A Raley Night for the Cubs – Cubs 4, Padres 7

Game One Hundred Eight – Cubs 4, Padres 7
WP – Ross Ohlendorf (4-2) LP – Brooks Raley (0-1) Save – Huston Street (20)

The West Coast woes continued Tuesday night in San Diego as the Cubs lost their seventh straight ballgame. The Cubs made a game of it late but the offense could not make up for Brooks Raley’s rough debut.

Brooks Raley barely made it out of the fourth inning after struggling the second and third time through the lineup. Raley pitched from behind in the count for a majority of his short debut (89 pitches, 54 strikes), something the young lefty simply cannot do. After tossing two scoreless innings to begin his night, Raley allowed four runs on four hits with a pair of walks in the third then Carlos Quentin launched a three-run homer off Raley in the fourth that put the game out of reach. Raley allowed seven runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.

The Cubs’ bullpen did its job in relief of Raley and tossed four innings of three-hit ball. Jeff Beliveau surrendered only two hits in his two frames while Alberto Cabrera struck out two of the three batters he faced. James Russell allowed a bloop single in the eighth.

The Cubs’ offense was non-existent against Ross Ohlendorf. Luis Valbuena (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) collected the first two hits off Ohlendorf and Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a run scored and a HBP) drove in Valbuena for the only earned run off the Padres’ starter. Bryan LaHair (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) subbing for the injured Alfonso Soriano reached on a two-base error to start the seventh and scored on a single off the bat of Steve Clevenger (1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored).

Josh Vitters pinch-hit for Jeff Beliveau in the seventh and delivered a two-run double. Vitters’ first big league hit cut the Padres’ lead to 7-4 … but the top of the Cubs’ lineup had a horrible night and that was as close as the Cubs would get against the Padres’ pen.

The first four hitters in the Cubs’ lineup went 0-for-15 with two walks Tuesday night and left nine runners on base. David DeJesus (0-for-4 with a walk), Brett Jackson (0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts), Starlin Castro (0-for-4) and Anthony Rizzo (0-for-4) did absolutely nothing … add in Bryan LaHair’s night and the top five hitters in the Cubs’ lineup went 0-for-18 with three walks and a run scored.

Starlin Castro’s slump reached a career-worst 0-for-19 on Tuesday (0-for-17 in May of 2010) and he appeared frustrated after his final two at bats. Brett Jackson struck out three more times Tuesday. Jackson is hitless in his last nine plate appearances with eight strikeouts and a walk.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 43-65 on the season, 22 game below .500 …

The Cubs did nothing in the first. Ross Ohlendorf threw only 12 pitches, eight for strikes, and Brett Jackson struck out for the sixth straight time.

Brooks Raley began his big league career by striking out Chris Denorfia. Raley walked Logan Forsythe (3-2 pitch). Bud Black called for a hit and run on a 2-2 pitch to Chase Headley. The Padres’ third baseman pulled the ball toward short. Starlin Castro fielded the ball and threw to first. Forsythe advanced to second on the play. Carlos Quentin fouled out to Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Raley threw 20 pitches in the first, 13 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the second. Ohlendorf needed only 26 pitches (18 strikes) to complete two innings of work on Tuesday night.

Jesus Guzman reached on a slow chopper up the third baseline to begin the second, the first hit off Raley. Cameron Maybin launched a 1-1 pitch to deep left. David DeJesus, playing his first game in left, made a fine leaping catch before hitting the wall. Everth Cabrera flied out to DeJesus in left center and John Baker struck out swinging to end the inning … 37 pitches for Raley after two, 24 for strikes.

Luis Valbuena broke up Ohlendorf’s no-hit bid with a single to left center to start the third. Darwin Barney flied out to center. Brooks Raley could not get a bunt down and ended up grounding into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. With Raley at first, DeJesus grounded out to second to end the inning. Ohlendorf threw only 38 pitches in the first three innings, 27 for strikes.

The Padres got to Raley in a big way in the third … and put the game out of reach. Ross Ohlendorf reached on a broken bat single to center. Raley then walked Chris Denorfia on four pitches. Logan Forsythe dropped a bunt up the third baseline. Raley did not field the ball and by the time Valbuena got to it, it was too late. Forsythe reached and the bases were loaded for Chase Headley.

Brooks Raley fell behind Headley 3-1. Headley pounded Raley’s next pitch back up the middle and into center. Ohlendorf and Denorfia scored, 2-0 Padres. Forsythe stopped at third with no outs. Raley walked Quentin to load the bases.

