A Little Patience and Matt Garza – Cubs 4 Reds 3

Game One Hundred Forty-One – Cubs 4 Reds 3
WP – Matt Garza (8-10) LP – Dontrelle Wills (0-5) Save – Carlos Marmol (32)

wflag.jpgMatt Garza beat the Reds for the first time in his career on Monday afternoon (1-2) after a shaky start … but a very strong finish. Garza labored through a 26-pitch first inning and gave up a run before the Cubs had a chance to bat. Garza settled down after the opening frame and the Reds other two runs came after errors by Reed Johnson and Starlin Castro.

Matt Garza ended up pitching into the eighth and allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits with three walks and eighth strikeouts. Garza threw 113 pitches, 73 for strikes, in 7 2/3 innings.

James Russell retired Yonder Alonso with two on and two out in the eighth with the Cubs up by a run. Carlos Marmol put together a very efficient ninth inning. Marmol retired the Reds in order on just nine pitches (seven for strikes) and earned his 32nd save of the season.

The Cubs offense did nothing over the first three innings against Dontrelle Willis. The D-Train retired all nine batters he faced on 29 pitches, 24 for strikes. But the Cubs started taking pitches in the fourth and it paid off.

Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored) walked on four pitches to start the fourth. After back-to-back one-out walks to Aramis Ramirez (1-for-2 with two RBI, two walks and a run scored) and Jeff Baker (1-for-3 with a double and a walk) loaded the bases, Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a RBI and a walk) recorded the Cubs’ first hit … a single to left that plated Castro with the tying run.

Starlin Castro started the Cubs three-run rally in the fifth with a two out single. After a ground rule double from Reed Johnson (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored), Aramis Ramirez delivered a clutch, two-run single into left that put the Cubs up 3-1 … the first RBI for Ramirez in 11 games (August 23). Ramirez advanced to third on a double to right by Jeff Baker and scored on a wild pitch.

A day after walking a season-high nine times, the Cubs worked five free passes on Monday. After being extremely aggressive against Willis the first time through, the patience and long at bats paid off in the fourth and fifth innings.

Marlon Byrd’s struggles with runners on base continued Monday. Byrd failed again to drive in runs with the bases loaded (1-for-13 on the year with the bases loaded) and his impatience on Monday led to a 0-for-4 afternoon with five more runners left on base.

Bryan LaHair was 1-for-4 with a double in his second start in as many days. LaHair gave Carlos Pena a breather at first. LaHair turned on a Aroldis Chapman fastball in the eighth and deposited the ball in right for a double.

The Cubs were 2-for-6 with RISP and left eight on base on Monday afternoon.

The Cubs defense was charged with two more errors (a Major League worst 118 for the year) on Monday … just one of the many areas the Cubs new GM must address in the off-season.

With Monday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 61-80 on the season … 19 games below .500.

Matt Garza started his day by striking out Brandon Phillips looking on a very good back door slider. Garza jumped out in front of the free-swinging Drew Stubbs 0-2 before issuing a free pass … and it would end up costing him a run.

Joey Votto flied out to Byrd in left center (1-2 pitch). Jay Bruce ripped a 1-0 pitch past Jeff Baker into right for a two-out single. Yonder Alonso followed with a single into left center … Stubbs scored, 1-0 Reds. Juan Francisco flied out to right center on Garza’s 26th pitch (15 for strikes) to end the inning.

The Cubs showed no patience against Dontrelle Willis in the first and went down in order on 10 pitches, all strikes.

The Reds did nothing against Garza in the second … 1-2-3 on five pitches.

Willis sat down the Cubs in order, again, in the second on just eight pitches. Baker and Byrd grounded out to short on the first pitch of their at bats.

Matt Garza faced the minimum in the top of the third … after Drew Stubbs fell asleep on the bases. Phillips started the inning by flying out to left. Stubbs reached on a single to the hole at short … Stubbs just beat Castro’s throw. Joey Votto ripped a 2-2 pitch into right. Johnson caught the routine fly and threw to second to double off Stubbs. The Reds’ centerfielder thought there were two outs.

The Cubs did nothing against Willis in the third.

At the end of three, the Reds led 1-0 and Dontrelle Willis had a perfect game going.

Matt Garza struck out the Reds in order in the top of the fourth (Bruce, swinging; Alonso, looking; Francisco, swinging). Garza threw 58 pitches in the first four innings, 38 for strikes.

