No Support for Samardzija – Cubs 0, Reds 1

Game Twenty – Cubs 0, Reds 1

WP – Mat Latos (1-0) LP – Jeff Samardzija (1-4) Save – Aroldis Chapman (4)

Once again the Cubs had chances to put runs on the board and once again the Cubs were on the losing end of a one-run ballgame as they were shut out in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati.

Rain delayed what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between Jeff Samardzija and Mat Latos for one hour and 29 minutes. While the Cubs let Latos of the hook and he escaped with his first victory of the season, Samardzija made one mistake and it cost him the game.

Jeff Samardzija put together another quality start despite cutting the index finger on his pitching hand in the first inning. Pitching with a bloody finger, Samardzija allowed one run on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in six innings. Five of the seven hits came to the first nine batters. A solo home run by Todd Frazier in the sixth that traveled 480 unhappy feet ended up being the difference in the game.

The 2013 Chicago Cubs have a plethora of issues but three-fifths of the starting rotation is not one of them. Samardzija recorded the Cubs’ 12th quality start in 20 games and the Cubs are just .500 in those games (6-6).

The offense could not get the job done again with runners on third base with less than one out. The Cubs finished the day 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.

Julio Borbon (1-for-3 with a double) made his first start in a Cubs’ uniform and broke up Latos’ no-hit bid with a one out double in the fourth. But the Cubs managed only two other hits through the first seven innings. Even with all of their struggles, the Cubs had a chance to tie or take the lead in the eighth.

The Cubs put runners on second and third with one out. Dale Sveum sent up Alfonso Soriano to pinch hit for Shawn Camp. Jonathan Broxton has had Soriano’s number over the years and struck out Soriano swinging for the second out. Zack Cozart made a game saving stop on a ball ticketed for centerfield and threw out David DeJesus at first base to end the threat.

Cody Ransom (1-for-2 with a sac bunt), Luis Valbuena (1-for-3) and Starlin Castro (1-for-4) all reached base in the losing effort. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) hit the ball hard all afternoon and had just one base knock, in the ninth off Aroldis Chapman, to show for it.

The Cubs managed only five hits and a walk on Wednesday with six more strikeouts. The Cubs struck out 35 times in the three game series in Cincinnati.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped back to eight games under .500 on the young season (6-14).

The Cubs only real scoring threat came in the eighth inning. With his team down 1-0, Dioner Navarro walked to start the inning. Luis Valbuena then reached on an infield single to the hole at short. With runners on first and second and no outs, Dusty Baker went to the mound and replaced Mat Latos with Jonathan Broxton.

Cody Ransom bunted pinch runner Travis Wood to third and Valbuena to second. Dale Sveum sent up Alfonso Soriano to hit for Shawn Camp. Soriano struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out. David DeJesus then hit what appeared to be at least a game tying single to center. But Zack Cozart showed off his range, and threw out DeJesus at first to end the inning.

The Cubs open a four-game series in Miami on Thursday night … Edwin Jackson against Kevin Slowey in game one.

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    3 out of 4 or a sweep in Miami would be nice.

    • paulcatanese

      Possible, not a guarantee, but possible.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        I totally agree with you. As bad as this team can play, a split or worse wouldn’t surprise me.

  • paulcatanese

    Plethora of issues? Wow Neil, that’s first class.
    Tough loss for the Shark, tough.

  • Ripsnorter1

    So Team Theo is voicing their support for Mr. Sveum, eh?


    They always say that just before they fire a manager.

    I guess all this Sveum jabberwockey of demoting Castro and Rizzo has Team Theo worked up a bit.

    Or maybe they don’t like Sveum’s “accountability” talk. Someone may get the idea that Team Theo ought to be held accountable, and that kind of talk messes up $20 million dollar contracts to manage the front office buffet.

    • Ray Ray

      I don’t think there is a chance they will fire Sveum this year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Miami: they are shooting to surpass even the Cubs and Astros for the bottom of the basement crown. What an awful team! They can’t buy a run.

    But that doesn’t mean the Cubs can beat Miami.

    Edwin Jackson has 7 career starts vs. Miami.
    He has won exactly one of those 7 starts.

    • 07GreyDigger

      But did he face the great Kevin Slowey in any of those starts? If they can’t beat Kevin Slowey, they should be ashamed.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Rizzo is on a roll. One hit for the entire series in Cincinnati.

    Sveum threatened to ship him to Iowa.


    Rizzo’s stat line this season is heavy on secondary skills; he’s walking, and hitting for power, but not making much contact or hitting for average, with a very low BABIP (.171). For most hitters, I wouldn’t be concerned with a lower-than-normal BABIP or contact rate in a small sample. In Rizzo’s case, however, the Cubs appear to have altered his swing, getting his hands loaded lower and farther back than last year so that he’s swinging more up through the ball, which should generate more power but would absolutely reduce contact and lead to more popups, all of which is true so far.

    I’ve been told this kind of swing reflects Sveum’s philosophy of hitting, but in Rizzo’s case, I didn’t think anything in his swing last season needed fixing. The Cubs should let him revert to his 2012 mechanics, which produced a successful half-year in the majors with a good contact rate and plenty of power for a 22-year-old.

    • Ray Ray

      It is obvious. He has more of an uppercut and is not hitting the ball hard on the ground. He has a serious hole now in his swing this year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Aaron should weep when he read this on Justin Smoak.
    Tony Hall will clamor for the Cubs to claim him, since he’s a former #1 pick.

    I’d just DFA the guy and be done with it.

    The Mariners probably could demote half of their lineup without getting much argument from anyone, including their fans, but they have a few players who at least merit a more serious look at this point.

    Montero is the easy call here: If he’s not going to play every day, they should send him to Tacoma, where he can get regular at-bats. He’s not a catcher — that delusion needs to end — but he should be the everyday DH somewhere, which could happen in Seattle if the Mariners would just give up on Justin Smoak and his .236 slugging percentage already.

    ESPN Insider contributor Dave Cameron wrote about Smoak last weekend at USS Mariner. I have little to add other than that Smoak did have power in college and the Cape Cod League, but hasn’t shown it in pro ball, losing most of his bat speed in the process.

    Whatever the cause, the power’s gone and it’s not coming back, meaning the Mariners need to move on. Designating Smoak for assignment, putting Kendrys Morales at first base and putting Montero at DH at least would get Montero regular at-bats.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Why would the Cubs claim him when they have a first baseman? Smoak can’t play anywhere else.

  • triple

    Can someone please elaborate on this potential game-tying play that DeJesus got thrown out by the centerfielder on what should have been a single. Hustle?

    • Neil

      DeJesus hit a ball up the middle that Cozart ranged behind the second base bag and threw him out at first. I do not think it was a lack of
      hustle, from what I saw Cozart made a play.