in the fourth … and did not allow Jayson Werth to advance from first after he issued a four-pitch walk to Werth with one out. After four, Garza had thrown 64 pitches, 42 for strikes.

Chien-Ming Wang continued to mystify the Cubs in the bottom of the fourth. Carlos Pena worked a two-out walk but that was all … and the Cubs had no hits after four innings.

Matt Garza had a little trouble with his command in the fifth. Garza retired Wilson Ramos on a groundout to short on a 3-2 pitch. Wang struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch, Garza’s eighth of the game. Rick Ankiel walked on five pitches but Danny Espinosa grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Wang in the fifth. Soto struck out looking to end the inning and that was Wang’s first strikeout of the game. After five Wang had faced two over the minimum and had thrown only 65 pitches, 42 for strikes.

The Nationals broke-up the scoreless tie in a big way in the sixth. Garza retired Zimmerman on a groundout to third to start the sixth. Garza fell behind Michael Morse and the Nationals’ first baseman made him pay.

Michael Morse hit one of the longest home runs one will ever see at Wrigley. Morse crushed a 3-1 pitch and the ball ended up over the batter’s eye in center. The ball hit the tarp barrier just before landing in the permanent seating … and just like that it was 1-0 Nationals.

Jayson Werth lined a single off Blake DeWitt’s glove … and trotted around the bases as Jonny Gomes celebrated his home run to left that ended up in the first row of the bleachers. Gomes always makes his presence known.

With the Nationals up 3-0 after the Gomes homer, Garza struck out Desmond and retired Ramos on a liner to second to end the inning.

Matt Garza allowed three runs on six hits (two home runs) with two walks and nine strikeouts. Garza threw 105 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Tony Campana hit for Matt Garza to start the sixth and hit a smash off Michael Morse’s glove in the hole. Campana beat out the throw from Ian Desmond … the Cubs first hit. Campana stole second with Castro at the dish … but Castro flied out to right, Barney lined out to center and DeWitt grounded out to second to end the inning.

James Russell retired the Nationals in order in the top of the seventh.

Alfonso Soriano recorded the Cubs first clean hit of the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh … but lefty Sean Burnett struck out Tyler Colvin swinging to end the inning.

Kerry Wood struck out Ryan Zimmerman (swinging), Michael Morse (swinging) and Jayson Werth (looking) in the eighth.

Starlin Castro put the Cubs on the board with two outs in the eighth. Castro ripped a 1-0 offering from Tyler Clippard into the bleachers just to the right of straight away center. Castro extended his hitting streak (nine games) and run-scoring streak (10 games) with one swing of the bat.

Carlos Marmol retired the Nationals in order in the ninth (two strikeouts).

After Blake DeWitt popped out to short to start the ninth, Carlos Pena worked a walk against Drew Storen (eighth pitch of the at bat). Marlon Byrd struck out and Alfonso Soriano flied out to center to end the game.

Any lineup with Blake DeWitt hitting third cannot be expected to score many runs …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Rodrigo Lopez against Ross Detwiler on Wednesday night.

Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs Brett Jackson: 3-for-5, 2 runs, BB, SB in Iowa’s 14-7 win over Sacramento on Tuesday night. Ryan Flaherty hit 2nd Triple-A HR

    • cubs1967

      any day now they want to get this kid up here would be good………do it now when he is on fire………….

      hello ricketts…………….?????……….bueller——–bueller——–bueller

      • paulcatanese

        I would like to see that as well as you, but if he does come up, does he play?
        Not if its up to Qua.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Sure he plays: 

          1. He plays the bench.2. He plays pinch hitter two to four times per week.
          3. Defensive replacement in the ninth inning for Sorry-oh-no (if Qua remembers to replace Sorry-oh-no). 

          What more do you want? 

  • gocubs

    Whats with Castro’s power surge?  Whats he doing different?

    • paulcatanese

      Thats easy, he got the telegram I sent him. No he is concentrating on the middle of the diamond, trying to drive the ball back at the pitcher and is getting great results. Anything inside he pulls and anything outside he hits to the right side. By concentrating as he is, solid contact is happening. His long swing is now generating power as long as he keeps the same approach and tries to go up the middle. Going to be a great hitter, he is now.

      • JimBo_C

        I think I see more bend in the right knee …. reminding him or allowing him to stay back on the ball (keeping his weight off of his front foot).

        would be nice to hear from him or Rudy J if any recent adjustments were made.

        his last two dingers were BOMBS!

