Cubs Can’t Buy a Run – Cubs 0, Dodgers 1

Game One Hundred Eleven – Cubs 0, Dodgers 1

WP – Stephen Fife (4-3) LP – Carlos Villanueva (2-8) Save – Kenley Jansen (17)

The Cubs ended a frustrating homestand by being shutout for the second day in a row by the Dodgers. The Cubs did not manage a single run over the last 23 innings of the series and scored only two runs on 29 hits over the last three games. The red-hot Dodgers completed their first four-game sweep at Wrigley Field since July of 1988.

Carlos Villanueva settled down after a shaky start and allowed one run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Villanueva labored through the first two innings and the only run in the game scored after Villanueva issued a leadoff walk to Hanley Ramirez in the second inning. A.J. Ellis singled in Ramirez two batters later. The Cubs’ offense allowed the run to hold up.

Carlos Villanueva threw 101 pitches, 64 for strikes, before turning the game over to the bullpen. James Russell and Pedro Strop kept the Dodgers off the board over the final three innings.

The Cubs put two runners on base in the first and third innings and loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning but could not push across one run. The Cubs outhit the Dodgers 7-2 on Sunday afternoon and had plenty of chances to put runs on the board over the first six innings of the game. The Cubs went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.

Dioner Navarro (2-for-4 with a double) managed the Cubs’ only extra basehit. Nate Schierholtz (2-for-4) and David DeJesus (1-for-3 with a walk) reached base twice and Logan Watkins (1-for-4) collected his first big league hit in his Major League debut.

Hanley Ramirez left game with an injured right shoulder after tumbling into the stands catching a foul ball off the bat of David DeJesus to start the seventh inning.

The Cubs dropped to 15-24 in one-run games this season and finished the eight-game homestand with a 1-7 record.

With Sunday’s loss (7-11 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs dropped to 49-62 on the season, 13 games below .500.

Carlos Villanueva started his afternoon by retiring the Dodgers in order on 17 pitches, 12 for strikes.

The Cubs could not push across a run in the first inning after David DeJesus walked to start the inning. Junior Lake flied out to right. Anthony Rizzo shattered his bat and hit a grounder to first. Adrian Gonzalez fielded the ball and threw to second. DeJesus was forced for the second out. With Rizzo at first with two down, Dioner Navarro drove a 0-1 pitch down the left field line. Carl Crawford ran toward the line and cut the ball off just before it skipped past him and into the corner. Crawford’s play kept Rizzo from scoring on Navarro’s double. Nate Schierholtz rolled Stephen Fife’s first pitch to Mark Ellis at second base to end the inning. Fife threw 18 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.

Carlos Villanueva issued back-to-back walks to Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier to start the second inning. A.J. Ellis followed with a single to center. Ramirez scored, 1-0 Dodgers. With runners on first and second with no outs, Skip Schumaker flied out to right center. Both runners held. Juan Uribe flied out to center and Villanueva struck out Fife to end the inning.

Carlos Villanueva needed 43 pitches (26 strikes) to record the first six outs of the game.

The Cubs did nothing in the second and trailed 1-0 after two innings on Sunday.

Carlos Villanueva righted his ship in the third and retired the side in order.


The Cubs inability to hit with runners in scoring position kept them off the board in the bottom of the third. David DeJesus blooped a one out single to left and went to third on a two-out single to center by Anthony Rizzo. Dioner Navarro grounded out to third to end the inning.

Carlos Villanueva gave up his second hit of the game to Andre Ethier with one out in the fourth. After Ramirez flied out to left for the first out, Andre Ethier doubled to left center. Villanueva retired A.J. Ellis (3-2 pitch) on a pop out to left and Schumaker on a flyout to center to end the inning. Villanueva threw 69 pitches, 43 for strikes, over the first four innings.

Nate Schierholtz led off the Cubs’ fourth with a single to center. Ransom popped out to short for the first out. Logan Watkins worked a 3-1 count before pulling the fifth pitch of the at bat to the hole at second. Mark Ellis ranged over, snagged the ball and took Watkins’ first hit away from him. Schierholtz advanced to second on the play. Fife missed on his first two offerings to Donnie Murphy then just walked him. With two on and two down, Villanueva tapped out to Ramirez for the third out.

