Cubs Give Samardzija No Support – Cubs 1, Nationals 2

Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 1, Nationals 2
WP – Ross Detwiler (9-6) LP – Jeff Samardzija (8-13) Save – Tyler Clippard (30)

The Cubs offense struggled once again and the Cubs lost for the third day in a row. Jeff Samardzija did an excellent job of limiting the Nationals’ offense to one run over seven strong innings. Samardzija made only one mistake and it cost him a game. Adam LaRoche led off the second with a solo home run and gave Ross Detwiler all of the run support he would need. Samardzija took another hard luck loss after allowing one run on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija pounded the strike zone and did another good job of mixing his pitches (108, 68 for strikes). Samardzija is not showing any signs of fatigue as rumors continue to fly that the Cubs will shut him down at some point over the next two weeks.

The Nationals scored their second run in the eighth off Jeff Beliveau. Beliveau surrendered a run on two hits (a single by Bryce Harper and a Ryan Zimmerman double) with a strikeout in a third of an inning. Michael Bowden retired both batters he faced to close out the eighth.

The Cubs only run came in the ninth. Anthony Rizzo led off with a single off Tyler Clippard. After Alfonso Soriano just missed a game tying home run, Starlin Castro flied out to right on the first pitch of the at bat. Rizzo took second on defensive indifference then scored on a bloop single off the bat of Welington Castillo. Tony Campana ran for Castillo and advanced to second on a wild pickoff attempt … but Josh Vitters struck out swinging to end the game.

Ross Detwiler held the Cubs offense in check. The Cubs managed only four hits off the southpaw and six on the afternoon. Only one runner reached third base before the ninth inning.

Welington Castillo (2-for-3 with a RBI and a walk) continued his impressive play. Castillo notched two of the Cubs six hits, drove in the only run and reached base three time in four at bats. Castillo’s defense is also improving on a daily basis. Castillo showed off his arm and picked off Ian Desmond from first base in the fourth inning.

Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a run scored) scored the Cubs’ run after leading off the ninth with a single. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4) recorded the Cubs’ other three hits. Josh Vitters (0-for-3 with a walk) struggled again and left four runners on base on Monday afternoon. The Cubs were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six on base in Monday’s one run loss.

Darwin Barney (0-for-4) went hitless Monday but ran his errorless games streak to 119 games. Barney is four games short of Ryne Sandberg’s franchise record of 123 straight games without an error by a second baseman.

With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season-low 32 games under .500 with a 51-83 record …

The Cubs went down in order quickly in the first inning. Ross Detwiler retired the side on 10 pitches, eight for strikes, to begin the ballgame.

Jeff Samardzija was sharp against the aggressive Nationals’ offense in the first inning. Samardzija retired the side in order on six pitches, four for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano grounded Detwiler’s first pitch of the second inning to Ryan Zimmerman. Starlin Castro drove a 1-1 pitch into right field. Castro hustled out of the box and slid into second with a double. Welington Castillo struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out. Detwiler then issued a four-pitch walk to the free-swinging Josh Vitters. Dave Sappelt stepped in with runners on first and second with two down.

Dave Sappelt drove a 0-1 pitch to deep right that missed leaving the park by three feet. Sappelt then grounded out to second on the next pitch to end the inning.

Adam LaRoche led off the second with his second home run in as many at bats against Jeff Samardzija (three run homer in the ninth inning of game on April 8). LaRoche crushed a 0-1 pitch to the second deck. Samardzija settled down and struck out both Michael Morse and Ian Desmond swinging. Danny Espinosa lashed a 2-0 pitch into right for a single then advanced to second when Samardzija walked Kurt Suzuki. Samardzija struck out Detwiler swinging to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija struck out the side in the second but gave up a run during a long, 24-pitch first inning …. 30 pitches for Samardzija after two, 18 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third. Detwiler needed 37 pitches, 27 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.

