Cubs Give One Back to the Rockies – Cubs 3, Rockies 4

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five – Cubs 3, Rockies 4
WP – Carlos Torres (3-1) LP – Manny Corpas (0-1, BS 2) Save – Rafael Betancourt (26)

The Cubs let another one slip away and dropped the second game of the series to the Rockies on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning after taking advantage of a Rockies miscue. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a run scored) scored the first run of the game on an error by Chris Nelson. Brett Jackson (2-for-3 with a home run, a double, two RBI and a walk) gave his team a little breathing room with a two-run opposite field shot that ended up in the basket in left center.

The Rockies started chipping away in the fifth against Brooks Raley. Josh Rutledge cranked a two-run pinch hit homer off Raley that cut the Cubs lead to 3-2. Raley left after five with a one-run lead but the Rockies tied the game in the sixth off Manny Corpas. Andrew Brown launched his first big league homer onto Waveland Avenue and knotted the game at three. The Rockies took the lead in the seventh with help from the Cubs’ defense.

The Cubs gave the Rockies three extra outs in the seventh and Colorado pushed across winning run. The Cubs had two chances to turn two and could not complete the play at first base both times. Josh Vitters misplayed a ball to start the inning. Starlin Castro failed to turn a double play and Alex Hinshaw broke late to the bag on what should have been an inning ending double play. Instead, Carlos Gonzalez beat Castro’s return throw and D.J. LeMahieu scored the go ahead run.

The Cubs offense was pretty much non-existent again but still had plenty of chances to pull out a win. The Cubs were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four runners on base. Starlin Castro and Joe Mather were both thrown out trying to steal second. Mather was thrown out on the backend of a double steal that ended the seventh inning with Josh Vitters at the plate against a left-hander. Vitters hit the ball hard with nothing to show for it in his previous at bats. Following the game, Dale Sveum said that Brett Jackson and Joe Mather were not given the greenlight in the seventh because they liked the match-up with Josh Vitters. Jackson and Mather missed the sign and it cost them a chance to at least tie the game.

Brett Jackson had his best day with the big league team. Jackson doubled to right in the second and hit a two-run homer into the basket in left center in the fourth. Jackson reached base three times in four at bats and drove in two runs with his second longball in as many days.

The Cubs followed their five-hit performance on Friday afternoon with a six-hit effort. Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro (1-for-4) and Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) recorded half of the Cubs’ hits while Joe Mather reached on a pinch-hit single in the seventh.

Brooks Raley left the game in line to pick-up his second win in a row. Raley was not as sharp as he’d been in his two previous outings but he was able to keep the Rockies off the board over the first four innings. Raley pitched from behind in the count and it caught up to him in the fifth. Raley allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings (80 pitches, 43 for strikes).

Manny Corpas gave one back to his old team. Corpas served up the solo shot to Andrew Brown in the sixth that allowed the Rockies to tie the game. The Cubs defense did not help Corpas in the seventh and he could not pitch around the mistakes behind him.

Alex Hinshaw made his Cubs’ debut and allowed the tying run to score. Alberto Cabrera retired the only batter he faced in the seventh inning.

Shawn Camp and James Russell kept the Rockies off the board in the eighth and ninth innings but the Cubs offense could not put anything together against Colorado’s bullpen.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 48-77 on the season …

Brooks Raley made quick work of D.J. LeMahieu for the first out of the game. LeMahieu hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle that Starlin Castro fielded and threw to first for the out. Raley fell behind Jordan Pacheco and the Rockies first baseman singled to left center (2-1 pitch). Carlos Gonzalez just missed a two-run homer and flied out to Brett Jackson at the wall in left center. Wilin Rosario ripped a single off Josh Vitters’ glove. The ball ended up in the bullpen area. Castro hustled over, picked the ball up and flipped to third. But Pacheco made third and Rosario took second on the throw. Andrew Brown popped a 3-2 pitch near the line in shallow right that Darwin Barney hauled in to end the inning. Brooks Raley labored through a 23-pitch (14 for strikes) first inning without allowing any runs.

Alex White struck out David DeJesus (2-2 pitch) to start his outing. Josh Vitters lined a 2-1 offering into left that Carlos Gonzalez caught running toward the vines for the second out. Anthony Rizzo worked a full count and singled to center on the eighth pitch. Alfonso Soriano fell behind 1-2 before flying out to Colvin on center on a 3-2 pitch for the third out. The Cubs made Alex White work in the first inning … 27 pitches, 17 for strikes.

Brooks Raley was a little more efficient in the second inning. Raley retired three of the four batters he faced on 14 pitches (37 pitches, 21 for strikes). Raley issued a one-out walk to Tyler Colvin but Jonathan Herrera hit a weak grounder to second that Barney threw to Castro to force Colvin. With Herrera at first, Alex White looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs wasted a scoring chance in the second inning. After Starlin Castro could not check his swing on a 1-2 pitch, Welington Castillo worked a one-out walk. Brett Jackson pulled a 1-0 pitch down the right field line for a double. Castillo held at third with one out. Darwin Barney could not get the job done and struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) on a ball in the dirt … and Brooks Raley grounded out to third (1-1 pitch) to end the inning. Alex White threw 47 pitches in the first two innings, 29 for strikes.

Brooks Raley retired the side in order in the third … 48 pitches for Raley after three innings, 27 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third. DeJesus and Vitters lined out to left and Rizzo struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) on the sixth pitch of the at bat. Alex White needed 65 pitches, 40 strikes, to complete three innings of work.

At the end of three it was nothing-nothing.

Brooks Raley struck out Wilin Rosario to start the fourth. Andrew Brown grounded out to short. Raley had retired seven in a row and nine of 10 at that point. Chris Nelson singled to right with two down. Tyler Colvin struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Raley threw 61 pitches, 35 for strikes, in the first four innings.

Alfonso Soriano reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Starlin Castro followed Soriano’s leadoff single with a single to right center. Soriano advanced to third. Castro took off for second on a 2-0 offering to Welington Castillo. Wilin Rosario threw a strike to LeMahieu and cut down Castro for the first out. Jim Tracy brought his infield in. Castillo hit a routine grounder toward third. Soriano broke for the plate on contact and scored when Chris Nelson bobbled the ball. Castillo ended up at first on the error.

Brett Jackson lifted the first pitch from White into the breeze. The ball ended up in the basket in left center and Jackson trotted around the bases with his second home run in as many games. Darwin Barney tapped back to the mound and Raley lined out to short to end the inning.

After four, the Cubs led 3-0.

Brooks Raley allowed just three hits prior to the fifth inning. Raley gave up two hits to begin the fifth that allowed the Rockies to get right back into the game. Jonathan Herrera led off with a single to center (2-1 pitch). Josh Rutledge hit for Alex White and launched the first pitch he saw into the bleachers in left … and just like that the Cubs lead was cut to 3-2. Raley then issued a four-pitch walk to LeMahieu.

Raley was laboring at that point but made a very good pitch on a 1-1 offering to Jordan Pacheco that helped get him through the inning. Pacheco smacked a grounder toward the hole at short. Castro fielded the ball and threw to Barney. Barney made an excellent turn with LeMahieu barreling down on him (6-4-3 double play). Raley walked Carlos Gonzalez on four pitches then struck out Wilin Rosario swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Carlos Torres retired the side in order on 13 pitches, nine for strikes.

Manny Corpas took over for Brooks Raley in the sixth with the Cubs up by one run.

Andrew Brown greeted Corpas with a long homer to left. Brown’s first big league homer ended up on Waveland Avenue and tied the game at three. Corpas retired Nelson (groundout to second), Colvin (swinging strikeout) and Herrera (swinging strikeout) in order to end the sixth. But the damage was done and Brooks Raley received a no decision.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth … second straight 1-2-3 inning for Carlos Torres.

The Cubs defense allowed the Rockies to take the lead in the seventh. Carlos Torres hit for himself and reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Vitters misplayed the short-hop, it got past him and Castro did not have a play. D.J. LeMahieu chopped a 1-0 pitch back up the middle that Castro fielded and stepped on the bag. Castro rushed his throw to first and it was off the mark (homeplate side of the bag). LeMahieu reached then took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Jordan Pacheco. Pacheco dumped the ball into shallow right. LeMahieu ended up at third with one out.

Dale Sveum went to his pen for lefty Alex Hinshaw to face Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez pulled a 0-1 pitch toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball and threw to second. Hinshaw was late covering the bag, Castro paused slightly which allowed Gonzalez just enough time to beat out the throw. LeMahieu scored the go ahead run. Sveum went back to the pen and brought in Alberto Cabrera to face Wilin Rosario. A 1-0 offering to Rosario got past Castillo. Gonzalez trotted to second but was stranded when Rosario flied out to left for the third out.

Brett Jackson took four straight out of the zone from Carlos Torres to start the seventh. Darwin Barney flied out to center (first pitch). Joe Mather hit for Alberto Cabrera and singled to center on a 2-2 pitch. Jim Tracy went to his pen for lefty Rex Brothers to face David DeJesus.

With runners on first and second and one down, DeJesus struck out swinging. Brothers stayed in to face Josh Vitters. Brett Jackson took off for third on a 0-1 pitch. Mather also broke, but late. Wilin Rosario read the play perfectly and threw out Mather at second to end the inning. Mather ran into the last out of the inning with his team down by a run.

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

The Cubs did nothing against Rex Brothers and Will Harris in the eighth.

James Russell did his job and kept the Rockies off the board in the ninth. Russell retired the side in order and the Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth trailing by one.

Rafael Betancourt recorded three outs on seven pitches … Castro hit a weak liner back to the mound, Castillo popped out to LeMahieu in shallow right center (LeMahieu made an excellent over the shoulder catch) and Jackson looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the game.

The Cubs returned the favor from Friday. And in the end, the Cubs could not outhit their mistakes in the field.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Jhoulys Chacin in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • GaryLeeT

    To reference Raising Arizona, one of my all time favorite movies. These are NOT the salad days. So thanks Neil for gutting out this grind, and continuing to provide the top quality recaps, & insight, we all love.

    • Neil

      Gary, thank you. Raising Arizona references are always welcome.

  • Ripsnorter1

    What a trade by the Dodgers/BoSox!

    Nice analysis by Keith Law here:

    The BoSox now have James Looney at 1B! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
    No power. Doesn’t run. Doesn’t hit for average. Only a plus defender. Maybe the Bosox non-tender him in December. He makes $6 million already.

    The Bosox just dumped Theo-contracts. And Bowden says that their farm system is not producing as it once did. They may even trade off Ellsbury. Very interesting.

    From the Dodgers perspective, now the question is whether or not all this acquistioning of huge contracts will result in a World Series.

    • Tony_Hall

      Or you could look at this as the Dodgers bought them.

      I was reading this article as you posted. It makes it very clear that the Dodgers wanted AGon so bad, they were willing to take the chance on Crawford coming back and hopefully getting close to value on Beckett, moving to the AL West.

      • Ripsnorter1

        No doubt the Dodger bought them. They did, as you referenced, buy AGon and took the rest just to get him. Similar to the Tigers taking Dontrell Willis just to get Cabrera.

        I think Dodgers lose this one. Big time. And the Bosox…well, they are in a world of Cub-like hurt. If Theo had stuck around, he could have worked on rebuilding that team.

        • Tony_Hall

          Maybe that is why he wanted out. He was wanting to start a rebuilding process there and they wouldn’t let him. Obviously they had more talent to work with that what he inherited here, so it would look a little different

          And it is so clear to most everyone that the Dodgers wanted AGon and were willing to take the chances on the others and by taking the other 2, made it where the Red Sox would give up AGon.

          • GaryLeeT

            Of course Henry would not let Theo rebuild. Any major market team owner would be horrified at the prospect of shoving a 100+ loss team onto high ticket price and concession paying fans. Except, you know who.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cubs’ fans may be the only major market, MLB fans on the planet which will accept it.

            It remains to be seen if Agon can be enough of a difference maker to propel the Dodgers into the wildcard or divisional championship–or further.

            Or if Josh Beckett can undo all the good that Agon does! Now that’s a possibility!

          • Tony_Hall

            You do understand that in Boston they still have Pedroia, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Lester as young players to build around, not a bare cupboard at the major league level. Where as the Cubs are building around a 22 year old Castro.

            I think I know the answer, but I would assume you would be ok with an 80 loss team being shoved onto high ticket price paying fans, year after year, with a few years mixed in of 75 wins, that makes it feel like they are getting closer?

          • GaryLeeT

            Of course you know what I am going to ask. Why must rebuilds have 100 loss seasons? We have been over it a hundred times. Using short term contracts to field an 81 win team, means that there is a 50/50 chance that they will win today’s game. Then the young players can feel like they are contributing to something that has meaning. It can’t be good to bring these kids up into this culture of losing. Who benefits from the despondent feeling everyone gets over today’s almost inevitable outcome?

          • Tony_Hall

            Good to know you are content with a team that is mediocre. Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

  • Neil

    Play ball …

  • paulcatanese

    Rusin and Raley, don’t look all that bad, and then their’s Volstad,
    don’t understand why they keep shipping those two back and forth.

  • J Daniel

    How much do the Cubs have in salary guaranteed for next year? Can’t be much. May not be a whole lot of top end but maybe they can sign a bunch of buy low sell high guys, improve the team for next year, and make a bunch of deadline deals next year to bolster the system even more. That, along with another draft, and the system should be pretty well stocked.

    Still a few years away though.

  • J Daniel

    Just looked it up – they have a little over 27 million to Garza, Smarj, DeJesus, and Marmol. Not sure what Castro will be at. Fonzi is at 18 so about $45 plus a bunch of minimum guys.

    Are they going to spend much or re-coop all of the buyouts that have gone on?

  • Tony_Hall

    Because they can. Both will be pitching in September.