The Comedy of Errors Continues – Cubs 2, Brewers 4

Game Seventeen – Cubs 2, Brewers 4

WP – Wily Peralta (1-1) LP – Scott Feldman (0-3) Save – Jim Henderson (4)

The Cubs handed the third and final game of the series to the Brewers on Sunday afternoon. After giving the Brewers four unearned runs on Saturday night that was the difference in the game, the Brewers scored three unearned runs on Sunday afternoon that led to the sweep. The Cubs have dropped eight in a row and 18 of their last 20 games at Miller Park.

The inability of the Cubs to execute on defense has gone from bad to ridiculous. The Cubs were charged with two more errors on Sunday, that is 17 charged errors in 17 games, and for the season the Cubs have allowed 14 unearned runs. And unfortunately, the Cubs committed more mistakes in the field during the three games in Milwaukee than the six errors they were charged during the weekend series.

Scott Feldman was very good for three innings before walking the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Feldman escaped his own jam in the fourth by allowing only one run but he could not pitch around his third charged error of the season in the fifth. Feldman botched a groundball off the bat of Jean Segura that would have ended the fifth with the Cubs still leading 2-1. Ryan Braun stepped in and crushed a 2-2 hanging breaking ball from Feldman and the Brewers took a 4-2 lead.

Scott Feldman completed five innings for the first time in three starts and allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits with three walks, six strikeouts and one huge error in five innings. Feldman threw 90 pitches, 51 for strikes.

Michael Bowden, James Russell and Shawn Camp retired all nine batters they faced over the last three innings. The Brewers scored four runs on three hits in Sunday’s finale.

The Cubs offense had another rough ballgame while making another Brewers’ starter look very good in the process. Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a run scored) extended his hitting streak to 13 games and was on board for Anthony Rizzo’s sixth home run of the year in the third. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) collected two of the Cubs’ five hits and drove in both runs.

The Cubs hitting with runners in scoring position woes also continued on Sunday. The Cubs went 0-for-6 with RISP and left six on base in the series finale. The offense is just 3-for-the-last-32 with runners in scoring position.

With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs have dropped six straight on the road and are 5-12 after 17 games.

Scott Feldman and Wily Peralta were both sharp in the first two innings. Feldman retired the side in order in the first on 13 pitches, eight for strikes. The Cubs managed a Welington Castillo single in the second, but that was all. Feldman set down the side in order in the second and it took him only 23 pitches, 15 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

Wily Peralta retired Feldman (strikeout) and DeJesus (groundout to first on a 3-1 pitch) to start the third. Starlin Castro kept the inning going with a single to center on a 0-2 pitch. Castro extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

Anthony Rizzo stepped in and quickly fell behind in the count. Rizzo worked the count back to even then lined a 2-2 pitch from Wily Peralta. Rizzo’s sixth homer of the season ended up beyond the wall in right center and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Soriano walked on four pitches but Schierholtz flied out to center to end the inning.

Scott Feldman gave up his first hit to Carlos Gomez to start the third. Feldman did not let the hit affect him and he retired the next three batters in a row to end the inning.

The Cubs went down in order in the fourth before the game started slipping away from Feldman in the bottom of the fourth.

Scott Feldman issued a leadoff walk to Jean Segura to start the fourth. Feldman refocused and struck out Braun swinging for the second time on Sunday. Segura stole second on a 2-1 pitch to Weeks and advanced to third when Castillo’s throw ended up in centerfield. Feldman ended up walking Weeks and the Brewers had runners on first and third with one out. Weeks took second with Maldonado at the dish. Feldman issued his third walk of the inning to Maldonado that loaded the bases with one down.

Feldman continued having command issues while being visibly unhappy with the homeplate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

Alex Gonzalez chopped a 3-1 pitch toward third. Luis Valbuena charged and fielded the ball cleanly. Valbuena looked at home before deciding to get the sure out at first. Segura scored, 2-1 Cubs. Feldman caught Gomez looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Feldman discussed the strike zone with Cuzzi after the inning and had to be pulled away by Welington Castillo.

After the Cubs went down in order, quickly, in the top of the fifth, the Cubs’ lead evaporated in the home half after their second error of the game.

Yuniesky Betancourt drove a 2-1 pitch to deep center to start the inning. DeJesus ranged back and appeared to make a leaping catch at the wall. The ball came out of his glove when he banged into the padding. Betancourt did not run out of the box and had to settle for a double. Peralta could not get the bunt down and struck out swinging. Feldman refocused and struck out Aoki swinging (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Jean Segura hit a 2-0 pitch back up the box. Feldman fielded but bobbled the ball. Segura reached on the Cubs’ second error and the inning continued for Braun.

