The Crafty Capuano Shuts Down the Cubs – Cubs 1, Dodgers 5

Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 1, Dodgers 5
WP – Chris Capuano (4-0) LP – Chris Volstad (0-4) Save – None

On a gloomy, foggy day at Wrigley Field, Chris Capuano shutout the Cubs for seven innings and the only run the Cubs managed Saturday came in the ninth off Jamey Wright. Chris Capuano pitched Saturday against the Cubs like he did earlier in his career when he wore a Milwaukee Brewers’ uniform. The Cubs had a chance in the first to put runs on the board after they loaded the bases with one out but Alfonso Soriano (0-for-4, five left on base) and Ian Stewart (2-for-4, RBI, four left on base) were both called out on strikes to end the inning.

The Cubs managed only two more hits and three other baserunners against Capuano after the first inning. Capuano struck out seven and walked two on 100 pitches, 70 for strikes, over his seven shutout innings.

Not only did Chris Capuano do his job on the mound, but he also had the big hit against Chris Volstad. Capuano doubled in two runs with two outs in the second inning that gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

The Cubs only run came in the ninth. Ian Stewart singled in Starlin Castro (3-for-4 with a run scored). Starlin Castro tallied three of the Cubs’ five hits on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Volstad was, well, Chris Volstad once again. Volstad had a bad inning (three runs in the second) and another not-so-good inning in the fifth in which he gave up two more runs. Volstad lasted only five innings Saturday afternoon and gave up five runs, all earned, on four hits with three walks, one intentional, and only one strikeout. Volstad threw 81 pitches, 48 for strikes.

One of the only highlights Saturday was Lendy Castillo. The Cubs’ rookie right-hander made his first appearance since April 20 and pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Volstad. Castillo’s velocity and command was much better than the last time he pitched in a big league game against the Reds. Castillo retired six of the seven batters he faced on 24 pitches, 17 for strikes, surrendered only one hit and notched a strikeout.

Carlos Marmol made his first appearance since losing his closer’s job … and put together a scoreless inning after issuing a leadoff walk to Andre Ethier. Marmol uncorked a wild pitch but retired the next three batters he faced. Marmol struck out James Loney swinging to end the inning and of the 22 pitches (12 strikes) he threw, 14 were fastballs.

Bryan LaHair (0-for-2 with two walks) walked twice Saturday against the southpaw Capuano. LaHair has now reached safely in the last 23 games he’s played.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 10-17 on the season …

Chris Volstad put together a very efficient 1-2-3 first inning, eight pitches … seven for strikes.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the first but came away empty. David DeJesus led off with a pop fly on the left side of the infield. Dee Gordon and Jerry Hairston, Jr bumped into one another, the ball fell to the ground and DeJesus ended up at second on E6.

After Joe Mather popped out to shallow right, Starlin Castro singled to left. DeJesus had to hold and ended up at third. Bryan LaHair worked a walk (3-2 pitch) to load the bases with one out … but Alfonso Soriano (0-2 pitch) and Ian Stewart (2-2 pitch) both looked at called third strikes to end the inning.

For as good as Volstad was in the first inning, he was equally as bad, if not worse, in the second.

Volstad issued a lead-off walk to Andre Ethier, then left a 1-2 pitch out over the plate to Bobby Abreu. The newest Dodger ripped the ball into the left field corner for a double. Volstad fell behind Hairston, Jr 3-0 before getting him to hit a tapper back to the mound on a 3-2 pitch. Volstad fielded the ball, looked Either back to third and threw out Hairston, Jr at first. James Loney received an intentional free pass to load the bases with one out.

Chris Volstad fell behind Matt Treanor (3-1) before the Dodgers’ catcher lifted a 3-2 pitch to right. Either tagged and scored … and Abreu advanced to third on the play. Volstad threw a meatball right down the middle to Chris Capuano. The Dodgers’ lefty ripped it into right center for a two-run double. Capuano drove in his first runs in five years … and gave himself a 3-0 lead. Gordon grounded out to first for the third out.

Chris Volstad gave up three runs on two hits and two walks on 30 pitches, 13 for strikes, in the second inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the second. Capuano struck out four of five batters he faced from the bottom of the first through the second inning.

