A Near No-No – Cubs 0, Pirates 5

Game One Hundred Two – Cubs 0, Pirates 5
WP – A.J. Burnett (13-3) LP – Casey Coleman (0-2) Save – None

The Cubs string of recording at least one hit in a game nearly came to an end on Tuesday night. A.J. Burnett tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout and did not allow a hit until two outs in the eighth inning. Adrian Cardenas broke up Burnett’s no-hit bid after getting the call on a 2-2 offering. The Cubs managed only one hit, two walks and four total baserunners.

A.J. Burnett dominated the Cubs and needed only 108 pitches, 73 for strikes, to shutout the Cubs on Tuesday night.

A night after scoring 14 runs on 14 hits, Dale Sveum’s offense managed only one hit.

Sandy Koufax was the last pitcher to no-hit the Chicago Cubs. Koufax threw a perfect game against Ron Santo and company on September 9, 1965 at Dodger Stadium … nearly 47 years and now 7,441 games ago. Jim Maloney of the Reds threw the last no hitter against the Cubs at Wrigley on August 19,1965 … and Milt Pappas was the last pitcher to throw a no-no at Wrigley Field (September 2, 1972).

Casey Coleman struggled once again and lasted only 4 2/3 innings on Tuesday night. Coleman gave up four runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts on 104 pitches, 58 for strikes.

Neil Walker (1-for-3 with a home run and five RBI) drove in all five of the Pirates runs. Walker hit the second grand slam of his career off Coleman in the first and appeared to take the air out of Dale Sveum’s team. Both of Walker’s grand slams have been hit at Wrigley Field … the first was off Ryan Dempster on Opening Day last season.

The Cubs defense had a rough night. Steve Clevenger was charged with two of the three errors. The defense committed more errors than hits allowed by A.J. Burnett and nearly as many total baserunners for the night.

The Cubs lost for only the fourth time in 17 games at Wrigley and finished the month with a 15-10 record.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 43-59 on the season …

Casey Coleman’s night began on a positive note … and quickly went south. Coleman caught Starling Marte looking at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Travis Snider in his Pirates’ debut tapped a 3-2 pitch up the third baseline. The Cubs were in the shift. Luis Valbuena picked up the ball but his threw was very late to first. Andrew McCutchen reached base for the 39th straight game against the Cubs. McCutchen hit a chopper up the middle that Castro fielded but had no play … two softly hit infield singles. Coleman lost his command after jumping ahead of Garrett Jones 1-2. Coleman walked Jones then fell behind Neil Walker. Walker launched a 2-1 pitch into the bleachers in right … 4-0 Pirates.

Pedro Alvarez followed with a double down the left field line (3-1 pitch). Coleman was not pitching to his defense. Rod Barajas struck out swinging and Clint Barmes popped out to Castro in shallow left center. Casey Coleman threw 36 pitches, 20 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing against A.J. Burnett in the first … just nine pitches, seven for strikes, in the first for Burnett.

Casey Coleman set down the Bucs in order in the second. Coleman needed 47 pitches, 27 strikes, to get through two innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the second, only 19 pitches for Burnett after two.

The Pirates ran themselves out of a possible big inning in the third. Andrew McCutchen pulled a 1-1 pitch into left for a leadoff single. Clint Hurdle called for a hit and run on a 2-1 offering to Garrett Jones. Jones smacked the ball into right and the speedy McCutchen ended up a third with no outs. Neil Walker chopped a 1-1 pitch toward first. Anthony Rizzo fielded the ball and calmly threw a strike to Clevenger. McCutchen was tagged out. Pedro Alvarez stepped in with runners on first and second and one out.

Alvarez launched a 0-2 pitch to deep center. David DeJesus got to the ball but it hit off his glove and ended up in the ivy. DeJesus threw the ball in quickly. Jones had to hold to make sure DeJesus did not catch the ball … but Walker and Alvarez were not paying attention. Walker was almost to third, Alvarez was at second when Rizzo caught Castro’s relay. Rizzo ignored the runner heading back to first and ran toward Walker. Rizzo forced Walker toward third then tagged him out (8-6-3). Coleman walked Rod Barajas to load the bases but was able to retire Barmes on a grounder to third (2-1 pitch). Coleman threw 71 pitches in the first three innings, 40 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third … 30 pitches for Burnett after three, 23 for strikes.

Coleman retired the Pirates in order in the fourth. Coleman showed improvement as the game went on but after four his pitch count was high (85, 50 for strikes) and it was pretty clear that Coleman’s first big league start of the season would be a short one.

