Nothing Much Behind Rusin – Cubs 2, Brewers 5

Game One Hundred Twenty-Two – Cubs 2, Brewers 5
WP – Marco Estrada (1-5) LP – Chris Rusin (0-1) Save – John Axford (19)

The Cubs avoided their fourth shutout of the month with two runs in the ninth but still lost a game in which the pitching staff allowed five runs on three hits … and only two of the three hits left the infield.

Chris Rusin did a good job in his Major League debut and allowed only one run on one hit with two walks, two hit batsman and four strikeouts in five innings. Rusin retired the first nine batters he faced on 35 pitches, 22 strikes. The second time through the lineup was not as kind to the lefty. Rusin could not get on the same page with Welington Castillo and labored through a 23-pitch fourth inning. Rusin hit two batters and walked a batter that loaded the bases before he surrendered his first hit. Corey Hart reached on an infield single off Rusin’s foot and that plated Rickie Weeks with the first run of the game.

Chris Rusin recorded one of the Cubs four hits. Rusin launched the first he saw from Marco Estrada into right center. Rusin ended up at third with a standing triple and became the first pitcher in Cubs’ history to triple in his first big league at bat. Rusin finished the night 1-for-2 after being robbed of a hit by Jean Segura in the fifth.

The Brewers broke the game open in the sixth. Alberto Cabrera could not throw strikes (26 pitches, 11 strikes) and gave up three runs on one hit, three walks and a wild pitch. Cabrera was very wild and missed his spots by feet, not inches. Cabrera appeared to struggle with his mechanics throughout the inning.

Carlos Marmol allowed the fifth run in the eighth. Marmol issued a leadoff walk to Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez advanced on a passed ball and a fly out then scored on the Brewers’ third hit of the game, a single off the bat of Carlos Gomez.

The Brewers’ five runs scored after reaching on four walks and a hit by pitch.

While the Cubs pitching staff was busy giving out free bases (six walks, three HBP), the offense spent the night swinging and missing. The Cubs followed their 12-strikeout performance on Monday night with another 12-strikeout performance on Tuesday … 24 strikeouts in 18 innings.

The Cubs wasted a leadoff double by Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) in the second and Chris Rusin’s one out triple in the third. The Cubs managed only three total baserunners prior to the ninth inning.

Josh Vitters (1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and three strikeouts) doubled off Manny Parra with one out in the ninth and scored on a single by Alfonso Soriano. Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) scored the Cubs’ second and final run on a groundout by Starlin Castro (0-for-4 with a RBI). The Cubs outhit the Brewers 4-3, with two of the four hits coming in the ninth inning.

For the second night in a row a Brewers’ starting pitcher picked up his first victory of the year at the Cubs expense.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season-low 28 games under .500 with a 47-75 record …

Marco Estrada struck out two of the three batters he faced in the first. Estrada threw only 15 pitches in the opening frame, 11 for strikes.

Chris Rusin set down the side in order in the first. Rusin threw 14 pitches, eight for strikes, and registered his first big league strikeout. Rusin struck out Rickie Weeks swinging on a 3-2 pitch.

Alfonso Soriano led off the second with the first hit of the game, a double to left center. Starlin Castro fouled out to Aramis Ramirez for the first out. Welington Castillo drove a 1-2 pitch to the track in center. Carlos Gomez caught the ball but forgot that was only the second out. Soriano tagged from second and rounded third. Gomez was alerted to his blunder and Soriano went back to the bag. Brett Jackson was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning. Estrada needed 30 pitches, 22 strikes, to get through two innings.

David DeJesus made a fine running catch in right center to take away extra bases from Aramis Ramirez to start the second. Rusin then retired Corey Hart on a grounder to short and Jonathan Lucroy lined out to Vitters to end the inning … 24 pitches for Chris Rusin after two, 14 for strikes.

Darwin Barney struck out looking to start the third. Chris Rusin stepped in and drove the first pitch he saw into deep right center. The ball hit and rolled around while Rusin sprinted around the bases. Rusin ended up at third with a standing triple. With the infield in, David DeJesus tapped a 2-1 pitch back to Estrada. Josh Vitters looked at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. Estrada threw 45 pitches over the first three innings, 31 for strikes.

Chris Rusin retired the bottom of the lineup in order in the third. Rusin set down the first nine hitters he faced in order on 35 pitches, 22 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Estrada needed 61 pitches, 42 for strikes, to complete four innings of work.

Chris Rusin plunked Norichika Aoki on a 1-1 offering to start the fourth. Rusin then had Aoki picked off first. Aoki broke for second too early before a 2-2 pitch to Weeks. Rusin stepped off and threw to Rizzo but his throw was high and toward right field. Rizzo caught the ball but his throw to Barney was late and Aoki was credited with a stolen base. Rusin refocused and struck out Weeks swinging on a 3-2 pitch for the first out.

Rusin fell behind Ryan Braun and walked him on four pitches. Aramis Ramirez stepped in with runners on first and second and one down. Rusin hit Ramirez on the foot with a 0-1 pitch and loaded the bases with one out.

Corey Hart grounded a 2-0 pitch back up the middle. Rusin tried a kick save and kept the ball in the infield but Aoki scored on Hart’s infield single. The ball ended up on the third base side of the mound. Rusin picked it up but had no play. With the Brewers up 1-0, the bases loaded and one out, Jonathan Lucroy rapped into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play. Rusin wiggled his way out of trouble with allowing only one run … 58 pitches for Rusin after four, 31 for strikes.

After four complete, the Cubs trailed 1-0.

Welington Castillo struck out swinging for the first out in the fifth, the seventh strikeout of the night for Marco Estrada. Brett Jackson worked a walk. Darwin Barney pulled a 3-2 pitch into left center that Braun hauled in for the second out. Chris Rusin smoked a 3-2 pitch back up the middle that Jean Segura dove behind second and caught to end the inning.

Chris Rusin pitched from behind for a majority of the fifth inning but kept the Brewers off the board. Gomez struck out looking (3-2 pitch) to start the inning. Rusin then walked Jean Segura. Marco Estrada bunted the ball too hard toward Rizzo. The Cubs’ left-handed first baseman picked up the ball and threw a strike to Castro to force Segura. Aoki grounded out to second (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.

After five complete, the Cubs trailed 1-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth. Estrada struck out two of the three batters he faced … nine strikeouts for Estrada after six on 97 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Alberto Cabrera took over for Chris Rusin in the sixth and struggled with his command. Cabrera issued a four-pitch walk to Rickie Weeks. After the leadoff free pass to Weeks, Cabrera struck out Ryan Braun swinging (2-2 pitch). Cabrera fell behind Aramis Ramirez 3-1. Cabrera walked Ramirez then issued a four-pitch free pass to Corey Hart.

Jonathan Lucroy strolled to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Cabrera jumped ahead of Lucroy 0-2 then uncorked a wild pitch (the ball sailed over Lucroy’s head) that allowed Weeks to score. Lucroy pulled Cabrera’s next pitch into the left field corner. The Brewers’ first hit of the night to leave the infield drove in two (Ramirez, Hart) and the Brewers took a commanding 4-0 lead. Cabrera struck out Gomez swinging and retired Segura on a grounder to second to end the inning.

Alberto Cabrera allowed three runs in the sixth on one hit, three walks and a wild pitch … and it took him 26 pitches, 11 strikes, to record three outs.

The Cubs did nothing against Kameron Loe in the seventh.

Manny Corpas kept the Brewers off the board in the seventh. Travis Ishikawa hit for Kameron Loe and grounded out to second. Corpas plunked Aoki (third hit batsman of the night for Cubs’ pitching) then induced a 6-4 fielder’s choice off the bat of Rickie Weeks. Ryan Braun flied out to center for the third out.

The Cubs did nothing against Francisco Rodriguez in the eighth.

The Brewers added onto their lead in the eighth. Carlos Marmol issued a lead-off walk to Aramis Ramirez. Corey Hart flied out to right. A 1-1 pitch to Jonathan Lucroy hit off Welington Castillo’s glove. The passed ball allowed Ramirez to advance ninety feet. Lucroy flied out to right, Ramirez tagged and went to third. Carlos Gomez ripped a single into left that plated Ramirez with the Brewers’ fifth run. Jean Segura grounded out to Barney for the third out.

The game went to the ninth with the Cubs down 5-0.

Manny Parra retired DeJesus on a flyout to center. Josh Vitters drove a 1-0 pitch into right center for a double. Anthony Rizzo walked and Ron Roenicke went to his pen for right hander Jim Henderson.

Alfonso Soriano drove in Vitters with a single to right. Rizzo advanced to third with one down. Starlin Castro pulled the first pitch he saw up the third baseline. The ball took a weird hop behind the bag but Ramirez made a quick stab and threw out Castro at first as Rizzo scored. Roenicke went back to his pen for John Axford.

Welington Castillo grounded out to second to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Yovani Gallardo in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.

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  • paulcatanese

    Nice post Neil, hard to make something out of nothing, but on the positive side, Rusin did as well as anyone this year.
    And Soriono keeps rolling along.
    And I get to watch today, along with making my batch of Pizza
    dough.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks Paul, sorry you did not have a better game to watch today.