The wind helped Chris Volstad retire the Dodgers in order in the third. Matt Kemp crushed a 2-1 pitch that Mather caught with his back against the ivy. After three, Volstad’s pitch count stood at 51, 28 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the third.

Chris Volstad sat down the Dodgers in order in the fourth on 10 pitches, seven for strikes (61 pitches after four innings, 35 for strikes).

Bryan LaHair put together another good at bat to start the fourth. LaHair ended up walking but Soriano hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice (1-2 pitch), Stewart was called out on strikes (1-2 pitch) and Barney popped out to right.

The Cubs continued to make Chris Capuano look good and after four they trailed 3-0.

The Dodgers put the game away in the top of the fifth. Matt Treanor led off with a single to center. Capuano bunted him to second and Dee Gordon drove him in with a double past LaHair down the right field line. Treanor scored the Dodgers’ fourth run.

On a 3-0 offering to Mark Ellis, Gordon took off for third. Soto threw a strike to Stewart. The ball beat Gordon but Stewart dropped the ball. With Gordon at third, Volstad walked Ellis. Matt Kemp hit a sac fly to center (1-1 pitch) that plated Gordon with the Dodgers’ fifth run. Stewart’s drop cost the Cubs a run.

With Andre Ethier at the dish, Volstad threw to first to keep Ellis close. The ball hit him in the head and Ellis advanced to second. Ethier then reached on a ball hit back up the middle that Castro bobbled. With runners on first and third with two down, Bobby Abreu struck out swinging. During Abreu’s at bat, Ted Lilly was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Lendy Castillo made his first appearance since April 20 in the sixth … and retired the Dodgers in order.

After Joe Mather popped out to short to start the sixth, Starlin Castro singled to left but was erased when Bryan LaHair grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

Castillo started the seventh and struck out Capuano and retired Gordon on a fly out to right to start the inning. Mark Ellis singled to left center but Kemp flied out to right to end the inning.

Other than a one out single by Ian Stewart, the Cubs did nothing against Capuano in the seventh.

Carlos Marmol started the eighth and walked Andre Ethier (3-2 pitch). Marmol uncorked a wild pitch with Abreu at the plate. The ball appeared to hit Abreu but was ruled a wild pitch. Ethier took second. Abreu grounded out to third for the first out. Hairston, Jr popped out to third (3-2 pitch) and Loney struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Ronald Belisario sat down the Cubs in order in the eighth.

Michael Bowden pitched the ninth. Bowden retired Treanor (ground out to short) and Tony Gwynn, Jr (struck out swinging) before giving up a single to center to Dee Gordon. Mark Ellis grounded out to third to end the ninth.

Starlin Castro notched his third hit of the game off Jamey Wright to start the bottom of the ninth. On the first pitch to LaHair, Castro took second. LaHair struck out and Soriano grounded out to short for the second out. With Castro at third, Ian Stewart ripped a 1-2 pitch into left center. Castro scored and broke up the shutout. After Stewart advanced to second on the first pitch to Barney, the Cubs second baseman hit a chopper back to Wright to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza was scratched from Sunday’s finale and Travis Wood will be officially called up to face Aaron Harang on Sunday afternoon. Garza is dealing with the flu and Wood will make his Cubs’ debut.

The Cubs have not announced the roster move required to activate Travis Wood but did announce that Matt Garza will be skipped this time through the rotation and will start the opener in Milwaukee on Friday night.

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Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • Jnbeck1

    Can vitters play 3rd? If not then why not move in a new direction?

    • Tom U

      Tough to give a direct answer to your question. Yes, Vitters can play third, but he’s not ready for the majors offensively or defensively at this time. He’s only 3 weeks younger than Anthony Rizzo, but is just seeing his first action at Triple-A. At 22, both are still young, and hopefully have a lot of baseball ahead of them. If lucky, Vitters can be a September call-up. Otherwise, I wouldn’t count on seeing him until at least mid-season 2013.

      • Ripsnorter1


        Who do you think the Cubs will DL or send down to make room for Wood? 

        Unless they put someone on the DL, I’d expect that Bowden would be the next guy to leave.

        • guest

          Should be Volstad, I understand that he still have options left.

          • Neil

             Volstad does have two options left

        • Tom U

          Anyone that has an option can be a candidate. However, being that he isn’t needed for another five days, Chris Volstad could be tapped for that honor.