Raley jammed Jesus Guzman and got him to pop out to Barney in shallow center for the first out. With the bases loaded and one down, Raley struck out Cameron Maybin swinging. After a visit from Steve Clevenger, Raley fell behind Everth Cabrera 3-1. Raley had to throw a strike and Cabrera hit the ball in between Valbuena and Castro. Forsythe and Headley scored, 4-0 Padres. With runners on first and second with two down, John Baker struck out swinging.

Brooks Raley threw 31 pitches in the third (68 for the game, 41 strikes) and allowed four runs on four hits with two walks … and after three, the Cubs were down 4-0.

Brett Jackson worked a walk to start the fourth. Starlin Castro lined out to center for the first out … but Anthony Rizzo hit a bullet toward short that Cabrera snagged and threw to first to double off Jackson.

Brooks Raley retired Ohlendorf and Denorfia quickly to start the fourth. Raley fell behind Logan Forsythe and Raley simply does not have the stuff to pitch from behind in the count. Forsythe reached on a single to the hole at short (3-2 pitch). Castro fielded the ball and made an excellent attempt but he could not throw Forsythe out from shallow left. Chase Headley ripped a 1-0 pitch into center. Forsythe held at second with two down. Raley fell behind Carlos Quentin 2-0 then made an excellent pitch for strike one. Raley went right back with the same pitch (76 mph slider) and Carlos Quentin deposited the ball into the stands in left center … 7-0 Padres. Jesus Guzman grounded out to short to end the inning and Raley’s night.

Bryan LaHair (flyout to right center) and Steve Clevenger (groundout to first) made two quick outs to start the fifth. Luis Valbuena pulled a 0-1 pitch into right for a double, the Cubs second hit of the game. Darwin Barney followed with a double down the left field line (2-1 pitch). Valbuena scored and broke up the shutout. Adrian Cardenas hit for Raley and popped out to Guzman for the third out.

Jeff Beliveau took over in the fifth. Cameron Maybin greeted Beliveau with a bloop single to right. Beliveau struck out Cabrera swinging before giving up a single to John Baker on a 2-2 pitch. Ohlendorf bunted both runners up ninety feet but Chris Denorfia hit a 1-0 pitch back to Beliveau to end the inning.

After five, the Cubs trailed 7-1.

David DeJesus reached on an error by Everth Cabrera to start the sixth. Brett Jackson struck out swinging (1-2 count, seventh pitch) and Starlin Castro popped out to center. Castro’s slump reached a career-worst, 0-for-18 (0-for-17 in May of 2010). Rizzo struck out swinging to end the inning.

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

The Cubs took advantage of an extra out in the seventh and tried to make it a ballgame. Bryan LaHair reached on a two-base error by Chris Denorfia to start the seventh. LaHair pulled a 1-2 pitch into right center that Denorfia short-armed and did not catch. Bud Black made the slow walk and replaced Ross Ohlendorf with Brad Boxberger.

Boxberger uncorked a wild pitch on a 1-2 offering to Steve Clevenger. LaHair advanced to third and scored when Clevenger broke his bat and blooped a single into right center. Luis Valbuena struck out swinging for the first out. Boxberger then hit Darwin Barney on a 3-2 pitch. With runners on first and second and one down, Dale Sveum went to his bench for Josh Vitters.

Josh Vitters hit for Beliveau and put together a solid at bat. Vitters worked the count full then got a pitch he could pull. Vitters ripped a 3-2 offering from Boxberger into the gap in left center. Clevenger and Barney scored on Vitters’ first big league hit. Black went back to his pen and brought in lefty Alex Hinshaw to face David DeJesus.

DeJesus walked and Brett Jackson stepped in representing the tying run. Jackson struck out swinging (fourth pitch) for the second out. Bud Black went to his pen again and brought in Brad Brach to face Starlin Castro … Castro struck out swinging and ran his hitless streak to 0-for-19.

Alberto Cabrera retired the side in order with a pair of strikeouts in the seventh.

At the end of seven, the Cubs trailed 7-4.

Luke Gregerson retired Rizzo on a flyout to center for the first out in the eighth. Bryan LaHair worked a one-out walk. Clevenger flied out to center and Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning.

James Russell retired John Baker (groundout to first) and pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista (groundout to second) on four pitches to start the eighth. Chris Denorfia blooped a 2-0 pitch into right for a single. Denorfia swiped second on a 0-1 offering to Forsythe. Forsythe popped out to Rizzo (0-2 pitch) for the third out.

The Cubs went to the ninth down 7-4.

The Cubs did nothing against Huston Street in the ninth … Street threw only 11 pitches in route to his 20th straight save.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face lefty Clayton Richard in the series and season finale against the Padres on Wednesday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Accuscore gives the Cubs a mere 37% chance of winning today.

