Nothing But Zeros Against Cueto … Cubs Shut Out Again – Cubs 0, Reds 3

Game One Hundred Thirteen – Cubs 0, Reds 3
WP – Johnny Cueto (15-6) LP – Brooks Raley (0-2) Save – Aroldis Chapman (28)

The Cubs dropped the series finale against the Reds and were shut out for the eleventh time (fourth game since July 31) on the season … the Cubs have now dropped 11 of their last 12 games.

The Cubs could not put anything together offensively against Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman while the Reds hit two longballs off Brooks Raley that accounted for all three of their runs.

Brooks Raley rebounded nicely from his big league debut. Raley notched the first quality start of his big league career. Raley made only two mistakes in his Wrigley Field debut … and both left the park. Raley retired the first 13 batters he faced and did not allow a baserunner until one out in the fifth. Jay Bruce hit a two-run shot off Raley in the fifth after Todd Frazier recorded the Reds first hit. Ryan Ludwick added a solo shot in the sixth that accounted for the third run off Raley.

Brooks Raley took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits (two home runs) with a walk and two strikeouts in six innings. Raley threw 83 pitches, 51 in the zone.

Manny Corpas, Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol kept the Reds off the board over the final three frames but the Cubs could not manage anything but singles on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs offense put two runners on base at the same time only twice Sunday afternoon (third and sixth innings). Johnny Cueto kept the aggressive Cubs’ lineup off balance over his eight shutout innings. Cueto retired the first six batters he faced on 13 pitches and threw only 113 (72 for strikes) in route to his 15th win of the season.

The Cubs managed four hits, three off Cueto, and two walks on Sunday afternoon … six baserunners. David DeJesus (1-for-4), Brett Jackson (1-for-3), Adrian Cardenas (1-for-1) and Darwin Barney (1-for-4) recorded the four singles while Alfonso Soriano (0-for-3 with a walk) and Steve Clevenger (0-for-2 with a walk) also reached base. The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.

With Sunday’s loss (9-10 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs dropped to 25 games under .500 with a 44-69 record …

Brooks Raley retired the side in order on 13 pitches, 10 for strikes, in the first inning.

The Cubs were very aggressive against Johnny Cueto in the first inning. Cueto recorded three outs on five pitches, all strikes.

Brooks Raley set down the Reds in order in the second on just 10 pitches … 23 pitches for Raley after two, 16 for strikes.

The Cubs went down in order quickly and quietly in the second. Cueto needed just eight pitches to record three outs in the second (13 pitches, 11 for strikes).

Brooks Raley, with help from another web gem by Darwin Barney, retired the bottom of the Reds lineup in order in the third. Raley needed 35 pitches, 23 for strikes, to get through three innings.

Brett Jackson singled to right (2-2 pitch) for the first hit of the game. With Jackson on first to begin the third, Steve Clevenger worked a walk and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs. Brooks Raley had just one sac bunt in 20 plate appearances during his time at Iowa and could not get the job done against Johnny Cueto. Raley bunted a 0-1 pitch a little too hard and gave Cueto the opportunity to throw out Jackson at third. Cueto showed off his athleticism, picked up the ball on the third base side of the mound and threw out a sliding Jackson. Raley hustled down the line and Frazier did not make a throw. David DeJesus looked at a 3-2 pitch for the second out and Darwin Barney popped out to right (1-1 pitch) to end the inning.

The Cubs made Cueto work in the third … 39 pitches, 27 for strikes, after three for Johnny Cueto.

Brooks Raley retired the top of the Reds lineup in order in the fourth. Raley needed 46 pitches to complete four innings, 30 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Cueto threw 50 pitches in the first four innings, 33 for strikes.

The Reds finally got to Raley in the fifth after Ryan Ludwick grounded out to short for the first out. Todd Frazier lined a 0-1 pitch into left … the first hit off Raley. The rookie southpaw then fell behind Jay Bruce 2-0. Bruce did not miss Raley’s next pitch. The ball ended up two rows deep into the bleachers in right … and just like that the Reds took a 2-0 lead. Miguel Cairo followed with a hustle-double to left (1-0 pitch). Cairo took off for third on the first pitch to Hanigan and made it easily. Clevenger lost the handle on the ball and did not make a throw. Sveum brought his infield in. Raley walked Hanigan and put runners on first and third with one down.

Johnny Cueto bunted Hanigan to second but Zack Cozart grounded a 1-1 pitch up the third baseline. Valbuena fielded the ball and threw across the diamond to end the inning. Raley threw 65 pitches, 40 for strikes, over five innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … 67 pitches for Cueto after five, 43 for strikes.

After five complete, the Cubs trailed 2-0.

Raley struck out Drew Stubbs swinging on a 3-2 pitch to begin the sixth. Brandon Phillips lined out to right (first pitch) and Raley jumped ahead of Ludwick 0-2. Raley could not put Ludwick away and he drove a 3-2 offering into the first row of the bleachers in left … 3-0 Reds. Todd Frazier followed with a single but Jay Bruce flied out to right. Brooks Raley threw 83 pitches in six innings on Sunday afternoon, 51 for strikes.

Adrian Cardenas hit for Raley and led off the sixth with an infield single. Cardenas smoked a 2-2 pitch toward the hole at short. Cozart made an excellent diving stop but his throw to first was late and off the mark. David DeJesus pulled a 0-2 pitch into right … and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs.

Darwin Barney hit a slow grounder toward second. Phillips fielded and tossed to Cozart but Barney was able to beat the throw to first. Cardenas advanced to third with one out. Anthony Rizzo rolled a 2-1 pitch past the mound that Cueto could not field … Cozart was in perfect position, picked the ball, stepped on second and fired to first to end the inning (6-3 double play).

After six complete, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

Manny Corpas worked his way in and out of a jam in the seventh without allowing any runs. Miguel Cairo flied out to left center for the first out. Corpas hit Hanigan and the Reds’ catcher advanced to second on a bloop single by Johnny Cueto. Cueto squared to bunt on a 0-2 pitch, pulled the bat back and blooped a single just out of the reach of a diving Darwin Barney. Cozart flied out to Jackson and Stubbs looked at strike three to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano worked a walk to start the seventh but Starlin Castro popped out to right (3-2 pitch), Valbuena (pop out to third) and Jackson went down in order to end the inning. Brandon Phillips made a nice play to nail Brett Jackson at first. The Reds’ second baseman barehanded the chopper up the middle and made a strong off balance throw to first to end the inning.

Shawn Camp set down the side in order in the eighth.

The Cubs did nothing against Johnny Cueto in the eighth.

After eight complete, the Cubs were trailing 3-0.

Carlos Marmol issued a two-out walk to Ryan Hanigan in the ninth but that was all and the Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth behind 3-0.

Darwin Barney led off the ninth with a single to left (2-2 pitch). Aroldis Chapman retired Anthony Rizzo on a routine fly to right center. Alfonso Soriano put together a nine-pitch at bat that ended with Soriano looking at an 89 mph slider. Starlin Castro popped the first pitch he saw to Phillips for the 27th out.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series with the Astros at Wrigley on Monday night … Jeff Samardzija versus Armando Galarraga in game one.

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