Starlin Castro led off the fourth with a four-pitch walk … the Cubs first baserunner. Johnson struck out swinging but Willis issued a five-pitch free pass to Aramis Ramirez. Jeff Baker walked to load the bases for Alfonso Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano broke up Willis’ no hit bid with a single to left on the first pitch. Castro scored and tied the game at one. Ramirez held at third and the bases were loaded for Marlon Byrd.

Byrd’s struggles with the bases loaded continued … Byrd struck out swinging on three pitches. After failing to come through with the bases loaded on Monday, Byrd is 1-for-13 on the season with the sacks full.

Geovany Soto flied out to right (first pitch) to end the inning.

Matt Garza retired Devin Mesoraco on a grounder to third to start the fifth. Paul Janish walked and advanced to second on a hard single to right by Dontrelle Willis. Brandon Phillips hit into a nicely turned 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Starlin Castro reached on a two-out single to left in the fifth … only the Cubs second hit of the game. Reed Johnson then smoked a 1-0 pitch out to left. Yonder Alonso misplayed the ball, simply did not catch the ball near the wall. The ball stuck in the ivy for a ground rule double.

With runners on second and third with two outs, Aramis Ramirez put together a very good at bat. Ramirez ended up ripping a single into left on the seventh pitch of the at bat (2-2 pitch, three straight fouls after two strikes). Castro and Johnson scored … 3-1 Cubs.

Ramirez ended an 11-game RBI drought with the two-out single in the fifth.

Jeff Baker followed with a double to right. Ramirez held at third and Dusty Baker called for the intentional pass to Soriano to load the bases for Marlon Byrd.

The Cubs caught a break when Willis uncorked a wild pitch on the first offering to Byrd. Ramirez scored, 4-1 Cubs. Byrd ended up flying out to center two pitches later to end the inning.

Matt Garza retired the Reds in order in the top of the sixth … Stubbs struck out swinging; Votto bloop out to short; Bruce struck out looking. Garza threw 83 pitches in the first six innings, 54 for strikes.

The Cubs managed only a two-out single in the sixth (Matt Garza) against Willis in the bottom of the third.

The Cubs horrible defense struck again in the top of the seventh … and cost Garza a run.

Yonder Alonso blooped a 3-2 pitch into right center. Reed Johnson over ran the ball. The ball rolled all the way to the wall. Alonso made it to third after Byrd slipped on the track trying to back up the play. Garza struck out Francisco swinging (0-2 pitch) for the first out.

Devin Mesoraco put the 0-1 pitch from Garza in play … and grounded out to short. Alonso scored, 4-2 Cubs. Janish grounded out to short to end the inning.

Aramis Ramirez took a four-pitch one-out walk against Willis in the bottom of the seventh … but Jeff Baker struck out swinging and Soriano lined out to left to end the inning.

Matt Garza started the eighth after throwing 96 pitches (64 for strikes) in the first seven innings. For some reason Dontrelle Willis hit for himself and grounded out to second (first pitch) to start the frame. Brandon Phillips ripped a 2-1 pitch into left center and slid in safe at second just ahead of Byrd’s throw.

A 2-2 offering to Drew Stubbs got away from Soto, Phillips advanced to third without a throw. Stubbs looked at strike three for the second out.

Joey Votto smoked Garza’s first offering to short. The ball knocked Castro off his feet. Castro then dropped the ball as he tried to recover … Phillips scored and Votto reached on the Cubs’ second charged error in as many innings.

With the Cubs up by a single run, Mike Quade made the slow walk … but left Garza in. Garza walked Jay Bruce on five pitches. Quade went to his pen and brought in James Russell to face Yonder Alonso with runners on first and second with two outs.

Russell retired Alonso on a grounder to second (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Geovany Soto ripped a 2-1 pitch off Carlos Fisher towards Juan Francisco with one out in the third. The ball ate up the Reds’ third baseman and Soto reached on the error. Dusty Baker went to his pen and brought in Aroldis Chapman to face Bryan LaHair.

LaHair tattooed Chapman’s first pitch into right. Bruce made a good play getting to the ball and hitting Brandon Phillips. Ivan DeJesus sent Soto … and he was cut down at the plate for the second out. The play was not close. LaHair ended up at third but Darwin Barney stuck out swinging to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol retired the Reds in order (nine pitches, seven for strikes) to end the game.

Matt Garza was good … and the offense was good enough on Labor Day.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Rodrigo Lopez is scheduled to face Mike Leake on Tuesday night.

Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • paulcatanese

    Whats that old musical “bye,bye birdie” seems Ive heard a name like that before.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Big slump, folks.Post All-Star stats164 AB/ ………281 OBP………..317 slugging
    1 HR
    8 RBI
    .226 BA
    9 BB
    24 K

    294 AB/……..334 OBP………….374 slugging
    1 HR
    31 RBI
    .306 BA
    10 BB
    31 K

    Striking out more often. Hitting much less. Taking a few extra BB (very few). 

    Let’s compare him to Marlon Byrd…..
    171 AB/……4 HR…..13 RBI….9BB….26 K
    .321 OBP…..421 slugging……275 BA

    Marlon seems to slump every second half….he hit .263 last half last year.

    • paulcatanese

      Maybe they both need a rest. Whatever happens the numbers are not there and players are waiting in the wings for a chance. I am a Barney fan, but if he’s not doing it he would be the first to put the team ahead of himself. Point being Byrd decides when he sits not Qua.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Look at Byrd vs. Barney, (Post All=Star) Paul…….
        4 HR vs. 1 HR
        13 RBI vs. 8 RBI

        For those extra millions, Byrd has driven in exactly 5 extra runs.But subtract the RBI due to his HRs, and it is exactly 2 extra RBI.
        He’s doing a job for us!!  LOL

        Byrd had 26 RBI in the 2nd half in 2010.  .261 BA is the correct number.
        Not a run producer.1 for 13 with bases loaded in 2011. 
        Barney is 2 for 6 with bases loaded in 2011.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Who do you suggest at 2B? Blake DeWitt? Jeff Baker? 

        Barney is hitting LHP at a .297 clip. He has 91 AB vs. LHP. Baker gets the majority of AB vs LHP. 

        203 AB this year–hey, he’s played a lot.
        5 HR
        24 RBI
        Can’t turn the double play.
        .261 BA
        .424 slugging is respectable
        He’s horrible at 3B fielding–.818 fielding percentage. Baseball Reference says that if he played at 3B as a regular, he’d give up an extra 52 runs in 135 games.

        WATCH THIS….He’s an inside outside hitter.VS. LHP….379 BA
        VS. RHP….241 BA

        And so for his career…

        ESPN says he has curveball bat speed. Hits .241 vs fastballs, but .343 vs curveballs. That’s pretty good hitting on the breaking pitch. .242 vs. sliders.

        • Dorasaga

          Platoon him. That always worked with the Yankee DHs. But Quade is not creative enough to think other than benching youngsters while letting veterans ride his pine. While I wait for the new GM to clean this mess, remaining Cubbie games are one big series of soap opera, without the drama (can they place Z in the lineup, first base perhaps? LOL).

      • paulcatanese

        Oh I know between the two that Byrd is the worse player, but it dosent seem to matter, he still plays. Some of the comments Byrd has made regarding his play reflect what he believes, that their is no replacement for him. He did state that if the Cubs wanted to trade him they had better do it with someone that is better than him, otherwise he wouldnt go for it. I think he totaly freezes when he steps up to the plate with runners in scoring position, with closeups you can actualy see it in his expression.

        • Richard Hood

          Byrd doesn’t have a choice he is not a 10/5 player and he doesn’t have a no trade clause. So if he gets traded then he had better enjoy where ever he ends up because he doesn’t have any control over it.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I thought he told Funko, “Take me with you.” 

          Love to see him go IF we didn’t have to pay him to leave. 

    • Richard Hood

      You would think there was people who was screaming for Barney to be traded when his value had peeked. Oh that is right some of us did.

    • Tony_Hall

      Rip – In my fantasy league with Dorasaga, I dropped Barney on July 18th

      And some here say we can’t predict what is going to happen.

      • Dorasaga

        And that was a no-brainer for keen observers who compar3d Barney to the league..

        • Tony_Hall

          At least for the haves, us have not’s, needed Barney types. 

          Just wait until next year (does that sound familiar or what?) when my young keepers, will give me a fighting chance.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Keeeennny Williams AND Ozzie Guillen BOTH may be looking for jobs after this season is over. They’ve been feuding publicly. Ozzie keeps griping that he has only one year left on his contract. 

    Who is responsible for playing Dunn all the time? Veciedo has hit the ball so very well after being recalled. He should have been DHing all year long. Instead, the $56 million dollar bonus “baby” hit .162 overall, striking out 158 times in 371 AB. That .287 OBP and .286 slugging has to be nearly the lowest of all time.

    And who is responsible for sticking with Rios ad infinitum? 

    I just hope neither one of them make it to the North side.