    I dunno. It all depends upon which Samardzija shows up. His road ERA is 5.00, and he’s pitched 68 innings on the road, vs. 57 IP at home. He’s 4-6 in 12 road starts, vs. 3-3 in 9 home starts. His home ERA is 3.61.

    Clayton Richards is a LHP, and we have had some struggles vs LHP, but he’s not Sandy Koufax.

    Don’t expect Soriano today. So that means the lovable Joe Mather is going to start. UGGH! But it also means Vitters get a chance to play, too.

    Brett Jackson has fanned 8 times in a row, folks.
    OVERMATCHED.

    • Tony_Hall

      8 k’s in a row is bad.

      Versus LH – 1-5 – 4k’s
      Versus RH – 1-6 – 4k’s 2 BB’s – 375 OBP.

      Very, very small sample size, but for a guy who is obviously pressing, facing some more righties will help get him more comfortable….of course Richards is pitching today, I would give BJAX a seat next to Dale today to clear the ole nogin. Plus the next 10 games are against RH pitchers.

      • Ripsnorter1

        If BJackson sits, who plays? Joe Mather is already playing for Soriano’s sore knee. And that means Cardenas is playing in the OF.

  • Cloycub13

    I believe today is Anthony Rizzo’s B-day… very cool that I share a B-day with one of the best prospects we have had in a long long long time.

    • Dorasaga

      And this was a fine game. The Cubs were still “in it” under seven runs, played good defense, clutch hits, with Vitters’ first hit for his parent club. You need to have a blue cocktail to celebrate. Have a good one!

      • paulcatanese

        Agree with you, the most important thing is we are all alive and well, the sun’s out and we have a lot more to be thankful of.
        Look at it that way, and the Cubs will not look all that bad ,It’s just a game.

  • Tyson

    Hey Cubs fans – I’ll be in Chicago for a conference on Sat Sept 22 and definitely will be going to the Cubs vs Cards. However, there’s a concert that same night starting at 7:00 that I would also like to go. So I’m wondering, since the game start time is TBD thanks to FOX, I’m wondering if any of you long time Cubs fans could tell me what the chances of this game being played in the evening are? I assume it will be a 1:00 PM start time if FOX decides to show this game – if they don’t, what are the chances the game starts at 12:00 or 3:00 as opposed to 6:00. What usually happens in these situations? Thanks in advance for the help/info! Much appreciated

    • paulcatanese

      Tyson, don’t know what to tell you about the concert, but if you have to make a choice, any self respecting Cub fan would go to the game:) All in jest sir, I hope you can make both, sounds like a busy day.

  • paulcatanese

    Boy, Mr. Quade must be laughing the fish right off his line about now. His reasoning: “This is why you play the veterans, they deserve to play”. “I have these guys (rookies) here, but I won’t play them”.
    Fortunatly , they are playing, and they are making mistakes, so what? It’s not like the Cubs are going to the World Series this year.
    Everyone, including the player’s themselves need to find out what they can do at this level.They need the chance to see if they can overcome what adversity comes their way.
    Again their is no doubt that fans, and the FO are disapointed right now after waiting and clamoring for these kids to be brought up, well they are here, they need to play.
    If any blame at all, it should go to the lack of insight to what may and is happening this year. The evaluation of pitchers that have been brought in has been terrible.
    Low cost suspect arms are not the answer,at least bring up people from within to sink or swim, and at the worst, it will give fans the insight to know th right direction is being taken and they will be patient.
    I as well as everone else are disapointed with Jackson(so far)
    but the wait for him has been a long one, so let him get his feet wet up to his knees before judgement comes.
    The Cubs are going nowhere,try the kids.

  • redlarczykg

    Jeff Beliveau has better stuff than either Woods or Raley.
    Jeff has started in the past. I think they should try to stretch him out during winter ball and see if he could compete for 2013’s rotation.

  • daverj

    B Jackson is going to make LaHair look like a contact hitter. Jackson belongs in AAA now where he can work on contact skills in a more relaxed environment. And for those comparisons to Drew Stubbs, Jackson has a long way to go before he is in the Drew Stubbs category … Stubbs made significantly more contact than Jackson at AAA.

    • cubtex

      Give him a little time. He has played 3 games. He will need to adjust or he will be out of the league. No harm in giving the kid a chance this year.

      • daverj

        I disagree on the “no harm” comment. He won’t survive in the majors even if he duplicates his AAA contact rates in the majors (and most likely they will be worse in the majors). I think he needs to improve his contact rates in the minors before he has the pressure of the big leagues.

