Shelled, Shutout and Swept – Cubs 0, White Sox 6

Game Forty-One – Cubs 0, White Sox 6
WP – Jake Peavy (5-1) LP – Paul Maholm (4-3) Save – None

On a day with the wind howling out, the Cubs offense could not get the ball past the mound and were shutout for the first time this season while the White Sox continued playing pepper with the bleachers at the old ballyard … and with Waveland Avenue. The White Sox completed only their second series sweep at Wrigley Field since Interleague play began (June 11-June 13, 1999) with a commanding victory over Paul Maholm and the Cubs.

Paul Maholm had a quality start after six innings. Maholm made only three mistakes in the first six innings but all three left the yard. Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn and Tyler Flowers crushed three pitches off Maholm that accounted for all three of the runs that Maholm allowed through the first six frames. Dale Sveum left Maholm in to start the seventh and the Sox tacked on two more to Maholm’s final line.

Maholm ended up allowing five runs on nine hits (three home runs) without a walk and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Maholm threw 97 pitches, 67 for strikes, and did what he could to keep his team in the game on a hitter’s day at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs offense was beyond pathetic Sunday afternoon. They had a good game plan early against Jake Peavy and made him work but when the Cubs made contact they could not get the ball out of the infield. Seven of the first 10 batters on Sunday afternoon did not hit the ball past Jake Peavy and only three of the first 16 batters hit the ball out of the infield. Of the first 21 batters that Jake Peavy faced, only four balls made it out of the infield.

The Cubs managed only five hits, all singles and a double by Joe Mather in the ninth, and finished the game 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. The Cubs loaded the bases twice on Sunday and could not drive in a single run. One of the keys, Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair are not getting much to hit. While Castro (1-for-4 with two strikeouts) tallied one of the Cubs’ five hits he is expanding his strike zone, Bryan LaHair (1-for-2 with two walks) walked twice in four plate appearances.

With Sunday’s loss (4-3 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs dropped to 11 games under the breakeven point with a 15-26 record … and finished the homestand a big 0 and 5.

Paul Maholm did a good job in the first of mixing his pitches and keeping the ball down. Maholm retired the Sox in order on 15 pitches, nine for strikes, with two ground outs to short and a strikeout of Adam Dunn (3-2 pitch).

The Cubs did nothing in the first but at least made Jake Peavy work a little. Peavy threw 15 pitches in the first, nine for strikes.

Maholm retired Dayan Viciedo on a grounder to short to start the second. Alexei Ramirez stuck out swinging on an excellent 2-2 curve. Kosuke Fukudome made his first at bat of the series and hit a sky-high chopper off the plate on Maholm’s first pitch. Maholm fielded the ball, rushed his throw and the ball ended up down the right field line. Fukudome ended up at second with two outs. Tyler Flowers popped a 1-1 pitch into shallow right that Adrian Cardenas caught to end the inning. Maholm threw 31 pitches, 19 for strikes, in the first two innings.

Bryan LaHair led off the second with his first hit of the homestand. Alfonso Soriano followed with a long, nine-pitch at bat. Peavy jammed Soriano on a 3-2 pitch, the bat shattered and Peavy fielded the ball on the first base side of the mound. LaHair slid in safe at second as Soriano jogged to first. Ian Stewart hit a comebacker on a 1-2 pitch, LaHair misread the ball and was caught in a run down for the second out. With Stewart at first, Adrian Cardenas hit a routine grounder up the middle that Beckham flipped to Ramirez to end the inning. Peavy tossed 34 pitches, 25 for strikes, over two innings.

The Sox went down in order in the third. Maholm threw 10 pitches, eight for strikes, and struck out two batters (41 pitches through three, 27 for strikes).

The Cubs did nothing in the third. After good at bats early, Peavy started carving up Cubs’ hitters in the third. After three, Peavy’s pitch count was at 41, 30 for strikes.

Gordon Beckham launched Maholm’s first pitch of the fourth onto Waveland … and just like that the White Sox took a commanding 1-0 lead. Adam Dunn followed and lifted a 2-2 pitch deep into the bleachers in left center. After the two solo bombs, Maholm settled down and retired Viciedo (popped out to center), Ramirez (struck out looking) and Fukudome (tapped out to third base side of plate) to end the inning … 60 pitches for Maholm after four, 40 for strikes.

