Another Bleepin’ One-Run Loss – Cubs 3, Red Sox 4

Game Sixty-Five – Cubs 3, Red Sox 4
WP – Jon Lester (4-4) LP – Jeff Samardzija (5-5) Save – Alfredo Aceves (16)

Another day and another one-run loss for the Chicago Cubs … 24 of the Cubs 65 games have been decided by a single tally and the Cubs are 7-17 (1-13 in last 14) in those games. The Cubs had the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth after Steve Clevenger led off the inning with a pinch-hit single. Bryan LaHair hit for Manny Corpas and struck out swinging on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) grounded into an around the horn double play to end the game.

While Jeff Samardzija had another rough outing, the Cubs offense was non-existent until the seventh inning. The entire team walked to the plate swinging against Jon Lester for six innings, the Cubs ended up striking out 11 times on Saturday night. Lester threw only 58 pitches (42 strikes) through five innings, 74 (51 strikes) through six and not a single baserunner advanced past first base until the sixth inning.

Jeff Baker (2-for-3 with a double) led off the seventh with a double and Welington Castillo put together an excellent nine-pitch at bat that ended with the Cubs first (and only) walk of the game. Luis Valbuena (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) made it a one-run game with his first homer in a Cubs’ uniform. Valbuena launched a 1-0 pitch from Lester deep into the bleachers in left center and cut the Sox lead to 4-3 … but Valbuena’s first big league homer since August 23, 2010 would end up being the only runs of the night for the Cubs.

The Cubs managed eight hits, one walk Saturday night … and were only 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four on base.

Jeff Samardzija labored through 5 1/3 innings and took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts on 108 pitches, 67 for strikes. Samardzija struggled with his command and pitched from behind too much of the night. After serving up a two-run shot to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fourth, Samardzija struck out the next five batters he faced. Samardzija ran out of gas in the sixth and walked the last two batters he faced to end his night.

Randy Wells (one run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings, 29 pitches, 15 strikes) could not keep the Red Sox off the board. Wells allowed an inherited run to score in the sixth then gave up a RBI single to Scott Podsednik in the seventh that gave Boston a 4-0 lead. Podsednik’s RBI single ended up being the difference in the game.

Manny Corpas tossed two innings of scoreless ball and gave his team a chance. Corpas allowed a hit, a walk, hit a batter and struck out a batter.

The Cubs dropped to 3-14 in games started by southpaws this season and are 22-43 on the year …

Jeff Samardzija struggled in the first inning with his command after retiring Scott Podsednik (foul out to third, 2-2 pitch) and Dustin Pedroia (ground out to short, 3-2 pitch) to start the inning. Samardzija walked David Ortiz then fell behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2-0. Saltalamacchia launched Samardzija’s next pitch into right center. The ball hit off the top of the ivy. Reed Johnson threw to Starlin Castro who made a perfect relay to Welington Castillo to cut down Ortiz at the plate to end the inning.

Samardzija escaped a jam in the first after throwing 22 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Reed Johnson led off the Cubs’ first with a single to right center. Darwin Barney hit a grounder to Middlebrooks at third that should have been an around the horn double play. Middlebrooks had problems getting the ball out of his glove and had to settle for one. With Reed Johnson at second, Starlin Castro squared up a 1-0 pitch and ripped it back up the middle. Dustin Pedroia dove toward the middle and snared the liner … then touched second to double off Johnson to end the inning.

Lester faced the minimum on just seven pitches, four strikes.

Samardzija set down the Red Sox in order in the second (38, 22 strikes).

After Soriano grounded out to short to start the second inning, Jeff Baker reached on an infield single off Jon Lester’s glove. Middlebrooks picked up the ball but he did not have a play. Joe Mather struck out swinging and Welington Castillo lined out to short to end the inning. Lester threw only 19 pitches, 13 strikes, in the first two innings.

Jeff Samardzija continued having problems putting hitters away in the third. Mike Aviles grounded out to second (1-1 pitch) and Lester tapped back to the mound for the first two outs. Samardzija jumped ahead of Podsednik 0-2 before the former Brewer and Southsider worked the count back to full. Podsednik lined a single to center on Samardzija’s next pitch. Dustin Pedroia put together another long at bat than ran up Samardzija’s pitch count. Pedroia grounded out to second to end the inning on Samardzija’s 58th pitch (36 strikes) of the game.

The Cubs did nothing in the third … 29 pitches for Lester after three, 20 strikes.

Jeff Samardzija struggled to start the fourth … and it cost him. David Ortiz turned on a 96 MPH fastball (1-0 pitch) and drove it into the right field corner for a double. Samardzija then left a splitter out over the plate on a 1-2 pitch to Jarrod Saltalamacchia that he deposited into the right field bleachers … and just like that the Red Sox were up 2-0. To Samardzija’s credit he settled down and struck out Will Middlebrooks (2-2 pitch), Adrian Gonzalez (1-2 pitch) and Ryan Sweeney (1-2 pitch) to end the inning … 79 pitches for Samardzija, 50 for strikes, after four innings.

Jon Lester faced the minimum in the fourth on eight pitches, seven strikes. Darwin Barney looked at strike three, Starlin Castro reached on a throwing error by Middlebrooks but he tried to steal second and Saltalamacchia threw him out. Alfonso Soriano grounded out to third (0-1 pitch) to end the inning.

After four, the Cubs trailed 2-0.

Jeff Samardzija retired the Sox in order in the fifth with two more strikeouts to start the inning … but he threw 95 pitches in the first five innings, 63 for strikes.

Lester struck out Baker and Mather swinging to start the fifth. Welington Castillo reached on a bloop single to right (1-2 pitch) then Valbuena completed the trifecta by swinging and missing at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning … 58 pitches for Lester after five, 42 strikes.

The Red Sox knocked Samardzija out of the game in the sixth … and put Saturday’s contest out of reach.

After Dustin Pedroia grounded out to second to start the inning, Samardzija issued back-to-back walks to Ortiz and Saltalamacchia to end his night. Dale Sveum replaced Samardzija with Randy Wells and brought in David DeJesus (RF), moved Johnson to center and took Joe Mather out of the game on a double-switch.

Randy Wells served up a 1-0 pitch to Will Middlebrooks that he deposited into center for a single. Ortiz scored the third run as Johnson threw to third. Valbuena caught the ball and tagged Saltalamacchia for the second out. Wells then issued a four-pitch walk to Adrian Gonzalez. With runners on first and second with two outs, Ryan Sweeney grounded out to short to end the inning.

David DeJesus struck out swinging to start the sixth (3-2 pitch) and Reed Johnson grounded out to second (1-0). With the bases empty and two down, Darwin Barney reached on an infield single to third. Starlin Castro then was credited with a single when Middlebrooks misplayed a smash into a hit. Barney stopped at second … the first runner the Cubs had in scoring position on the night.

Alfonso Soriano hit a liner toward third that Middlebrooks dropped and recovered in time to throw out Soriano to end the inning. Soriano did not run out of the box and heard it from the crowd.

The Red Sox tacked on in the seventh as Randy Wells continued to struggle. Mike Aviles ripped a 2-2 pitch into right for a double. Lester struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) for the first out. Scott Podsednik ripped a single into left center. Aviles scored … 4-0 Red Sox. Podsednik advanced to second when Johnson’s throw to the plate hit Aviles. Pedroia grounded out to short, Podsednik advanced to third but was stranded when David Ortiz flied out to center.

Jeff Baker led off the seventh with a bloop double to right. Tony Campana hit for Randy Wells and put together a good at bat. Campana ended up hitting a 2-2 pitch to second that advanced Baker to third with one out … first time the Cubs put a runner on third all night.

Welington Castillo stepped in and quickly fell behind Lester 0-2. Castillo fought off several (three) excellent two-strike offerings from Lester, worked the count full then looked at a 3-2 pitch. Castillo walked and put runners on first and third with one out.

Luis Valbuena cranked a 1-0 pitch to the opposite field … and it ended up in the bleachers in left center for a three-run shot. And just like that, the Cubs were right back in the game.

Lester caught DeJesus looking at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Bobby Valentine made his way to the mound and that was all for Lester. Scott Atchison took over and retired Johnson on a grounder to short to end the inning.

At the end of seven, the Red Sox led 4-3.

Other than a two-out walk by Adrian Gonzalez, Boston did nothing against Manny Corpas in the eighth.

Vicente Padilla started the eighth for the Sox and Darwin Barney appeared to get robbed of a hit. Barney pulled a 2-2 pitch into left. Daniel Nava was ruled to have made a diving catch but replays showed Nava trapped the ball. Dale Sveum made his way out and asked for the umps to discuss the call. The decision was upheld for the first out. Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Manny Corpas started the ninth and gave up a single to Mike Aviles. Nick Punto hit for Padilla and struck out swinging. On the first pitch to Podsednik, Aviles took off for second and Castillo threw him out. Corpas plunked Podsednik on a 2-2 pitch but retired Pedroia on a pop out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3 …

Steve Clevenger pinch-hit for Jeff Baker and led off with a single to center on a 0-2 pitch from Alfredo Aceves. Bryan LaHair fell behind 0-2, worked the count back to 2-2 then struck out swinging on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Welington Castillo hit a 1-1 pitch to Middlebrooks … 5-4-3 double play, game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm is scheduled to face lefty Franklin Morales in the finale on Sunday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • paulcatanese

    No doubt that Barney’s flair to left field was trapped and not caught, I looked at it as much as anyone else and it was clearly not a catch.

    At least Sveum got the umpires to discuss it, but without “instant replay” no chance they would overturn the call, too bad, bad break.

    • Feel my pain

      Glove was on the grass ball hit the glove good call.

    • Ripsnorter1

      It was a catch. Fox showed it very clearly. It was actually an accurate call.

      • paulcatanese

        Yeah Rip, well the fox was over the fence as it reached the west coast, no catch. Then again I am older than you are and have a trained eye:)

    • Dorasaga

      Paul, question on Castillo, the catcher: I heard Tim McCarver said from the broadcast that Castillo has “quick feet,” and thinks he’ll become a big leaguer. What does that “feet” thing mean?

      • cubtex

        Your feet are important on shifting to make throws on steal attempts, pick off attempts and to block balls in the dirt. Fast twitch muscles are important to be a good catcher.

        • Dorasaga

          Thanks to both.

      • paulcatanese

        No need Dorasaga, Cubtex answered correctly, as an infielder Cubtex also knows his reply applies to middle infielders as well.
        The pivot at second base requires the same “quick feet”.

        • cubtex

          Yes…..  you know that Paul. Quick feet and proper footwork is important on the baseball field and the dancefloor :)

          • paulcatanese

            Yeah, well there I have two left feet:)

  • Can you feel my pain

    As Soriano stood at home plate and didn’t run with a shot to 3rd with 2 on if i was the manager which i’m not he would have sat the rest of the game no place for lazy players.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You don’t get as much for $138 million as you used to.

    • paulcatanese

      Sorry thats not the way I saw it (see previous post on last thread). I dont care who it was, I dont think they would have come running out of the box the way the ball was hit, except for Campana who even runs on foul balls.

      • cubtex

        I agree 100% Paul.

        • SuzyS

          Just another impression from last night’s game….Corpas appears to be rounding into form. If he remains on track…he might legitimately be considered for Marmol’s job for the short term.

    • cubtex

      Did you ever play the game? I can tell you for a fact that I would have done the same and 99.9 % of mlb players would have as well. When you hit a line shot right at someone.

      • SuzyS

        That may be…but in this case…we have all see Soriano NOT run out balls in play over the course of a large sample size. He did not earn the boos for the one play…He’s definitely EARNED the reputation of someone not legging out a hit regardless of his performance this year.
        So, while agree with yours and Paul’s assessment of the particular play…I believe the booing was a result
        of his aggregate reputation and the frustration of a rally killing play.
        I’m not sure any other player would have been booed that way.

        • paulcatanese

          Oh I agree Suzy, anyone else would not have recieved the boo’s, I just didn’t like them because Soriono is still a Cub.
          And as someone who has done the exact same thing as him, all I can say as a hitter you become frozen when it happens, the brain sinks to the stomach and the dis-belief that it did just flat keeps you in the box and reflex’es are late in coming, thus you don’t run,automatic result.

          • SuzyS

            I understand , Paul…I played softball as a kid…and line drive infield outs would definitely  “freeze one”…with no time to react.
            It was “unfortunate booing”.

          • paulcatanese

            Fastpitch? My favorite game, much faster than baseball. Played that from age 29 to age 40. Loved to watch my daugter and two grandaughters play the game
            as well.
            That’s what turns me on with Campana, they must play him as one would in fatpitch softball, corners way in and quick release by the other infielders.
            Just completly changes the game.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Valbuena’s HR was a wind blown thing. Should we even count it? After all, if one of our pitchers gives up 4 wind blown HRs in a game, they are to be discounted. 


    • SuzyS

      It was a beautiful thing from where I sat.

      • SuzyS

         Valbuena’s shot was so unexpected. It was so unusual to see a players ba flashed at .000 several times.  I was just explaining to a friend that he had just been brought up from the minors and hadn’t yet done anything…when he hit his dinger and the crowd around us went nuts….THAT was fun!

      • Ripsnorter1


        I am gigging Tony who, when I pointed out that Travis Wood had given up 6 taters in 32 IP, said that 4 of them were wind-blown. My point, of course, is that they all count. 

        • Tony_Hall

          Ha ha!  I don’t believe we were talking about the wind blowing out…we were talking about the wind GUSTING out and hitting 30-40 MPH.

  • GaryLeeT

    The Cubs will not win a World Series any time soon, but at least I can lay claim to having witnessed the worst team in their history. After they trade Soriano, Dempster, and possibly Garza, there is nothing standing in the way of a 106 to 110 loss season.

    • paulcatanese

      Sadly, I agree with you Gary, the rest of the year may not be bright.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Dodgers want Dempster but apparently their system isn’t very deep.