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

      well lets be fair here, its not like Drew Stubbs is a world beater. The best pro comparison to Brett Jackson, is Drew Stubbs. Its not like Stubbs higher contact rate in AAA has followed him to the bigs. Its a pretty fair comparision.

  • Brp921

    I have read all the comments on Jackson and I’ll have to say I agree with part of all the opinions. I have to wonder if maybe the coaches have been trying to shorten his swing and he has been resisting either conciencely or unconciencely and if they haven’t brought him up to face the MLB pitching to let him see that he needs to change his swing. Ask him how that swing is working for him so to speak.

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

      I think he was rather disappointed he didnt break Spring Training with the big club and has been kind of pressing all season. He probably has been resistant to any changes because he did so well in ST. Im sure with how they coached up Rizzo to shorten things a bit, they probably were attempting to do the same with Brett. Bringing him up could be an attempt to prove to him he needs to make some changes and give our big league coaches that chance to see him every day and work with him. The kid has talent and hopefully he is willing to be coached up. Definitely not too worried at this point. Him and Vitters need adjustment periods and hopefully they work with the coaches and come next season have made the needed changes.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Team Theo may have made a real bad move in bringing up Brett Jackson. He was having a off year in AAA, fanning 158 times in 407 AB. He was hitting a mere .256. (Remember: this is the PCL, where Valbuena was hitting .303, Cardenas was hitting .322, Clevinger was batting .462 in limited ABs, and Blake DeWitt was hitting .127 after Rudy Jarmillo helped him to adjust his stance).

    But they called him up, and if they are not extremely careful, they could shoot his confidence permanently. He has fanned 8 times in a row.

    Meanwhile, one player who was hitting in AAA Iowa, Josh Vitters, is called up to platoon. But there is a reason…..I think they fear he’ll be overmatched vs RHP. Look at this….

    LHP…..331 BA…..625 slug….17 k….136 AB
    RHP…..290 BA…..459 slug….60 K…279 AB

    You can see his strikeouts rise vs RHP….21.5% vs RHP.
    LHP…12.5%. And both average and slugging is diminished.

    Sure. He’s a rookie and is still learning. But I think that is why the platoon.

    But if that is really the case, then why call Brett Jackson up at all? 8 K’s in a row is not pretty. I know some will say that Jackson is doing a real service for mankind in that he fanned 3 times last night, but looked at 20 pitches. But it doesn’t score runs.

  • Tony_Hall

    I believe they brought them both up this year, to get their feet wet, and send them to Iowa to start next year and work on things a little more, similar to how they sent Rizzo down to start this year.

    BJAX isn’t doing anyone a service by striking out that much, but seeing pitches is good for the team, and when you get a team with 5 or 6 players who will work the counts, and still be productive hitters, it will lead to more innings against middle relievers, which is weakest part of any teams bullpen, which will lead to more runs.

  • redlarczykg

    Jackson could become the Cubs new “Kid K”

  • cubtex

    Rip. If you look at every right handed batter……that stat would look similar to Vitters. Almost every RH hitter will strike out less vs LH pitching and the slugging % will almost always be higher.

  • cubtex

    Take a look at this RIP! The boy who you and TH were drooling about with the Tigers.

    Nick Castellanos 3B

    VS LHP
    55 AB’s .455 Avg. only 4 K’s

    VS RHP
    170 AB’s .247 Avg and 45 K’s

    Who looks more like a platoon player to you? Castellanos or Vitters?

    This is pretty typical with most players. Castellanos struggles a lot more against RHP than Vitters does.

  • Dorasaga

    Then you must ponder if Lahair should be in the lineup as well. He saw pitches. :-))

  • Ripsnorter1

    He sure does: STRIKE THREE!

  • Tony_Hall

    You must have missed the part about stilling being productive.

  • cubtex

    I forgot slugging % for Castellanos

    LHP .673 Slugging %

    RHP .359 Slugging %

    Who is a more rounded hitter?

  • Tony_Hall

    I really don’t recall any drooling going on…

    Vitters will play against some RH pitchers, but nothing wrong with sitting him against the better ones for now.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Castellanos doesn’t look like an everyday player to me just yet…of course, he’s only 20, and Vitters will be 23 in just18 days. And those stats represent his latest team, a AA team, where he has only been about half the year.

  • cubtex

    I just was pointing out that this is pretty typical. Vitters should be playing everyday. He is not a platoon player. He hits righthanded pitching at a .290 AVG. That is very solid. The power numbers will almost always be lower and K numbers higher.

  • Dorasaga

    Lahair has value, with a specific role: grind the pitches. Nobody expect him to be “natural.” Let’s see if he ends up like Matt Stairs for the Phils, 2008.