Scott Feldman made some of his best pitches of the game to Braun in his first two at bats … then made his worst pitch of the game the third time he faced Braun. Braun launched a hanging curve on a 2-2 pitch to the second deck beyond the left field wall. And just like that, the Cubs trailed 4-2. Feldman retired Weeks to end the inning and his outing.

The Cubs had a chance to at least tie it up in the seventh. Darwin Barney walked and Julio Borbon reached on a single pinch-hitting for Michael Bowden. A wild pitch with DeJesus at the plate advanced Barney and Borbon to second and third before David DeJesus flied out to center on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Nate Schierholtz walked and stole second in the ninth but was stranded when Luis Valbuena struck out swinging and Darwin Barney grounded out to second to end the game.

The Cubs open a three-game series in Cincinnati on Monday night … Travis Wood versus Mike Leake 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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  • coachdon

    Has anyone even noticed that in a year that the regime is in full rebuilding mode, there are no rookie position players on the active roster and only one rookie pitcher(Rondon who they had to keep active or lose him back). And further, the lineup at Iowa today had all 9 spots filled with retreads or never-has-beens. So that tells me that 2 years into this rebuild the nearest young position player is at Tennessee, and those guys have to make it to Iowa and get 500 at-bats before they come to the big leagues, according to Epstein. Winning with this FO bunch is a loooong ways off, folks.

    • Cory Beckham

      Couldn’t say it better myself

    • Jason Penrod

      It just shows you how bad the previous regime’s farm system really was. Most of the talent Theo and Co. are responsible for are still at the lowest levels because they are still young.
      The good news is that most of the top prospects are thought to be fast risers. We might see some of them start to trickle up in the next year or two. I’m looking forward to seeing Soler, Baez, Almora, and Vogelbach as much as anybody, but I also don’t want to rush their development just because I’m getting impatient.

      • Tom U

        Jason, I respectfully disagree.

        For what we’ve already seen, some of the players this front office have discarded may not have been so bad, while the players they brought in this off-season to bolster the “talent’ level in the minors have been the worst performers to date.

        Only Brian Bogusevic and Ryan Sweeney have been worth a contract.

        • paulcatanese

          Don’t have to agree with you Tom, gave you an up, but wanted it to have my name on it. Agree

        • Tony_Hall

          They may not have been so good either. Replacement level is the proper term.

      • GaryLeeT

        Aren’t Baez, and Vogelbach Hendry players? Doesn’t Vogelbach play Rizzo’s position?

        • K_Gripp

          Vogelbach is going to end up being traded to an American League Team. Maybe he would be a big piece in a deal for David Price.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I keep seeing the Price rumor, but it seems counterproductive to their plan. So they trade away all these prospects they need to be successful for an ace pitcher?

            They’ve had pretty good pitching now, but they can’t win a damn game!

          • K_Gripp

            Unless they are willing to be non-competitive until 2015 they are going to have to make a trade of some sort. As has been mentioned in previous comments the top prospects look to be 2015 arrivals. Theo and Co. are going to have to decide which prospects are best used as trading pieces and which prospects are best to keep. If you look at the FA classes for the next two years the Cubs arent going to go from 100 losses to 100 wins by signing FA’s. My fear is that the Cardinals are much better positioned to trade for Price than we are. Giancarlo Stanton is the other guy that the Cubs should pursue if he is available.

          • K_Gripp

            Vogelback is an obvious trading piece. He is strictly DH/1B and we have Rizzo at 1B and no DH. If he any of the Cubs prospects are off the table Im assuming it would be Baez and Soler. I could see Almora being included in a package.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I’m not saying they shouldn’t make any trades, I just don’t see how they pull it off. Trading for Price will net the Rays a similar haul to what they got for Garza times two. I just don’t think a pretty barren system can afford that kind of hit at this point.

          • K_Gripp

            It is a very interesting problem. When Theo took over he thought they’d be able to build the team a certain way and the new CBA and the way teams have locked up superstars before hitting FA has killed that plan. If they are unable to make some trades this team will not be above .500 until 2015. One 100 loss season was written off, this 90-100 loss season is going to alienate a lot of fans, but a third abysmal season? Who knows what that will do. They have to do something and the trade market may be the best way to do that. Here’s hoping to Garza coming back and having a good month so that he can be spun in a trade before he gets injured again.