  • Bryan

    Depending on what Monday brings we may find the Braves additionally interested in Dempster.  Beachy went down yesterday with tightness in his elbow (after pitching 4 innings).  Local reports state that this began in his last start.  He has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow.  Big loss for the Braves if he gets shelved for a period of time. 

  • SuzyS

    It was a beautiful night for baseball…with the wind blowing out to left.
    Wrigley was packed…but a lot of the crowd around us was from the Red Sox Nation. One woman traveled from Concord N.H. for the weekend….she was just beaming to spend 3 days at Wrigley…after a lifetime at Fenway.  “If the Cubs and the Red Sox meet in the World Series, I want you guys to win! We’ve had ours!” she said.
    Stories like that were all around us…impossible to get mad at…Another ageless Wrigley moment.

    Going to the actual game with good friends that are strong fans, (discussing players and games from the 60’s and 70’s), is a priceless experience…no matter how good or bad the team is.

    And that my friends, is the real problem…The Cubs tug at your heart through the mists of childhood and time….From your first game onward…Wrigley is a magical memory…building and building.

    I wouldn’t give up a night like last night for anything…But I also would not give you more than two cents for the team.

    • paulcatanese

      Sounds like you had a great time, happy for you, and thanks for the description.

  • Agustinrexach

    Happy Fathers day to all the Daddys of the CCO!

    • SuzyS

       Hey Augustin…Happy Fathers Day back at you and to all that read these posts!!!

    • paulcatanese

      Thanks, and the same to all out there, I get a break today,I only have to do the dish’es once(dinner) and have learned to use paper plates for the dinner serving. And since the game will be on, think it’s hot dogs on the grill,no mess or fuss.

  • Tom U

    Happy Father’s Day to everyone at the CCO.

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Boise – Tayler Scott (0-0, 0.00)
    Peoria – Michael Jensen (6-3, 2.55)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (4-5, 3.65)
    Iowa – Chris Volstad (2-1, 5.12)

    Peoria’s game last night was suspended due to rain. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.

    Nelson Perez was 1-for-3 with an RBI double as the North lost to the South 6-3 in the Florida State All-Star game.

    • cubtex

      Would like to see McNutt bounce back after his last start(which was dreadful) Vitters was 4 for 4 last night!

    • Zonk

      Vitters is doing well.  B-Jax, though, logged another 3Ks, and has 92 for the year…..which means he’ll top 100 stirkeouts in June, with a week to spare.  That’s not good.  I realize he goes deep into counts, but you can’t strikeout 220 times in a season and be successful (that is his 162-game pace!)

  • CubsForever

    With Dempster, Garza & Soraino…the Cubs will lose over 100 games…….

    Without them, the Cubs will still lose over 100 games…..

    The baseball season on the North Side is over……over……

    Let the Trading Season begin!

    What is with that “Dragon” guy who writes in the Trib Cubs stories all the time?…..if he is telling people to “stcik wth the Sox”, why is he always on a Cubs comment section?… …maybe he should take his own advice and write on Sox stories instead of Cubs stories !….

    and there is that Milwaukee fan with the “BAAAAAWAAA”  comment always hating the Cubs……someone should tell him his Brewers team is not that great……..even if their star is on steroids……that guy is bitter he is stuck in Milwaukee…..drinking Wisconsin beer that is made from a clydesdales horse’s p*ss.

    Go Cubs

  • Marvin Ferguson

    If the Cub hitters came alive earlier in the game and maintained some consistency, Samardzija might of stayed in the game and offered the Red Sox a bigger challenge. But I gotta give Nava some credit for a spectacular diving catch in left field. The replay said it all. 

    • SuzyS

       Without the benefit of instant replay & from the vantage point of upper box seats behind home plate…my friends and I thought Nava’s catch appeared to be a trapped ball….but I must defer to other opinions.

      Shark, on the otherhand, wasn’t going to last any longer than he did…His pitch count was just too high from the getgo….he was struggling all night.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree with the “trapped ball” you saw it as I did, so I guess you and I are the only ones with superior eyesight:)

    • paulcatanese

      Marvin I agree with you on the Cub hitters coming alive earlier in the game.
      I still maintain that the use of the platoon system is hurting the Cubs, (my opinion).
      I agree that Sveum is trying his best to get the most desirable lineup out there to succeed, but the biggest thing I find that hurts is that no matter which way it’s tried, it hamstrings his bench.
      He either ends up with all leftys on the bench or all rightys, making it easier to combat for the opposing manager.
      It seem to me that when the lineup is with alternate L& R hitters the result(over all) is sightly better. The opposition would have to use more pitchers to get the correct matchup.
      Just an opinion, as they still may lose, but why make it easier for the other team?

  • SuzyS

    Shark showing progress????:

    – I also found it cute that the tix from last night’s game had Nomar Garciaparra in a Cubs uniform on them.