Two Mistakes Too Many – Cubs 1, Mets 3

Game Eighty-Four – Cubs 1, Mets 3
WP – Dillon Gee (6-7) LP – Jeff Samardzija (6-8) Save – Bobby Parnell (2)

The Cubs ended up on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. The Mets took advantage of two mistakes by Jeff Samardzija that accounted for all three of their runs. The Cubs offense made it easy on Dillon Gee early on then could not mount a comeback late despite having chances in the sixth and ninth innings (1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, five left on base).

Jeff Samardzija settled down after a rough start. Samardzija allowed all three runs in the first three innings on two swings. Jordany Valdespin put the Mets on the board with one out in the second. Valdespin hit homers in consecutive at bats against Cubs pitching after he took Carlos Marmol deep in the ninth inning on Friday night. The Mets then took a 3-0 advantage in the third on two-run shot off the bat of Ike Davis. After the Davis dinger, Samardzija settled down and did not allow another run for the remainder of his outing.

Jeff Samardzija took the loss in his final outing prior to the break. Samardzija did register a quality start after allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks, four strikeouts and two big home runs. Samardzija threw 99 pitches, 64 for strikes, in seven innings and will not make another start until July 18 against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Scott Maine and Manny Corpas kept the Mets off the board in the eighth and gave the offense a chance.

Dillon Gee was very good Saturday afternoon but the Cubs’ offense helped him out over the first five innings. The Cubs managed a couple of singles and allowed Gee to throw only 38 pitches through four innings.

Luis Valbuena (2-for-3 with a double and a run scored) led off the sixth with a double, the Cubs first extra basehit of the game. David DeJesus (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled him in with the Cubs only run of the afternoon.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a double) continued the impressive start to his Cubs’ career. Rizzo added two more hits and has now reached base safely in all 11 games he’s played in. After going 4-for-5 with a home run on Friday night, Anthony Rizzo is 6-for-9 with a home run, a double and three RBI in the first two games at Citi Field.

The Cubs offense managed eight hits, only two for extra bases and not a single walk on the afternoon.

Starlin Castro (1-for-4) and Darwin Barney (1-for-3) combined on two impressive double plays on Saturday afternoon … one in the seventh and one in the eighth.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 32-52 on the season and back into the cellar in the central …

Dillon Gee made quick work of the Cubs in the first … with a lot of help from his catcher. After David DeJesus flied out to deep left center (1-1 pitch) to start the game, Starlin Castro squared up a 1-1 pitch and drove it into left for a single. Castro took off for second on a 0-1 offering to Rizzo. Josh Thole made an excellent, strong throw to second and cut down Castro. Anthony Rizzo flied out to center (2-2 pitch) for the third out. Gee faced the minimum in the first on 11 pitches, seven for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija made it through the first without allowing any runs … or hits. Samardzija struggled and was very good at the same time. Samardzija had trouble locating his slider but had a very good splitter in the first.

Ruben Tejada flied out to right for the first out. Samardzija struck out Daniel Murphy swinging before issuing a two-out walk to David Wright on five pitches. Wright swiped second on a 1-1 pitch to Ike Davis. Clevenger could not make a throw. Samardzija made an excellent pitch (3-1 slider) to Davis and got him to hit a lazy fly to right to end the inning. Samardzija threw as many balls in the first (8) as strikes (8).

The Cubs did nothing in the second. Gee struck out LaHair (swinging) and Clevenger (looking) for the last two outs and threw 24 pitches over two innings, 14 for strikes.

After Samardzija retired Lucas Duda on a grounder to second (2-2 pitch) to begin the second, Jordany Valdespin hit his second homer in as many at bats against Cubs’ pitching. Valdespin deposited a 1-1 pitch that was right down main over the wall in right center. Josh Thole popped the first pitch into center for the second out. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to left but Dillon Gee grounded out to short on Samardzija’s 31st pitch of the game (18 strikes) to end the inning.

After two, the Cubs trailed 1-0.

Darwin Barney grounded out to short (0-1 pitch) to begin the third. Luis Valbuena singled to center (1-1 pitch) before being erased on a 1-6-4 double play. Jeff Samardzija dropped down a bunt right in front of the plate, Josh Thole picked the ball up and started the 1-6-4 inning ending double play.

The Cubs offense was being too aggressive against Dillon Gee the first time through the lineup. Gee threw only 30 pitches (19 strikes) … allowing a pitcher to average just 10 offerings per inning will not cut it.

The Mets added to their lead in a big way in the third. Ruben Tejada led off the third with a single to center (1-2 pitch). Samardzija allowed Daniel Murphy to work the count full after being ahead of him 1-2 early in the at bat. With Tejada running, Murphy tapped back to the mound. Samardzija threw out Murphy at first. David Wright hit a one-hop smash to Castro on a 2-1 pitch. Castro fielded the ball and threw out Wright at first as Tejada advanced to third.

Samardzija jumped ahead of Davis 0-2 before missing on his third pitch. Ike Davis did not miss Samardzija’s fourth pitch. Davis launched the 1-2 offering off the façade of the second deck … and just like that the Cubs were down 3-0. Samardzija struck out Lucas Duda swinging (0-2 pitch) for the third out. While Dillon Gee was barely breaking a sweat, Samardzija needed 53 pitches (33 strikes) to get through three innings.

After three, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth … 1-2-3 for Gee on eight pitches (38, 25 strikes).

Samardzija set down the Mets in order in the fourth … and after four, Samardzija had thrown 61 pitches, 40 for strikes.

Other than a one-out single off the bat of Bryan LaHair, the Cubs did nothing in the fifth … 53 pitches for Gee after five, 37 for strikes.

Samardzija retired Dillon Gee (0-2 pitch, flyout to right) and Ruben Tejada (flyout to deep left center) to begin the fifth. Daniel Murphy reached on an infield single off Samardzija’s foot. Samardzija tried a kick-save but the ball rolled into no man’s land between Barney and Rizzo. David Wright worked the count full before looking at strike three to end the inning. Samardzija threw 77 pitches, 51 for strikes, over the first five innings.

The Cubs were finally able to push across a run in the sixth … and it should have been more. Luis Valbuena led off the inning with a double into the left field corner (1-1 pitch) … the Cubs’ first extra basehit of the game. Samardzija could not get a bunt down but advanced Valbuena to third with a grounder to second.

David DeJesus lined a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and into center. Valbuena scored, 3-1 Mets. Castro pulled a 0-2 pitch to the hole at short. Tejada made an excellent pick and threw to Murphy to force DeJesus for the second out. With Castro at first, Anthony Rizzo made a nice in-bat adjustment and hit a 2-2 pitch into center. Alfonso Soriano stepped in with runners on first and second with two down. Soriano looked at three out of the zone before taking a strike. Soriano appeared to have worked a walk but Gee received a very generous call for strike two (curveball was above Soriano’s waist). Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning … 83 pitches for Gee after six, 57 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija retired Ike Davis on a routine fly to center (first pitch) to begin the sixth. After issuing a four-pitch walk to Lucas Duda, Jordany Valdespin reached on a swinging bunt up the first baseline. Rizzo fielded the ball but missed the tag. Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Samardzija threw 92 pitches, 59 for strikes, and his team trailed 3-1 after six complete.

After Bryan LaHair was called out on a 2-2 pitch to begin the seventh, Steve Clevenger grounded out to second (3-2 pitch). Darwin Barney reached on a swinging bunt on the third base side of the mound … but Luis Valbuena popped Gee’s first pitch straight up and Thole hauled it in behind the plate for the third out.

Samardzija ended up facing the minimum in the seventh. After giving up a one-out single to Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy hit into a 4-6-3 double to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the eighth trailing 3-1 … and Dillon Gee retired Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Starlin Castro in order.

Scott Maine gave up a bloop single to David Wright (3-1 pitch) to begin the eighth. Ike Davis rolled into a slick 4-6-3 double play … but Lucas Duda reached on an infield single off Maine’s leg. After Scott Hairston was announced as the pinch-hitter for Jordany Valdespin, Dale Sveum went to his pen for Manny Corpas. Hairston smacked a 1-0 pitch to Valbuena, who went to second and forced Duda to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the ninth looking up at a 3-1 deficit.

Bobby Parnell took over in the ninth and jumped ahead of Anthony Rizzo 1-2. Rizzo lashed Parnell’s next offering off the base of the wall in right. Rizzo slid in safe with a leadoff double. Alfonso Soriano just missed a 3-2 pitch from Parnell and flied out to deep left center. Bryan LaHair put together a long at bat then was robbed of a bloop single by Ruben Tejada. LaHair blooped the ninth pitch of the at bat into medium depth left center that Tejada caught over his shoulder with his back to the infield. Steve Clevenger struck out looking (3-2 pitch) to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster is expected to be activated from the DL and face Jon Niese in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

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  • Aaron

    Tom will probably mention this, but Geiger just homered again…doesn’t that tie a record for Peoria?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, yes it does. Jordan Robison homered in 4 straight games in 2002 & Josh Vitters
      did so in all 4 games in a series at Beloit in May 2009.

  • Tom U

    Peoria’s Dustin Geiger ties a team record by hitting a home run in his fourth straight game.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tom, I tuned in late to the I-Cubs game, any word on why Chris Rusin was a late scratch?

      • Aaron

        I saw that too, Neil, and I thought immediately that it meant either Volstad was being optioned again with him being brought up, or there was a trade that (such as Maholm) that hasn’t been mentioned yet

        • CubsRumblings

          Cubs and Tigers working on a major trade!…….Garza, Soriano & Barney to Detriot might happen.

          Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has a history pulling off major trades. Detriot looking for a major bat now.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            it was suggested by a beat writer that the Tigers were more in need of a bat then a pitcher
            http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/07/central-notes-greinke-brewers-pirates-tigers.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook . Havent heard reports come from any reliable sources saying that though. As much as seeing something like this happen would be nice, It would be even more nice to actually see the sources you get your info from.

          • Aaron

            Please stop,

            Sincerely just about everyone on this site…You always have wacky trades that you purport to actually have sources on, yet NOBODY (even Bleacher Nation) sources it, and you never include any links.

            How can we possibly take you seriously?

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            the funny thing is that, in the link from MLBTR that i posted that takes you to the beat writers blog, the only name he drops is Carlos Quentin. No mention of Soriano.

          • Aaron

            I know…I’m not at all opposed to trade ideas…by all means, I wish we could have more dialogue on that on this site, but when someone says, “Cubs working on a trade”, you’re thinking, okay, there must be sources, and yet EVERY SINGLE TIME with him, it’s much ado about nothing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            Yeah trade dialogue is great! If this rumor of his was true I honestly think it could hurt what we got back, unless we paid 80% or more of Sorianos remaining salary. But if we could swing Castellanos Turner Smyly and their top Catcher Rob Brantly or a lower level 2b/ss they have Eugenio Suarez, Id probably pay all of Soris salary lol.

          • Christian2334

            Aaron, always love your posts sir! But don’t you find it interesting that when anyone of us respond to him in this way he never responds! I remember he said was 40 something a while back, he probably is but lives in his moms basement and doesn’t have any life!

          • Dnuge44

            Cubs will not trade Barney, Castro & Barney improving everyday for a solid middle of the infield.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I missed the beginning and they have talked about the bullpen day and all around him being scratched but a reason has not been given as to why.

      • Tom U

        I was not available, and do not know the reason for the scratch.

        If a promotion was in the works, both Rusin and Raley would be on regular rotation if they were to join the parent club after the All-Star break.

        Ty Wright was placed on the DL with a stress fracture in his leg. James Adduci called up to replace him.

        No other word further down the chain as to replacements.

      • Tom U

        According to the Des Moines Register, Chris Rusin tweaked a hamstring in warm-ups.

        http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120707/SPORTS/307070052/Adduci-arrives-from-double-A-just-in-time

  • CubsRumblings

    Thanks Tom on that information about the service years on the players.

    You are one of the very few baseball experts on this blog site, and a Gentleman.

    The others “so called experts” should follow your steps and learn something from you.

    • Tom U

      Thank you, but I don’t consider myself an expert. I just enjoy what I do, and I’m glad that people can find it useful.

  • CubsRumblings

    Rumor has it that Aaron is having a nervous breakdown tonight…..or it is that time of the month he is having his Period.

    • Aaron

      oops…must’ve struck a cord with you…still no sources, huh?

    • calicub

      over the past few months it has become abundantly clear that you cannot reason with the mentally unstable.

      Maybe we should all contribute to a fund so that Cubs(insert random word) can finally afford a live in nurse to make sure he keeps up on his medication.

    • RynoTiger

      Rumor has it that I get to go on a date with Anthony Rizzo! I have no source other than what’s in my head but I’m going to go ahead and confirm it’s true.
      You can put it on the Board!……YES!!!!!! Hooray for me :)

  • Aaron

    CubsRumblings,

    I hope you didn’t take my post wrong…just wanted you to please stop with the fake “sources”.

    I will offer you a chance to just have reasonable dialogue with me and other posters on here. How about some trade ideas? And let’s not source them, because we’re coming up with them. How about that?

    Here, I’ll start:

    to the Jays…
    Garza
    Soriano
    Maholm

    to the Cubs…
    Marisnik
    McGuire
    Syndergaard
    D’Arnaud (currently on DL)
    Aaron Sanchez

    Why it works? The Jays need another bat, and could slide Encarnacion at 1B in place of Lind if he can’t figure it out, and put Soriano at DH (if Cubs pay nearly all of his salary). McGuire has lost it this year, but at 6’6″, he still has good size, and he at least has decent stats from high-A last year to hang his hat on. I would initially request Hutchison, but he’s 21, and already in the bigs experiencing at least a little success. Maholm is just a cherry on top, as a sweetener to get more prospects included, and he would add stability to the rotation. Essentially it’s Garza for Syndergaard, D’Arnaud, and Sanchez, just as the Cubs deal originally for him was essentially Lee, Guyer, and Archer, while Fuld and Chirinos were merely add-ons. While Sanchez and Syndergaard are phenomenal talents, and have tremendous, it could be argued that D’Arnaud had underwhelming numbers in A-ball, and it wasn’t until AA and AAA that he seemed to turn it on, and even then, he appears to lack plate discipline as he had 33 walks and 100 K’s in AA and before injury this year, he had 19 walks, 59 K’s in AAA. The Cubs could potentially swap Soto for Soriano in this trade, or if they wanted to expand even further, they could include both and ask for Nicolino to be included.

