Too Little, Too LaLate – Cubs 2 Reds 4

Game One Hundred Forty-Two – Cubs 2 Reds 4 – 13 innings
WP – Aroldis Chapman (4-1) LP – John Grabow (3-1) Save – Francisco Cordero (31)

Tuesday night was all about Mike Leake and the inept Cubs’ lineup … until two outs in the ninth. Mike Leake was in total control and appeared to be well on his way to the first complete game shutout of his career. Leake tossed eight innings of one-hit ball and had faced one over the minimum on 74 pitches, 54 for strikes. The Cubs had managed only three baserunners (single, HBP, catcher’s interference) over the first 8 2/3 innings and worked just one three-ball count.

Starlin Castro (1-for-6 with a run scored) reached on a two-out infield single in the ninth. Castro hit a 2-2 pitch, a dribbler to third and beat out the throw from Miguel Cairo. At the time, the Cubs’ lone highlight of the night as Castro reached base for the 20th game in a row.

Bryan LaHair hit for Darwin Barney and crushed a 2-0 pitch from Mike Leake through the wind. The ball ended up in the back of the right field bleachers … and LaHair’s first homer as a Cub and first in the big leagues since September 20, 2008 tied the game at two.

Mike Leake ended up with a no decision after pitching a good game and taking advantage of the overly aggressive Cubs’ offense. Leake allowed two runs on three hits without a walk and six strikeouts in nine innings.

The Cubs had chances in extra innings to pull out a win but again Q’s offense failed to hit with runners on base (2-for-4 with RISP and five left on base). The Cubs loaded the bases with one-out in the 10th but came away empty after Jeff Baker hit into an inning ending double play (the Cubs third of the night) The Cubs also put two on in the 11th but ran themselves out of a scoring chance.

After walking a season-high nine times on Sunday and five times on Monday, the Cubs managed only two free passes on Tuesday night.

The Reds did not manage a hit against the Cubs’ pen until the 13th inning. Jeff Samardzija tossed two perfect innings. Kerry Wood worked around an error and Carlos Marmol struck out three with a walk in his inning of work. Sean Marshall walked a batter in the 11th but that was it.

John Grabow took the loss after Mike Quade let him pitch one too many innings. Grabow put together a scoreless frame in the 12th before allowing two runs on three hits with a walk in the 13th. Dave Sappelt (3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a walk) and Joey Votto (2-for-6 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored) hit back-to-back doubles on consecutive pitches that gave the Reds the lead.

Rodrigo Lopez hit a wall again in the sixth and could not complete the inning. Lopez allowed two runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Lopez threw 92 pitches, 61 for strikes.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped back to 20 games under .500 with a 61-81 record …

Rodrigo Lopez labored through a 27-pitch first inning but did not allow any runs. Brandon Phillips started the game by flying out to center. Dave Sappelt followed and ripped a 2-2 pitch into left center for a double. Joey Votto looked at strike three (2-2 pitch).

Lopez walked Jay Bruce (3-2 pitch) then gave up an infield single to the hole at short to Devin Mesoraco. With the bags loaded and two down, Miguel Cairo flied out to right to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Mike Leake in the first.

Todd Frazier popped out to short to start the second. Chris Valaika put together an 11-pitch at bat that ended with a walk. Mike Leake tapped a 1-2 pitch back to Lopez … 1-6-3 inning ending double play.

After Carlos Pena struck out swinging (3-2 pitch), Alfonso Soriano recorded the Cubs’ first hit … a single to left center on a 0-2 pitch. Marlon Byrd predictably grounded into a 4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Reds looked like they would finally break through in the third after Brandon Phillips led off with a single to right. Dave Sappelt hit a weak chopper to short. Castro charged and made a strong throw to first. Phillips reached second but had to hold when Votto popped Lopez’s first pitch into left center.

After Phillips appeared to be picked off second base, Jay Bruce lined a 2-1 offering into right. Tyler Colvin charged the ball and made a strong one-hop throw to the plate. Phillips was out by a mile … and did not even slide. Inning over.

Mike Leake retired the Cubs in order in the third.

Rodrigo Lopez sat down the Reds in order on 16 pitches in the fourth.

The Cubs made it very easy for Leake in the bottom of the fourth. Leake recorded three outs on six pitches. After four innings, Leake’s pitch count stood at 39, 26 for strikes.

The Reds did nothing against Lopez in the fifth … 1-2-3 on eight pitches, all strikes.

The Cubs went in order in the fifth.

The Reds finally got on board in the sixth … and knocked Lopez out of the game. Dave Sappelt led off with a single to right (2-1 pitch). Joey Votto ripped Lopez’s first pitch into the right field corner. The fleet footed outfielder rounded the bases and scored easily … 1-0 Reds.