        • JimBo_C

          Neil,
          I just received a slow motion side view video clip of one of Castro recent swings. Is there a way that I can post it on this site?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            JimBo, does the video have an embed link?

          • JimBo_C

            Neil,
            Sorry for being slow getting back to you; your email ended up in my junk folder. The video is on my desktop in .wmv format. I don’t have a WWW link for it. Jim

      • studio179

        You said it right. ‘As long as he keeps the same approach and tries to go up the middle’. There is always a worry a player changes his approach and gets homer happy. I don’t think Castro will do that, but  time will tell. I like how he is picking his spots to drive the ball.  

        • paulcatanese

          Again with the proper approach, he goes with what the pitcher gives him, if the pitch is elevated a little he drives it, and dosent try to do too much. I would also think that he is watching film of Paul Molitor as the approach is much the same. Rudy must be having an impact with him too. I am really pleased with what he is doing.

          • JimBo_C

            Paul,

            You gotta see this slow mo side view video clip that i have of his swing. He looks GREAT! His head doesn’t move at all, he turns to the ball very fluidly, his front leg is stiff for leverage, his wrist roll is well after contact.

            Really glad he is on our team.

          • paulcatanese

            You are looking at the Charlie Lau method, and what you see is Castro getting all of his body into the swing, going forward. I dont have a side view of him but from the description you are giving thats what it would be, thanks for the info.

  • roseyc

    quote…Any lineup with Blake DeWitt hitting third cannot be expected to score many runs …
    That’s Quade for you he knows where to put players in the right position…For all the problems the Cubs have had their hitting is their biggest one. How many times this year and recent past that they have more of these type games than most teams…How can anyone say this team has untouchables!!

  • Mike1040

    WTG Campana, why isn’t this exciting kid playing every day?? Why doesn’t anyone see him as our answer for lead off??

    • J Daniel

      Byrd is the word!  But you are correct, he should be playing 4 out of 5 at least.

  • Baron_S

    every get the feeling Ricketts maybe not as dumb as everyone perceives…..

    he might be on to a larger-scale Jeff Loria model with his way of thinking….slash the payroll $25 million at the end of the season…. retain Hendry and Quade, saving money on a big free-agent manger….. 

    +$25 millon payroll – $20-25 million ticket revenue = same or increased profit with lesser liability.

     At the end of 2012, with another dismal season in the works, he will trumpet the blow-up franchise message, swapping for Farm-kids wholesale, slashing payroll even further…. likely resulting in a + win differential for 2013 with more fans in the seats…

    • Harry Jacbrick

      Sheesh…you keep defining intelligence and waiting for “2013″.

    • J Daniel

      All about the money!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Personally, I’ve never gotten the feeling that Ricketts isn’t as dumb as everyone perceives him to be. I figure he’s dumber….

      That doesn’t mean you aren’t a nice guy, Baron. I just can’t stand Ricketts….

      • Brp921

        I have to say Rip, that I haven’t made up my mind yet about Rickets. I thought I had, and then I saw the article with the quote, and I’m afraid I must paraphrase, that he would make changes at the proper time.That quote gave me hope that maybe he does have a grasp on what needs to be done. This winter will will be the tell us if he knows what he’s doing, or if he’s just worried about the dollars.

  • Tony_Hall

    Coach Qlueless – “I already had the lineup card made out, and with Rammy’s laziness, rubbing off on all of us, I just crossed him out and wrote in Dewitt.  Blakies a solid hitter, who I have used in the 3 hole before, and I have all the confidence in him to produce.  Plus, those lineup cards were all the way back in my office.”

    • T_Leise

      I was thinking that Qua probably didn’t have time to consult with Henny. The only thing left to do was change the name on the lineup card.

    • paulcatanese

      Absolutly correct Tony. Not only were those lineup cards back in his office, he would have had to consult the other vets in the lineup before making additional changes. The others had been set with the mentality of their spot in the game, any change by Qua that late would have left nothing but a bunch of confused vets not knowing were to hit.(they dont know anyway) it would have been a sure thing of someone batting out of order.

  • Tony_Hall

    Coach Qlueless “You have to respect the vets, that got you here and the fact that other teams are still fighting for a playoff spot.  We owe it to them to pitch our vets, even if they are AAAA pitchers, to pitch them, over unproven guys.  I know, just like with the batters, that many of these guys won’t be with us next year, and many don’t even belong on a major league roster, but those young guys will get their chance in spring training.”

