Volstad Loses Duel … Cubs Drop Fourth in a Row – Cubs 1, Dodgers 3

Game One Hundred Five – Cubs 1, Dodgers 3
WP – Clayton Kershaw (9-6) LP – Chris Volstad (0-8) Save – Kenley Jansen (21)

The Cubs dropped their fourth game in a row on a night the offense could not string any hits together against Clayton Kershaw. The reigning NL Cy Young award winner was excellent but the Cubs’ offense could not take advantage of the opportunities they had. After managing one run on four hits with four walks in Friday’s loss, Dale Sveum’s team scored one run on three hits with two walks. The Cubs finished the game 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left four on base.

Clayton Kershaw was 2-for-2 at the plate and notched almost as many hits as he surrendered.

Chris Volstad put together his best outing in a Cubs’ uniform but ended up on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel. Volstad dropped his eighth game of the year and remains winless at the big league level in his last 21 starts. Volstad made only one mistake, and it really wasn’t one. Matt Kemp drove a Volstad sinker that was down and in over the wall in right center. Joe Mather tried to make a leaping catch but the ball went off his glove and out of the field of play. Volstad had a very good sinker and control of his breaking pitches on Saturday night. Chris Volstad allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in seven innings. Volstad retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced and tossed 100 pitches over his seven frames, 67 for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) drove in the Cubs’ lone run in the fourth. Soriano plated Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a run scored) with his 23rd double of the season and gave the Cubs a brief 1-0 lead.

Darwin Barney was not charged with an error on Saturday night and ran his errorless streak to 91 games. Barney broke Ryne Sandberg’s single-season errorless games streak set in 1989. Sandberg did not commit an error from June 21 through the end of the season, a span of 90 games. Sandberg owns the Cubs’ mark for consecutive errorless games by a second baseman (123 games). Sandberg was not charged with an error from June 21, 1989 through May 17, 1990.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 43-62 on the season …

The Cubs did nothing in the first and Clayton Kershaw retired the side in order on 11 pitches, eight for strikes.

Chris Volstad was sharp in the first inning. Volstad hit his spots and retired the Dodgers in order on 13 pitches, eight for strikes.

Clayton Kershaw made quick work of the Cubs in the second … 1-2-3 and six in a row on 23 pitches, 16 for strikes.

The Dodgers did nothing against Volstad in the second. Volstad needed 19 pitches, 13 for strikes, to get through two innings.

After two, no runs, hits or baserunners for either team.

Joe Mather popped out to second for the first out in the third. Luis Valbuena worked a walk and Chris Volstad bunted him to second … but Starlin Castro grounded out to third to end the inning. Kershaw threw 37 pitches, 24 for strikes, over three innings.

Chris Volstad made quick work of Jerry Hairston Jr. and A.J. Ellis for the first two outs in the third. Clayton Kershaw ripped a 1-1 pitch back up the middle and into center for the first hit of the game. Shane Victorino hit a 0-1 pitch to Castro, who tossed to a running Barney just ahead of Kershaw to end the inning. Volstad needed 36 pitches to get through three, 24 for strikes.

Darwin Barney led off the fourth with the Cubs’ first hit of the game … a single to left on a 1-2 pitch. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 2-2 pitch toward first. James Loney fielded the ball near the base, kicked the bag and threw to Ramirez covering second. Barney slid in safe. Alfonso Soriano pulled a 2-2 pitch into the gap in left center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Barney scored. The Cubs could not take advantage of Soriano’s one-out double. Baker struck out swinging and Castillo flied out to right to end the inning … 61 pitches for Kershaw after four, 42 for strikes.

The Cubs lead did not last two batters into the fourth. Mark Ellis led off the fourth with a single to right (2-2 pitch). Matt Kemp then drove a 0-1 sinker that was down and in to deep right center. Joe Mather raced over and got a glove on the ball as it left the park … and just like that the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead. Volstad walked Andre Either. Hanley Ramirez pounded a 1-0 pitch toward third. Valbuena picked it cleanly and started a 5-4-3 double play. James Loney ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and into center but Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded out to short for the third out … 56 pitches for Volstad, 36 for strikes, after four.

Luis Valbuena worked his second walk of the game with one out in the fifth. Volstad bunted him into scoring position. Starlin Castro was called out on a 3-2 pitch that was high and outside to end the inning. Kershaw’s pitch count stood at 83, 55 for strikes, after five innings.

Clayton Kershaw reached with his second single of the night with one down in the fifth. A.J. Ellis popped out to Castro to start the inning. Shane Victorino chopped a 0-1 pitch toward second. Barney fielded the ball and tossed to Castro for the force … it was the Cubs’ only play. Volstad struck out Mark Ellis swinging to end the inning. Volstad tossed 72 pitches over five innings, 46 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing against Kershaw in the sixth (93 pitches, 61 for strikes).

Chris Volstad set the side down in order in the sixth … 89 pitches for Volstad, 59 for strikes.

After six, the Cubs trailed 2-1.