          • Jason Penrod

            You’re right, unless the NL adopts the DH rule soon.

    • BosephHeyden

      I’m just going to wait out this season. I expect them to finish better than last season (for whatever that’s worth), but between last season and the first month of this season, I’m getting the feeling that even if they don’t finish better than last season, there’s going to be no accountability. They’ll call it “part of the rebuild process” because they know people will still go to Wrigley.

      What I absolutely will not tolerate, however, is any sort of inactivity this off-season. I have to beat a dead horse here, but they’ll know what holes they need to fill by the end of this season, and, whatever those holes are, they’ll be able to be filled by trade or free agency. And the end results should be a competitive team in 2014. They hired Theo because he won a World Series. And he didn’t win it with a multi-year rebuilding process. Even if they refuse to give certain prospects a chance, there’s still other guys capable of filling in.

      • paulcatanese

        Three stars (gold) for you. Feel the same way
        after 70 yrs a fan.

      • Lisa

        ABSOLUTELY AGREE with everything you said. Like others, I feel exactly the same way. Thanks for putting it so succinctly!

    • Tom U

      Thank you for noticing. It helps to show that I’m not just some minor-league-lovin’ crank.

      • Theboardrider

        C-mom Tom you’re our “minor-league lovin’ crank!” And we’re dang glad to have you! Second to none…

        • Tom U

          Thanks boardrider!

    • paulcatanese

      Agree coach, 100%.

    • Tony_Hall

      You just figured out that the upper parts of this organization are bare…..really. Tennessee barely has much for top talent, most of the talent is at A ball.

      • Ray Ray

        Not to beat a dead horse but this is the last thing I will say about my point yesterday. Was there a need to talk down to Coach Don to make your point? “You just figured out that the upper parts of this organization are bare……really.” Is there a need for that?

        • Tony_Hall

          Well the horse is dead…

          Ray….Ray….Ray….if Coach Don had said this in a sports bar, and I had said this back, it would have gotten a laugh from both of us. You think this is talking down to Coach Don, you think Sveum is talking negatively about Castro, yet you don’t think you have negative posts…..

    • SuzyS

      Good post , Coach Don. I think it helpful to note that the 2 most highly touted prospects from the Hendry regime, Vitters and BJAX haven’t panned out as touted…yet if ever.
      It will be interesting to see if Theo holds to his 500 ABs in AAA theory.
      Still, lets give them this season before we pass total judgement of the progress of the team.

  • matthew8510

    sorry to say but i hope we lose 200 games this year

    • GaryLeeT

      Why? Because Cub fans deserve it?

      • matthew8510

        no because its only way things will change im just tired of it

        • GaryLeeT

          Really? The Red Sox lost 93 games last year, rebuilt during the offseason, and now they are off to a 12-5 start. So far, they have proven that it does not take multiple years of losing to change things.

          • Tony_Hall

            They rebuilt so much that Ellsbury and Pedroia are leading the team in hits. They added Victorino and Napoli to the offense, but the rest were there. Nava, Iglesias, Middlebrooks and others came from their system or from trades of their players they had built up, not exactly just happened over night.

            Pitching is led by Bucholz and Lester, tried and true Red Sox here. Dempster was added and is off to a good start, but other than that not really much else of significant was added.

            So they added Victorino, Napoli and Dempster and you want to say that they are winning from their off-season rebuilding. They have way more players that were developed or acquired with farm system depth than adding of these 3.

          • GaryLeeT

            Did the Cubs add a Victorino or Napoli? There was a lot more to Boston’s strategy than what you have tried to minimalize here, like jettisoning Gonzales. My point is, that by the front office addressing immediate team needs, it let the rest of the players know that every year counts, like a famous front office person once said.

          • Tony_Hall

            Did you want Dempster for 2 years $26.5M? I doubt anyone on here would have thought that was good, except for the 2 years part.

            Shane Victorino for his age 32.33.34 years at 3 years $39M. Not even people who just want to spend think this is a good contract that won’t be bad by year 3, maybe even year 2.

            Joel Hanrahan 1 year $7M, this one is not working so far.

            Jonny Gomes – 2 years $10M, this is a lot like Hairston’s, just a role player.

