Samardzija Can’t Dodge Another Cubs Loss – Cubs 1, Dodgers 6

Game One Hundred Four – Cubs 1, Dodgers 6
WP – Chad Billingsley (7-9) LP – Jeff Samardzija (7-9) Save – None

The Cubs lost their third game in a row on Friday night and managed just one run on four hits. Dale Sveum’s team has been outscored 19-5 over the last three games.

Jeff Samardzija was sharp early on and allowed only one run over the first four innings. Samardzija had problems the second and third time through the lineup, could not put hitters away and the Dodgers made him pay. Samardzija really struggled with command of his secondary pitches Friday night and left too many up in the zone.

Hanley Ramirez had another big game against Cubs’ pitching. Ramirez scored the go ahead run in the bottom of the fifth on a double by James Loney. Ramirez broke the game open with a two-run single in the sixth and chased Samardzija from the game.

Jeff Samardzija lasted only 5 1/3 innings in his worst outing in over a month. Samardzija gave up five runs on eight hits without a walk and three strikeouts on 96 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Scott Maine and Alberto Cabrera picked up the final two outs in the sixth. Cabrera was sharp again and struck out the only batter he faced on four pitches. Manny Corpas served up A.J. Ellis’ second homer of the night in the seventh that accounted for the Dodgers’ sixth run. Jeff Beliveau pitched a perfect eighth.

The Cubs offense was held in check again. Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a run scored) scored the Cubs only run on a Luis Valbuena (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI) double in the fifth that tied the game at one. The Cubs managed only four hits and four walks on the night and finished the game 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 43-61 on the season …

After CB Bucknor called a 3-2 pitch to David DeJesus strike three to start the game, Starlin Castro broke his bat on a 1-1 pitch and grounded out to second. Anthony Rizzo blooped a 1-0 pitch in front of Shane Victorino in shallow left center for the first hit of the game. Alfonso Soriano launched a 1-0 pitch to deep center. Matt Kemp misjudged the ball but recovered and made a leaping catch at the wall to end the inning. The Cubs were very aggressive in the first inning, just 14 pitches, seven strikes, for Chad Billingsley.

Jeff Samardzija retired the side in order in the first on 14 pitches, 11 strikes. Bryan LaHair made a leaping catch at the wall to take a hit away from Matt Kemp to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … 24 pitches for Billingsley, 13 strikes.

Samardzija ended up facing the minimum in the second after giving up a bloop single (shallow center) to Andre Ethier. Hanley Ramirez flied out to right center (2-1 pitch) and James Loney rapped into a 4-6-3 double play (0-1 pitch). Samardzija was sharp in the first two innings (24 pitches, 17 strikes).

Luis Valbuena and Jeff Samardzija went down quickly to start the third. David DeJesus put together a 10-pitch at bat that ended with the Cubs’ first walk of the game. Starlin Castro smacked a 3-1 pitch back up the middle that Billingsley snared and threw to Loney for the third out … 46 pitches for Billingsley over three innings, 27 for strikes.

Samardzija retired Luis Cruz on two pitches to begin the third (flyout to right). Samardzija jumped ahead of A.J. Ellis 1-2 … then hung a splitter. Ellis deposited the mistake into the stands in left center and the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead. Samardzija fell behind Billingsley 3-1 before striking him out swinging. Victorino popped out to Barney in shallow right (3-2 pitch) to end the third … 46 pitches for Samardzija after three, 31 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Billingsley struck out Rizzo (looking), Soriano (swinging) and LaHair (looking). Billingsley needed 59 pitches to get through four, 36 strikes.

Jeff Samardzija made quick work of Mark Ellis (pop out to right center), Matt Kemp (flyout to right) and Andre Ethier (flyout to center) in the fourth. Samardzija threw 55 pitches through four, 36 strikes.

Steve Clevenger flied out to center (2-0 pitch) for the first out in the fifth. Darwin Barney then reached on a swinging bunt up the third baseline. A.J. Ellis picked up the ball but his throw was high and pulled Loney off the bag. Luis Valbuena pulled a 1-2 pitch into the right field corner. Barney scored all the way from first and tied the game on Valbuena’s double. Samardzija struck out and DeJesus grounded out to short to end the fifth. Billingsley threw 79 pitches in the first five innings, 50 for strikes.

Hanley Ramirez reached on a hustle double to begin the fifth. Ramirez drove a 2-1 pitch past a diving Barney and through the shift into right center. Ramirez hustled out of the box and set the tone for the inning. James Loney pulled a 1-0 pitch into right. Ramirez scored on Loney’s double and just like that the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead. Luis Cruz put together a productive at bat. Cruz flied out to right and Loney advanced to third.

Samardzija made another two-strike mistake to A.J. Ellis. The Dodgers’ catcher dropped a 0-2 offering in front of Soriano in left. Loney scored and the Dodgers tacked onto their lead. Billingsley fouled out on a bunt attempt and Victorino popped out to center (3-2 pitch) to end the inning … 81 pitches for Samardzija after five, 53 for strikes.

After five complete, the Cubs trailed 3-1.

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo made two routine outs to begin the sixth. Castro flied out to right and Rizzo grounded out to second. Alfonso Soriano worked a walk. Bryan LaHair pulled Billingsley’s first pitch down the right field line. The ball ended up under the chair of the security guard and Soriano dove in headfirst at third. Don Mattingly argued the ball was foul, replay showed the ball hit in foul territory but it appeared to hit in fair territory then sail over the first base bag. After a brief conference between the umpire crew, LaHair was given a double. With runners on second and third with two down, Steve Clevenger pulled a 2-2 pitch to Loney at first to end the inning.

Mark Ellis spanked a 1-2 pitch into left center for a leadoff single in the sixth. Matt Kemp scorched a 1-2 pitch into left. Soriano fielded the ball and threw toward third. Ellis was nearly at the bag when the ball left Soriano’s hand. Ellis made it easily and Kemp advanced to second on Soriano’s mental error. Andre Ethier tapped back to Samardzija (2-2 pitch) for the first out.

Hanley Ramirez drove a 0-1 pitch from Jeff Samardzija into right. Ellis and Kemp scored after Ramirez finished admiring his work. With the Dodgers up 5-1, Sveum made the slow walk and brought Scott Maine into face James Loney.

Maine’s first pitch ended up hitting the backstop. Ramirez advanced to second on the wild pitch. Maine retired Loney on a lineout to center (3-2 pitch) Sveum made the slow walk and brought in Alberto Cabrera to face Luis Cruz. Cabrera struck out Cruz swinging on four pitches to end the inning.

After six, the Cubs trailed 5-1.

The Cubs did nothing against Billingsley in the seventh. Billingsley threw 105 pitches, 64 for strikes, in seven strong innings.

A.J. Ellis greeted Manny Corpas with a long homer to the stands in right center to start the seventh. Corpas struck out pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. for the first out. Shane Victorino ripped a 0-1 pitch into center. Mark Ellis flied out to right. Victorino stole second on the first pitch to Matt Kemp. Corpas retired Kemp on a grounder to second to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Brandon League in the eighth.

Jeff Beliveau set down the side in order in the eighth.

Alfonso Soriano popped out to center on the first pitch he saw in the ninth. Shawn Tolleson then issued back-to-back walks to Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger. Darwin Barney pulled a 1-2 pitch to Luis Cruz … 5-4-3 double play, game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Clayton Kershaw on Saturday night.

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