Number Ninety-Nine – Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 8

Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight – Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 8
WP – Trevor Cahill (13-12) LP – Justin Germano (2-10) Save – None

If not for a two-run homer off the bat of Alfonso Soriano with one out in the ninth, the Cubs would have been shutout for the 15th time this season. The Cubs lost their seventh straight game and dropped to a miserable 0-18 on the road versus teams in the NL West with their 58th road loss of the season.

The Cubs were never in Saturday’s game. The Diamondbacks jumped on Justin Germano in the first and knocked him out of the game in the fifth inning. The D-Backs scored three runs in the first, one in the second and three in the fifth … seven runs of the eight runs Arizona scored on Saturday were charged to Justin Germano.

Justin Germano struggled once again and lost his eighth straight start after allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Germano walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out five in his final start of the season … and what should have been his last start in a Cubs’ uniform.

Lendy Castillo replaced Germano with one out in the fifth. Castillo walked Trever Cahill on four pitches with two outs and the bases loaded to force in the Diamondbacks’ seventh run. Castillo showed improvement for the second straight outing. Castillo allowed one inherited run to score on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings.

Jeff Beliveau struggled with his command and surrendered a run on two hits in two thirds of an inning. Beliveau hit a batter (broke Adam Eaton’s hand) and struck out two. The run that was charged to Beliveau scored on a single off the bat of Trevor Cahill. Rafael Dolis pitched the last 1 1/3 innings without allowing any runs (two hits, one walk and one strikeout).

Cubs pitching allowed eight runs on 15 hits with three walks, two HBP and nine strikeouts on Saturday night. Trevor Cahill drove in two of Arizona’s eight runs with a bases loaded walk in the fifth and a two-out, two-strike single in the seventh off Jeff Beliveau.

Trever Cahill pitched a complete game in his final start of the season. Cahill dominated the Cubs’ lineup and tied a season-high with nine strikeouts.

The Cubs’ offense managed only one hit and one walk off Trevor Cahill through the first four innings … and only four hits and three walks on the night. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) broke up the shutout with his 32nd homer, a two-run blast in the ninth. Soriano added two to his RBI total (108) for the season. David DeJesus (1-for-4), Luis Valbuena (1-for-4) and Brett Jackson (1-for-3) collected the other three hits. Anthony Rizzo (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored), Adrian Cardenas (0-for-1 with a walk) and Josh Vitters (0-for-1 with a walk) walked on Saturday night … and Vitters was the only runner to reach third prior to the ninth inning.

The Cubs fell to 20-36 all-time at Chase Field and with Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 59-99 on the season, 40 games under .500.

David DeJesus led off the game with a single to right (2-1 pitch). Luis Valbuena hit a bouncer back up the middle that Trevor Cahill slowed down just enough for Ryan Wheeler. Wheeler picked up the ball and his throw just beat Valbuena to first. DeJesus advanced to second on the play … but Anthony Rizzo flied out to right center (2-1 pitch) and Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Trevor Cahill threw 16 pitches in the first, 10 for strikes.

The D-Backs picked up Saturday night where they left off on Friday … and jumped out to a lead 13 minutes after Trevor Cahill delivered the first pitch of the game. Justin Germano was up in the zone, hung too many breaking pitches and Arizona teed off on him.

Adam Eaton lined a 0-1 pitch into center for a single. Gerardo Parra gave Germano an out and bunted toward third. Josh Vitters threw out Parra at first as Eaton advanced to second base. Aaron Hill pulled a 0-1 pitch into the left field corner. Eaton scored easily on Hill’s 43rd double of the season. Justin Upton ripped a single into center. Hill scored easily and Arizona took a 2-0 lead. Miguel Montero tipped a 2-2 pitch into Castillo’s glove for the second out.

Ryan Wheeler ripped a single into left, the Diamondbacks’ fourth hit of the inning put runners on first and third with two down. Mike Jacobs collected the fifth hit of the inning. Germano hung a sinker on a 2-2 pitch that Jacobs drove into center. Upton trotted home, 3-0 Arizona. Jason McDonald smoked a 1-1 pitch toward third, that Vitters caught to end the inning.