            Mike Napoli – 1 year $5m – a far cry from their 1st offer and he has been ok so far,

            Uehara – 1 years $4.25M – bullpen arm

            So far Victorino and Dempster have started well. I doubt we have many on here, who before the season who would have wanted either of these players, for the contracts they signed. I think most of their recovery is due to internal core players that have started well after down years or injuries in the past….and don’t forget the young guys coming up from the system. We all know that it takes years and years for players to make it through the system, I bet they all had been brought in by Theo.

          • GaryLeeT

            All you did there was help make the case for my point.
            Sorry, I just don’t see anything Boston did contract length wise, that really hamstrings them for the future. The issue for the Cubs is money. They just won’t, or can’t spend like a major market team, such as the Red Sox.

          • Tony_Hall

            Shane Victorino 2012

            David DeJesus 2012

            They already had a better or similar version in DeJesus, who they have with 1 year option for 2014 already, for far less money.

            Dempster vs E Jackson
            You can’t say they went cheap here as they overpaid for Jackson, and he is young enough to be a backend of the rotation pitcher throughout his contract or be traded if he is no longer needed.

            Gomes vs Hairston

            Hanrahan vs Fujikawa

            What I am saying is they Cubs made similar moves, it is the Red Sox core that is in a stronger more developed place than the Cubs, not the off season acquisitions.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree on Dejesus over Victorino. Although DeJesus is supposed to be just a “filler” I think he is a pleasant surprise, not a complete game changer but does a good job.
            Victorino on the other hand is IMO past his prime, may have one or two spurts of his old self but not nearly worth the money and contract he received.
            Dempster and E Jackson, I would have preferred they did not have either and had gone with someone way younger, sink or swim. IMO the Cubs contradicted themselves in acquiring him, not a stellar record to command what he received.
            No matter how he does it will not change the outcome of the season.Cubs would have been better off just holding the money. Jackson comes across to me as a placater for the fans.
            You are right in saying at this time the Cubs do not have a core to build on.
            But let me ask you Tony, do you honestly believe that this is the way to go? I see later than 2015 before they make any great progress.
            And let me ask, how do the Cubs keep their fan base intact during this period? Patience will only carry them so far.
            I for one (and have said this in the JH era) would like to see most of the roster filled with prospects to sink or swim, at least IMO I could understand what the Cubs are trying to do.
            With the way they are doing it now they will lose close if not surpass the loss record of 2012. I could swallow that if as I say the team is filled with prospects. 100 losses are the same with the players that they have brought in or with prospects.
            I could on a personal level understand and live with the kids.

          • Brp921

            I would agree on going with prospects since we are going to lose near 100 games if we had prospects who were ready to play. I just don’t see any besides maybe a Logan Watkins or Junior Lake who is now injured (isn’t he?). Besides them who else would you be thinking of? I don’t see any pitchers who are legitimate major league prospects that are ready. Rusin and Raley? I guess we could roll them out there but I think we’d be looking at another Volstad. Am I missing anybody?

          • Tony_Hall

            Trade for Price, draft Appel, extend Samardzija and Garza. That is a rotation that can compete in the playoffs. It also allows time for the young arms,mostly in the A ball and lower ranks, to develop. When you have a rotation like this, you team will be competitive.

            The lineup needs a 3B, which I believe our system will start filling as early as September call-ups this year. Then we need BJAX to make more contact to fill CF for the next few years. The lineup has more needs, but really don’t want to get into it that much right now.

          • John_CC

            Thanks for the Victorino – DJD comparison. Hey, I’ve really like Victorino, I think he is/was a great player but has slowed down considerably, and last year’s line shows that. But since he had a bigger reputation (as a big part of the Phillies NL Champ teamss) than DeJesus (whose wiled away a nice steady career in KC and now the last place Cubs), he got a lot more money.

          • GaryLeeT

            You are still missing my point. I am not saying they should sign the exact caliber of players Boston signed, I am saying to over pay on short term deals for better ones. Like Bourn, and Youkilis. If they had started doing this last year, they could have had something to build on. The Cubs make plenty of money, and they owe it to the fans to put a damn watchable product on the field, for heaven’s sake. If they can’t afford to do it, and want to be bad so they can collect high draft picks, then they need to be honest with Fans. I mean, why watch this team? What are the really intriguing story lines for this season? What will it be next season?

          • Brp921

            At this point I believe we’re better off with the draft pick than signing Bourne.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think they have been honest with you, you just haven’t believed what they told us from Day One of the Theo era.

