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

"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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  • Tony_Hall

    Just remember Neil – the Vets have earned their right to play over prospects, it says so on their paycheck…

  • Tony_Hall

    I was all for giving Lahair the job at 1B (last off season) and seeing what he could do at the major league level.  Why not?  It wasn’t like this was the year.  Now, once again, they could let him play the whole month of September.  Pena could have been traded, if he wanted to play everyday for a team going to the playoffs.  Let Pena sit and take in the game, and see if it helps him hit better.

    Lahair is not going to the Hall of Fame, may never see an All-Star Game, but he should be given a chance to play everyday, his paycheck may not say he earned any playing time, but his stats from this year, says that he earned the playing time for the rest of the month.  What have we got to lose, more games??  All evidence to the contrary.

    • cc002600

      could not agree more.

      We will never know if LaHair can do the job until he’s given the opportunity. When people compare him to Hoffpair, I wanna scream. Just because one guy was a AAAA player, it doesn’t mean another guy is to.  It’s so stupid. Some guys are late bloomers.

      Look at Michael Morse on Washington. Would anyone out there want him right now ?  I would say yes. Well guess what, he’s 29, and he’s been a journeyman minor leaguer his whole career, up until this year when he finally got an opportunity.  He’s batting .315, 26 HR, 82 RBI.

      • John_CC

        Jose Bautista…unknown journeyman until 2010. At age 29 given a full chance…well, you know the rest.

        • paulcatanese

          What enforces your post is the fact that the Cubs gave Pena 10 mil. for an older player.

          • John_CC

            Right Paul, but has already proven that he can hit 30 HR along the way on his .225, 100+ K season.  You can only speculate that LaHair couldn’t do any better…and he’s already 28!!  Hell, he might as well just retire!

            Last night’s HR was LaHair’s 39 of the season. 

  • Tony_Hall

    Neil – Let’s just assume that QBall said John Gaub and John Grabow just got up, as it was his right, as a vet.

    • paulcatanese

      Clearly another case by Qua with a failure to communicate, not so much with the players but with his own head. The fog he lives in must be blown away by Ricketts , and soon. He should not be able to deny the youngsters the opportunity to show the grizzeled, boring vets that they are through. Last nite was totaly on Qua, and he need to go, now,today.

  • paulcatanese

    Castro had Phillips picked at second base in the third more than Boudraeu had Phil Masi in the 48 series, and thanks to the strong throw by Colvin it didnt hurt.

    But the Campana call in the 12th probably cost the game. It was very clear that Tony beat the throw, Votto never reached the bag, the replay showed that. Campana would have been on first 0 out, and everyone in the world knew he would steal second with his percentege of not being caught. I have a strong feeling he would have ended up on third with 0 or 1 out. He just flat would have scored, I have no doubt, ballgame over.

    • Brp921

      I wanted to see a squeeze with Campana on third with one out and Baker up in the tenth, it couldn’t have turned out any worse than the actual result.

  • paulcatanese

    Another strong case was made by Byrd that he should not be playing, 2 GIDP and a K, 1 walk dosent cut it. Qua must keep putting him out there to make sure he keeps the game even, and likes the feeling of being the underdog nite after nite, and has Byrd to thank for it..

  • cc002600

    I have to eat some crow on one thing (happily).  I have been really impressed with
    Smardijzia this year. He looked great again last night. I never would have
    thought. I thought he was a dog with fleas. wrong !


    It just goes to show that pitchers need time to figure it out. Very, very few
    come up right away and dominate.


    If he continues to progress next year, I am REALLY excited about cubs bullpen
    next year.


    Marmol, Wood, Marshal, Russel, Shark, Carpenter, Cashner (sorry, he should be
    in bullpen) … likey

    • John_CC

      Have to disagree. Cashner needs to start.  Otherwise I like it too.

      • Richard Hood

        I agree with Cashner needing to start but we need one more arm in the Bullpen that can challenge Marmol for the closer role. This year he just seems to comfortable.

        • John_CC


          • Richard Hood

            I was thinking about guys that have closed in the past but may not be closing now. I don’t know about Shark he wants to start. I can see him being stretched out and used as a long man if he doesn’t make the cut for a starter next spring.