After four at bats, the Cubs were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Carlos Villanueva continued using the wind to his advantage and retired the side in order in the fifth. Villanueva needed 84 pitches, 53 for strikes, to complete five innings on Sunday.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … and the game went to the sixth with the Cubs down 1-0.

Carlos Villanueva worked around a leadoff walk to Mark Ellis in the sixth without allowing the Dodgers to tack onto their lead. Villanueva threw 101 pitches over six innings, 64 for strikes.

Dioner Navarro and Nate Schierholtz reached on back-to-back singles to start the sixth. Ransom struck out swinging for the first out (2-2 pitch, ninth pitch of the at bat).

Logan Watkins fell behind 0-2, worked a full count then punched a high fastball into left just out of the reach of Hanley Ramirez. Navarro stopped at third on Watkins’ first big league hit. With the bases loaded and one out, Don Mattingly went to his pen and replaced Fife with Chris Withrow.

Donnie Murphy popped out to Hanley Ramirez in shallow left (infield fly). Cole Gillespie hit for Villanueva and grounded out to first base to end the inning.

The Cubs outhit the Dodgers over the first six innings (7-2) but were down 1-0 after going 1-for-7 with RISP and leaving nine men on base.

The game remained 1-0 Dodgers through the seventh and eighth innings. Pedro Strop completed his second inning of work by working around a leadoff walk to Nick Punto in the ninth without allowing any runs. The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs down 1-0.

Logan Watkins led off the ninth and looked at a 1-2 pitch from Kenley Jansen for the first out. Starlin Castro hit for Donnie Murphy and struck out swinging. Welington Castillo hit for Pedro Strop and struck out swinging to end the game.

Monday is a day off for the Cubs. Dale Sveum’s team opens a six-game road trip on Tuesday in Philadelphia with the first of three against the Phillies. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face Kyle Kendrick in game one.

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  • cubtex

    Sveum being second guessed by media for not bunting Ransom. Said he didn’t bunt because slow runner at 2nd but wouldn’t that slow runner have a hard time scoring on a single. How about this Dale? You pinch run Travis Wood before the AB and bunt Ransom. You have Castillo to catch last 3 innings. I recommend you following Jessie Rogers on twitter. He is saying same stuff I have been about weather conditions etc.

    • Tony_Hall

      With every decision you will find people on both sides. Not many managers go to their only backup catcher except in the 9th and even then they don’t always do it.

      • cubtex

        I never thought I would type these words..,.. But I miss Quade.

        • Brp921

          Funny, but I wouldn’t go that far.:)

          • cubtex

            Mike Quade mangerial record 95-104

            Dale Sveum 117-167

            just sayin

          • Brp921

            I see your point.

        • Tony_Hall

          This team has drove you to be completely crazy.

          The team Quade had was a little better this team.

          • cubtex

            The ineptness of this current manager has driven me completely crazy! True that. From his absurd lineups, to bullpen handling and game management. I haven’t seen anything this bad since 13U summer league baseball.

    • paulcatanese

      Not only was it the right play, Ransom has been in a slump lately. Could have run Wood or the Shark either one. No excuse not to play the game the right way.

      • cubtex

        Exactly right Paul. It was a no brainer. Weather conditions. Ransom in a huge slump. Bottom of the order up. Teach the kids the proper way to play the game.

        • Brp921

          What do they have to lose, they’re not scoring ANY runs…pinch hit, pinch run, put Barney in to catch if you have to. Just do something other than just accepting the loss for pete’s sake.

    • Denver Mike

      If the Cubs don’t show significant improvement in fundamentals, and Sveum doesn’t show better decision making by the end of next year I think he’s gone. I don’t think it has been a terrible idea putting him in the manager’s spot during the rebuild, as most experienced skippers wouldn’t have put up with the “losing on purpose” philosophy for this long. But by 2015 when they are becoming more competitive, it will be time to have someone in that role who has the experience and pedigree to take them to the next level, and I don’t think anyone (including the FO) thinks Sveum will be the guy to do it. Next year will be his “prove it or lose it year” … no doubt.

      • cubtex

        We shall see. His track record speaks for itself.

