Game Fifty-Four – Cubs 2, Giants 3
WP – Ryan Vogelsong (4-2) LP – Carlos Marmol (0-2) Save – Jeremy Affeldt (1)
The 2012 Chicago Cubs hit a new low on Monday afternoon. Not only did they drop to a season-worst 18 games under .500 but they also lost their 11th straight road game … the Cubs longest road losing streak in a single season since 1954.
Simply said, the Cubs gave another game away. The last two runs the Giants were given on Monday scored without a ball leaving the infield.
Jeff Samardzija struggled for one of the few times this season. Samardzija had no command of his secondary pitches but even with his struggles, Samardzija took a 2-1 lead into the fifth. Samardzija loaded the bases then appeared to get out of the jam. Brandon Crawford hit a 2-2 pitch to Darwin Barney at second. Barney flipped to Starlin Castro for the second out …
Starlin Castro forgot how many outs there were and started jogging off the field as Buster Posey scored the tying run.
There is no excuse whatsoever for a Major League shortstop not knowing how many outs there are in an inning … none. No matter the player’s age or experience, a Major League shortstop must have his head in the game at all time. Dale Sveum voiced his displeasure with Castro after the game. Sveum told the media he would bench Castro if he has another lapse in concentration. Sveum said, “It’s something that’s obviously unacceptable at any time. Whether we could have turned the double play is irrelevant to not knowing how many outs there are in the most important part of the game. These things have to stop happening or we’re just going to stop playing [him]. These kind of things are things my son does in high school — maybe. I can’t take him out. I’ll have a good talking to him. It’s the last straw. If he wants to play, he better start getting his head in the game, period.”
The Giants’ third run scored in the seventh after Carlos Marmol walked Buster Posey, gave up an infield single to Angel Pagan and issued a four-pitch walk to Brandon Belt that loaded the bases with no outs. Joaquin Arias hit into a 6-4-3 double play as Buster Posey scored with the would-be winning run.
Jeff Samardzija barely made it through five innings. Samardzija threw 110 pitches (66 strikes) and tied a season-high with five walks. Samardzija battled on a day he did not have his best stuff and put his team in position to win the game. Samardzija allowed two runs on seven hits with five walks and six strikeouts.
The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent again. The middle of the lineup was 2-for-12 with a run scored, both hits were singles, and Starlin Castro was 0-for-4 with four runners left on base. The only runs scored on hits by Steve Clevenger (1-for-4 with a RBI) and Jeff Samardzija (1-for-2 with a RBI). Darwin Barney was 2-for-4 with a run scored and the Cubs only extra basehit was a double by pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas in the seventh.
While Cubs pitching issued seven walks, the Cubs offense did not manage a single free pass on Monday afternoon.
With Monday’s loss, the Cubs are 18-36 on the season … The Cubs went down in order quickly in the first inning.
Jeff Samardzija retired Nate Schierholtz on a grounder to short to start his outing. Ryan Theriot followed with a single to center and stole second with Melky Cabrera at the plate. Samardzija struck out Cabrera but issued the first of four free passes on the day to Buster Posey. Angel Pagan struck out swinging to end the inning.
Alfonso Soriano flied out to center to start the second. Bryan LaHair blooped a single into left. Ian Stewart struck out swinging. Darwin Barney kept the inning going with a single to left center. LaHair advanced to third and scored when Steve Clevenger ripped a 1-1 pitch from Ryan Vogelsong into center. Barney advanced to third and scored on a single to right center off the bat of Jeff Samardzija. Clevenger held at second with two outs.
Tony Campana lashed a single into left but Clevenger had to hold because Melky Cabrera was playing a shallow left. With the bases loaded and two outs, Starlin Castro hit a 1-2 pitch to the third base side of the mound. Vogelsong picked up the ball and threw Castro out to end the inning.
The Cubs 2-0 lead was short-lived.
Brandon Belt and Joaquin Arias reached on back-to-back singles to start the second. Samardzija jumped ahead of Brandon Crawford 0-2. Crawford pulled Samardzija’s next pitch into the right field corner. Belt scored, 2-1 Cubs. Samardzija struck out Vogelsong for the first out.
With runners on second and third with one out, Schierholtz walked to load the bases.
Samardzija struck out Ryan Theriot swinging and Darwin Barney caught a liner off the bat of Melky Cabrera to end the inning. Samardzija threw 49 pitches in the first two innings, 32 for strikes.
After two, the Cubs had a 2-1 lead.
Other than a one-out single by Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs did nothing in the third.
Samardzija walked Buster Posey to start the third. Angel Pagan flied out to left for the first out. Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch with Belt at the plate that allowed Posey to advance to second. Belt grounded out to second, Posey advanced to third with two down. Starlin Castro snagged a blooper to center off the bat of Arias to end the inning … 69 pitches for Samardzija after three, 42 for strikes.
Darwin Barney led off the fourth with a single to center, the Cubs’ seventh hit of the game. Clevenger flied out to deep center and Samardzija popped up a bunt that Belt let fall. Barney was forced at second, Samardzija reached first but was stranded when Campana lined out to left.
Samardzija was able to dodge more problems in the fourth. Samardzija retired Crawford and Vogelsong to start the inning before giving up back-to-back singles to Schierholtz and Theriot. Melky Cabrera grounded out to second on Samardzija’s 82nd pitch of the game (51 strikes).
The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.
Jeff Samardzija walked Posey to start the Giants’ fifth. Pagan followed with a single to right. Posey held at second with no outs. Samardzija then issued his fifth walk of the game. Belt walked to load the bases with no outs. Joaquin Arias lined out to second for the first out.
Brandon Crawford hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and right to Darwin Barney. Barney flipped to Castro and he made zero attempt to make a throw to first. Castro started running off the field. Posey scored and tied the game at two. Samardzija struck out Vogelsong looking to end the inning … and his day.
The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.
Casey Coleman sat down the Giants in order in the bottom of the sixth.
After Steve Clevenger flied out to left to start the seventh, Adrian Cardenas hit for Coleman and doubled to right … all five of Cardenas’ big league hits are doubles (5-for-27). Campana grounded out to second, Cardenas advanced to third but Castro hit a one-hop smash to Theriot that he knocked down and threw to first to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol took over in the seventh and walked Posey to start the inning. Angel Pagan hit a bullet back up the middle and off of Marmol’s hip. Pagan reached on the infield single. Marmol could not throw a strike to Belt and walked him on four pitches to load the bases with no outs. Arias hit a 1-1 pitch to Castro. The Cubs turned a 6-4-3 double play as Posey scored the go ahead run.
Dale Sveum brought in James Russell to face Brandon Crawford with Pagan on third and two outs. Crawford struck out swinging to end the inning.
After seven, the Cubs trailed 3-2.
The Cubs did nothing against Jeremy Affeldt in the eighth.
James Russell started the eighth and retired Affeldt and Schierholtz. Sveum went to his pen for the newest Cub, Jairo Asencio. Ryan Theriot grounded out to third (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing in the ninth … game over, series over.
The Cubs open a three-game series in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Ryan Dempster faces Yovani Gallardo in game one.
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