No Cain Do – Cubs 1, Giants 2

Game Fifty-Two – Cubs 1, Giants 2
WP – Matt Cain (6-2) LP – Matt Garza (2-4) Save – Sergio Romo (1)

Matt Cain’s dominance over the Chicago Cubs continued Saturday night. The Cubs only run came on a solo homer by David DeJesus (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) in the fourth inning. Sveum’s offense managed five hits, only two left the infield. Cain struck out seven, issued two free passes and retired seven of the last eight batters he faced.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double) recorded the Cubs other extra basehit. Tony Campana (2-for-4) reached twice, was thrown out at second, stole second and swiped third on the front end of a double steal in the sixth. Bryan LaHair (1-for-3) managed the Cubs other hit and Starlin Castro (0-for-3 with a walk) worked his sixth free pass of the season in the ninth.

The Cubs have not beaten Matt Cain since July 18, 2007.

Matt Garza put together his best outing in a month but ended up on the losing end of a one-run game. The Cubs defense, or lack thereof, really cost Garza on Saturday night. The Cubs were only charged with one error but missed plays by Alfonso Soriano, Joe Mather and Starlin Castro ran up his pitch count and gave the Giants four extra outs over his six innings of work. Garza took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth but misplayed balls by Soriano and Mather helped load the bases. Garza then did not get the call on a 3-2 offering to Aubrey Huff. Matt Garza walked in the tying run and the Giants took a lead on a 6-4 fielder’s choice.

Matt Garza allowed two runs on five hits with one big walk, a hit by pitch and six strikeouts in six innings. Garza threw 103 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Shawn Camp pitched a scoreless seventh and Carlos Marmol was sharp in the eighth again. Marmol retired all three batters he faced with a strikeout on 15 pitches, nine for strikes.

The Cubs have lost their last nine road games and have not posted a win outside of Wrigley since May 14 in St. Louis.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 18-34 on the season …

The Cubs did nothing against Matt Cain in the first. Tony Campana and Starlin Castro both worked full counts and Cain threw 16 pitches in the opening frame, nine for strikes.

The Cubs defense set a bad tone to start the game. After Gregor Blanco grounded out to third to start the inning, Ryan Theriot hit a 2-2 pitch toward third. Joe Mather fielded the ball but his throw pulled LaHair off the bag … E5. Garza fell behind Cabrera 2-0 before the Giants’ left fielder hit a tailor made double play ball to second. Barney fielded, flipped to Castro to force Theriot but Castro bobbled the ball and could not complete the double play.

Buster Posey singled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Garza continued to labor and on his 25th pitch of the inning, Angel Pagan struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning. The Cubs defense cost Garza 13 pitches in the first inning.

Alfonso Soriano bounced out to Cain to start the second. Bryan LaHair then beat the shift and hit a 1-0 pitch to the hole at short. LaHair reached on the infield single. Dale Sveum called a hit and run on a 1-1 offering to Steve Clevenger. Clevenger lined Cain’s pitch to third and LaHair was easily doubled off first to end the inning. Cain required only 22 pitches, 13 for strikes, to get through two innings.

Matt Garza retired Aubrey Huff (grounded out to second) and Joaquin Arias (grounded out to short) quickly to start the second. Garza jumped ahead of Brandon Crawford 1-2 before hitting the Giants’ shortstop on the foot. Garza had to face Cain and struck him out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. Garza threw 39 pitches in two innings, 24 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third.

Matt Garza retired the Giants in order in the third … and after three his pitch count stood at 50, 29 for strikes.

Tony Campana led off the fourth with the Cubs’ second hit of the game, a bunt single to third … replays showed Campana was out. After a couple of pickoff attempts, Tony Campana took off for second on Cain’s first pitch to Castro. Buster Posey threw a strike and nailed Campana at second. Starlin Castro struck out swinging for the second out.

David DeJesus stepped in and cranked a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right center. DeJesus’ second homer (second of the year allowed by Matt Cain) gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Alfonso Soriano crushed a 1-1 offering from Cain off the base of the wall in right center. Soriano hobbled into second with a double on what would’ve been a homer in any other park. LaHair struck out swinging to end the inning. Cain threw 49 pitches through four, 32 for strikes.

Matt Garza sat down the Giants in order in the fourth (62 pitches for Garza, 36 for strikes).

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … 1-2-3 for Cain (64 pitches, 41 for strikes).

Garza retired Arias on a grounder to second to start the fifth. Brandon Crawford then reached on a bloop double to left center. The ball tailed away from Campana but was ruled a double. Garza struck out Cain swinging before jumping ahead of Gregor Blanco 0-2. Garza struck out Blanco swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning … 75 pitches for Garza after five, 46 for strikes.

After Garza struck out swinging to start the sixth, Tony Campana reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Starlin Castro popped out to his old buddy Ryan Theriot for the second out. Cain jumped ahead of DeJesus 0-2 before eventually walking him … Cubs first free pass of the series.

On the first pitch to Soriano, Campana and DeJesus pulled off a double steal. With runners on second and third with two down, Alfonso Soriano popped out to first to end the inning.

The Cubs defense failed to backup Matt Garza again in the bottom of the sixth. Two misplayed balls led to runs for the Giants.

Ryan Theriot led off the sixth with a single to right (2-1 pitch), just the Giants third hit of the game. Melky Cabrera followed with a single to center. Alfonso Soriano misplayed the ball, broke back initially and the ball fell in front of him. Buster Posey popped out to center on Garza’s first pitch. With runners on first and second with one out, Angel Pagan dribbled a ball toward Mather (swinging bunt). Mather had trouble getting a grip on the ball and Pagan beat the throw to first to load the bases.

Aubrey Huff stepped in and took a very close 3-2 offering from Garza for ball four. Huff trotted down to first as Theriot scored the tying run. Matt Garza was furious at what he felt was a missed call.

With the game tied at one and the bases still loaded with one out, Joaquin Arias hit a grounder to the hole at short. Castro flipped to Barney to force Huff but there was not time to double up Arias. Cabrera scored and the Giants took a 2-1 lead. Garza struck out Brandon Crawford swinging on his 103rd pitch of the night.

At the end of six, the Cubs trailed 2-1.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh. Cain retired the Cubs on just seven pitches (94, 58 for strikes).

Shawn Camp took over in the seventh. Matt Cain singled to left on a 2-2 pitch to start the inning. Gregor Blanco rapped into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. With Blanco running on a 0-2 pitch, Theriot grounded out to second. Blanco ended up at second and Cabrera flied out to left center to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol retired the Giants in order in the bottom of the eighth.

The Cubs went to the ninth trailing 2-1.

Matt Cain started the ninth with a one run lead after throwing 110 pitches in the first eight innings. Cain walked a patient Starlin Castro and Bruce Bochy went to his pen for Javier Lopez.

David DeJesus grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Bochy brought in Sergio Romo to face Alfonso Soriano … and Soriano grounded out to short to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Barry Zito in game three on Sunday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Chadaudio

    Good summary Neil.

    It explained a lot of the defensive mishaps I missed other wise (FOX aired the Reds game in my area instead of the Cubs game).


  • Wes Renne

    Im guessing alot of scouts on hand to watch Garz…good to see him pitch well…then again it was the Giants

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wood today…..

    You know this for certain: the SF Giants offense absolutely stinks. They have hit only six–count ’em!–6 lousy HRs at home this year! 
    Pathetic offense indeed! That ought to help Mr. Travis Wood, who is very prone to the gopher ball. He’s given up 6 taters in 16 IP.

    On the other hand, Mr. Wood has not had success vs the SF Giants in his career. He is 0-1 in two career starts against the Giants, both with Cincinnati, in which he allowed nine runs, 18 hits and five walks over 12 innings.  As a  Cub, he’s walked 8 in 16 IP, so his control hasn’t been stellar.

    Zito can beat the Cubs, and I fear, will do it today.

    • Tony_Hall

      Weren’t 4 of them with the wind gusting out?  Stats are great, but don’t always tell the whole story.

      • cubtex

        Here here Tony :) Stats definately are misleading at times

        • Tony_Hall

          The best view of a player is a mix of their stats and actually watching the player.  

          Stats help you break down what you see.

          • Ripsnorter1

            How about the SF Giants only having 6 taters at home? Wasn’t that with the wind blowing in? Stats don’t always tell the whole tale…..

            Except of course in this regard: they only have 6 Home runs at home, wind blowing in, out or sideways.

          • Tony_Hall

            I was talking about T Wood, could care less about SF issues.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I understood you.

            My point is this:
            the facts are the facts. The fact is…he gave up six HRs in 16 IP, wind blowing whichever way it was. And of course, he is matched against a team that is pretty close to being powerless at home, with only 6 HRs. 

  • paulcatanese

    I like Mather, but maybe third base isn’t his best option, or at least he needs more time over there.
    A big man, seems as though he is tied up on certain plays,bunts, to his right, maybe he just seems to have trouble unwinding for a throw.

    And Baez, I think he is building a reputation. I’ll leave it go at that.

  • Kvchrisman

    I keep hearing Cubs need pitching, I agree, but we need hitters that can hit with people on base.

    • CubsTalk

      Most of our position players would be bench players for other teams…..pitching is 80% of the game…..and who doesn’t want a clutch hitter on their team…….great pitchers get clutch hitters out most of the time…..or play the percentage and walk them to get the next batter out.

  • CubsTalk

    What the Cubs need to win….

    A # 1 Ace Starter…..
    A lead off hitter with speed…
    A catcher who can throw out base runners…
    A team leader…..
    Players who can perform and execute the fundamentals of baseball.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You forgot to mention: 

      an entirely new bullpen. 

  • CubsTalk

    The guys on the SCORE said this morning that every player on the Cubs should be on the trade table……we are looking at two more bad years….why sign Garza for a long term contract or Dempster?….lets wait on Castro in his final year before F/A to sign him…..can’t build a Temple overnight.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Cub offense and defense is a problem. I agree the Cubs need a good starting pitcher with some excellent offense to back it up. And where are the relief pitchers and pitch hitters when you need them? May be these are the signs of rebuilding the team.

  • Agustinrexach

    Absolutely the best Title ever!!!

    • Neil

      Good to hear from you, thanks man.