          • John_CC
          • Richard Hood

            I like the idea in principal but you are going to get a number of old pitchers getting hives thinking about working twice a week.  I am only kidding on that.

            Our problem with that is we only have 6 inning pitchers. If we had work horses that went deep into games then the extra starts would be nice. I know you all are thinking that should be an argument for the 4 man plus a swing (Shark?) but it really doesn’t. It means our already overworked at times bullpen will get more work because our genius pitching coach doesn’t get them ready for there starts and they over pitch every first inning.

      • cc002600

        we will have to agree to disagree on that one …..he’s a hard thrower that already has shoulder issues. 

        That’s not a good recipe for a workload of 200 innings.   See Kerry Wood.

    • JimBo_C

      Samardzija has better stuff than Marmol right now. His heater is coming in at about 98 and his command is acceptable (compared to Marmol’s heater at 91-92 and spurts of no command).

      Samardzija should be given a shot to close some games this month (just like Marmol did a few years ago to replace Gregg) to see how he handles it.

      • Richard Hood

        I agree with that but I think that with Shark being at the end of his rookie contract he has more leverage wanting to be a starter. So we might not see that just because of the amount of money the new contract could be if he has some closer experience verses very little starter experience.

  • cc002600

    So what are the chances that LaHair starts tonight ???

    I think Cueto is pitching for Reds, a righty.

    • paulcatanese

      With Qua? I would say little to none, There is little to none in Qua’s brain
      cells to figure that out.

  • paulcatanese

    The only reason that LaHair would not play all the games is Qua is a platoon man and figures that LaHair being up from the minors would not be good against leftys, not what I think but the way Qua thinks.
    There has to be a rumor someplace that a guy dosent get 38 home runs without hitting a few off leftys.
    Plus Qua has to get Pena in there, he is a vet afterall and we all know how Qua thinks about vets.
    I wonder what happened to Qua’s philosophy from ST that “the best man wil play”? The man is a living contradiction.

    • Cheryl

      If Quade doesn’t play LaHair tonight he will look even worse than he does now. He’ll probably sit Soriano and put LaHair in LF. What I’d like to see is LaHair in LF, Campana in CF and Johnson in RF if Q has to play a vet out there. Ideally Colvin woud be in RF, but Q probably wouldn’t play him.

      • Richard Hood

        You want a guy that bats .150 and you think that Quade is not sharp? At what point are we going to say that Colvin is a one trick pony and move on.

         I actually would try Lahair in RF tonight just to see if he could handle it. He seems to be getting into a grove no matter where we put him. The only problem is that we have to have a faster guy in center field for it to work and I do not see Byrd sitting.

        • Cheryl

          You may be right, Richard. Maybe that would be better – trying LaHair in RF. Colvin has been given chances but I think he’s still spooked by not playing regularly. Several months ago I said he’d be better off traded and perhaps that is still the case.

          • Richard Hood

            At what point do we put the lack of ability to make adjustments on the player? He did not deserve to play often early because he wasn’t making the adjustments to be in there. We are now in September and guess what he still isn’t able to adjust to breaking pitches away. He also isn’t able to identify what is coming at him. The same problems he had at the second half of last year. I think it is time to cut bait. Then again I was questioning why he was still here in April but that was because I thought he was worth more heading out the door than sitting on our bench.

          • paulcatanese

            I agree Richard, I liked Colvin when he came up, thought he would be a keeper but as the time went on his swing never improved to the point of starting everyday. I am sure he knows he must train his swing to hit the outside pitch to the left side and has been given ample time to get that going, and he has not. He actually has had more time to show what he has than the players that were brought up. I think that has to do with the fact that he was a number 1 draft pick. (think I read that right) and no team wants to admit thier number one pick is not going to make it.

          • Bryan

            While Colvin has failed to make some necessary adjustments, the fact is that he had a promising 2010 and deserved a better shot to make the everyday lineup starting this year.  Riding the pine, or shuttling between the majors and AAA does nothing to build rhythm and confidence.  I’ll put some ownership on Colvin, but big fault on JH and Quade for the handling of him, as with almost all our prospects. 

          • Bryan

            I’ll refer back to Freddy Freeman again with the Braves. Even when he struggled a bit this year management expressed total confidence and faith in him.  He played everyday, worked thru the tough times, and has shown his value.  The Cubs never treat their prospects similarly.