Jeff Baker grounded out to third on Kershaw’s first pitch of the seventh. Kershaw retired the leadoff hitter in six of his seven innings. Welington Castillo quickly fell behind 0-2. Castillo worked the count back into his favor and ripped a single into center on a 3-2 pitch … the Cubs’ third hit. Joe Mather advanced Castillo to second with a swinging bunt to the third base side of the mound. Luis Valbuena was caught looking on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Chris Volstad retired James Loney (groundout to second) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (flyout to left center) to begin the seventh. Volstad retired seven in a row and nine of 10 at that point. A.J. Ellis drove Volstad’s pitch into left center. Mather turned in an excellent effort. Mather dove into left center and appeared to catch the ball but as he hit the ground the ball popped out of his glove. Tony Gwynn Jr. hit for Kershaw and grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Ronald Belisario in the eighth.

Shane Victorino greeted Shawn Camp with a hustle double to left center (0-1 pitch) to start the eighth … the eighth straight hit off Camp dating back to his outing against the Pirates on Wednesday. Mark Ellis hit a 3-2 pitch back to the mound. Camp fielded, looked Victorino back and threw out Ellis at first. Matt Kemp was intentionally walked. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and brought in James Russell to face Andre Ethier.

Andre Ethier hit a 0-1 pitch toward second. Barney fielded the ball and tossed to Castro with Kemp barreling down on him. Castro made a leaping throw to first that was in the dirt and late. Rizzo made an excellent scoop to hold Victorino at third. Russell fell behind Hanley Ramirez 3-1. Ramirez smoked Russell’s next pitch under Castro’s glove and into left center. Castro was charged with an error on a ball that he should have caught. Victorino scored and the Dodgers took a 3-1 lead. James Loney grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the ninth trailing 3-1.

Kenley Jansen set down the Cubs in order in the ninth on nine pitches, all nine strikes. Rizzo lined out to left, Soriano struck out swinging and Bryan LaHair was caught looking to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Justin Germano is scheduled to face Joe Blanton in the series and season finale with the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon.

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  • matthew8510

    when do you suspect soriano will be placed on waivers

    • Ripsnorter1

      Houston was 3-29 over their last 32 games entering into the game vs Atlanta and Paul Maholm. Maholm is a six inning pitcher. But Atlanta left him in for the seventh.

      HOUSTON WINS!!
      HOUSTON WINS!!

      Maholm goes 7 IP, gives up 3 runs and loses to Houston!

      How did he do that? He gave up TWO taters to Justin Maxwell. Maxwell went 4 for 4 against Atlanta, and 3 for 3 of that was off of Mr. Maholm.

      Next time, Paul, just walk him. For crying out loud, this is the Houston Astros! They haven’t another hitter in the entire lineup!

      Man alive!

      Get out of that coma you are in!

    • Ripsnorter1

      It’s the contract.

      He ain’t going anywhere.

      Besides, he leads the Cubs in …..
      RBI…
      HR…
      2B….
      total bases….
      2nd in slugging….
      2nd in hits…
      3rd in BB…
      3rd in BA…
      3rd in OPS….
      3rd in Offensive WAR….
      4th in OBP…

      In short, he’s a lot of your offense, and we are already dead last in MLB. And he’s the only bat you have to protect Mr. Anthony Rizzo and his development. Mr. Rizzo may be tempted to pick up some bad habits if he has no protection in the lineup.

      Where is the wisdom in dumping Mr. Soriano? He’s not blocking anyone (no, not Brett Jackson, Dave Sappelt, Tony Campana, Mr. Mather, Matt Scuzar, or anyone else in the entire organization).

      Incredibly, we are better off with him.

      • Tony_Hall

        I like your last line “incredibly…” He has had a good year, but if a team needs a bat, and is offering a real prospect, and they take on some small amount of his salary, and he will accept the trade, he will be traded.

        That is an awful lot of if’s to have to happen, very low odds to be traded.

      • roseyc

        Where is the logic that with no protection that Rizzo development will be deterred. Arod didn’t have protection in Sea. Soriano needs to be bought out and gone. So what if he’s our leading offensive threat. I think your still in the Jim Hendry mode of running a ballclub. Who is Houston’s top offensive threat it was probably Carlos Lee before he was traded. You build from within and then add your FA’s. The Tigers were bad and now their farm system has allowed them to trade for Cabarea. I bet you dodn’t understand why dempster was traded and why we need to trade Garza. Hendry left the farm system in shambels. WE don’t have a decent pitching prospect that we can bring for Sept callups

        • BosephHeyden

          Well, A-Rod DID have protection…it was just inside a needle.

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

            edgar martinez, jay buhner, griffey, tino martinez plenty of protection, Seattle actually had one hell of a team not to terribly long ago.

        • paulcatanese

          I will say one thing here. Soriono does protect Rizzo, just as Rizzo protects Castro.
          Although the odds in Rizzo’s case to pitch around him to get to Soriono have lessened with the year that Soriono is having.
          In reality Soriono is protecting both Castro and Rizzo, and counts in the development of both.

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

        Respectfully, i believe that come next year he will be blocking guys in our organization. Szczur i think has a chance to break spring training with the big club. Im sure Bjax will also get his chance next year. Soler will probably be moved rather quickly through the system as well. I highly doubt they will move forward with Soriano, whether he is traded now or in the offseason, he will be gone before next year.