  • paulcatanese

    Garza did not look happy when he came out of the game, spent a few minutes talking to Riggins in the dugout. It really wasnt his fault ,should have been out of the inning . It was enough for him though and again pitched a pretty good game.
    He should be happy with his effort.

  • paulcatanese

    I thought LaHair hung in there pretty good today and really turned on that fast ball in the last of the eighth, he looked pretty good against the leftys. I think he is pretty well liked, noticed Votto talking to him, and Votto dosent talk to many except himself.

    • Demitri

      I have a feeling LaHair will do very good the remainder of the season and the Cubs won’t resign him and get Pena for 15 mil. LaHair goes to Pittsburgh and hits 30 homers.. Well thats what wouldve happened if Hendry was still here. Thats why i pray our GM is smart

      • paulcatanese

        I dont know what the Cubs feel about LaHair, I would think another team looking for a first baseman with power he may be of interest. Again with Pena that could be up in the air also. Until a new GM comes in and then it could be up to him. Speculation is very much just that at this point. So many things have gone by the board up to this point its hard to figure it out.

    • Tony_Hall

      Isn’t it amazing that Lahair gets the start against the lefty.  Q really knows how to give these “younger” guys the best opportunity to succeed and how platoons work, you know, lefty/lefty.  

      Lahair could have been at 1B all year, it would have saved $10M, we would know if he could handle it, and the Cubs would still have missed the playoffs.

      Boy did he turn on a fastball from Chapman, and pull it down the corner.  

      • Brp921

        I thought the same thing when I saw the line up. At least he showed he could hold his own against a lefty.

      • Richard Hood

        He actually started against a Lefty to see if he would have to be platooned. I think it was pretty smart of Q ball for once to not go with Baker at 1st and see if the guy could see LHer’s at all.

        I can not believe I just used smart and Quade in the same sentence with being sarcastic.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree, using smart and Q in the same sentence is hard to do.

          I really don’t think it was to see if Lahair would need to be platooned, it’s not like he’s going to start the rest of the games, and they were seeing if needed to be platooned.  They gave Pena a day off, and inserted his back-up.

      • paulcatanese

        Yes he did turn on a 100mph fastball and pull it. And unless he started his swing when he left the dugout he was right on it. He didnt get any breaks from Qua, inserting him against two leftys, but he pulled it off, kind of stuck it in someones ear.

        • Tony_Hall

          I think he may have started his swing in the dugout and swung in the right spot as well.  

      • Ripsnorter1

        The decision to start LaHair vs. the lefty was pretty easy for even QQuade to make since Carlos Pena is smashing LHP at the rate of .137 and slugging a pathetic .333. You are talking Adam Dudd territory down there!

        SO why not start LaHair. Man, it couldn’t be much worse than the automatic out of Pena.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yet, we saw it so often this year. 

  • cc002600

    simple quesion: pena has done everything that was expected….he plays good D and his numbers are pretty much what we all expected.

    But really, call me crazy, but methinks Lahair could easily put up 20HR, 75RBI, .250, could he not ? which is in same range of pena’s numbers……for a fraction of the cost….and he’s about 5 years younger. 

    Why not let him try ? 

    What do you have to lose ? ….You know what you have in pena, which is medicore at best.

    • Brp921

      Agreed, at least play him the rest of the year and see what he can do.

      • Calicub

        The trouble is the defensive gap between the two.  The Cubs have already committed the most errors in all of baseball and with a nothing special defensively player like LaHair, things will only get worse.  I like LaHair and would love to see him play, but Pena’s defense is a pretty large mitigating factor.  Think of how many errors Starlin would have if Pena’s glove wasn’t at first.

        • paulcatanese

          You have a good point, their is a defensive gap between the two. Given that LaHair could put up more consitant numbers than Pena with fewer strikeouts and more productive outs, only some extended play would show that. And there is the thought that with LaHir over there, infielders may be a little more particular whith their throws.

  • paulcatanese

    What I would like to see in todays lineup.

    Campana  CF
    Castro       SS
    Aram         3B
    LaHair       1B
    Soto           C
    Johnson    LF
    LeMahieu  2B
    Colvin        RF

    Just for the fun of it.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      I like it, only Barney at 2nd, maybe LeMahieu at 3rd. We are used to lazy, it would be nice to see some interest and hustle over there.

      • paulcatanese

        Glad you like it, what you suggest would be fine also. I just want to have a little fun in the last few games of the year, and these guys just may show a lot, at least at a faster pace.