          • Ripsnorter1

            He would not be needed even in 5 days if Wood works out…..

            But if Volstad, he could not be recalled for 10 days unless there was an injury…..

          • Tom U

            That can always be arranged

        • Chadaudio

          Wow.  I totally forgot Bowden was even on the roster until today.  Sheesh.  And here I thought Mather was the “forgotten man” on our roster.

          Does anyone one else find it surprising that T. Wood was called up instead of Wells?  I mean, I know how bad Wells was during his last call-up, but T. Wood hasn’t been that much better the last time they chose Wells over T. Wood.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You know what’s wrong with Wells?

            Conditioning. Last year the forearm strain comes from weak muscles. To throw the curve/sliders, you must have a strong forearm.

            This year seems to be the same old story: poor work ethic. So I did not expect to see him back. He’s done as a Cub, I think. When this contract is up, I think his time will be up.

            Rusin is pitching better than Wood. I thought he might get the call, but then, I don’t think they wanted to get any clocks started just yet. 

            This start tomorrow could get ugly. We’ll see, of course. The PCL hitters are hitting .310 off of Wood. He’s a flyball pitcher: 0.82 go/Ao ratio.

          • Chadaudio

            Interesting perspective Rip on conditioning.

          • Carmelo

            Wells was just spent down on Th—he can’t be called up for 10 days.

      • OttawaBob

        Tom, I’m starting to get worried about B. Jackson, he has an alarming amount of K’s. Jackson, like Vitters, might not be seen til 2013….maybe!!

  • paulcatanese

    Anyone know how Ted Lilly got ejected for balls and strikes?

    • Ripsnorter1

      I listened on WGN today. He apparently made a comment about a bad ball/strike call. He was in the dugout, and a pitch was called a strike when Lilly apparently could see that it was low. (Keith said is was low and a bad call). Lilly made a comment, and he was tossed immediately.

      • paulcatanese

        Thats cool, I like that, If I were him, I would have pointed to the guy next to me and said it was him:)

  • paulcatanese

    A loss today, yes teams are going to lose games, but overall, I think the Cubs are playing decent baseball, they just don’t have the horses right now.
    And I don’t forget the gifts the bullpen gave to the opposition. Cancel those out and its decent.

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Cubs were 3-11 when they called up Campana. They have had a 7-6 run with him. And he didn’t even start a couple of those games. 

      • paulcatanese

        You know I like that:)

  • Chadaudio

    Well, better showing by the bullpen this time… and it was good to see Mather get a start (I’ve been whining about that for a while now).

  • Chadaudio

    Has anyone else noticed that they are following the Cubs minor league affiliates this year more then any other time in their Cub-loving lives?

  • Dorasaga

    Regarding Castillo, is he envisioned as a starting man in the rotation? or a future setup or closer with this current organization? I’m not sure of what I’m seeing out of his performance today. Good command, but not “lights-out.” He seems more comfortable pitching out of the stretch than, say, Dolis. Maybe some of you watched both of these young men down at AA level, and you witnessed if his stuff keeps up better through the long season…

  • cubs1967

    big day tomorrow; 1st day i could eat a whole lot of crow on the marshall trade if t wood does well.

    • OttawaBob

      Prepared correctly…it tastes remarkably like chicken.

      • Ripsnorter1


    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t think you have much to worry about. They were hitting .310 off of him at AAA, and this is the bigs, and they have seen him before, too. He’s had 2 starts vs. LA Dodgers, and with that 2.156 WHIP against them, his ERA is 7.59….

      Travis Wood just has to have pin-point control. This year, at AAA Iowa….His ERA when he is ahead in the count: 2.53 with .184 BAA
      His ERA when he is behind in the count: 5.14 with .448 BAA

      If he’s pounding the strike zone, he’ll do okay. If not………..

  • Neil

    Blake DeWitt has been DFA’d to make room for Travis Wood

    • John_CC

       Again.  Poor chap…but Finally! Thank you, Mr. Epstien and Hoyer. 

      That should be the end of DeWitt in the Cubs uni, right? 

      • Neil

        They are hoping he clears and accept an assignment to Iowa. I would like to think so. It was time to move on.