    • Tony_Hall

      Most likely they passed him through waivers already. No reason to wait, as you aren’t trying to time him passing through waivers, no one will claim him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    So the Cubs will face Joe Blanton today.

    Blanton was elated to be traded to the Dodgers. That’s because Mr. Blanton has given up the most HRs of any NL pitcher, (22), and the Dodgers’ park is so very pitcher friendly. He feels he “one-upped” Mr. Ryan Dempster. (He probably did).

    • Ripsnorter1

      Watch out for the Cardinals, Pittsburgh.

      Pittsburgh is leading in the Wildcard race. Not for long.
      The Cards are #2 in MLB in runs scored. And it’s time for them to make their move.

      • paulcatanese

        Rip, thats too bad for the Pirates, as you are right. I would have liked to see the Pirates sneak in there, maybe will happen anyway.
        At this point the Reds are a lock, unless their star reliever’s arm falls off.(if it did, it would probably follow the ball at 100 mph to the plate.

  • Zonk

    Apparently, according to Sullivan, the Dodgers are pissed at the Cubs for allowing Dempster to listen in on the closing stages of the negotiations involving him. While not against any rules, Dodgers consider this a serious breech of ethics.

    Not sure how I feel; I understand completely why Hoyer did that, they needed to show Demp they were trying to meet his wishes, but that the Dodgers were being unreasonable. There are no etiquette rules at all about TELLING the player everything that is going on.

    Given what Texas gave up, Allen Webster was a fair return, but Dodgers were not budging.

    Certainly, the Cubs had to put Demp in the room in order to max their return out for him, so can’t blame them for that at all

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

      F the Dodgers, I think its perfectly ethical for Demp to be able to see exactly what is being offered for him. Dodgers are mad that he was able to see just exactly how little they valued him. Not sure why it matters now anyways, unless they had plans to sign him in the offseason and now that may be in jeopardy. Oh well!

      • paulcatanese

        Mike as with the post to Zonk above I agree 100% with you also.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree 100% Zonk, totaly ethical by the Cubs,they once and for all proved to Dempster that they were in his corner.
      The result, Dempster agreed to go to Texas.
      In fact I really liked what the Cubs did, no bull involved.

  • paulcatanese

    Paul Sullivan reported that the relationship between the Cubs and Dodgers could be strained because of the Dempster deal.
    Why?
    It was very simple and straight forward. The Dodgers were not going to give up any top prospects,,,, Smart.
    The Cubs were not going to give them Dempster unless they recieved top prospects,,,,,Smart.
    Both sides made smart choices, so I would ask Sullivan why relationships would be strained.
    It’s old news, Texas got Dempster, the Dodgers got Blanton, and the Cubs got a top prospect.
    I guess its anything to sell newspapers.

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

      waaaaaaa!!! you wouldnt hook us up for nothing like when we got Lilly. Mad cause our FO wasnt gonna be pushed around by them. On the other hand, it could be our front office that is mad at the Dodgers, well maybe not mad, but may be unwilling to work with them in the future. Im sure Theo and company will remember the crap that was being offered by the dodgers, kind of a slap in the face to any self respecting FO. I for one would be hesitant to work with the dodgers in the future.

    • BosephHeyden

      Good. I hope we never deal with the Dodgers again. I mean, look at not just our deals but the deals they’ve made with other teams as well. They got Shane Victorino for what basically amounts to a steal. They got Blanton for what appears to be nothing. They got Lilly AND Theriot for free…heck, we basically paid THEM to take them when we took DeWitt. They’ve got no good prospects, their good players are big contracted players that seem to be prone to injury…we’re better off without them.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    There is a reliable report that Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters are in LA today and in a Cubs’ uniform. Nothing from the mainstream media and the report has confirmed it is Brett Jackson and not Clayton Kershaw.

    Will post when I can confirm.

    • paulcatanese

      Whoooa, how about that. Here they are coach, put them in, they are ready to play.

  • paulcatanese

    If they(Vitters, Jackson) are here and put in todays lineup, and either Lahair or Campana also, it would mean 7 out of the 9 starters would be home grown(Exception, Rizzo, but he was in the system for 1/2 of the year so I count him). Could be an interesting day.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Remember when Alex Rios was put on waivers, and Keeeeeeenny Williams claimed him? Toronto was so relieved to get rid of that contract! Oh the joy of watching Alex hit .199 that first half year with the White Sox! And although he is hitting this year, he has been a real pain to Sox fans.

  • http://twitter.com/SirGladiator Frankie Newton

    This is a great example of why its important to have a good Center Fielder. Who on earth thought Mather in CF was a good idea? Poor Volstad couldve finally gotten a win, but no, we had to put a terrible defender in the most important outfield position. Hopefully we can get somebody like Bourn in the off-season, somebody who can actually play defense in CF.

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

    Bjax and Szczur can play defense and will probably be manning CF before too long, we wont be pursuing anyone like Bourn no matter how nice that would look. I do give Mather credit as he went all out on those plays though. Many others wouldnt have put forth the effort he did.