A Wild, Ugly, Extra Inning, See-Saw Loss for the Cubs – Cubs 7, Brewers 8

Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 7, Brewers 8 – 13 innings
WP – Vinnie Chulk (1-0) LP – Lendy Castillo (0-1) Save – None

Friday night’s game between the Cubs and Brewers that ended early Saturday morning was a 1-0 game going into the seventh inning. Matt Garza gave up a run in the first after the Brewers loaded the bases with no outs. Randy Wolf made the one-run lead hold up through his six innings of work.

The game ended in the 13th after Lendy Castillo hit Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun to start the inning. Aramis Ramirez singled to right to load the bases and Corey Hart drove in the winning run with a single to center.

There will not be too many highlights from the ugly game at Miller Park that lasted five hours and four minutes. There were five lead changes and both managers used all of their position players and available pitchers in the marathon. The two teams scored a combined 15 runs on 23 hits with 21 walks, four hit batsmen and two errors … and both teams had plenty of opportunities to end the game long before the 13th inning. The Cubs finished the night 3-for-13 with RISP and left 13 on base while the Brewers were 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 15 on base.

The Cubs finally got on the board and took a big lead with one swing of the bat in the seventh. David DeJesus (2-for-4 with a home run, a triple, five RBI and two runs scored) hit for Jeff Baker and launched the first pitch from Kameron Loe over the right field wall for the second grand slam of his career. DeJesus’ first homer in a Cubs’ uniform gave the Cubs a short-lived 4-1 lead.

Carlos Marmol basically gave the game back to the Brewers before leaving with a right hamstring strain. Marmol will undergo an MRI in Chicago on Saturday and is likely headed to the disabled list. After Marmol gave up a two-out RBI double to Aramis Ramirez that cut the Cubs’ lead to 4-2, Marmol got ahead of Corey Hart 1-2 before he had to leave the game. Michael Bowden replaced Marmol, gave up a single to Hart, walked George Kottaras to load the bases then surrendered a bases clearing double to pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy that gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead.

The Cubs battled back, tied the game and took the lead in the ninth against John Axford. Axford blew his first regular season save since April 18, 2011 … a string of 49 straight. David DeJesus tripled in Ian Stewart then scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch in which Starlin Castro (1-for-6 with a walk and a run scored) actually struck out on. Castro reached, stole second and scored the Cubs’ seventh run on a RBI single by Alfonso Soriano (2-for-6 with a RBI and a walk).

Rafael Dolis blew his second save of the season after he gave up a two-run homer to Corey Hart in the bottom of the ninth.

Cubs’ pitching came within one free pass of tying a franchise record for the most walks issued in a single game (15 on May 15, 1962 against the Mets in New York). The Cubs issued 14 walks in Friday’s game and hit three more batters … 17 free baserunners.

Matt Garza labored through his five-inning start Friday night. Garza made his first start in 12 days after missing time with the flu. Garza reportedly lost nearly 12 pounds and he appeared weak as he struggled with his command. Garza could not find a rhythm and allowed one run on three hits with a season-high five walks and only three strikeouts. Garza threw 93 pitches, 51 for strikes.

Welington Castillo (3-for-6 with a double) notched the first three-hit game of his big league career and finished the game at first base (Bryan LaHair moved to left in the 13th) but also showed how much he needs to learn in order to be a Major League catcher.

The Cubs have now lost nine in a row at what used to be labeled Wrigley North.

With Friday night’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 13-19 on the season …

Randy Wolf made quick work of Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker and Starlin Castro in the first … 1-2-3 on just 11 pitches, seven for strikes.

Nyjer Morgan led off the bottom of the first with a bloop single to center. Matt Garza jammed him on a 0-1 pitch but the ball fell in for a hit. Garza hit Rickie Weeks on a 2-1 pitch then walked Ryan Braun (3-2 pitch) to load the bases with no outs.

Matt Garza was more than struggling with his command and did not look anything like Matt Garza on the mound.

Aramis Ramirez helped out Garza. Ramirez swung at two pitches out of the zone and ended up grounding into a 5-4-3 double play. Nyjer Morgan scored and Weeks ended up at third with two down. Corey Hart lined out to Castro to end the inning.

Matt Garza threw 23 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.

Bryan LaHair worked the count full to start the second but popped out to right for the first out. Alfonso Soriano hit a weak pop fly to right (2-0 pitch) for the second out. Joe Mather showed a lot of patience and worked a two out walk.

Welington Castillo ended a 0-for-11 to start the season with a single to left center (2-2 pitch). Mather advanced to third. Darwin Barney put together an 11-pitch at bat that resulted in a lineout to Ryan Braun in left for the third out.

The Cubs made Randy Wolf work in the second. After throwing just 11 pitches in the first, Wolf threw 32 in the second (43 total, 25 for strikes).

Matt Garza continued to struggle with his command in the second. Garza could not find a rhythm but was still able to retired the Brewers in order. Garza threw 44 pitches in the first two innings, 25 for strikes.

Jeff Baker worked a two-out walk in the third. Starlin Castro followed with a broken-bat bloop single to right. But with two on and two down, Bryan LaHair grounded out to first (first pitch) to end the inning.

Other than a one-out walk to Nyjer Morgan, the Brewers did nothing against Garza in the third. Randy Wolf struck out, Rickie Weeks flied out to right after the free pass to Morgan. Ryan Braun grounded out to short for the third out. Garza threw 63 pitches in three innings, 35 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth.

Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging to start the fourth. Corey Hart ripped a 0-1 pitch into right center. Hart ended up at second with one out. After Garza fell behind Kottaras, he walked the Brewers’ catcher on a 3-2 pitch. Taylor Green hit into a 4-6-3 double play (0-2) to end the inning. Garza’s pitch count continued to climb. After four, Garza had thrown 78 pitches, 45 for strikes.

For the third time in five innings, the Cubs put two runners on base … and came away empty in the fifth. And it was another botched sacrifice bunt that kept them from tying the game.

Darwin Barney led off the fifth with a bloop single to right center. Matt Garza swung away and missed Wolf’s first pitch. After a brief visit from Pat Listach, Garza fouled off a bunt attempt and then bunted through a third attempt.

Reed Johnson pulled Wolf’s first pitch down the left field line. Barney held at third on Johnson’s double. Jeff Baker had one of his worst at bats of the season. Baker struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch. Starlin Castro grounded out to short (0-1 pitch) to end the inning.

The Cubs were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six on base in the first five innings.

Cesar Izturis bunted the first pitch of the fifth back to Garza. Garza fielded the bunt but threw a one-hopper to first. Randy Wolf bunted back to Garza and advanced Izturis to second with one down. Nyjer Morgan pulled the first pitch to Barney. Izturis ended up at third with two outs. Rickie Weeks walked on four pitches.

Matt Garza lost his command and fell behind Braun 3-0. Garza threw a strike then Braun took Garza’s next pitch for ball four.

Aramis Ramirez stepped in with the bases loaded and two outs. Ramirez hit a 1-1 bullet toward short. Starlin Castro backed up, fielded the ball and threw to Barney to end the inning.

It took Matt Garza 93 pitches, 51 for strikes, to get through five innings of work.

Alfonso Soriano worked a walk in the sixth after LaHair flied out to shallow left to start the inning. Joe Mather hit the first pitch to Aramis Ramirez … 5-4-3 inning ending double play.

Shawn Camp took over in the sixth and retired Hart on a liner to Barney in the shift. George Kottaras walked then advanced to second on a bunt by Taylor Green. Camp fielded the ball, threw off balance and high to first base. With runners on first and second with one down, Izturis hit a lazy fly to center for the second out.

Travis Ishikawa hit for Randy Wolf with two on and two down. Camp tried to pickoff Kottaras from second. The ball ended up in center and both runners advanced ninety feet. Camp did not let his error affect him and struck out Ishikawa looking (0-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Jose Veras replaced Wolf and retired Welington Castillo on a routine grounder to third to start the inning. Darwin Barney followed and ripped a 3-2 pitch into the right field corner. Barney ended up at third with one down … and the Cubs’ trailing by one.

Ian Stewart hit for Camp and quickly fell behind 0-2. Veras bailed out Stewart by hitting him with the next pitch on his right foot. Reed Johnson put together a quality at bat and walked to load the bases with one out.

Dale Sveum went to his bench and sent up David DeJesus to hit for Jeff Baker.

Ron Roenicke countered and went to his pen for right-hander Kameron Loe.

David DeJesus launched Loe’s first pitch over the wall in right … and just like that the Cubs took a 4-1 lead. Starlin Castro flied out to center and LaHair grounded out to Ramirez in the shift (shortstop position) to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol took the mound to start the bottom of the seventh.

Nyjer Morgan pulled a 3-2 pitch to deep right. David DeJesus, who stayed in the game, made an excellent catch as he hit the wall for the first out. Rickie Weeks struck out looking (3-2 pitch) for the second out.

Marmol then walked Ryan Braun on a 3-2 pitch … and the inning quickly got away from the Chicago Cubs.

Aramis Ramirez made up for his struggles early in the game. Ramirez went with a 0-1 pitch from Marmol and drove the ball to deep right center. The ball hit off the top of the padding and fell in for a double. Braun scored and cut the Cubs’ lead to 4-2. Marmol got ahead of Corey Hart 1-2 … then appeared to injury himself.

Welington Castillo went out to check on Marmol then called out Ed Halbur and Dale Sveum. Marmol threw a few warm up pitches after a short discussion. Marmol left and Michael Bowden made his way in from the pen.

Corey Hart ripped Bowden’s first pitch to the hole at short. Starlin Castro got a glove on the ball and kept it from shooting through and into left. Ramirez held at third with two outs. Bowden could not find the strike zone and walked George Kottaras on a 3-1 pitch to load the bases. Ron Roenicke went to his bench and sent Jonathan Lucroy up to hit for Kameron Loe.

Jonathan Lucroy hit a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner. Ramirez, Hart and Kottaras scored and the Brewers took a 5-4 lead. Lucroy was thrown out at third to end the inning.

After a wild seventh inning in which two pinch hitters drove in seven runs, the Brewers had a 5-4 lead.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the eighth and other than a leadoff single by Alfonso Soriano just over the leaping Cesar Izturis into left field, the Cubs did nothing against Rodriguez.

James Russell issued a lead-off walk to Izturis in the bottom of the eighth. Travis Ishikawa bunted Izturis to second. Brooks Conrad hit for Nyjer Morgan and flied out to left center (1-2 pitch) for the second out. Rickie Weeks struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the ninth trailing 5-4 … and John Axford made his way in from the Brewers’ pen.

Ian Stewart ripped a 2-2 pitch to the hole between third and short. Aramis Ramirez made an awkward-looking diving stop. Ramirez threw to first but his throw pulled Ishikawa off the bag. Axford struck out Johnson swinging (2-2 pitch) for the first out. Axford uncorked a wild pitch on the first offering to DeJesus. Stewart advanced to second with one down. DeJesus worked the count to 3-1 …

David DeJesus ripped Axford’s next pitch just to the right of center. Norichika Aoki took a bad route, the ball rolled all the way to the wall. Stewart scored and tied the game at five … and DeJesus ended up at third with one out.

With the infield in, Starlin Castro swung at a pitch that bounced well in front of the plate. Jonathan Lucroy blocked the ball, which ended up in the field of play. DeJesus broke when he saw the ball in the dirt and scored the go ahead run. Castro ended up at first with one out … and the Cubs ended John Axford’s string of 49 straight regular season saves.

Bryan LaHair swung at and missed a 2-2 pitch from Axford. Castro took off for second and slid in safe. Alfonso Soriano blooped a 1-1 pitch into center. Castro scored and gave the Cubs a 7-5 lead. Roenicke decided he’d seen enough and went to his pen for Tim Dillard. Adrian Cardenas hit for Russell and flied out to left (first pitch) to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth leading 7-5 …

Rafael Dolis retired Ryan Braun on a deep fly to right (3-2 pitch) for the first out … but Dolis walked Aramis Ramirez on four pitches. Dolis appeared to injury himself but was left into face Corey Hart.

Corey Hart launched a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left … and tied the game at seven.

Edwin Maysonet pinch hit for Dillard and ripped Dolis’ first pitch after the homer into left. To Dolis’ credit he kept the ball down to Jonathan Lucroy and the Brewers’ catcher hit into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

After both teams scoring one run in the first six innings, the game went into the tenth tied at seven.

Manny Parra started the tenth and gave up a double to Welington Castillo. Castillo ripped a 0-1 pitch over Braun’s head in left. Darwin Barney walked and the Cubs had two on with no outs in the tenth. Ian Stewart went to the plate to bunt. Stewart got the bunt down on a 2-1 offering but it was right to Ramirez who threw to third in time to force Castillo. Reed Johnson hit Parra’s first pitch to Ishikawa. Stewart was forced at second. With runners on first and second with two down, David DeJesus struck out swinging to end the inning.

Rafael Dolis labored through the bottom of the tenth but was able to escape a jam with a little help from Cesar Izturis. Dolis walked Izturis to start the inning. Ishikawa bunted him to second. Aoki then hit a 1-1 pitch toward third. Stewart fielded the ball and tagged Izturis as he tried to advance to third. With Aoki at first, Weeks grounded out to second to end the inning.

Manny Parra walked Starlin Castro to start the 11th. Bryan LaHair struck out swinging against the lefty. With Soriano at the plate, Parra picked Castro off first … and Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Braun walked for the fourth time in the game to start the 11th. Kerry Wood could not find the strike zone and walked Aramis Ramirez on four pitches. Wood missed on his first pitch to Corey Hart (nine straight balls for Wood to start the inning) then threw two straight strikes. Hart hit the 1-2 pitch from Wood off the end of his bat and flied out to left for the first out.

Zack Greinke hit for Manny Parra and hit Wood’s first pitch to Barney … 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

The game went to the 12th tied at seven.

Vinnie Chulk struck out Kerry Wood to start the 12th in his first at bat since 2007. Welington Castillo notched his third hit of the game, a single to center. Barney hit a weak grounder to third that advanced Castillo into scoring position. Ian Stewart smoked a 2-2 pitch toward second that Weeks snared on one-hop and threw to first to end the inning.

Kerry Wood walked Jonathan Lucroy to start the 12th. Izturis popped up a sac bunt attempt. Wood caught the ball then stuck out Ishikawa swinging for the second out. Aoki popped up the first pitch to Barney to end the 12th.

Reed Johnson led off the 13th with a single to center. David DeJesus popped up a sac bunt attempt for the first out. Castro hit a weak grounder to short that advanced Johnson to second. The Brewers intentionally walked Bryan LaHair (LaHair has reached base safely in the last 28 games he’s played) but Soriano looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Sveum emptied his pen and sent in Lendy Castillo to start the bottom of the 13th inning with Geovany Soto taking over behind the plate, Bryan LaHair moved to left and Welington Castillo played first base. Castillo hit Rickie Weeks on a 1-2 pitch then plunked Ryan Braun in his back on the first pitch. Braun flipped his bat like he thought it was on purpose …

Aramis Ramirez hit a 0-1 pitch into right to load the bases with no outs for Corey Hart. Hart hit Castillo’s first pitch into center. Weeks scored and flipped his helmet as his teammates celebrated … game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Shaun Marcum in game two.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Listening to ESPN yesterday when former Cub OF that is now an analyst reported that Dolis has abandoned his slider and throws only his sinking fastball. This has helped his control immensely, as he doesn’t walk as many, but of course, he’s a one pitch pitcher now.

    Marmol got a hold for his lousy effort: .2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB. And that merits a hold!

    • Tony_Hall

      That’s why for all the stats we have, you still have to watch the players play the game.  But stats sure do make it more fun to disqus the game with each other.

  • JJ70

    I was following this on my ipad in hong kong and was rooting for le hair to get an opportunity to show how good a pitcher he is. It seemed a game anything could happen. Could someone confirm that if Rizzo comes up le hair would relace le miss in lf?

    • Tony_Hall

      It is the most likely scenario.  Once Rizzo passes the time in AAA, to gain one more year of control (they won’t wait for Super 2 to pass, as for him it is after Sept 1, so a late June call-up), they will have to make a decision on Soriano, and Lahair should take over in LF.  

  • Marvin Ferguson

    It was sloppy baseball at its best. I never saw so many base runners on both sides of the fence. And pitching? Yeah! Lots of walks and not enough good timing hits to bring runners home.. It must have been heart breaking for the Cubs to get a grand slam home run to take the lead only to lose in the 13th inning.

  • Steve G

    Bowden and Castillo obviously aren’t major league pitchers and I can’t see Bowden ever being one.  How long do you hold on to something that isn’t worth having just so you won’t lose them?

    • cubtex

      I agree. With guys like Bowden and Wood(who at least pitched 2 scoreless innings last night) this team cannot afford to keep Lendy Castillo on the team. Cut Bowden and Castillo and bring up Maine.