Jayson Werth led off the third with a single to center. Bryce Harper pulled a 2-2 pitch toward the hole between first and second. Barney fielded the ball, spun and threw to second to force Werth for the first out. Ryan Zimmerman smoked a 3-1 pitch right to Starlin Castro. Castro caught the liner but Harper beat Castro’s throw to first. Samardzija struck out Adam LaRoche swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Samardzija threw 47 pitches, 27 for strikes, in the first three innings.

Anthony Rizzo lined the first pitch of the fourth inning to deep left … that Michael Morse hauled in for the first out. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging. Starlin Castro chopped the first pitch toward third. Once the high chopper came down, Zimmerman rushed his throw and the ball ended up past LaRoche. Castro was given an infield single and advanced to second on Zimmerman’s throwing error. Welington Castillo walked on four pitches. With runners on first and second with two down, Josh Vitters flied out to left center (0-2 pitch) to end the inning … 52 pitches for Detwiler after four, 36 for strikes.

Roger Bernadina hit for Michael Morse (Morse left game with sore right thumb) and fouled out to Barney for the first out. Ian Desmond singled to left center. With Danny Espinosa at the plate, Desmond wandered too far off the bag after a 0-2 pitch to Espinosa. Welington Castillo threw a strike to Rizzo and picked Desmond off first. Espinosa singled to center but was stranded when Suzuki flied out to center to end the inning. Samardzija threw 57 pitches in the first four innings, 35 for strikes.

Dave Sappelt led off the Cubs’ fifth with a walk. Sappelt was down 0-2 before working a leadoff walk. Samardzija bunted Sappelt into scoring position. Joe Mather flied out to left center. Sappelt tagged and advanced to third … but was left at third when Barney popped out to Werth in shallow right center. Detwiler threw 70 pitches, 46 for strikes, in the first five innings. The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five on base in the first five innings.

Jeff Samardzija retired the side in order in the fifth … 69 pitches for Samardzija after five, 44 for strikes.

The Cubs trailed 1-0 after five complete.

Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second for the first out in the sixth. Alfonso Soriano notched the Cubs’ third hit of the game, a single to left. Starlin Castro quickly fell behind 0-2. Castro worked a full count before hitting a routine grounder toward short … 6-4-3 inning ending double play. Detwiler threw 83 pitches, 54 for strikes, in six innings on Monday afternoon.

Jeff Samardzija struck out Ryan Zimmerman swinging to start the sixth. Adam LaRoche flied out to right (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Roger Bernadina lined a 3-2 pitch into center for a single. Ian Desmond followed with a single to center. Bernadina was running on the 2-1 pitch to Desmond and advanced to third with two down. Jeff Samardzija struck out Danny Espinosa swinging to end the inning … 93 pitches for Samardzija after six, 59 for strikes.

Welington Castillo led off the seventh with the Cubs’ fourth hit of the game, a single to right center. After Vitters popped out to LaRoche in foul ground, Sappelt hit into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play. Detwiler threw 93 pitches in seven innings, 62 for strikes.

Jeff Samardzija set down the side in order in the seventh to end his day.

The Cubs did nothing against Drew Storen in the eighth.

Jeff Beliveau took over in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Bryce Harper (0-1 pitch, single to right center). Beliveau fell behind Ryan Zimmerman 2-0. Zimmerman pulled the next pitch into the left field corner. Harper scored all the way from first on Zimmerman’s double and the Nationals took a 2-0 lead. Beliveau struck out Adam LaRoche swinging (2-2 pitch). As soon as Tyler Moore was announced as the pinch hitter for Roger Bernadina, Dale Sveum went to his pen for Michael Bowden.

Michael Bowden retired Tyler Moore on a flyout to left center and Ian Desmond on a pop up to Rizzo to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the ninth down 2-0.