A.J. Burnett made quick work of David DeJesus (groundout to first) and Starlin Castro (pop out to right) to start the fourth … two outs on four pitches. Anthony Rizzo worked the count and ended up walking, the Cubs first baserunner of the game. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) for the third out.

The Cubs did not manage a hit through four against Burnett (45 pitches, 31 for strikes).

Casey Coleman continued to labor in the fifth and did not make it through the inning. McCutchen popped out to Barney for the first out. Coleman then walked Garrett Jones after being ahead in the count 1-2. Neil Walker just missed his second homer of the game. Walker cranked a 1-1 pitch to deep right. Coleman walked Pedro Alvarez on four pitches … and Dale Sveum decided he’s seen enough. Scott Maine took over and retired Barajas on a flyout to right.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Burnett needed just 52 pitches, 32 for strikes, to get through five innings.

Scott Maine retired the Bucs in order in the sixth.

Luis Valbuena flied out to left (1-2 pitch) to start the sixth. Scott Maine hit for himself and tapped back to Burnett. David DeJesus worked a walk (3-2 pitch), only the second baserunner of the game. On a 2-1 pitch to Castro, DeJesus took off for second and swiped the bag. Starlin Castro flied out to right to end the inning.

No hits against Burnett through six innings (74 pitches, 49 for strikes).

Scott Maine walked Travis Snider on four pitches to start the seventh. Andrew McCutchen drove a 2-2 pitch into right center. Snider ended up at third on McCutchen’s double. Maine struck out Garrett Jones swinging for the first out. Sveum pulled his infield in with runners on second and third and one down. Neil Walker pulled a 2-2 pitch to left. Soriano caught the ball and threw toward the plate as Snider tagged from third. Soriano’s throw was a little off the mark, Snider scored and the ball got past Clevenger. McCutchen ended up at third and Sveum went to his pen. Jeff Beliveau caught Pedro Alvarez looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh … only 80 pitches, 55 strikes, for Burnett after seven innings.

Jeff Beliveau retired the Pirates in order in the eighth.

Steve Clevenger hit a weak grounder to Jones for the first out in the eighth. Burnett then hit Darwin Barney in the head with a breaking ball. Barney tried to stay in the game but Sveum removed him and Jeff Baker took over at first base. Baker broke for second on a 0-2 pitch to Valbuena. Baker swiped the bag and held when Valbuena struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) for the second out.

Adrian Cardenas hit for Jeff Beliveau and got the call on a close 2-2 pitch. Cardenas pulled Burnett’s next pitch into right … for the Cubs first hit of the game. A.J. Burnett was not happy with homeplate umpire Jeff Nelson. Baker stopped at third with two down. DeJesus struck out swinging to end the inning.

Shawn Camp pitched around a pair of errors in the ninth without allowing any runs. Starling Marte hit a 0-2 smash toward short. Castro got in front of the ball but did not field it cleanly and Marte reached on the Cubs’ second error of the game. Marte took off on the first pitch to Snider. Clevenger’s throw ended up in center and Marte advanced to third with no outs. Sveum pulled his infield in. Snider grounded out to first. McCutchen could not check his swing on a 1-2 pitch and Jones grounded out to second for the third out.

The Cubs did nothing against A.J. Burnett in the ninth.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Jeff Karstens in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer
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  • paulcatanese

    Cubs ran into a buzz saw named Burnett today, coupled with the trade deadline, they were flat, and I honestly did not expect any more than they gave. Sure it would have been nice to see a win and some hits, but Burnett pitched a gem, just give credit where its due and go on to tommorow.
    And Neil, dont think you will need a sleeping pill tonight, great
    job on all the coverage.

  • Tony_Hall

    I predicted before the season that the Cubs record, when broken into thirds, would improve all year. Let’s take a look.

    April 8-15 & May 10-17 Total 18-32
    June 10-17 & July 15-10 Total 25-27

    So far so good, Not only was June and July only 2 games under 500, but their record has not gone backwards in any month.

    I predicted this, due to the implementation of the Cubs Way taking effect, and the style of baseball on offense and defense improving, as they adapt to it. I also said that the Cubs would, once again, be fun to watch, which is true of teams that play the game the right way. Obviously this team still has plenty of work to do, but can anyone say that this team hasn’t been more fun to watch than last year…the year before that. Those teams were so fundamentally flawed, you couldn’t even stand to watch them….yet most of us tortured ourselves by watching.

    Now, I will admit, I never expected July. Ever since Rizzo has come up, this team has played great. Of course this raised the bar, making August and September, they will need to go 29-31 to make my pre-season prediction true. Trading Maholm and Dempster makes that difficult. But let’s see what happens. Germano and Coleman and whoever else gets starts, needs to keep the ball in the park and induce ground balls, and let the defense, which seems to be aligned so well with all the shifts they do for each hitter, do their job.

    Can they go 29-31 the rest of the way? I think they still can, and I know one thing for sure…it will be a lot of fun watching this team develop, right before our eyes, trying to make it happen.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t believe 29-31 is possible now. We were last in MLB in runs scored, and now we’ve lost the two best starters we had. We added no offensive skill players, (Cardenas, Castillo and Sappelt do not qualify here), and Casey Coleman is not a good substitute for Dempster. Lastly, teams still in the race will have blood in their eyes. I don’t see it happening.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree it will be difficult, but don’t ever under estimate the underdog during the playoff push.

        • Ripsnorter1

          You could be right.

  • Tony_Hall

    I am hearing and seeing some grumblings about the Soto deal.

    Really…do people just have to have something to complain about.

    It is ok, to be happy with the Cubs, you don’t have to figure out something to complain about, you really can enjoy the journey. The last couple of days, made this organization better.

    Soto was going to be non-tendered, maybe even in August so that the Cubs could see Castillo and Clevenger, like they are now. Most likely he will be non-tendered by the Rangers at the end of the year, instead of paying $5M for a 200 hitting catcher. So getting Jacob Brigham is not bad. But they also get a player to be named later, or some of the cash they were sending back. In other words, we don’t know all the details about this trade yet. So how can anyone complain about this, when we don’t know the level of player coming back. For me, a bullpen catcher would be enough for the player to be named later, but I also didn’t expect much for him, he had lost almost all of his value, by not moving him a few years ago.

    Now, I wish Soto well, and maybe he will get his stroke back playing in Texas. It is a hitters park, and maybe he will go back to being the good Soto, we all remember, and kept hoping to see again, either way, we got all that we could expect for him in a trade.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Why did Texas trade for Soto? They immediately DFA’d Torrealba. Was he even worse than Soto? Apparently. He was their starting catcher in 2011. What’s the deal?

      The Dallas papers say that the Rangers acquired Soto so that Napoli won’t be able to hold them hostage at contract time.

      That doesn’t sound like a guy that’s going to get non-tendered to me.

      Whatever the case, the fact is the Cubs got nothing in return, like they got with Zambrano and Byrd.

      For Malholm and Johnson, who are going to really help Atlanta take it away from the Nats, we received, in effect, another Cashner: a pitcher with a big arm and the injuries to boot. The second pitcher probably won’t amount to much at all. Probably won’t make the bigs.

      For Dempster we received a singles hitting 3B.

      LISTEN TO KEITH LAW….UNCUT….and here’s the link if you have access:
      http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/law_keith/id/8219802/ryan-dempster-gives-texas-rangers-some-much-needed-reliability-rotation-mlb

      “[the Cubs] acquiring a solid prospect in Villanueva is a reasonable return. A third baseman, Villanueva was hopelessly blocked in the Rangers’ organization, where Mike Olt can’t even find a place to play because of Adrian Beltre, but he does have major league potential as a plus defender with doubles power. He’s a below-average runner and is not patient, which means he’ll fit right in with most of the Cubs’ other offensive prospects. He turned 21 in June and put up a .285/.356/.421 line this year for high Class A Myrtle Beach, which has one of the toughest parks for hitters in the minors.
      Hendricks is more of an organizational starter, 87-89 mph with an average cutter and changeup and below-average curveball but good command and a repeatable delivery and arm action. The right-hander could surface as a fifth starter, but his stuff is probably too fringy for that.
      The Cubs’ haul from the trades of Dempster, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and Geovany Sotoover the past few days netted one major prospect in Arodys Vizcaino, who once healthy will be the best pitching prospect in their system, as well as a solid quantity of organizational prospect depth.”

      • Tony_Hall

        Can you say Greg Maddux? He pitched to Soto and recommended him just like he did Dewitt…

        Every trade, dealing, etc, has writers who love or hate the deal. I like Keith Law, but he mainly writes the hate the Cubs articles.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Law, like Bowden, used to work in the FO. He’s not totally without a resume. I don’t see him as writing only “I hate the Cubs'” articles.

          • Tony_Hall

            I know who Keith Law is, I read all of his articles. But he “mainly” likes to write negatively about the Cubs.

            Maybe it started as a JH thing, who knows, but he obviously like Vizcaino.

      • Tony_Hall

        Keith Law likes Vizcaino. Here is his response on twitter to the question of best prospect traded.

        “Arodys Vizcaino. “@clvolckmann:@keithlaw who was the highest rated prospect dealt at the deadline?”