      • Tony_Hall

        Next up is Casey Coleman.  That tells you that Maine is working on some items and they want him to work on those before bringing him back up.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil. good report on a mess, you’re sheets must have looked like(I can’t imagine),but you hung with it.
    Not much to say about the game, it spoke for itself.
    I would like to comment on Brenly though, I wish he would keep his analysis of players to himself. Castillo was having enough problems behind the plate without it being discussed over and over again. Is he pushing some catcher from the minors?
    What he should have commented on was how bad Castro looked at the plate period, and not whitewash it with “he will mature” tired of hearing that about the “star shortstop”.
    Well the game is over, would have been nice to win, but it does show a lot of things that have to be improved on. Pitching,dont think I have to even go there, obvious.

    • cubtex

      Castillo did struggle badly back there. This is the first look I got to see him on TV and it was too obvious to ignore. I wouldn’t want to pitch to Castillo if I were a pitcher.

      • Tony_Hall

        I just don’t get how a player can get to the majors and not have their fundamentals more sound.  Those are things my teams have worked with the kids on since they started playing baseball and now at 14u, it is extremely important for catchers to learn how to frame a pitch and sell those close calls, versus giving them away.

        • paulcatanese

          Agree Tony, you as well as I have coached and spent an inordanite amount of time on the fundementals, only to see them slowly dis-appear as the player progresses up the line.
          I don’t know what happens later on, but they seemto forget what they are. Cannot bunt, cannot run the bases properly, swing at everything thats even close, throw to the wrong base, you name it, its just not there when they reach the bigs, like an entirely different game they are playing.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, but showing almost every strike zone shot and saying its costing Garza was a little much. Garza knew wat was happening there and from what I saw spoke to Castillo a couple of times and eventually Castillo slowly started to frame some pitches.
        But rapping Castillo not only takes the kid down but Sveum as well.
        I believe Clevenger when he comes back and can take up where he left off will end up number one anyway and Soto will be gone, so Castillo does need the exposure behind the plate.
        Garza is a pro, and handled it like one, I would think he would be the first to agree with me on what was said on the air.
        Brenly is not the manager, he should keep his personal comments to broadcasting.

        • cubtex

          I hear what you are saying but being a catcher himself….Brenly couldn’t help himself. I am not sold on either Castillo or Clevenger being an everyday catcher yet. Everyone wants to get rid of Soto….but be careful for what you wish for, it might come true.

    • Tony_Hall

      Is Brenly pushing some catcher from the minors…maybe named Brenly?

      Unfortunately, no 22 year old player is going to be a finished product. 

      • paulcatanese

        Ya think? Of course he was. I liked my kids and wanted them to play also, but one has to keep their cool about those things and just hope it works out.
        Jr. will be here if he deserves it. I don’t see Theo and Boyer playing those kind of games.

        • Tony_Hall

          I’m sure his son is very fundamentally sound behind the plate and his bat (just like the ole man’s) will his weakness.

          As you know, I don’t mind a weak hitting catcher, as long as they are very good at their main job…catching.

      • cubtex

        Michael Brenly hit .206 last year in high A ball and he is hitting .211 in AA this year. He can’t hit.

        • Tony_Hall

          So what better to make sure everyone knows, that a catcher can save more runs then they can produce, then to point out all the mistakes that the catchers make.   Seems like a good family plan :)

  • BosephHeyden

    I would like to know why they kept Dolis in after he very visibly grimaced in pain.  It’s not like they’d have to have brought in a pitcher cold:  they give you as much time as you need.  Granted, the pitcher they would have gone with was Kerry Wood, but when your pitcher is in visible pain after throwing a pitch and the next six pitches he throws aren’t where he wanted them (not to mention he grinded his teeth every one of those), you take him out.

    I’m really trying to give this staff a break and assume it’s their first time, too, but given that Dolis gave up a game tying homer shortly after all this, the coaching staff gets a bit of the blame here, too.

  • cubtex

    This team cannot afford to keep Lendy Castillo on the team any longer. This bullpen is so bad that they need to have someone who can get an out. Michael Bowden is terrible! Marmol is now on the DL. Kerry Wood at least pitched better in his second inning of work. Dolis didn’t look right. James Russell has been pitching well but he is the only lefty in the pen.

  • cubtex

    I can’t remember a team before who had so much trouble laying down a bunt as this years Chicago Cubs team. Our spring training bunting champ(DeJesus) Campana, the pitchers. They have so much trouble scoring runs and it only compounds the issue by not being able to get a runner in scoring position.