After Tony Campana popped out to short (2-1 pitch) to start the Cubs’ fourth, Starlin Castro finally got the ball out of the infield with a single to right center. Bryan LaHair walked on four pitches but Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging on three pitches. Ian Stewart showed patience and walked to load the bases with two outs. Adrian Cardenas could not get the job done and popped out to short (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Peavy threw 30 pitches in the fourth and for the afternoon his pitch count stood at 71, 47 for strikes.

The Cubs were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four on base in the first four innings.

Tyler Flowers led off the fifth and crushed Maholm’s 1-2 mistake. The ball ended up on Waveland and the Sox third solo homer of the game gave the Sox a 3-0 lead … the third homer surrendered by Maholm in a six-batter stretch.

Maholm settled down and retired Brent Lillibridge on a grounder to short and Peavy on a liner to second. Alejandro De Aza reached on a two-out single to center but Gordon Beckham popped a 2-1 pitch up to Ian Stewart to end the inning.

After four and a half, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … and other than a one-out single by Dayan Viciedo the Sox did nothing against Maholm in the sixth. Maholm threw 87 pitches in six innings, 59 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth … 94 pitches for Peavy after six, 66 for strikes and only four balls hit out of the infield.

The Sox separated in the seventh and turned a commanding 3-0 lead into an insurmountable five-run advantage. Tyler Flowers led off the inning with a double off the base of the vines in right (0-2 pitch). Brent Lillibridge followed with a single to right (1-2 pitch). With runners on first and third and no out, Jake Peavy hit Maholm’s first pitch to the hole at short. Starlin Castro made a tremendous play, fielded the ball and threw to second to force Lillibridge as Flowers scored. Cardenas could not get the ball out of his glove and Peavy reached. De Aza ripped a 1-0 pitch into right center. Peavy ended up at third and Dale Sveum emerged from the Cubs’ dugout.

Shawn Camp took over. Gordon Beckham lifted Camp’s first pitch into right. DeJesus caught the ball but Peavy tagged and scored the Sox fifth run. After Adam Dunn walked on four pitches, Viciedo flied out to left to end the inning.

After six and a half, the Cubs trailed 5-0.

Alfonso Soriano led off the seventh with a single to left center off Jake Peavy. After Ian Stewart flied out to right (0-2 pitch), Robin Ventura went to his pen for Matt Thornton to face Adrian Cardenas. Dale Sveum countered with Darwin Barney … who flied out to deep center for the second out. Koyie Hill singled to left center and Sveum went to his bench for a pinch hitter. Jeff Baker hit for Shawn Camp and grounded out weakly to second to end the inning.

Casey Coleman took over in the eighth and sat down the Sox in order.

After a long at bat by David DeJesus that resulted in a swinging strikeout on a 3-2 pitch to start the eighth, Matt Thornton walked Tony Campana. Ventura made his way to the mound and brought in Jesse Crain to face Starlin Castro. Campana took second on the first pitch to Castro. Castro expanded his strike zone and struck out swinging for the second out. Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano worked back-to-back walks to load the bases … but Ian Stewart could not check his swing and was called out on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Rafael Dolis walked Brent Lillibridge on four pitches to start the ninth. Lillibridge then scored all the way from first on what was ruled as a double to left by pinch-hitter Alex Rios … Soriano’s knee played the ball into a double and a run. De Aza lined out to left, Beckham grounded out to short and Dunn was ruled to have swung on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the ninth trailing 6-0.

Other than a two-out double by Joe Mather, the bottom of the Cubs’ lineup did nothing against Addison Reed in the ninth … game over, series over and homestand over.

Regardless of what happens during the three-game series on the South Side in June, the Sox can do no worse than finish with a tie in the season series against the Cubs … so the BP Cup will remain on the South Side for another year.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs begin a six game road trip Monday night with the first of three in Houston … Matt Garza against Bud Norris in game one.

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  • Ken

    Sad team

  • WidespreadHisPanic

    Really?

    Shut out?

    I came here first to check today’s score n our guys laid an egg?

    Weak.

  • cubtex

    Sveum says he will probably shake up the lineup against the Astros naming 1,2,3 spots. They have struggled all year to score runs. If it took a shutout to finally make a change…..I wish the would have been shutout a month ago.

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to the Tennessee Smokies and the Peoria Chiefs. Each recorded their 20th win of the season today.

    • cubtex

      How did McNutt look?

      • Tom U

        McNutt 5 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 76 pitches

        • cubtex

          thanks Tom!

  • paulcatanese

    Not much to comment on Neil, losing to the White Sox is the low point of the year for me. Three in a row, wow.
    Then again Sveum indicated he is considering a lineup change, foremost with the front three and Castro out of the three spot. Don’t blame him there, Castro for sure has to be frustrating for Sveum.