          • Richard Hood

            I think you are talking about Heyward not Freeman. Freeman is batting over .290 and has been a lot of the year. Heyward is batting .220 and has been down to the minors for a week or so.

             Some people have enough other skills to keep them on the roster and playing when they struggle. Colvin is not one of them. If he isn’t hitting he is not good enough (not saying he isn’t decent at other aspects just not good enough) to stay in a line up. That is the difference between him and Heyward.

             Heyward almost walked 100 times (91)  as a 20 year old rookie. Colvin is going to take 5 years to be at 100 walks for his career. They are not the same player or even close so the comparison is totally off.

             If you want to talk about how they were handled that is different because the Braves labeled Heyward as their next superstar last year before he ever took a live pitch in spring training and then had to keep him up after that no matter what. By the way Heyward has been a part time player the since they called up Jose Costanza.

            If you can not adjust to the pitch that is coming at you. No matter your talent level you should not be on a major league roster. That is regardless if your are Tyler Colvin or Soriano (who is almost as bad at recognizing bad sliders).  No GM or Scout or Manager can be blamed for a guy that just can not identify a pitch that is coming at you. The kid has had enough time to learn and needs to go.

            We are now talking about almost 16 months since he stopped hitting (.315 on June 18th) consistently. Why is it so hard for guys to see that.

          • Brp921

            Again I’m not saying your wrong. I’m just not ready to agree that you’re right. My contention is that he hasn’t been given the playing time this year to know whether or not he can regain the form he had before his injury at the end of last year. We don’t know whether he would have had the momentum to come in and have a better year than last year if he hadn’t been injured at the end, and had to take the off season to recover. Then when this year started and he started slow, instead of letting him play through it in triple A he got to ride the pine. When he did play it was against lefties. It was almost like Quade wanted him to fail.

          • Richard Hood

            I looked back at Freeman for the year and thought that you might have been talking about him batting .215 on May 1st. There is still a big difference in the idea he was still getting on base and slugging with a OPS of .695. Colvin at the time was batting .135 with an OPS of .532. Still not comparison if that is what you were talking about instead of Heyward’s struggles.

          • Brp921

            Well said Bryan. I won’t argue, at this point, that Richard is wrong because I simply don’t know, but that is the point, nobody knows because our idiot manager wouldn’t give him a chance this year and in fact set him up to fail. He may be a “one trick pony” or he may turn into a guy with power who can have a fair average with an above average arm. The point is that we had this year to find out and it was wasted. We were out of the race early and yet Quade kept playing Rips favorite, hall of fame, RBI guy. 

          • Bryan

            Perfectly stated.  Thanks.   And Richard, I was referring to Freddy Freeman, not Heyward.  The fact that he was batting .215 in May, the Cubs would likely have shipped him down to AAA, or had him ride the pine.  This is about organizational culture and philosophy.  Colvin may not be the productive player we hope for, but we’ll never find out when he can’t start instead of both Soriano and Byrd, both major disappointments again, and not in the future plans. 

        • paulcatanese

          If he dosent sit Byrd, and I agree with you, he will play him, Byrd should hit 7 or 8 in the lineup. Even Qua cannot be that stupid not to see tht he is getting 0 production out of him. But in Quas twisted mind he thinks Byrd will turn it around, but whats the difference if he does? Byrd could hit 4 HRs a game for the rest of the year and it wont help the Cubs, and certainly will delay the development of younger players, who in my opinion will out hit Byrd in any capacity.

          • Richard Hood

            Well he sat Byrd and Barney.

        • Richard Hood

          Man I must be psychic.

    • Richard Hood

      He already played him against a lefty and got drilled for batting him eighth. .

  • Coolpdxcubsfan

    What can you possibly expect the result to be if you put Grabow in a clutch relief situation?? Of course he is going to give up some runs. He doesn’t belong up here and is a very limited situational pitcher (like if you are getting blown out and don’t care if you give up a bunch of runs). He didn’t lose this game, Qball did. Don’t put him in there in the first place, or if you do, take him out after you luck out and get a decent inning out of him. DUH!
    I really hope the new GM cleans house. We have a lot of guys up here that don’t belong any where near a major league team.