Justin Germano barely made it through the first inning (Lendy Castillo started warming in the pen) and really did not fool a single batter. Germano allowed three runs on five hits (one double) on 26 pitches, 19 for strikes, in the first inning.

After one inning, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … 28 pitches for Cahill, 19 for strikes.

Justin Germano retired Trevor Cahill (grounder to short) to start the second. Adam Eaton chopped a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. Starlin Castro fielded the ball behind the bag but could not get the ball out of his glove … chances are Eaton would have legged it out for an infield single. Gerardo Parra hit a 0-1 pitch back up the middle that Germano deflected to Valbuena. Valbuena threw out Parra as Eaton advanced into scoring position. Aaron Hill blooped a 0-2 pitch into center, Eaton scored and the D-Backs took a 4-0 lead. Somehow, Justin Upton struck out swinging to end the inning.

Justin Germano surrendered hits to seven of the first 13 batters he faced and gave up four runs on 44 pitches, 33 for strikes, in two innings.

After two, the Cubs trailed 4-0 and were being outhit 7-1.

Josh Vitters walked to start the third and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Justin Germano. David DeJesus grounded out to first, Vitters advanced to third but was stranded when Luis Valbuena grounded a 3-1 pitch to first for the third out. Cahill threw 43 pitches, 26 for strikes, over the first three innings.

Justin Germano retired the side in order in the third and even struck out Mike Jacobs twice to end the inning … 58 pitches for Germano after three, 41 for strikes.

Trevor Cahill struck out Rizzo, Soriano and Castro all swinging in the fourth. Cahill needed 54 pitches, 35 for strikes, to complete four innings of one-hit shutout ball on Saturday night.

Justin Germano retired the side in order in the fourth … seven in a row at that point. Germano threw 69 pitches, 50 for strikes, over four innings.

After four complete, the Cubs trailed 4-0 and were being outhit 7-1.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Cahill threw 70 pitches, 46 for strikes, in five innings … and the Cubs managed only two baserunners in five innings.

Gerardo Parra grounded out to Castro in the shift (first pitch) to start the fifth … and two pitches later the game went from bad to worse. Aaron Hill ripped Germano’s first pitch into left. Justin Upton followed Hill’s single with a big blast. Upton launched Germano’s first pitch to the upper deck in left field. After Upton stopped admiring his work, he trotted around the bases and Arizona took a 6-0 lead.

Justin Germano plunked Miguel Montero with his first pitch. Both benches were warned. Ryan Wheeler blooped a single into shallow left. With runners on first and second and one down, Germano walked Mike Jacobs to load the bases … and end his outing.

Dale Sveum made a double switch. Sveum moved Valbuena to third for Vitters, inserted Adrian Cardenas into the game at second base and brought in Lendy Castillo with the bags juiced and one down.

Lendy Castillo retired John McDonald on a pop out to shallow center. Montero held at third but with two down and the bases loaded, Castillo walked Trevor Cahill on four pitches … the third walk to a D-Backs pitcher in two games. Montero scored, 7-0 Diamondbacks. Adam Eaton grounded out to Castro to finally end the inning.

After five complete, the Cubs were being pummeled 7-0 and were being outhit 10-1.

Trevor Cahill set down nine in a row and 14 of 15 going into the sixth inning. Adrian Cardenas flied out to deep center to start the sixth. David DeJesus grounded out to second (3-2 pitch) but Luis Valbuena singled to left … just the Cubs’ second hit. Anthony Rizzo grounded Cahill’s first pitch to third to end the inning. Cahill threw 82 pitches, 54 for strikes, over his first six innings.

Lendy Castillo gave up a leadoff single to Gerardo Parra in the sixth … but that was all. Castillo retired Aaron Hill (foul out to Rizzo), Justin Upton (swinging strikeout) and Miguel Montero (grounder to second) in order to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh … 93 pitches for Cahill, 59 for strikes.

Jeff Beliveau took over in the seventh and started his outing by striking out Ryan Wheeler swinging. Mike Jacobs worked a full count before driving a double into left center. Beliveau struck out McDonald swinging but Trevor Cahill singled to right (1-2 pitch) and drove in Jacobs with Arizona’s eighth run of the game. Beliveau hit Adam Eaton on the hand with a 2-2 pitch. With runners on first and second and two outs, Dale Sveum made another double switch. Steve Clevenger took over behind the plate and Rafael Dolis made his way in from the bullpen.

Gerardo Parra greeted Dolis with a single to center. Cahill was held at third and the bases were loaded for Aaron Hill. Kirk Gibson began emptying his bench at that point and sent up Jake Elmore to hit for Hill. Elmore tapped a 2-1 pitch back to Dolis to end the inning.

After seven complete, the Cubs were down 8-0 and were being outhit 14-2.

Brett Jackson led off the eighth with a single to center but Steve Clevenger grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Adrian Cardenas worked a two-out walk. Cahill ended the eighth by catching David DeJesus looking at a 2-2 pitch.

Rafael Dolis stayed in for the eighth and served up a double to AJ Pollock to start the inning. Dolis walked Montero but Ryan Wheeler grounded into a 6-3 double play and Mike Jacobs struck out swinging to end the inning.

Trevor Cahill started the ninth with visions of a complete-game shutout … and struck out Luis Valbuena to begin the inning. Anthony Rizzo worked a walk, just the sixth baserunner on the night for the Cubs.

Alfonso Soriano crushed a 0-2 pitch to deep center … and broke-up the shutout. Soriano hit homer number 32 and collected RBI numbers 107 and 108. Castro followed and grounded out to first base. Bryan LaHair hit for Dolis and flied out to right to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Josh Collmenter in the series and season finale against the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    This is the Cubs’ World Series right here:

    Sveum said yesterday: “At this point, we are trying to win four games out of four right now,” manager Dale Sveum said. “A lot of ways it is important because if we lose (Sunday) we are going to lose 100 games. That is the bottom line. (Sunday) is as important as any game we play, West Coast or whatever. The bottom line is we have to win (Sunday) not to lose 100 games.”

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, I can’t believe that idiotic statement by Sveum. While true in what he say’s,winning four in a row to avoid 100 loss’es, now what would that mean? “We are on a roll”?,
      “Momentum” for next year”?”Got the lineup figured”?,”Season ticket holders should be happy”?
      “See, rebuilding takes time, its starting to work” Why dosent he just keep quiet and eat his seeds, better yet,
      keep them away from Castro, at least while he’s in the batters box. Now that would be a winner and a positive.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Paul, what is wrong with saying they do not want to lose 100 games? Soriano has said the same, along with several of the players. That is a big thing for them. While it is just a number it is a number they want to avoid.

        Also, please explain the Castro comment. I do not understand. He is showing improvement and has hit rather well, while working the count, since his contract extension was put behind him.

        • paulcatanese

          Neil, thats my own problem with Castro, when he’s at the plate, he is constantly eating seeds,sometimes barely giving himself enough time to be set for the next pitch.
          Constantly going to his pocket for more, and even spitting them out just in the beginning of his swing.
          I just think it’s a diversion of the concentration he should have regarding his at bat.
          Kind of reminds me of Berra, who had said,
          how can he hit and think at the same time.thats all. At least its not tobacco, the Ump and Catcher would have to look out.
          And as far as saying they (Sveum) do not want to lose 100 games, the statement is a little late and almost after the fact.
          While I realize that Sveum has been trying to do the best with what he has, their have been opportunities to pull pitchers instead of leaving them in there to get pounded, especially now with the expanded roster,
          even of he were to use a pitcher every two hitters.
          Just the last game is an example, if every game now is like the Cub’s World Series I don’t recall the managers leaving a guy in past two maybe three runs. Every inning, every hitter is precious to keep you;re team from being at 0 chance of coming back.
          Thats all Neil, extremely frustrated with yesterdays game and the way it came down.

  • Cubtex

    Sunday Ryder cup in Chicago! Go USA!!!! Should be a fun day!