      • paulcatanese

        The fundamentals and the Cubs are just not there. They really do not have the players to exercise them. Up and down the lineup they either cannot bunt or will not bunt, and they are for the most part incapable to move runners over. They try for bases when they shouldn’t, and I am not talking about Borbon. Others have continually been guilty of those errors.
        Not at all whitewashing Sveum as you are correct, he is in the spot of management because he totally bought into the program to begin with, and I believe that’s why he was hired. As you posted, I don’t think they will go forward with him when the Cubs reach the next level, whenever that is, but even if he is gone as he should be, its another turn around by management if they do. They bring a guy in that agrees what they are trying to do and then let him go?
        Probably will happen, but it still leaves a bitter taste when and if it happens to fire a guy for doing exactly what they wanted him to do.
        But unfortunately this must happen, and the blame has to be somewhere, and Sveum will be the sacrificial lamb.

      • Brp921

        Sandberg doesn’t have major league experience or the managing pedigree but he’s won everywhere he’s been and has the respect of a hall of famer. I still say he’s the guy to lead this team to success.

        • John_CC

          Puh-leez!

          • Brp921

            That’s an intelligent response.

          • Brp921

            Sorry guys I keep forgetting that when it comes to Theo we must forget independent and objective thinking because if Theo says or does something it is always right and we must agree with everything he does not just some things.

          • paulcatanese

            And there may lie the immediate problem with the Cubs.
            I cannot recall the last time I have seen a Cub team that was this inept on the field.
            While Mr. Epstein may be on the right track and is building for the future, and rightfully so, what is happening is the Major League team is suffering.
            The Cubs are not a bad bunch of players, but being placed in the position of trying to compete with a way that is not familiar to them not only is hard, but additional pressure to succeed
            or be gone is starting to show.
            They are now in a constant state of flux, and are just trying too hard, and the cracks are starting to show.
            Almost everyone on that team knows their job is temporary and could be gone. Someone tell me that this is the proper attitude to come to the park and play and win. Now is not a good time to be a Cub at this level.

        • Denver Mike

          I think Sandberg did a great job when he was coaching in the Cubs minor-league system. However I think getting passed over the first time around bruised his ego a bit. Personally I can’t see why he would want to come back when it’s obvious he was the second choice at best when Sveum got the job. As a Cubs fan I understand why some fans hold on to hope, but I think that ship has sailed. 

          • Brp921

            I don’t think any bridges were burned.

    • Tony_Hall

      Isn’t that the job of the media to ask the what if questions and the why’s? He then answered. Read on Twitter you will here both sides. The old school you bunt and the people who know that outs are to precious to give one away and that 3 shots with a man in scoring Position is better than two, especially with bottom of the order guys.

      • cubtex

        ? I think I have never disagreed with someone so much on baseball decisions before. Congratulations. We have that going for us in our disagreements. You are not a believer in giving up an out in a 1 run game with 2 runners on and nobody out wth the bottom of the order up? Would you guess most managers would go along with that?

        • Tony_Hall

          The stats don’t back it up. And if you don’t use the numbers you won’t be managing very long anymore.

  • Tom U

    It seems that Congratulations are in order for the VSL Cubs, as they they will be playing for the league championship against the VSL Mariners.

    In an odd situation, the Cubs lost and the VSL Phillies won today, making their elimination number still 1 with 1 game left to play. However, the schedule has the Cubs playing the Mariners. Perhaps the Cubs hold all the tie breakers if the end that way?

    • Tom U

      Further research shows that the VSL Cubs are now done with their season and hold a one game lead over the VSL Phillies. The Phillies have one game left to play and even a win will not give them a tie with the Cubs.

  • cubtex

    Arrieta with 11 K’s today in 5 IP for Iowa. Bring him up and let him start the rest of the year. Put Villanueva back in pen and let Rusin and Arrieta start for the remainder of season.

    • paulcatanese

      Shows where I’m at, I didn’t know he was sent back down. This front office wheels and deals faster than the eye can follow.

      • Tony_Hall

        He was called up as the 26th man on the day of a doubleheader. He will be back soon.

  • cubtex

    This is where we are currently at as far as the draft pick.