Anthony Rizzo led off the ninth with a single to right (1-2 pitch) off Tyler Clippard. Alfonso Soriano hit a high fly to Harper in left center for the first out … Soriano just missed hitting the ball out of the park. Starlin Castro flied out to Werth on the first pitch. Rizzo took off for second on the first pitch to Welington Castillo and advanced into scoring position on defensive indifference. Welington Castillo battled and blooped the seventh pitch of the at bat (1-2 pitch) over Desmond and into left center. Rizzo scored and cut the Nationals lead to one run. Tony Campana ran for Castillo and advanced to second when Clippard’s pickoff attempt got past LaRoche. Josh Vitters looked overmatched again and struck out swinging to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Edwin Jackson in game two on Tuesday night.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Josephine (D)

    This is the kind of thing that makes me mad; Shark did well, but our offense had so many opportunities to give him a win, and they blew it each and every time. >.<

    • paulcatanese

      Ah, but who makes the line up out?

  • Tom U

    A Rock Shoulders grand slam puts Boise out in front 4-1 through 5 innings.

    • brent carmona

      Thanks for update tom, keep em coming

  • paulcatanese

    This the kind of game that makes the “movie channel” popular.
    Do the Cubs finally get it what Vitters and Jackson bring to the table? Or maybe Mather, now thats a wise choice, two guys K
    most of the time and the other either K’s or hits into a dp.
    Oh, and the managerial gem of the night in the seventh, Castillo leads with a single, and no bunt by Vitters, thats a really good move Sveum.
    Wasted effort by the Shark, good battery, he and Castillo, unfortunatly no one will remember.

    • Tony_Hall

      I would have thought you would have liked a good pitchers duel. What made it even better it is 2 young pitchers. Detwiler is having a very nice year, and gets little attention in the Nationals rotation. If he was on the Cubs, many would call him a top of the rotation pitcher, in their rotation he is a #4/#5. That’s why they have the best record in baseball.

      You wanted Vitters to bunt, yes in a playoff hunt where wins are what matters, a bunt would be a good choice. But that is not what Vitters AB’s are about right now. It’s about growing as a hitter, having a plan and then executing it.

      I am also confident that many will remember Samardzija’s outings and Castillo also growing into a starting major league catcher. Not all young guys are the same. Castillo didn’t look ready earlier in the year, but he does now. Vitters doesn’t look ready now, but he will be closer when he gets an opportunity next year. BJAX is showing over the last week or two, more of what to expect from him.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony, I agree about the Shark, I will remember his performance,it was a figure of speech.
        I did say that he and Castillo made a good battery. In fact Castillo is performing lights out over Jackson and Vitters and looks like the real deal.
        Yes I wanted vitters to bunt, that was the play.
        Whats next?, Having him swing on 3-0?
        Right now, the Shark is a better chance to hit the ball,yet he bunts when it’s called for.
        And if I saw it right, Jackson tor the same times at bat, has more K’s than anyone else in the Majors.
        The one thing the Cubs need is a hitting instructor,
        each and every one, Jackson, Vitters, Campana, that have come up from Iowa have the very same problem, the head.
        None of them will progress unless the problem is corrected, isn’t the hitting coach from the system?
        Just frustrated.

        • cubtex

          You are absolutely correct Paul. Tony is grasping at straws again and again and again to defend everything Cubs all the time. A young player is not supposed to bunt in a bunting situation because the Cubs are out of playoff hunt??? That is absurd! You should manage each game to win regardless of what the record is. What lesson does that teach the team or players? Nothing whatsoever! So now IF Vitters is ever in the same situation and he is called to bunt and fails to execute it……who should be to blame? I don’t even watch or go to this site like I used to anymore. I am so tired of watching this poor product and people trying to say stupid things like Chris Volstad is a #4 now that he has had 2 decent starts in a row. Ignore his past seasons or this year….just look what he has done since the all star break. Or what a great manager Sveum is.Just ignore his record as a manger. Ignore this or Ignore that. Don’t confuse me with facts or stats. Don’t blame Theo with what happened in Boston….it was ownership. Blame Hendry for where the Cubs are at now but Theo gets a free pass. Hang in there Paul and enjoy your time with the grandkids! I just went to see my son compete in his first collegiate cross country meet and that was a thrill! I will not waste my time with the Cubs anymore until they field a better product…which will not be next year either. I am not even frustrated anymore. Take care!

          • paulcatanese

            Cubtex, I figured as much when I haven’t seen you’re posts lately. I don’t blame you in the least.
            Seems as though the Cubs are trying to have it both ways. The reason they don’t win is because they are “rebuilding” so the loss’es have an excuse and this is just a “training ” excercise. And for Sveum to come out and say he “dosent understand how they can lose being in all of the games” is a joke.
            I understand why, and am sure a multitude of others do as well.
            If this were the way to rebuild and just go out and lose with the excuse of “be patient” why not just fold it up and forfiet the rest of the games , which is what they are just about doing anyway.
            Glad you made the trip to see you’re son in his first meet, thats awesome.
            Am enjoying the youngest and his endevor with his high school football, so far,he is having a very successful beginning. Another QB in the making.
            Don’t dissapear, have been looking for you’re posts, as I enjoy them, then the truth seems to annoy some people, but the truth is the truth, good or bad, and should be taken for that,and being a cheerleader dosent get it all of the time,a one sided opinion needs to be challenged.

          • Tony_Hall

            Good to hear from you, but this sure sounds like a post from a frustrated Cubs fan.

            See you back in a few years.

        • Tony_Hall

          Paul – I can hear your frustration. I have had no expectations on wins this year, nor will I next year. I don’t see the point in getting all worked up over a team that is rebuilding, losing games. Now, if my expectations were that they make the playoffs, I would have kicked the cat so many times this year, it would never come out during games again (I don’t have a cat).

          As far as what’s next, swinging on 3-0, you missed my point. If Vitters got to 3-0, it would only happen because he had a plan going to the plate, and didn’t expand the zone. That would be a huge accomplishment for him. On the 3-0 pitch he would be taking, to get the walk or go to 3-1, where the next step in having a plan would be to pick out a pitch you can drive or take it for the walk or to go 3-2. I would love to see Vitters have an AB like this.

          • paulcatanese

            Again Tony, just a figure of speech. Vitters has enough problems chasing the upper zone pitches (although he makes some contact with them, mostly foul balls) If he had Castro’s abitlity(or liability) to put the bat on the ball almost anywhere its pitched I would prefer that. He has IMO made more contact than Jackson though, who takes a lot of borderline strikes for the K’s he is achieving.
            While Jackson has an abundance of tools, his reluctance of swinging(with two strikes) at the borderline pitch is confusing.
            I would imagine Vitters ends up back at Iowa next year, and Jackson would be traded if he dosent improve now, on this stint with the Cubs.

          • paulcatanese

            P.S. Tony. I know its a re-building year, but I take each and every game with the thought of the Cubs winning, and the way that they lose is sometimes un-acceptable.

          • Tony_Hall

            BJAX is confusing to watch take so many called strike 3′s. But if you look at K zone they are usually not in the strike zone, but IMO, still too close to take. If he was an established vet, he wouldn’t be called out as often. He needs to start swinging with 2 strikes to protect the plate. But I believe he has a decent chance to start 2013 in CF, yet Vitters will need to go to Iowa for sure. I see no way they trade BJAX right now, if he can get his BA into the 250-270 range, he will be an above average CF, with all the rest of the tools that he has, he fits the mold of the style of player they like. If he can cut down the k’s to a reasonable level, his average will go up, and he will be fun to watch. If he continues to k more than once a game on average, he will have a pretty short career.

  • Cubs Fan 31

    I know this is not the subject at hand but do need an answer. When is the 2013 Chicago Cubs Convention? Not a word has been mentioned on the Cubs website. When I called the Hilton, they said I should get in touch with Cubs services. Will there be a convention? If so, when? Is Hilton taking reservations? Thanks

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Chuck, there will be a convention in January. It was announced at the end of last year’s convention. I tweeted out the dates but they are not in my reports. I will dig through my notes … sorry those are filed away in the not needed until the off-season pile. As for the Hilton, they will have to help you.

    I am unaware of any changes to next year’s convention.