        • cubtex

          Jacob Turner

          • daverj

            Agreed, but I think it’s closer than some may think. Vizcaino has top of the rotation stuff, but the durability issue puts Turner above him. I’m plenty happy with Vizcaino for Maholm/Johnson … I just would have preferred the Dempster/Delgado deal.

          • cubtex

            The Cubs would have preferred that as well. Dempster held out for Dodgers and screwed that.

      • Tony_Hall

        Also, you do understand Napoli is the starter. If they traded for Soto, they had to release their back-up who is 34 years old. Maybe they will pay Soto $5M, but that is a lot of money for a back-up catcher. It is just leverage for Napoli, nothing more.

      • J Daniel

        Yes, but maybe he ends up in another deal for someone else that will contribute. Just need to accumulate as many assets as possible.

      • cubtex

        Hendricks is 87-89. He is exactly what Keith Law said he is. The Cubs still got Villanueva for Dempster which is better than a comp pick. Vizcaino is the wild card. IF……he can stay as a starter and stay healthy……that could be a steal. It was a gamble worth taking. I heard Hoyer on MLB radio this morning and he pretty much said Dempster held them hostage. He wanted LA or bust UNTIL he realized the last day that LA wasn’t going to work. Hoyer believes if the timing for Atlanta was better(meaning right at the deadline) Dempster would have accepted the trade to the Braves. Dempster really screwed them or they could have probably gotten a top pitching prospect for him. It will be interesting to see how they are going to add any pitching for next year. I imagine it will be another low end FA vet like Maholm signing

        • Tony_Hall

          You do realize that Vizcaino is a higher ranked prospet than Delgado. Higher risk, higher ceiling.

          • cubtex

            He was until TJ. Not anymore. Do you think the Cubs would have taken Delgado if offered for Maholm and Johnson? No doubt about it.

    • J Daniel

      Tony,
      I would agree with you. Let’s go back and read all of the posts in April, May, and June about how poorly he is playing and how far he has gone down. So, they had a couple of options – move on and get what they could, release him, or keep him and hope that his value goes back up.

      If they kept him people would be upset that he is blocking younger players that need to play because he is under performing.

      The time to deal him would have been last year at the latest. They probably did the best that they could given the circumstances that they did not create.

      One thing for certain is that in their position they really can’t care what people think about any of their moves. They have to make the best educated deals that they can given all of the circumstances that none of us are aware of.

      Was it a trade that will eventually produce a player for them? Probably not. Did a majority of the posters want him to keep playing and producing a .200 average? Probably not? Do a majority of the posters want to see the young guys play? Probably.

  • Tony_Hall

    Neil – I thought I saw on the twitter feed, Sappelt saying he was catching a flight, good news. Which I took as he was coming up to the majors.

    Did I see that wrong?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      No you did not. That’s what he tweeted.

    • cubtex

      I thought you hate twitter and rumors :)

      • Tony_Hall

        Not at all, this isn’t a rumor, this is straight from the players mouth…fingerstips into his phone out to the twitterverse.

  • Tony_Hall

    This kid just keeps on hitting.

    “Ronald Torreyes had a couple more hits with 2 RBI. He is now hitting .330 in his last 49 games and .267 overall with a .327 OBP. Hard to believe this kid is 19 years old and has been tearing up one of the toughest pitching leagues for 2 straight months.”

    • Zonk

      Who said that? Just curious.

      • cubtex

        Hak Ju Lee hit .318 in the Florida State League…so take that for what it is worth.

      • Tony_Hall

        Another site, that, out of respect for Neil, I don’t ever post links.

  • Zonk

    At the beginning of the year, most publications rated the Cub farm system in the bottom-third in baseball in terms of talent and productivity. I wonder where we would rank now, after the draft, Soler signing, and trade deadline acquisitions. Probably not top-10 yet, but climbing.
    We need to pick it up, because the Cardinals are turning into a player development monster, with good talent due to make the majors in 2013-15. The only saving grace is that some of their best players today are over 30.

    • daverj

      Without looking at all the teams, I’d have to think the Cubs’ system is in the Top 15 now, possibly the bottom of the Top 10.

  • paulcatanese

    Koufax was mentioned as pitching a no-hitter against the Cubs.
    Their was a time when he was scheduled to pitch at Wrigley I would not even bother to go to the game. He would either pitch a shoutout, 1-2 hitter. I figured the odds of the Cubs beating him were about 1-100. I wonder what his ERA was against the Cubs.
    And then of course they could always throw Drysdale.

    • cubtex

      Chris Volstad has arrived! Our season is saved!!!