    On day they traded Alfonso Soriano, Cubs had 7th overall pick in draft.
    They’re at 5 now, 2 games “behind” Brew Crew for 4th spot.

    • Denver Mike

      With the bottom 3 being completely atrocious (vs. mostly atrocious for the Cubbies), I’m thinking 4th will be where we are picking next year. That’s about as silver as the lining’s gonna get folks!

      • cubtex

        agreed. 4th or 5th is what I see as well.

        • triple

          I think the cubs might have a strong enough stock of hitters in the minors now that maybe they’ll pick a pitcher in the first round who’s capable of asendingtothe big leagues fast enough.

          • mike1040

            Maybe they can pick a manager.

          • cubtex

            There are 3 very good college arms that are projected to be top picks. Two power lefties in Carlos Rodon from NC State and Sean Newcomb also from the east coast who hits 97. There is also a kid from Vanderbilt Tyler Beede. Those are just a couple of names to follow during college season next year.

          • Brp921

            Where can I find that list cubtex? I’ve been looking for a top 100 draft list.

          • cubtex

            Haven’t seen a top 100 list. I follow college baseball and know about these 3. I don’t know about any high school kids or any top 10 mock draft. I don’t know where those 3 rank but I assume pretty high. I know the Vanderbilt kid was a pretty high pick out of high school a couple of years ago and decided not to sign and attend Vanderbilt.

          • Dorasaga

            I’ve been curious if the Cubs drafted more Vanderbilt students than any other clubs since JHendry had the rein?

          • cubtex

            doubtfut. don’t know the numbers but Casey Weathers was not a draft pick by Cubs. Shawon Dunston Jr was a commit who didn’t sign.

          • Brp921

            After I replied to you about a draft list I managed to find one and two of the pitchers you mentioned were at the top of the list (it wasn’t numbered but they were the top two listed) I couldn’t find Sean Newcomb on their 2014 list. I will add that my safe search program had not rated this site as safe or unsafe.
            http://www.mlbprospectguide.com/p/2014-draft-prospects.html

          • cubtex

            Cool. Thanks for sharing. The NC state kid and Vanderbilt kid are 2 I would keep on eye on.

          • Brp921

            http://www.minorleaguerundown.com/2013/06/09/2014-mlb-draft-top-30-prospects/
            Here’s another one I found that has Sean Newcom on it

          • cubtex

            I think I read somewhere where he was touching 97 consistently in the Cape Cod league this summer.

          • Brp921

            It looks like there will be some excellent pitching available to us in the draft. It will be interesting to see how they progress next year and how the draft unfolds. One of the sites I visited said Newcomb could go higher than the highest draft pick I think from his school or somewhere he pitched and that guy went 44th. If he’s consistently pitching at 97 and has any kind of control he should blow 44th away.

          • J Daniel

            They will go with the best player regardless of position … That is how you have to do it early

    • Tony_Hall

      We were 8th before Sunday so would that mean we improved without Soriano like you are trying to show we have fallen?

      Kind of close right now for all these picks 4-10

      • cubtex

        This was a re-tweet from yesterday. I didn’t write it. They mentioned Soriano so other baseball people realize what he meant to the middle of the lineup. And that is my point on why he was more important to this team than trading him for Corey Black.

        • Tony_Hall

          Soriano was going to be a part time player moving forward in a platoon. This was the best time to move him. Yes they could use him for the next month or so, but not enough to not move him when they could.

  • paulcatanese

    The Cubs need hitting, excitement, and runs at the top,
    and they are not getting it.
    They have scratched the surface with Lake, and he is, to this point providing that, and they have brought up Watkins and Murphy, who both should be on a short leash.
    I say, bring up whoever they can to see if they can stick. What’s to lose, as they have said wins or losses don’t matter.

    • J Daniel

      Agree but they have to be ready

  • Tom U

    Congratulations also need to go out to IF Roney Alcala, who won the VSL batting title with a .354 average and RBI title with 49. Alcala also finished 6th in the league with 9 home runs.

  • paulcatanese

    As a side bar, I wish they would televise the White Sox
    Yankee game tonight, love to see what happens with A-Rod and if he plays.
    These suspensions have to come down, and will impact a number of teams. My feeling is he will appeal and play, but it’s not what should happen, he should be gone.