Cubs Win One Out West – Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 2

Game One Hundred Fifty-Nine – Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 2
WP – Chris Rusin (2-3) LP – Bryan Shaw (1-6) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs won their final road game of the season (23-58) and posted their first victory in a NL West park since September 27, 2011 … a span of 21 games. The Cubs finally won a game out west (1-18 in 19 games this season) and notched their 60th victory of the year.

The Cubs battled back from a 2-1 deficit in the sixth and Chris Rusin picked up his second big league win with a solid five-inning effort on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs took advantage of three Diamondbacks’ errors and scored the go ahead run in the sixth on a hit by pitch. The Cubs scored all four runs in the sixth with two outs, added on a run in the seventh thanks to two Arizona miscues and David DeJesus hit his ninth longball of the year in the ninth inning.

Anthony Rizzo (3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a RBI) had a big day at the plate. Rizzo doubled in David DeJesus (2-for-5 with a home run, a double and two runs scored) with the Cubs’ first run in the opening inning and scored the tying run in the sixth. Rizzo made a baserunning gaffe, one of two on the day for the Cubs, that ended the third inning.

Dave Sappelt (1-for-1 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored) drove in the tying run with a bases loaded infield single in the sixth. Anthony Recker (1-for-3 with a RBI and a HBP) was credited with the game winning RBI after Matt Albers plunked him with the bases loaded in the sixth and forced in Alfonso Soriano with the go ahead run.

Bryan LaHair (1-for-1 with two RBI) delivered a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit single in the sixth. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a run scored) contributed to Sunday’s win.

The Cubs offense scored seven runs on 11 hits with one walk and finished the game 4-for-12 with RISP and stranded five runners on base.

Chris Rusin settled down after a rough first inning and put together his best outing of the year. Rusin surrendered two runs, one earned, on two hits and two walks in a laborious first inning. Rusin survived the first (28 pitches, 12 strikes) and surrendered just one more hit in his other four innings. Rusin retired the last 10 batters he faced, had good command and earned his second victory. Rusin allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings on 68 pitches, 39 for strikes.

Michael Bowden, James Russell, Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol each pitched a scoreless inning. The Cubs pen surrendered three hits, a walk and struck out five in relief of Chris Rusin.

With Sunday’s win (13-13 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs snapped their seven-game losing streak and improved to 60-99 with three games left to play …

David DeJesus got things started for the Cubs on Sunday afternoon. DeJesus fell behind Josh Collmenter 1-2, worked the count back to full then just missed a leadoff homer. DeJesus pulled Collmenter’s 3-2 pitch to deep right center. The ball hit off the wall and DeJesus ended up at second with his 28th two-bagger of the season. Darwin Barney tried to hit behind DeJesus but popped up Collmenter’s first pitch to Aaron Hill in shallow right. DeJesus held then trotted home when Anthony Rizzo drove a double into the left field corner. Alfonso Soriano popped out to right center for the second out.

Starlin Castro pulled a 3-1 pitch into left. Rizzo held at third on the hard hit ball. With runners on first and third with two down, Luis Valbuena hit a routine fly to left that Jason Kubel hauled in to end the inning. Collmenter threw 21 pitches in the first, 13 for strikes.

The Cubs’ first lead in nearly a week did not last long. Chris Rusin labored through the first inning and really struggled with throwing strikes … and his defense did not help him either.

AJ Pollock led off with a single to left center (1-2 pitch). Jake Elmore flied out to right. Rusin issued a four-pitch walk to Aaron Hill. With runners on first and second with one down, Justin Upton chopped a 1-0 pitch toward third. Valbuena fielded the ball, stepped on third and threw to first. Valbuena’s throw was low; Rizzo could not scoop and complete the routine double play. Rusin lost Jason Kubel and walked him to load the bases.

Chris Rusin could not find the strike zone and fell behind Cody Ransom 3-0. Ransom swung at Rusin’s next pitch and hit a dribbler up the third baseline. Valbuena ran in and tried to make a barehanded pick up but overran the ball. Hill scored and Upton headed for the plate. Rusin circled behind, picked up the ball and threw home. Anthony Recker did not catch the ball, Upton scored and the Diamondbacks took a 2-1 lead … two runs on a ball that did not make it to third base. With runners on second and third with two down, Mike Jacobs flied out to DeJesus in right to end the inning. Chris Rusin threw 28 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes, and Arizona scored two runs on two hits, two walks and an error.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … 37 pitches for Collmenter, 25 for strikes.