    I like the thought of bringing Rizzo up to play, and if he is brought up it will be for just that, to play.

    LaHair seems to be struggling and a change may be good. If nothing else he can go to left and give Soriono a chance to heal, would be easy to platoon them out there.

    I’m not upset with the team at all, have seen many over the years like this one, but with one difference, they are trying to rebuild,but many lineups like yesterday and I could change my mind, that achomplished nothing, a wasted game.

    • cubtex

      The big question is who do you move in the 3 spot?

      • paulcatanese

        Boy is that the big question,I agree. With what the Cubs have, I probably move DeJesus to three and
        (even though I would like to see Campana lead off)
        I would put Castro in the number one spot, there he can do what he wants or does best hit. I wouldnt look for him to take many walks.
        Lets face it the Cubs don’t have all that many options.
        Rizzo comes up, that question is answered. Castro number one, DeJesus number two and Rizzo three followed by LaHair in left(platooned with Soriono),
        Mather and Stewart platooned for number 5,Barney number 6, followed by Campana number 7 and Hill(ugh) number 8. Its a total toss-up with what is there.
        I am glad I don’t have to make that decision, just sit and complain when it dosen’t work.

        • John_CC

          It’s a tough lineup card to fill out for sure.

          Campana is obviously the ideal leadoff man. Then you have Castro and DeJesus, both need to be hitting near the top but neither are ideal 3 hitters. I’d consider LaHair in the 3 hole and Soriano cleanup, but that is flawed for obvious reasons.

          So maybe you’re close Paul.

          Campana
          Castro
          DeJesus
          LaHair
          Soriano

          It really isn’t that different. But I think Castro is better placed in the 2 hole.

          It certainly will be nice when Rizzo makes it up. Till then, eh…it is what it is.

        • cubtex

          I agree. I would bat Castro leadoff. He seems very comfortable there and seems like he relishes that spot. He is also a basestealing threat. DeJesus has never been a big RBI guy so the #3 spot should not even be considered.  I would go Castro DeJesus 1-2 and ? #3.

          • paulcatanese

            On second thought, Castro 1 and DeJesus 2 is not a bad choice. Since I don’t think Sveum would entertain Campana in the leadoff spot he should be moved down in the order nomatter what. He(Campana) is totaly wasted in the 2 spot as long as Castro is hitting behind him.
            DeJesus was brought to the Cubs as the leadoff man and it will be tough to move him out of there, I would suspect the furthest he would be moved would be to the 2 spot.
            That leaves Campana as odd man out, but he has performed in the 8 spot.
            The Cubs do not really have a three hitter, and until Rizzo is brought up,
            (and I suspect he will when Soriono is put on the DL) he will(Rizzo) have to survive in the 3 spot.
            Unlike last year when Quade was manager, Sveum will not hesitate to put Rizzo number 3 and not in the 7 or 8 spot in the lineup.

          • SuzyS

            Paul, Hoyer has already seen Rizzo rake in the minors and fail in the majors.
            It would not surprise me at all to see Rizzo start off in the 7 or 8 hole in order to keep the pressure at a minimum…to begin with.

          • paulcatanese

            You are probably right, but I would have hoped he could step into the 3 spot,it didn’t seem to help last year when players were brought up to put them on the 7-8 spot.
            But then that was last year and everyone knows how much of a chance new players got.

          • John_CC

             DeJesus had 70+ RBI in back to back seasons, 2008-2009 I think. In 2010 he actually hit in the 3 hole in 56 games. He missed the second half with an injury. He hit .358/.418/.437 in that spot. I’m not saying it’s ideal, but he has done it and has a much better hitting approach than Castro.

            Otherwise LaHair is the 3 hitter. Then cleanup is either Soriano or Stewart.

            It’s just a bad situation. Not good.

          • paulcatanese

            That would have been my choice, I think he can handle the 3 spot, but he was brought in to hit leadoff, again he could help more than Castro has there.

  • CubsTalk

    16 of the next 19 games for the Cubs are on the road…..

    Theo said it will be a rebuilding year….I think many of you naive Cubs fans expected a playoff run this year….. silly you…..

    Expect 2013 and part of 2014 also to be rebuilding years……no major free agent is on the horizon ……..and none of this Josh Hamilton talk of him being a Cub….they guy can’t have no more than $20 in his pocket and his father in law has to walk with him everywhere he goes…….Reformed Drug Addicts cannot be trusted…..

    ..whatever happen to Cuban prospect Jorge Soler?……is he still finding a house in D.R. ?….or maybe Soler is not his real name!

    Buyer Beware on Soler……

    what is a good Cubs lineup?……what we have is bad lineup in anyway we place players at………

    I said two weeks ago that Theo should trade LaHair for top notch prospects…….Lahair will finsih the year hitting around 260 avg…..

    Are the Cubs going to wait for Dempster and Garza to
    hit the DL ?……we will get less for Garza if we trade him in the off season…..

    Many of you have watched Robin Ventura out managed Dale Sveum this past weekend……Astros, Pirates and Padres are next for the Cubs…..can’t beat these guys, start asking your buddies how soon Bears season begins.

  • cubtex

    Lance Berkman is considering retirement due to his recent knee injury. Maybe this is the time to deal LaHair to them and bring up Rizzo. That would solve the #3 spot :)

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You should look up Matt Adams.

      • cubtex

        I did. Never mind on the LaHair talk :) Adams is raking in the minors!

      • cubtex

        Not a bad 23rd round draft pick by those Cardinals huh?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Not at all …

    • SuzyS

       Cubtex, Re trading LaHair…I don’t think the Cubs would get much for a 29 yo rookie…that’s defensively challenged.
      The Cubs may get more value for him by moving him to LF.
      I see Soriano either hitting the DL for extensive stay or being DFA’d at some point this year…regardless of contract.

      I don’t understand your statement…”I think many of you naive Cubs fans expected a playoff run this year…silly you.”
      I don’t know ANY TRUE Cubs fans that expected much more than what we are seeing…a really bad team

      • Tony_Hall

        The naive Cubs fan line was by Cubstalk who is off base on most of his comments.  I actually believe he is Anthony part 2.

        • CubsTalk

           TH = Frustrated Bleacher Bum

  • cubtex

    I mentioned earlier how our LH hitters struggle against LHP. Take a look at these numbers!

    DeJesus-   .143 Avg vs LHP

    LaHair-      .100 Avg vs LHP

    I Stewart   .174 Avg vs LHP

    Ouch!!!!!!

  • JimBo_C

    We might see DeJesus in CF and LaHair in RF when Rizzo gets called up. 

  • Kenandcola

    6+ innings and 5 earned runs, not good

  • Aaron

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone on here….11 games under .500 and counting. It’s going to get worse, and the sad thing is, it’s probably dawning on every Cubs fan right now, that it could be 2-3 years before they’re even remotely competitive.

    Consider this fact…Outside of Garza and Samardzija….who you got in the rotation? Yes, there’s is PLENTY of depth with 4’s and 5’s in the organization, but when the Cubs cut ties with Dempster, which seems like a given with his past 2 starts, then who is your #3?!?

    Who is your starting 2B for the future? Who is your starting 3B for the future? Who is your starting LF/RF of the future?

    Here is about the only guys I would pencil in moving forward:

    STARTERS:
    Garza
    Samardzija

    PEN:
    Dolis
    Russell

    C:
    Castillo
    Clevenger

    1B:
    Rizzo
    *LaHair (who would move to LF/RF for 1-2 yrs, then be out of the organization when someone else is ready)

    SS:
    Castro

    CF:
    B. Jackson

    The Cubs sure as hell better hope (there’s that word again) that guys like Szczur, Lake, and Vitters develop into starting caliber players. They also better hope that guys like Vogelbach, Baez, Dunston Jr., etc. develop quicker than expected, otherwise, they’re absolutely screwed even 2-3 years from now. They’ve already made it abundantly clear that they won’t be going after high priced free agents, which means all they’ll go after are guys like Baker, Johnson, etc. to fill holes. And don’t get me wrong…I’d rather lose with a bunch of rookies than veterans that just don’t fit, but this is about to get really ugly.

    If they had some decent arms coming through the system, I’d say there’s absolutely no way that guys like Volstad, T. Wood, Jay Jackson, Wells, Coleman, Rodrigo Lopez, etc. would even be in the picture next year, but there just aren’t enough decent arms to go around.

    They need some power arms in the system like yesterday, and they keep signing soft-tossers like Robertson, Lopez, etc. It’s a bit concerning to me, and even Sveum voiced his concern over it.

    I’d like to say that even losing might help them out for the future, but the more I think about the new CBA with the draft slotting and penalties, the more I realize that it almost completely levels the playing field. 

    • cubtex

      Agree 100%