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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Quote of the Day

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Volstad vs Clayton Kershaw and his 2.95 ERA….Accuscore gives us a whopping 22% chance to win tonight…Dodgers are only 57-50, which certainly isn’t a juggernaut.

    Volstad in his last 20 starts….0-12 with a 5.68, and his team is 0-20. Maybe he can keep the streak alive….

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Rip, things dont look on the bright side for tonight.
      Very hard to post positive things about the big club when their is nothing happening.
      Stated in as simple terms as I can, its sad that the Cubs have been reduced to what they are now.
      The never ending stockpiling of “prospects” and the total ignoring of the major league team, and at best, bringing in “fillers” and inexpensive players to just put bodies on the field, well, thats just sad.

      • cubtex

        I suggest watching the Olympics and forget about watching the Cubs until they bring up Vitters and BJax. It is hard to watch so many fringe mlb players on a daily basis. Track is starting!

        • paulcatanese

          Well one consolation, they have started to run the old “Odd Couple”,”Mannix”,and”Get Smart”on TV,the similarity is I have seen them before and know whats going to happen. No matter how many times I watch them.

          • cubtex

            In the words of Maxwell Smart……”Missed it by that much!”

        • BosephHeyden

          You know what else won’t hurt? Football season pretty much starts tomorrow night, and for us Chicago based people, the Bears start Thursday.

        • roseyc

          Cubtex, I totally agree with your assessments. What do the Cubs have to loose at this point. If nothing else they can find out what JH’s prosepects have. Then if they don’t work they can start to weed out what they don’t won’t. Lahari and Valbauna have proven they can’t hit. Let’s see what Bjax and Vitters can do

          • J Daniel

            What they have to lose is if they are not ready yet they could be overmatched and ruined like many others. I do realize that maybe Pie, Patterson, Bobby Hill, . . . may have never been ready but more hype.

            Although I would really like to see them up as well, here is the other side – management has determined that they do not fit future plans. Their trade value would be better this off season if they stay down and perform vs. coming up and struggling.

            Not saying this is what I want just saying it might be the management view of it. Selling high as everyone likes to say.

        • Dorasaga

          You’ll need to catch up, after missed two days of tracks. :-))

  • cubtex

    Read somewhere that Volstad will be in rotation the rest of the year regardless how he does. As most of us realize………August will not be fun. They will not win many games this month. That being said…..I know Carrie Muskat made a blunder yesterday saying BJax was up……But BJax and Vitters need to be brought up immediately. Let Wellington Castillo catch most of the games.Lets evaluate these players just like they are with Volstad. I have seen enough of Valbuena,LaHair and even Clevenger. Let BJax Vitters and Castillo get 200 AB’s and see how they respond.

    • paulcatanese

      Bringing them up now would at the least restore some sanity to this season.
      Before the CCO I was totaly in the dark about how franchises
      work, boy have my eyes been opened. When one can see how the inner workings of a major league team functions, and its not pretty.
      The biggest input I have come away with is how bad the
      Cubs are in comparision to other teams. They have failed miserably over the years, and now this is what it comes down to, dis-mantle everything in sight, bring as many new faces in(talented or not), lower payroll to a minimum, do not care if the parent club wins or not on the field, and ask
      the fan base to be patient, as somehow, someway this is all going to lead to a World Series in a few short years and
      continue to be a force in the Central Division.
      Coupled with the highest ticket prices around, peddling
      everything in sight (jackets, shirts, team logos,etc.)
      Charging a ridiculous amount to have you and you’re son play catch on the field, a tour of the stadium, cruise trips with has beens, all at acharge to the fan.
      Oh, and listen to Len and Bob teach the ignorant?,fan about the nuances of baseball, and promoting everything in sight, roof tops, group plans, etc. Why a player does this or that. I want to puke.
      Oh, good morning everyone.

      • paulcatanese

        Forgot, todays my birthday, I can say anything I want.

        • Neil

          Happy Birthday Paul … have a great day!

        • Aaron

          Happy Birthday buddy!

        • cubtex

          Happy Birthay my man! Many more! We are having a celebration today as well! Send off party for my son before he reports for college and starts his collegiate cross country and track season! Enjoy the day Paul!

        • Tom U

          Many happy returns to you, Paul!

        • daverj

          Happy Birthday Paul!

        • brent carmona

          Happy birthday paulie

        • triple

          Happy Birthday Paul! My guess is that a Chris Volstad win for your birthday is way too much to ask for, but you never know!

      • Henry

        Paul, Happy Birthday to one of my favorite posters! I could not agree with you more! I am one of those fools who is a season ticket holder. I was fine with the way the season was playing out but this past week has made me miserable. I don’t understand why at least Vitters is not up. I am still not sold on moving Maholm. I understand the reasoning but you have to get something in return. Hopefully our Tommy John Alumnus will fulfill his potential.

    • daverj

      I like the thoughts on Vitters and Castillo and agree with you, but I don’t see the point in bringing up Jackson. He needs to learn how to put the bat on the ball first and it will be harder to learn that skill in the majors.

  • Neil

    Javier Baez has been promoted to Daytona. Tim Saunders will take Baez’s place on the Chiefs roster

    • BosephHeyden

      It’s good to see a #1 pick moving at the pace a #1 pick should move at. Hopefully Almora and Soler (even though he’s not a #1 pick, he’s paid more than one, so he should be held to those expectations) take note and push themselves to do better than Baez.

    • cubtex

      Lets hope he is on the fast track! That pitching was child’s play to him.

    • Tom U

      A deserved offensive promotion. I only hope he gets together with veterans Elliot Soto, Vladimir Frias, Dustin Harrington and Rubi Silva to improve the “second phase” of his game.

  • cubtex

    Iowa has lost 7 games in a row. Jaye Chapman is off to a rough start with Iowa. Gave up 3 runs last night in his 1 IP.

  • Aaron

    Dreaming of a 2014 team of:
    Garza (or hopefully someone obtained via trade for him like Syndergaard)
    Paniagua/Maples/Jensen/Kirk/Loosen/Peralta/Arias/Rosario/Blackburn/Lang/etc. *whomever emerges in that group


    C-Castillo, Clevenger
    2B-Lake, Torreyes
    3B-Baez, Villanueva
    LF-Vitters, Jackson (I just don’t think he’s an everyday prospect anymore…not with his K rate)
    CF-Almora, Szczur

    Stuff can change. Prospects can tank as they advance, or come out of nowhere as they put on more muscle, etc.

    I sure hope we see something like this. As far as position talent goes, you could almost put in ink Rizzo, Castro, Vitters, and Jackson on that 2014 roster, but everyone else will be dependent on how they finish this season and where they start next season

    • BosephHeyden

      Alright, this is as good a place as any: we know that, like you mentioned, prospects tank. And judging from the history of the Cubs organization in general, it’s likely that, from that list close half of those prospects will not live up to their potential.

      So, just to kinda get a realistic discussion going, I’m curious which of those roster spots you listed are likely going to need to be filled by free agency (because, if we are going to be a realistic contender, we’re going to need at least one big signing This is what I figure:

      Starting rotation: this is going to be an easy one for me. Samardzija, as mentioned in last night’s game, is pretty much an older prospect when it comes to starting, and since he doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on his arm, he’s going to get better in the next two years. With that in mind, I see him filling the #2 spot. Garza I just don’t see on this team past this season: he just does not seem to improve, and his performance is reminiscent of Zambrano (ie he has a really good game followed by a really bad one followed by a few average games). I have to imagine Whitenack will be a #3, that we get a good arm for Garza that will fill #4, and we should be able to develop a #5. But we will need to obtain an ace, barring huge improvements from the Shark. So I’m thinking that’s the first area on the team we fill with free agency (or a big trade).

      Bullpen: I’m thinking Dolis develops into a great setup guy. And I’m betting Vizcaino doesn’t recover enough to be a full-fledged starter, but he will be able to fill the closer role. Russell may still be around, and we should be able to develop a lefty specialist. We’ll probably have to get one veteran arm to fill the long man for the pen and that’s probably about it.

      Catcher: I think one of those two develops into a good starter (not great, but good). The other will have trade value. And the free agency market will have a veteran backup.
      First: Rizzo’s got it locked down until he shows otherwise.
      Second: I think THIS will be the hole that needs to be filled by free agency if a prospect doesn’t force Castro here, just because Junior Lake’s number are respectable, but don’t blow me away.
      Short: It’s Castro’s to lose.
      Third: I think by the time we get to 2014, we’ll see a pretty good competition between Vitters and Baez. So this is a hole we’ll have filled.
      OF: This depends on where Soler and Almora are by May next season. I think Szcur will wind up either stalling or just being a bench guy, so if Soler and Almora wind up advancing quickly, I think we have them starting. Jackson, like you mentioned with the K rate, is either going to be REALLY good or will turn into another Felix Pie and be serviceable-to-decent for a number of other teams. If Jackson doesn’t pan out, free agency has to fill one hole. If Almora or Soler don’t advance quickly, there’s two. If all three stall…we’re going to have to force one of those three into the outfield. And our fifth outfielder is definitely free agency.

      I’m thinking we’re likely going to need six or so free agents, and of those six, only two will need to be big signings, which is fine since we have the money.

    • J Daniel

      Not sure but I think both Vitters and Jackson will be moved and Almora or Szczur will be in left.

  • paulcatanese

    Thanks to all of you wishing me a happy birthday,also means I have been a Cub fan for 70 years, started at eight yrs old.

    • Dorasaga

      It’s been a roller-coaster ride, isn’t it? Happy birthday; God Bless.

  • jw

    On our way to top pick. Cubs do not win a game in LA

  • Dorasaga

    It’s weekend, less than five days past the trade deadline. Things sound more lively now. Team USA has been winning. Beating Putin’s toys and the People’s Middle Kingdom in ladies of the gym? Tell me about that. Football (soccer where every country but us call it) and volleyball are smart sports. I also had fun watching the events when USA can’t win (had they ever? yet to check Olympic Reference, the neighbor of baseball-reference); you know, fencing, equestrian. Throw in the put and weight.

    Now, it’s reflection time. Yahoo’s Passan is one of the better writers (I like him). He likes the Cubs, at least when he compares this to the league throughout. The Twins and Indians just don’t have it. Who can truly say this management is not playing the right cards? Or just being lucky to hit Black Jack? We’ll see how Viz et al. mature in three years:–losers-and-tweeners-from-2012-trade-deadline.html

  • cubtex

    This weekend the original olympic sport begins! Track and Field! Go USA!

  • Dorasaga

    Track and Field have been going on for three days now.