    to the Braves…
    Dempster
    Baker
    Johnson
    Volstad

    to the Cubs…
    Teheran
    Minor
    Delgado
    Evan Gattis

    Why it works? The Braves need bench help with Hinske and Diaz not cutting the mustard, and they need pitching help big time. The Braves have soured on Teheran, Delgado, and Minor. The Cubs would be getting 2 highly ranked and previously highly sought after pitchers in Teheran and Delgado. The Braves get Dempster for the rest of the year, and have Volstad controlled thereafter, and hopefully figure they could get him turned around. They get Johnson and Baker for the bench this year to replace Hinske and Diaz.

    If Garza and Barney go to the Tigers as you suggest, then the Cubs better be getting Smyly, Castellanos, and Turner in return, or I wouldn’t touch that trade with a ten foot pole. If your own opinion turns out to be fact, and they make that trade, then I’ll consider it a fair deal.

    Anyway, all of this is just OPINION…absolutely NO sources

    • J Daniel

      Way to much effort replying to PB but it was a good read – yes possible – no sources.

  • triple

    I can’t see Theo/Hoyer letting Barney go in any deal unless it’s completely gonna knock their socks off. He’s a guy that only strikes out 1 in 10 AB’s and is arguably the best defensive 2nd baseman in the league for $.5 million, and still not even arbitration eligible till 2014 and under team control till 2017. He’s exactly the kind of guy they want while rebuilding. Something tells me he is the kind of guy they will sit on for another year or 2 in hopes that his stock rises and they have a stud 2nd baseman who is knockin’ on the door; then they’ll deal him.

    Soriano, Soto, Garza, Dempster, Baker, and Johnson should be their main topic of discussion. The more I think about LaHair, maybe he ends up being a bargaining chip to push a deal over the edge, but with the confidence new management showed in him from day 1, I think they see value in keeping LaHair around for a couple more years. He’s not arbitration eligible till 2015 and a free agent in 2018. At the age of 29, we can’t look for him to get much better, but a good work ethic got him here, he appears to be a “team player” (Rizzo taking his position) and he could be a cheap backup at 1st base and OF corners, and a power left handed bat off the bench for the next 5 years.

    • DWalker

      Hate to say it, but I think LaHair has never had real value to the management aside from a stopgap potential trade. They never had an intention of using him as an every day player, especially against lefty’s from the start. Had they planned to bring rizzo up at the start of the year, LaHair would have had no place on this team,as it was they needed a CHEAP replaceable fill in at first. Now that he surprisingly might actually have some trade value as a first base they had no choice but to keep one of the few effective bats the cubs have had this year on the field. He’s not an OF’er any more, he doesn’t have the range, and they won’t play him against lefties. yes, he can improve in the field, get better routes, but thats not his position. Its not critical they trade him, he’s not blocking anyone, but his stock is as a first base, and it might never be better then it is now in such a thin list of tradeable 1st basemen. They’ll look to trade him, and for something better then a throw in.

      Totally agree with you on Barney. His stock isn’t super high right now despite exceptional defense, yes teams would like him, but they are not in love with him enough to make it worthwhile to part with him. After another year or two of this type of play? Could be interesting to see, and it lets the prospects develop without a glaring hole of must fill.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Remember that Gio Gonzalez trade?

    He’s 12-3…2.92 ERA.

    Some thought he would be worth less than Garza. Let’s see…what did the A’s get for this guy?

    A.J. Cole, 20….4-1..2.45 in A ball.

    Tommy Milone….8-6…3.57 with the A’s as a starter. (Better than Chris Volstad).

    Derek Norris, C, ….2 HR, 6 RBI in just 40 PA with A’s. Hitting .270.

    Brad Peacock…24, in AAA right now.6-6 with 7.00 in 17 starts in Sacramento of the PCL….

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Cubs are battling the Rockies for the bottom of the MLB barrel. The Padres are two games behind them in the race for the bottom.

      The Cubs will have their hands full, too. Rockies are starting Jeremy Guthrie vs Zimmerman (2.70 era) of the Nats, and have virtually no chance of winning. Guthrie has a 3-8…6.28 record this year.

      Meanwhile Dempster will be limited to probably 80 pitches today. It will be a bullpen day for sure.

      The Mets are not that good. Not at all.