Chris Rusin threw the ball a lot better in the second inning. Rusin retired Wil Nieves on a grounder to third and Collmenter on a liner to center. AJ Pollock ripped a 2-2 pitch into left but Jake Elmore tried to bunt his way on and Rusin picked up the ball (third base side of the mound) and threw him out to end the inning. Rusin threw 39 pitches, 20 for strikes, over his first two innings of work.

David DeJesus flied out to deep center for the first out in the third. Darwin Barney flied out to right (2-2 pitch) but Anthony Rizzo doubled to left center. Rizzo then fell asleep on the bases. Soriano swung at and missed a 2-1 pitch. Rizzo started walking toward the dugout then realized it was only the second strike. Rizzo tried to make it back to the bag but Wil Nieves threw him out to end the inning. Collmenter needed 50 pitches, 34 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.

Chris Rusin retired Hill (pop out to third), Upton (pop out to first) and Kubel (called third strike) in order in the third inning … 50 pitches for Rusin after three, 26 for strikes.

After Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to start the fourth, Starlin Castro collected his second hit of the game, a single to right … but Luis Valbuena rapped into a 6-3 inning ending double play. Collmenter needed 65 pitches, 44 for strikes, to complete four innings of work.

Chris Rusin set down the side in order in the fourth. Rusin threw 58 pitches, 32 in the zone, over his first four innings on Sunday afternoon.

Brett Jackson grounded out to first (0-2 pitch) to start the fifth. Anthony Recker pounded a 1-2 pitch into left for a single but Chris Rusin was unable to sacrifice him to second. Wil Nieves picked up Rusin’s bunt and threw out Recker at second. David DeJesus flied out to a running Justin Upton in right center to end the inning. Collmenter threw 76 pitches, 53 for strikes, over five innings.

Chris Rusin retired the side in order in the fifth … 68 pitches for Rusin, 39 for strikes.

The Cubs trailed 2-1 after five complete and were outhitting Arizona 6-3.

Bryan Shaw took over for Josh Collmenter in the sixth and retired Darwin Barney on a grounder to second to start the inning. Anthony Rizzo collected his third hit of the game, a single to left (1-0 pitch). Alfonso Soriano followed with a single to left (3-2 pitch) and the Cubs had two on with one out, down by one. Starlin Castro cued the first pitch off the end of his bat toward first. Mike Jacobs bobbled the ball then kicked it into foul ground. Rizzo held at third and the bases were loaded with one down for Luis Valbuena.

Kirk Gibson went to his pen for lefty Mike Zagurski. Valbuena could not check his swing on a 0-2 pitch and was called out. With two down and the bases loaded, Sveum sent up Dave Sappelt to hit for Brett Jackson. Gibson countered with right-hander Matt Albers.

Dave Sappelt chopped a 1-2 pitch toward the hole between first and second. Jacobs fielded the ball and tossed to Albers as Sappelt was hustling up the line. Sappelt was called safe, replays showed the Cubs might have caught a break, and Rizzo scored the tying run. Anthony Recker stepped in and was plunked in the right arm. Soriano trotted in with the go ahead run. With the bases loaded and two down, Sveum sent up Bryan LaHair to hit for Chris Rusin.

Bryan LaHair smoked a 1-0 pitch into right. Castro and Sappelt scored but Upton threw behind LaHair and Jacobs tagged him out to end the inning.

The Cubs took the lead with four runs in the sixth but another baserunning gaffe could have cost them a bigger inning.

Michael Bowden started the sixth by retiring Aaron Hill on a fly out to right. Justin Upton lashed a 3-1 pitch into center for a single … but he did not advance past first base. Jason Kubel launched a 3-2 pitch to deep right that Sappelt hauled in for the second out. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Bowden struck out Cody Ransom swinging to end the inning.

After six complete, the Cubs led 5-2.

Brad Bergesen replaced Albers to start the seventh and David DeJesus greeted him by driving a 1-0 pitch up the middle and off his leg. Bergesen picked up the ball and threw it down the right field line. DeJesus ended up at third on Arizona’s second error of the game. With the infield in, Barney grounded out to second. DeJesus held at third with one out. Anthony Rizzo tapped a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. DeJesus broke on contact and was caught in a rundown (1-2-5-1-2) but DeJesus did his job and got unhung up long enough for Rizzo to advance to second base. Alfonso Soriano crushed a 0-1 pitch toward third. The ball hit off Ransom’s glove, ended up in left and Rizzo scored the Cubs’ sixth run on Arizona’s third error. Castro grounded out to first for the third out.

James Russell pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Russell surrendered a leadoff single to Mike Jacobs (right field) but that was all. Russell struck out Nieves and pinch-hitter Chris Young swinging … and Pollock hit a high chopper to Valbuena (forced Jacobs at second) to end the inning.

After seven complete, the Cubs led 6-2 and were outhitting the D-Backs 10-5.

Matt Lindstrom’s domination of the Chicago Cubs continued on Sunday afternoon. Lindstrom faced the minimum after issuing a one-out walk to Dave Sappelt. Anthony Recker hit into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play.

Shawn Camp retired Jake Elmore to start the eighth (grounder to third) but Aaron Hill pulled a 2-2 pitch into left for a single. Justin Upton smashed a 0-1 pitch toward second. Darwin Barney made an excellent pick and threw to Castro but Castro did not step on the bag as he threw to first. Upton beat the throw and the Diamondbacks had runners on first and second for Jason Kubel. Kubel grounded a 3-1 pitch toward Barney … 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

And the game went to the ninth with the Cubs up by four …

Takashi Saito replaced Lindstrom in the ninth and retired pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas on a pop out to third. David DeJesus followed and launched his ninth homer of the year into the stands in right (3-1 pitch). Darwin Barney grounded out to short and Rizzo was caught looking to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth up by a score of 7-2.

Tony Campana entered the game in center, Sappelt moved to left and DeJesus went back to right. Carlos Marmol took over on the hill and issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Wheeler. Mike Jacobs tipped a 3-2 pitch into Recker’s glove for the first out. Wheeler went to second (defensive indifference) on a 1-0 pitch to Wil Nieves. Nieves struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Gerardo Parra grounded out to Barney to end the game.

The Cubs first win on the road against a team in the NL West since September 27, 2011 (21 games).

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The final series of the season begins on Monday night at Wrigley Field with the first of three against the Astros. Jason Berken is scheduled to face Lucas Harrell in game one.

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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  • Aaron

    I must say that I have been extremely hard on Soriano, and I was wrong to be. A vast majority of Cubs fans have been wrong on that one. Not only is he a very good teammate behind the scenes apparently, but at 36 years old, he can still be coached. According to a recent interview that was covered on the CCO, McKay coached him up in the OF, and he’s actually played Gold Glove caliber defense out there most of the year.

    And despite his low OBP, he’s #4 in home runs and #3 in RBI, which is an incredible feat.

    Sveum all but admitted the Cubs would look to move him this offseason, so I wonder who patrols LF then? Would they go 2-3 years with Swisher? Would they be able to make a trade to land a decent OF? Can they even move Soriano without eating all of his money?

    Facts are facts….while Soriano has NOT lived up to his contract as a whole, they’d still have to replace his production, and the only guys that might come close would be Delmon Young, BJ Upton, and Nick Swisher….but they’ll likely command multi-year deals, putting the Cubs in the same situation they’re in with Soriano to begin with….committing huge money and years, and likely not getting their money’s worth. With Upton and Young, you could argue that their best years might be ahead of them, but in Swisher’s case, he’s likely going to have 1 more good season, then it’s downhill from there.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Soriano had a fine year. He’s still untradeable, imo.

      And why would the Cubs’ dump him and pay all of his salary, and then go out and spend money for a lesser talent to take his place? I don’t credit Team Theo with a lot of thinking, but I think they can see that.

      Their big plan is still “LOSING BIG ON THE CHEAP.”
      They have successfully done it for 2012. I figure it will be more of the same for 2013. And Hoyer’s talk that the Cubs will buy starting pitching in 2013 is no more than they did in 2012. They bought Paul Maholm, a lower tier FA pitcher. They’ll buy another lower tier FA starter.

      • RynoTiger

        hey Rip..when did you conduct a sit down interview with Team Theo to get all the details on their plan? I look forward to an in-depth report that gives all the details that supports your claim that the plan is “losing big on the cheap.”

        • Ripsnorter1

          They are 60-99 right now. I told the fans here at the CCO that this was the plan for 2012. They didn’t like to hear the truth.

          Now for 2013…look at the minor leagues. How many MLB starting position players do you see on hand? At 3B? No. LF? NO. CF? NO. RF? NO.

          In short, you can see that with Team Theo’s stated objective of building through the minor leagues, they do not yet have enough horses to warrant buying top tier FA starting pitching. It’s Wandy Rodriguez time. But it’s not Jake Peavy time.

          And that will continue the LOSING BIG ON THE CHEAP plan.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe this off-season will show us what they think of the top of the farm system for major league talent that is ready to go. The FA’s they bring in and the length of contracts will show us how long it will be for the top talents to make it.

            Almora, Soler, etc are 2015 range. Soriano, DeJesus are more likely to stick around if they don’t feel they can replace their production with the savings from trading them and the prospects they receive in return make up the difference.

            3B is a hole. Vitters needs AAA again, Baez is most likely the guy down the road, but he is 2014 at the earliest, most likely 2015 range.

            The rest of the IF and catcher are set for next year.

            Starting pitching is the most likely target in FA, and we have seen 1st hand how we have very little major league ready arms at the top of our system. Let’s all agree if they had kept the rotation in tack, instead of trading 40% and shutting down 40%, they had a good rotation going. But what was better for the organization was to do just that, and we have all seen some bad SP, especially the last few weeks. I see them bringing in 2 now, where I only was thinking 1 SP before. Vizcaino is going to be on an innings limit, and that tells me, extended ST, trip to Iowa where they can control his outings more, and a brief stint in Chicago after trading away another SP. But the length of deals on SP isn’t as big, as healthy and effective SP can always be traded.

  • Ripsnorter1

    It’s too bad Team Theo lost it’s chance to set the All-Time MLB record of losing every game against an entire division today. I think it would have been a most fitting achievement for them and their great work this season.

    You don’t like that statement?

    Well then, consider what it may cost them. They may wind up moving from #2 to #3 in the MLB draft. And that might make a difference. That might make a tremendous difference for years to come.

    • Tony_Hall

      The real difference in picking 2nd or 3rd is minimal, to near zero. Unless the draft ends up being a 2 person draft (elite picks), history shows us it isn’t always who picks before someone else, but the system for evaluating and picking players that makes a difference over a draft. Oh, yeah and lot of luck comes into play as well. The other thing important thing about drafting at the beginning of the draft is getting better players in each round to put into your organization, but like we saw with JH’s tenure, good picks mean nothing without a player development system that actually develops players.

      Plus we do have a 2 game “lead” on Colorado for 2nd plus we went 2-4 against them this year for a tiebreaker (can’t find the official tiebreakers for draftpicks), so I think you are a little premature on negativity on this one.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony, DeJesus was a better addition than I expected, and has had a good year, and maybe he will be around again next year, but then who knows.
        Soler and Almora at this stage seem like great picks, but of course the jury is still out.
        The biggest miss for the Cubs had to be Cespedes,
        but again, who knew or could forcast that one.
        I was among the many that did not want the Cubs to sign him, and am sure if their were more insight of his impact, the Cubs would have gone ahead and made sure of him, even at a higher cost.
        It just goes to show that it’s all a crapshoot and for every one that seems like “he’s it” their are triple of them that are not.
        This is what is going to take the time for them (Cubs) to be truly productive, they will need many to provide a few, but then you already knew that.
        Based on the theory of signings and results, it’s going to be a while before it happens.
        FA signings need to happen, but again, very carefully who they persue, bottom line, a lot of luck involved, a lot of it.

  • Aaron


    I agree with you in principle that a trade of Soriano seems highly unlikely for a variety of different reasons, including:
    1) Age (37 next year)
    2) Dollars in contract (approx. $38 million left)
    3) Years left (2) in contracts
    4) Stats the first 5 years of his deal
    5) Low OBP
    6) Injury history

    However, he is #3 in the NL in RBI, and #4 in home runs, and a lot of teams are desperate for that type of production….just not in NL with his age and injury history. The most likely destination is a team in the AL, where he can be a DH, and be even more productive (in theory, if you look at the times he DH’d in interleague play).

    I do not discount what Epstein, Hoyer, and Sveum have said about Soriano most of this year…’s ALL about leverage, and trying to increase his trade value even more with their comments. They’ve done similar things before they dealt other veterans.