Jay Bruce smacked a 2-0 pitch into center. Votto held at third with no outs. Devin Mesoraco hit a 3-1 pitch to short. Castro started the 6-4-3 double play. Votto scored … 2-0 Reds. Miguel Cairo singled to center on a 1-0 pitch to chase Lopez from the game.

Ramon Ortiz came in and uncorked a wild pitch on his first offering to Todd Frazier. Cairo advanced to second but was stranded when Frazier struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs were retired in order in the sixth on just six pitches … 58 pitches for Leake after six, 44 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija took over in the seventh and retired the Reds in order on 10 pitches, eight for strikes.

The Cubs kept hacking against Leake in the seventh … and came up empty. The Cubs went down in order again on just six pitches.

Samardzija retired the Reds in order in the eighth.

Leake faced the minimum in order in the bottom of the eighth after he hit Soriano to start the inning … and Byrd hit into his second double play of the game (6-4-3).

Kerry Wood pitched around a two-out throwing error by Aramis Ramirez in the ninth. Woody retired Mesoraco (groundout to third) and Cairo (flyout to center) to start the inning. Wood jumped ahead of Todd Frazier 0-2 before inducing a grounder to third. Ramirez fielded the ball but threw low to first. Frazier reached on the Cubs first error of the game. Valaika flied out to right (first pitch) to end the inning.

Mike Leake took the hill in the bottom of the ninth after throwing only 74 pitches in eight innings. Leake retired pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt (Soto) on a groundout to short. Reed Johnson hit for Wood and grounded out to short (0-2 pitch).

Starlin Castro tapped a 2-2 pitch up the third baseline. Cairo charged but his throw was very late … and Castro reached with an infield single. The 20th game in a row that Castro reached base safely.

Bryan LaHair pinch-hit for Darwin Barney … and looked at ball one as Castro advanced to second on defensive indifference. LaHair looked at ball two …

LaHair crushed Leake’s next pitch through the wind. The ball ended up in the back of the right field bleachers … and the game was tied at two.

Aramis Ramirez flied out to center to end the ninth … and it was on to free baseball.

Carlos Marmol took over in the tenth and struck out the side … with a two-out walk to Dave Sappelt mixed in. Marmol struck out Votto swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Bill Bray struck out Carlos Pena to start the bottom of the tenth then turned the game over to Nick Masset.

Alfonso Soriano singled to left on a 1-1 pitch. Tony Campana ran for Soriano and stole second on a 1-0 pitch to Marlon Byrd. Byrd ended up walking to put runners on first and second with one out.

Tyler Colvin ripped Masset’s first pitch into right. Campana had to freeze on the liner and could not score. With the bases loaded and one down, Dusty Baker went back to his pen for Sam LeCure.

Jeff Baker hit into a 5-2-3 double play (1-0 pitch) to end the inning.

Sean Marshall struck out Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco to start the 11th before issuing a two-out, four-pitch walk to Miguel Cairo. With Drew Stubbs at the plate, Cairo broke for second to early and was picked off to end the inning.

Jose Arredondo started the bottom of the 11th by walking Koyie Hill. Starlin Castro hit a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. Paul Janish made a diving stop and tossed to Phillips to force Hill … who did not slide. Luis Montanez hit for Sean Marshall.

Quade called for a hit and run on a 2-1 pitch to Montanez … Montanez swung and missed and Castro was thrown out easily at second base. Montanez ripped the very next pitch into the left field corner. The ball stuck in the ivy for a ground rule double. Arredondo intentionally walked Ramirez before turning the game over to Aroldis Chapman.

Carlos Pena grounded out to short to end the inning.

John Grabow survived the 12th after Paul Janish reached on a one-out bunt single to the third base side of the mound. Ryan Hanigan popped out to short and Phillips grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the 12th after first base umpire Tim Welke blew a call at first that would have put Tony Campana on to start the inning. Campana hit a 0-1 pitch to Votto at first. Chapman was late breaking for the bag … and Campana beat Votto to the base. All that was watching the play thought Campana was safe with the exception of the first base umpire.

John Grabow, not John Gaub, took the hill in the 13th and Quade’s desire to play the veterans cost him a game.

Dave Sappelt ripped Grabow’s first pitch of the 13th inning into the gap in left center. Byrd could not keep the ball from getting past him and Sappelt ended up at second with a leadoff double.

Joey Votto gave the Reds the lead on the very next pitch. Votto doubled to left center, Sappelt scored … 3-2 Reds. Grabow struck out Jay Bruce and retired Chris Heisey on a pop out to short. Miguel Cairo singled to center on a 1-0 pitch. Votto scored … 4-2 Reds. Cairo took second on Byrd’s throw to the plate. Grabow intentionally walked Drew Stubbs … and retired Paul Janish on a fly out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Francisco Cordero in the bottom of the 13th … game over.

Too many veterans and not enough patience or energy.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster will face Johnny Cueto in the series finale against the Reds on Wednesday night.

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe