What the Hague? Cubs Drop Eleventh in a Row – Cubs 2, Pirates 3

Game Forty-Six – Cubs 2, Pirates 3
WP – Joel Hanrahan (2-0) LP – Rafael Dolis (2-4) Save – None

The Pirates won Saturday night’s game when Rafael Dolis hit Matt Hague with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth. Rafael Dolis struggled with his command again. After a single and a pair of walks loaded the bases, Dolis hit rookie Matt Hague with a 2-2 pitch to force in the winning run … 11 losses in a row for the Chicago Cubs.

The offense continued its struggles on Saturday night in Pittsburgh but ended up battling back and tying the game in the fifth. The aggressiveness of the Cubs’ offense hurt the team again. When making a starting pitcher like Kevin Correia throw as many pitches as possible should be at the top of the game plan, the Cubs made it easy on Pittsburgh’s starter Saturday night. Correia faced the minimum over two innings and threw only 17 pitches … Correia threw only 76 pitches in 6 1/3 innings.

The Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Pedro Alvarez and a sac fly by Neil Walker. But Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a home run) hit his fifth homer of the season in the fourth that cut the Bucs lead in half. Soriano’s homer ended a string of 20 straight innings without a run. Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a triple and a RBI) tripled in David DeJesus to tie the game in the fifth.

The Cubs had a chance to take a lead in the seventh but Blake Lalli was cut down at the plate, on a play that was not close, trying to score from first on a double by Adrian Cardenas.

Starlin Castro’s RBI triple ended a 0-for-26 drought for the Cubs with runners in scoring position. The Cubs finished the night 1-for-4 with RISP and left six more runners on base.

Paul Maholm struggled with his command in his return to the Steel City. Maholm walked a season-high five batters, one intentional, but gave up only two runs on four hits thanks to the Pirates offensive issues. Maholm ran up his pitch count, in large part to a 35-pitch third inning, and had to leave after throwing 94 pitches, 51 for strikes, in five innings of work.

Casey Coleman and Shawn Camp kept the Pirates off the board in relief of Paul Maholm but the offense could not plate the go ahead run before the Pirates’ pen shut them down.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 16 games under .500 with a 15-31 record …

The Cubs came out swinging, which is the wrong game plan against Kevin Correia, in the first. Correia sat down the Cubs in order to start the game on just 11 pitches, seven for strikes.

Paul Maholm took the hill at PNC for the first time in a home half of an inning. Maholm retired Jose Tabata on a grounder to short then struck out Josh Harrison for the second out. Andrew McCutchen hit a 0-1 pitch back up the middle and against the shift. Castro ranged over and kept the ball in the infield … but did not make a throw. On a 2-2 pitch to Pedro Alvarez, the ball hit the dirt and got away from Blake Lalli. McCutchen ended up at third on a wild pitch. Maholm struck out Alvarez on his 15th pitch of the inning (11 for strikes) for the third out.

Bryan LaHair led off the second with a single to single but was erased when Alfonso Soriano hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Ian Stewart then hit Correia’s first pitch to Matt Hague … inning over. Correia made three outs on just six pitches in the second inning (17 total, 12 for strikes).

Neil Walker led off the second with a single to left center. Matt Hague flied out to center for the first out. On a 0-1 offering to Rod Barajas, Walker broke and slide in safe at second. Maholm ended up losing Barajas and walking him.

With runners on first and second with one out, Clint Barmes launched a 2-1 pitch to deep center. Joe Mather tracked it down for the second out. Walker tagged and advanced to third. Maholm was able to get out of the first and third jam when Correia tapped back to the mound. Maholm threw 35 pitches in first two innings, 20 for strikes.

After Darwin Barney and Blake Lalli went down quickly to start the third, Paul Maholm ripped Correia’s first pitch into the gap in right center. McCutchen cut the ball off and held Maholm to a single. David DeJesus tried to bunt his way on. Correia picked up the ball and threw it into right field. Maholm ended up at third with two outs.

With runners on second and third with two down, Starlin Castro hit a slow roller to third. Pedro Alvarez picked up the ball, threw home and Rod Barajas tagged Maholm, who did not slide, to end the inning.

Paul Maholm hit Jose Tabata to start the bottom of the third … and the inning quickly got away from him. Josh Harrison bunted Tabata to second. Maholm then intentionally walked Andrew McCutchen. When a team’s offense is not scoring, it is always a bad idea to help them out.

Pedro Alvarez ripped a single into right center, Tabata scored and McCutchen ended up at third with one out. Neil Walker hit a deep fly to right, McCutchen scored and gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Maholm then gave up a single to Matt Hague and walked Rod Barajas after being ahead of him 1-2. With the bases loaded and two down, Clint Barmes hit a 3-2 pitch back up the middle that Castro fielded and tossed to Barney to end the inning.

Paul Maholm threw 35 pitches in the third, 17 for strikes, and after three his pitch count stood at 70 (37 for strikes).

The Cubs finally scored a run in the fourth. After Joe Mather and Bryan LaHair made two quick outs, Alfonso Soriano cranked his fifth homer of the season, a solo shot to right center. Ian Stewart walked but Darwin Barney hit a tapper back to Correia to end the inning. Correia completed four innings of work on just 38 pitches, 26 for strikes.

The Pirates went down in order in the fourth on just six pitches. Maholm threw 76 pitches in four innings, 42 for strikes.

It appeared the fifth inning would be over before the Cubs had a chance to catch their breath. Lalli and Maholm went down quickly to start the inning. David DeJesus put together a long at bat that ended with a double down the left field line on a 2-2 pitch. Starlin Castro then showed a little patience and drove a 2-0 pitch to right. DeJesus scored and tied the game at two … and Castro ended up at third with a triple, his first extra basehit since May 17. Joe Mather grounded out to third on Correia’s 57th pitch of the game (38 for strikes) to end the inning.

Maholm struggled with his command again in the fifth. Maholm walked McCutchen on four pitches to start the inning. McCutchen then took off for second on Maholm’s first pitch to Alvarez. McCutchen made it easily and advanced to third when Alvarez grounded out to second.

Dale Sveum brought his infield in with McCutchen at third and one down. Neil Walker hit a pop fly to Lalli on the first pitch for out number two. Maholm issued his fifth walk of the game to Matt Hague but was able to get out of the first and third jam when Barajas flied out to center to end the inning. Maholm threw 94 pitches through five, 51 for strikes, and the Pirates were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position with eight left on base.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth against Kevin Correia.

Casey Coleman replaced Maholm and retired the Pirates in order in the bottom of the sixth.

Darwin Barney flied out to right to start the seventh against Kevin Correia. Blake Lalli stepped in and fell behind 0-2. Lalli ended up working a walk and chasing Correia from the game. Clint Hurdle brought in Tony Watson to face pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas.

Adrian Cardenas pulled Watson’s first pitch into right field. For some reason, Pat Listach waived in Lalli … and he the play was not close. David DeJesus ended up working a two-out walk and Hurdle went back to his pen for Brad Lincoln.

With runners on first and third with two down, Starlin Castro looked at two straight out of the zone before taking a strike. Castro struck out swinging two pitches later to end the inning.

The Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position with six left on base through seven at bats.

Shawn Camp started the seventh by retiring Harrison on a grounder to short. Andrew McCutchen blooped a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. McCutchen stole second but did not advance after Pedro Alvarez popped out to left. Camp intentionally walked Neil Walker. With runners on first and second with two down, Matt Hague hit a 2-0 pitch toward Castro that he gathered and tossed to Barney to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Brad Lincoln in the eighth.

Shawn Camp retired the Pirates in order in the bottom of the eighth … and the game went to the ninth tied at two.

The bottom of the Cubs lineup did nothing against Joel Hanrahan in the top of the ninth.

Rafael Dolis gave up a leadoff single to Jose Tabata then walked Josh Harrison and put the winning run in scoring position. Andrew McCutchen swung at and missed a 2-2 offering from Dolis for the first out. Pedro Alvarez lifted a 1-1 pitch to deep center that Mather caught for the second out. Tabata advanced to third.

On the first pitch to Neil Walker, Josh Harrison took second. Dolis continued to struggle with his command. Dolis fell behind Walker 2-0 before getting one over. Dolis issued his second free pass of the inning to Walker and loaded the bases with two outs.

Rafael Dolis then plunked Matt Hague on a 2-2 offering to force in Jose Tabata with the winning run.

That’s eleven losses in a row …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza is scheduled to face Erik Bedard in the series finale Sunday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • cubtex

    Enough is enough. Blow up this sorry excuse for a mlb team. Joe Mather and Bryan LaHair batting 3 and 4 for a big market team is an embarrasment.

    • Ripsnorter1

      This team is simply the shards of the explosion that Team Theo has already created. There is nothing left to blow up.

      You are supposed to be enjoying this, remember? 

      But this is not, and I repeat, NOT, “losing big on the cheap.” Anybody suggesting that should not be allowed to speak. Throw the First Admendment into the can with the rest of the Constitution.

      What this is, is the future. You are viewing the future of your Chicago Cubs. And it is all so exciting.

  • cubtex

    Here is another concern….Can someone name the last good trade that Theo has consumated? AGon was made with good friend Jed Hoyer so lets not include that deal.

    • Ripsnorter1

      “Great minds think alike.”
      So do small ones. 

      WELL….let’s see…there’s the link to every single one of his transactions while with Boston. You will have to define “good trade.” https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ajfbx29vjFfQdDEzMVVET29UMDRGZTVGc2Vvbjk0Y0E&hl=en_US#gid=0

      Looking over the ledger, he received Saltalamacchia for three teenagers who have yet to pan out, and imo, will never pan out. That was July 2010.

      • cubtex

        The Salty deal was a good one for Theo. Giving up Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone for Victor Martinez was not a good one.

  • jw

    Miss the world series by getting beat in the first round or bombing out in May…. who cares…Cubs get a top pick and lot’s of cash in a couple of years

     2015 is our year!!!! (or 2016,17,18 etc.etc.)

  • matthew8510

    who wants 12 say i

    • Aaron

      I predict 13 losses in a row….just a hunch…i also predict if it reaches that many or even worse, then MAJOR moves will be made such as Rizzo promoted and the likes of Baker, Johnson, Dempster, etc will be dealt.

      • DWalker

         Its not just the team thats hollow, its the cubs system top to bottom. If anyone was buying; johnson, baker, dewitt, sori etc would be gone in a heartbeat. no one right now is desperate enough to want them, and theres a good chance no one is going to want them at the deadline. The handful of good trade pieces they have are the handful the team mostly needs to keep. Not only that, in most cases theres no replacements that are even close to major league ready to bring up. Rizzo is a nice prospect, but he’s it and he is NOT going to solve their problems. yeah, the cubs will clean house on contracts, probably buy out sori and marmol, but theres just not a championship team in the system right now thats going to ride to the rescue. At this point, the top prospect list for the cubs looks pretty disappointing.


        • GaryLeeT

          Could not have said it better myself. The Cub’s system is especially devoid of pitching prospects. That’s why I was disappointed they passed on Darvish. There are no ace type prospects for the foreseeable future, and there is no way to trade for, or attract free agents to a 100+ loss team. This 2-3 year plan is a pipe dream. It’s 4-5 at the very least.

          • Scott

            We don’t know that they “passed” just that they didn’t place the highest bid to be able to negotiate.

          • cubtex

            Darvish could have sped up this process considerably! You could have competed next year with Darvish,Garza and Shark in the rotation.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I understand that Dempster has already sold his house.

        Maybe they will recall Chris Volstad when he is dealt. That would be a major move for this team.

        And things have really sunk to a low point when a major move is defined as dealing away a couple of bench players (Johnson, Baker). Can you imagine the stir that is going to create across MLB? It may even exceed the excitement that was caused by the DeWitt DFAing, and the waving of Wells to send him down to AAA. I wonder just how many reporters across the land are sitting on the very edge of their seats, just awaiting the news.

        You know that your team isn’t very good when that happens.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Did you know….

         that Blake DeWitt is a better hitter than Ian Stewart?And that Stewart is the starting 3B while DeWitt is in AAA Iowa? ….that Mr. Wellington Castillo is not ready defensively to play MLB. He may never be ready. Ever. 

        …that LaHair is hitting .077 over the past 7 days?…that he is hitting just .189 over the past 14 days?

        • paulcatanese

          I finished my ox-tail soup, and I think I made my point, play Campana, at least he sparks interest churning up the basepaths. Play him before he forgets whats between the foul lines:)

  • Joey U

    Dolis needs a oneway ticket to Iowa he cannot throw strikes.Why was Tony not used a pinch runner for Lalli? It almost as they plan to loose with the line up they put on the field day in and day out.It is going to be a long summer on the North side,

  • GO SOX

    Just think if the Cubs won 11 in a row they would be in first place

  • Dnuge

    8 walks tonight , how the hell do you expect to win like that, 5 by our starting pitcher & 2 by the closer, thats just not good enough to win games.  2 guys thrown out at the plate and Lalli wasn’t even close ! Why waste calling up Rizzo, he can’t help the mess the Cubs have now.

    • matthew8510

      i agree let him keep hittin home runs in triple a  just get rid of soriano baker johnson  dempster and garza while they have value  

    • GaryLeeT

      The Cubs are putting guys on base, so why wouldn’t an RBI guy help? He’s more than just help, he’s their only hope. Unless Theo & Jed are satisfied with 15K in the stands, Rizzo should be up sooner rather than later. They will lose 4 times in concession revenue than what they will save in a year’s control of Rizzo. In fact, the last years of player control are arbitration eligible, so the player will get paid the going rate for his performance level anyway. Only long term contracts to young players, assure cost, and player control.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Positives of the 2012 season….

    #1 The worst fielding team in MLB is no longer your Chicago Cubs. SF Giants have stolen that honor with 49 errors in 46 games. Cubs are merely #22 in fielding now.

    • GaryLeeT

       Errors and walks issued were my two worst pet peeves from last year’s team. The more things change……

      • Ripsnorter1

        You would have to bring up BBs, wouldn’t you?  LOL

        We are only #4 in MLB in BBs.

        Take consolation in this, though: we are #2 in the NL to …..San Diego Padres. Cubs pitchers have issued 172 BB this year. 

        Dolis….Marmol….what do they have in common?

        They both walk as many batters as a starting pitcher.Dempster: 15 BB
        Marmol…..16 BB
        Dolis………15 BB

  • Suzy S.

    Waaaaay back in December, I stated that OUR world series this year would be the June draft….The reality of what we knew was coming is really hard to stomach.
    It was the best of times….It IS the worst of times…”This too, shall pass”…Blah, Blah, Blah…

    The first glimmer of insight into team Theo will be the selections beginning June 4th…and even those will take a few years to get a gauge on how we did.

    Any idea of likely candidates for first pick in the 2013/2014/2015 drafts? I think we’re trending there… Sigh

    • CubsTalk

      Suzy S. – Choosing the right player is the same as women choosing the right husband……some women hit it big, some women strike out….it is all about knowing the guy before you take him on…..you can choose Player “Neil”, informative of how the game is played and knows everything in baseball from A thru Z……..or you can pick……Player “Tony”….some pimple face drunken fool who has a big dumb mouth, can’t get to first base and will never be able to score in life…………………Theo and the gang will have to do good here, or their career in baseball is over……we are at the bottom….if you can’t escape the cellar, you are no good to anyone else…….we gave Jim Hendry nine years to give us a championship……we need to give Theo that same amount of time to win…..I expect to see positive results by 2015.

  • CubsTalk

    We will all forget about this season once the Cubs win the World Series.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    I thought the Cubs had a fighting chance until Dolis hit the batter and forced in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. But today is another day and there still is time to forget about losing, regroup, and start winning ball games. Go Cubs Go!