  • Ripsnorter1

    FUNKO WITH GAME WINNING WALK OFF RBI BOTTOM OF 14TH !!!!!

    Yes, FUNKO with a game winning walk off HIT BY PITCH RBI….

    FUNKO! Had a great night at the plate: 0-5 with 4 STRIKE OUTS and the game winning Hit by Pitch. Funko saw 29 pitches last night.

    WAY TO GO FUNKO!!!

    • John G

      From the Detroit Free Press

      “Fukudome was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts when he stepped to the plate in the 14th. He had looked so lost I swear I saw him ask for directions from the on-deck circle. And this is how crazy baseball is: Fukudome may have become the hero precisely because he had been failing so miserably.”

    • paulcatanese

      Rip,almost sounds like a Nr..196 game dosent it?

    • cc002600

      But RIP, this is the same guy that some told us has the best “WAR” on the team and that the cubs should bring him back as 4th OF…..remember that ??  whoopeeee  !!!!!!!!!

      some of these saber metrics  are nothing but complicated formulas being sold by snake oil salesman.

    • paulcatanese

      Just have to say I just saw it a little while ago on espn. Wow, get hit by a pitch and have youre teamates mob you, hard to believe. At least he could have hit a ground ball that went throu someones legs for an error, or swing and miss on strike three and have it go to the backstop, no imagination there at all.

  • Cubsklm

    Any MLB manager that bats DeWitt in the 3rd spot, even once, should

    1.) Be subject to league’s drug testing policy
    2.) Be fired on the spot, once the lineup card is turned into the home plate umpire.

    The Cubs are notorious for making 1st time or washed up starters looking like Cy Young.

  • paulcatanese

     I dont think their is any doubt now that Qua is getting his instructions from the upper echelon with the lineup. No way in the world could anyone run out the guys that he does everyday. He could not make these decisions and still keep his job. Every thing he does is contradicted with a sane choice. The idea that he needs to keep the vets out there because he is facing “contenders” is ludecrous. They will never go anywhere with this guy.

    • Brp921

      I’ve long advocated that JH is making the decisions in the dugout, not Qua. That is why Quade was hired. JH didn’t want an independent thinker running the ballclub. I hope Ricketts realizes this and puts a real baseball guy in as President of the club and lets him have control to hire and fire how he sees fit at the end of this season. I beleive the Cubs can be fixed sooner rather than later if that happens.

  • paulcatanese

    Qua is so lame, he even puts ketchup on his hot dog.

    • Brp921

      Mustard only!

  • John_CC

    Q
    Qluess, Q-Less
    Quads
    Quadsie
    Quadie

    Quade

    Qua
    Qua
    Quack

    Q-Ball
    Qball, small ball, baseball
    Q-balls cubs

    Qubs.

    • paulcatanese

      Love it,still laughing, great one, have it printed into leaflets and drop them over Wrigley before the game. Really funny, best one yet.

    • Brp921

      Kernel Klink

  • cc002600

     Adam Dunn is so bad that even Stephen Colbert is ripping on him…LOL

    Didn’t Aaron tell us he was a stud and that Hendry was stupid for not signing
    him ?   How’s that looking now ? Told ya he would be total dog.

     

    http://www.chicagonow.com/offhanded-dribble/2011/08/stephen-colbert-rips-adam-dunn-in-hilarious-fashion/

    • Brp921

      Who in their right mind would listen what Colbert says about anything, let alone baseball. I don’t know about Aaron, but I promoted signing Dunn instead of Bradley three years ago, though I was not commenting on this sight at the time. I will defend that it would have been a good signing at the time. He’s having problems now but thats the Sox problem, the window for signing Dunn was three years ago, not now, and besides there have been other factors involved with his drop in productivity other than age.

      • cc002600

        yea, you are right. There are other factors – like maybe that he sucks ?

        He can’t run, he can’t field, he can’t hit lefties, he strikes out 1 every 3 AB’s, is terrible with RISP, and his BA is low. 

        Other than that, the guy is awesome

        • Brp921

          Three years ago when he signed with Washington his stats were 40 homeruns and more than 100 RBI’s every year for quite awhile. Talk about his batting average and strike outs all you want. You can’t argue about the runs he’s driven in during his career. When the Cubs signed Bradley they were looking for a left handed power hitter who could drive in runs and Dunn was available, and they could have had him for about the same money as Bradley. Thats all I have to say on the matter.