            Bourn was not a short term contract. Youkilis – just because he was from Boston, doesn’t mean he wanted to go to the NL and play for the Cubs. He had a say in it as well.

            You disagree with how they are going about changing the culture and the future of this team. I believe your way, would produce a better team most years, that would satisfy the masses and sell out Wrigley for a long time and sell lots and lots of beer. All good things. But I don’t believe it would ever bring a World Series to Clark and Addison. And when you start with that as the goal, and you decide that the best way is to rebuild from the ground up, then it will lead to some rough years, and upset fans who want to win games today instead of Championships tomorrow.

          • GaryLeeT

            Change the culture? Have watched any games this year?
            Essentially fans fall into two camps. Some believe a team can rebuild the farm system while doing the parent club at the same time. Or, only doing the farm system, and letting the parent club stink until the prospects work their way though. This basic discussion has gone on ad nauseam, and I doubt any minds will be changed. The good news for you and your camp is, that it will be done the way you want.

          • Tony_Hall

            Who do you think gave Ricketts the idea and told him to hire Theo :)

          • Jason Penrod

            So you want the Cubs to ‘overpay’ for short term deals? For what? 70 wins, 80 wins? That is ridiculous. I’m having trouble understanding your logic. Do yourself a favor, commit to the re-build and don’t take it too personally when they lose 100 games this year, and maybe 100 games in 2014 as well. You can’t fix it overnight. Overpaying for Michael Bourn is the stupidest thing they could have done. Be patient.

          • GaryLeeT

            No, for 86 wins. The same amount the Cardinals had on their way to a World Series Championship.

          • Jason Penrod

            Sign all of the short term deals you want. It doesn’t make a difference. There aren’t enough high quality FA’s out there to make this team a WS contender.
            This has already been tried. Numerous times it has failed.
            It worked out really well for the Marlins last season with all of the big name free agent signings… And Boston and Carl Crawford sure did win a world series.
            Oh wait nevermind… they both missed the playoffs.
            And yes I may be 30 years old. But I still know what it is like to wait my whole life for a Cubs World Series, just like everyone else on here…

            btw… your 2006 Championship Cardinals were in the NLCS in 2005 and the WS in 2004. Slight difference from the 2012 Cubbies… They had 100 wins in 2005 and 2004, not 100 loses…
            If the 2012 Cubs had just lost the NLCS… yeah make those 1 year moves. That is the only time that would ever, ever make sense.

          • GaryLeeT

            I thought just like you, and had all the patience in the world when I was 30. 20 years later…..not so much.
            Anyway, you can bring up your 2012 Miami Marlins, and I will throw the built in one year to win it all 97 Marlins right back at you. You see, it’s not what a team does that matters as much, as it’s personnel they chose. It’s all about the judgement of character and talent. I don’t care about sustained winning. I want a World Series Championship now. Then after the drought is over, I will think about sustained winning. Will I get my way? Obviously not.
            Look, I appreciate your opinion, but it is just that. There is always more than one way to get from point A to B. Are we getting there by taking the shortest route? I don’t think so.

  • paulcatanese

    Wow, Stewart 1-17 and 8Ks, can’t wait till he gets back?

    • DWalker

      I get the feeling it won’t be fast. Dale doesn’t want him back I think, and he hasn’t done anything to prove why he should be back in the majors for the FO to bring him back. I know I supported the stewart saga for longer than most, but he’s really looking like a failure who will end his MLB career on the DL list. Maybe he is just totally and will bounce back, but he really makes it hard to beleive he can do it.

      • DWalker

        err, last bit should have been: Maybe he is just totally rusty and will bounce back, but he really makes it hard to beleive he can do it.

        • paulcatanese

          Like the edit too!

    • 07GreyDigger

      The Ian Stewart hate begins. I almost missed it.

      • paulcatanese

        Don’t hate him, isn’t his fault for his signing.
        Don’t hate the Cubs for him either. What I don’t like(not hate) is the bending over backwards to keep Stewart around, when clearly he will not do the job the Cub’s perceive in him.
        This is one I think the Cubs overestimated in someone’s talent.
        Like to be proven wrong, good third basemen do not grow on trees.

        • John_CC

          I gave the move the benefit of doubt last year, but I am over it now as well. I think they should have cut bait in spring training. Valbuena looks to be able to contribute as much as Stewart can, which is pathetic, yes.

          The 3B hole in the system is very disconcerting. I think this is one of the positions that will be filled via free agency or trade before 2014.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments