Cubs Offense A No Go Against Arroyo – Cubs 0, Reds 5

Game One Hundred Twenty – Cubs 0, Reds 5

WP – Bronson Arroyo (11-9) LP – Chris Rusin (2-2) Save – None

The Cubs managed only two hits and three total baserunners on Wednesday afternoon and lost another game to the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Bronson Arroyo was once again allowed to dominate the Cubs lineup and he faced the minimum over the first 6 1/3 innings of Wednesday’s game. Arroyo struck out four of the first nine batters he faced while his defense made one routine out after another. David DeJesus (1-for-3, HBP) reached base twice and was the only Cub to reach second base on the afternoon … and that was in the ninth inning. Darnell McDonald (1-for-4) made his first start and collected the Cubs only other hit. Reds’ pitching struck out 10 of the 29 batters they faced and shut out the Cubs for the second time in three games.

Chris Rusin pitched a good game but was really put in a no win situation. Rusin gave up a solo home run to Todd Frazier on his fourth pitch of the game then settled in and completed six innings on Wednesday afternoon. Rusin gave up his second run in the fifth inning on a double by Ryan Hanigan. Rusin turned the game over to Carlos Villanueva in the seventh inning after allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts on 76 pitches, 50 for strikes.

Carlos Villanueva was sent back to the pen prior to Wednesday’s finale and struggled again. Villanueva gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in two innings. The Reds padded their stats against Villanueva and left no doubt they would be completing another sweep at Wrigley Field.

Michael Bowden pitched a scoreless ninth and picked up a strikeout.

The Cubs were shut out at Wrigley Field for the fourth time in their last five home games and have lost 10 of the last 11 games at Wrigley. The Cubs are now 1-15 in their last 16 games against the Reds at Wrigley (1-9 this season). Dusty Baker’s team has won 13 of the 16 games against the Cubs this season.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a new season-low 16 games under .500 with a 52-68 record.

Todd Frazier’s solo home run in the first inning on Chris Rusin’s fourth pitch of the game would be all the Reds would need on Wednesday. But the Reds added on in the fifth and put the game away in the seventh and eighth against Carlos Villanueva.

Zack Cozart singled to left with one out in the fifth, just the second hit of the game off Chris Rusin. Ryan Hanigan followed and worked a full count. Cozart took off on the pitch and Hanigan drove a ball into right center. David DeJesus tried to make a diving catch, but came up short. The ball rolled all the way to the ivy and Cozart scored, 2-0 Reds. Arroyo tried to bunt Hanigan to third but popped the 1-1 pitch. Welington Castillo caught the ball and doubled off Hanigan from second base to end the inning.

The game remained 2-0 Reds until the seventh inning.

Carlos Villanueva retired Phillips on a flyout to right to start the seventh. Jay Bruce followed with a double to right. Villanueva struck out Ryan Ludwick swinging. Another Cubs pitcher allowed another light hitting shortstop to drive in a run. Zack Cozart pulled a double down the left field line. Ransom lunged like he was going to attempt a diving stop but ran into third base ump Brian O’Nora. The ball rolled down the line, Bruce scored and the Reds took a 3-0 lead. Villanueva intentionally walked Hanigan then struck out Arroyo swinging to end the inning.

The Reds scored two more in the eighth after Chris Heisey reached on a fielding error by Cody Ransom and scored on a double to left by Todd Frazier. Joey Votto followed with his 25th two-bagger of the season and plated Frazier with the Reds’ fifth run. Villanueva retired Phillips on a flyout to right, Bruce on a flyout to right and Ludwick swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Cubs have Thursday off and open a three-game series with the Cardinals on Friday afternoon. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Jake Westbrook in the opener.

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Quote of the Day

"Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." - W Anderson.
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  • Ripsnorter1

    Soriano hit his 6th Yankee tater tonight….a grand slam.
    23 HR and 71 RBI for the season thus far.

    • BosephHeyden

      And for good measure he added #7 later. 13 RBI’s in two games. When the man is hot, he can single-handedly win games.

      • cubtex

        7 bombs 21 RBi in 17 games and the Cubs are paying his salary :)

        • Denver Mike

          If the $7M we got back from the Yanks goes towards a FA that can help us next year then who cares? This seasonwas a lost cause even with him on the team.

          • Ripsnorter1

            $7 million ought to be just enough to resign Dave DeJesus.

            What’s David hitting these days? .255 BA as a one way player vs. RHP.
            He’s slugging .412….exciting.

            BTW Soriano was leading the Cubs in SB.
            Correction: He is still leading the Cubs in SB.

            LOL

          • Denver Mike

            Or a person could look at it with a bit of optimism and say that it is an extra $7M that could be added on to the $10.25M they aren’t paying Garza, or the $9M they aren’t paying Marmol, or the $6M they aren’t paying Feldman so they can sign a $13-$23.25M free agent for next year…but why bother?

          • TheWrongGuy

            What free agent in his right mind that is asking for that kind of contract will sign with this CUBS NON-offense team?
            I love my CUBS but they WONT sign any big name free agents this coming off-season.

          • Denver Mike

            I don’t personally think we are going to make a huge free agent signings this offseason, as Theo believes in acquiring talent through the draft or trade, and then resigning his own players(at a discount). But that extra $7M saved could be the difference between signinga Bourn vs a DeJesus or other similar upgrade in talent. I also prefer to say “what if” rather than “nobody wants

          • Tony_Hall

            Not that many big name FA’s this off season.

            Think trade of a player that another team needs to trade because they can’t afford them moving forward.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes, they could. But will they?

          • Tony_Hall

            Only if it makes the organization better. They won’t do it to appease fans in the short term, if it doesn’t make the team better.

    • cubtex

      30 plus HR’s last year. 100 plus RBI. We don’t need him. DeJesus is more valuable. Soriano could have taken April and May off sunning in the Domenican and still led the Cubs in HR’s and RBI.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Wait! Have you seen DeJesus WAR? Why, he’s worth 162 wins per season
        to any team lucky enough to have him! Soriano, well, his defense, you know,
        means he’s a -59 games per year. We should thank our lucky stars we got
        a class A pitcher for the $18 million we tossed the Yanks.

        LOL

        I hope he hits 35 HR this year. Glad to see him doing well.

        • gary3411

          Dejesus is more valuable ya sarcastic Sorisucker.

          Soriano and the Yankeees blowwww.

  • cubtex

    Tony Hall is complaining about a guys OBP who has 20 RBI and 7 HR in 17 games! That is classic! This is actually what I have been talking about. Who cares about OBP for you middle of order bats if they are able to drive in runs. Does everyone see how silly that argument is? Look at Rizzo’s OBP and Castillo’s. Now look at their average with RISP. Do you honestly think you can win games with them batting where they are?? OBP means squat for middle of order bats. As Tony Hall so kindly pointed out Soriano’s on pace numbers. He would be on pace for 60 HR’s and 200 RBI with a .270 OBP. Thank you for that Tony. 60 HR and 200 RBI with a .270 OBP. Ahhhh computer baseball. Can’t win if you can’t score!

    • Denver Mike

      Agreed, what good is clogging the bases with walks and bloopers if there isn’t anyone in the lineup who can actually bring them home. That is why there are slots in the batting order that are considered on-base positions, and slots that are run-producer positions. The #1 or 2 hole is for the OBP guys, in front on the run producers, but when a team has no run producers, well … how many times have we been shut out recently? :)

      • cubtex

        Exactly. 3 and 4 guys got to swing the bats. OBP is crucial for lead off hitter but to talk about how important it is for everyone is so not true. Give me a middle order bat who has a high RISP average and I will beat your a##.

        • gary3411

          Who in the history of the game has had a MAJOR difference between their average without RISP versus with RISP?

          Imagine getting on base and giving the next hitter who is minisually worse than you a chance to drive in BOTH RUNS!

      • gary3411

        Aren’t we like leading the league in homeruns and slugging or something close to it??

        • Denver Mike

          I was simply pointing out that you can hit singles and walks and have a high OBP, yet they are far less like to drive in runs.

        • cubtex

          The Cubs have lowest RISP. But that is luck. They all freak out and get scared Dale will spank them

          • Tony_Hall

            That is inexperience.

          • Brp921

            Inexperience and to many 4a players.

          • cubtex

            That is called not being able to hit with men on base :)

        • cubtex

          Gary. I suggest you look up some RBI guys. I looked up 2. Allen Craig .320 avg and a .469 avg with RISP. Brandon Phillips .264 avg with a .378 avg with RISP. But that is just luck:)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Allen Craig is a loser. He’s walked only 31 times this year…..
            Brandon Phillips is much worse. He’s walked only 28 times….
            LOL

            This is what Jody Davis was saying, “The only guy on the whole
            roster who is attacking the baseball is Jr. Lake.”

          • cubtex

            I heard Miggy Cabrera swings at the 1st pitch 44% of the time. Do the Tigers want Miggy working the count? I think this thinking in baseball will go the way of the dinosaur. Give me a middle order of the bat who swings and looks to hit instead of taking a borderline 3-2 pitch that could go either way depending on the umpires strike zone for that day.

          • Tony_Hall

            Do you think he is swinging at bad pitches or pitches he can drive??? It is pitches he can drive. He obviously can drive more balls than other hitters.

            Once again…..

            NO ONE IS TELLING THE BATTERS TO TAKE MEATBALLS DOWN THE MIDDLE IN THE NAME OF TRYING TO WALK…..NO ONE!!

        • Tony_Hall

          We are 2nd in the NL in HR’s and 5th in SLG, next to last in OBP, and 13th in AVG, but don’t let the facts get in the way of good rants.

    • Denver Mike

      I still maintain there was no point in keeping Soriano, in spite of how pathetic this team looks now. We had nothing to win for this year, except the “high draft pick playoffs” anyways.

      • cubtex

        This year is a lost cause. Like you said they have 7 million to spend to find a #4 hitter. Will that 7 mil player be better than keeping Soriano and sent DeJesus packing. Especially now that Lake is playing CF. Having an outfield next year of Soriano Lake and Schierholz would have been much more tolerable

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          We saved a little money, opene up a spot to see some other guys in a lost season, hot a pitcher who may help us down the line an Soriano gets to play for a contender where he is comfortable and having fun. I would prefer to have paid less salary, I would have preferred a better prospect. But overall the trade gave everyone what they desired. It’s a win-win.

    • gary3411

      You really think someone with low RISP is that because they just happen to freak out with RISP or what? If they were that mentally instable they would never had made it nearly this far in baseball. RISP avg is luck.

      OBP matters EVERYWHERE>everywhere

      • cubtex

        What? Luck? Are you kidding me?

    • Tony_Hall

      Always twisting things….you know that on pace is just used to show what short term stats relate to on a whole season. And we all know that Soriano is a streaky hitter who goes on a couple of hot streaks a year. Outside of those hot streaks his avg and obp do become important.

      AND ONCE AGAIN, NO ONE HAS EVER SAID YOU DON’T NEED MIDDLE OF THE ORDER BATS WHO HIT HRS AND HAVE A HIGH SLG PCT. But the best ones also have a high OBP because they don’t go up hacking and swinging at bad pitches…like Soriano.

    • 07GreyDigger

      OBP isn’t just about taking walks, it’s about getting on base in general. You know hits. Here’s the top 5 HR hitters of all time and top 5 RBI leaders and look at their OBPs.

      1. Barry Bonds 762 HRs .444 OBP
      2. Hank Aaron 755 HRs .374 OBP
      3. Babe Ruth 714 HRs .473 OBP
      4. Willie Mays 660 HRs .384 OBP
      5. Alex Rodriguez 648 HRs .384 OBP

      1. Hank Aaron 2297 RBIs .374 OBP
      2. Babe Ruth 2220 RBIs .473 OBP
      3. Cap Anson 2075 RBIs .394 OBP
      4. Barry Bonds 1996 RBIs .444 OBP
      5. Lou Gehrig 1992 RBIs .447 OBP

      Alfonso Soriano’s career OBP is .321. All of these guys who are all time greats and known “feared hitters” were that way because they got ON BASE and drove in runs. To say OBP doesn’t matter is foolish and ridiculous. You score runs in bunches by getting ON BASE. Why is this hard?

      • cubtex

        I know what OBP is greydigger.
        Those hitters you mentioned are Hall of Famers and PED users. Of course they will have high OBP. If you got a team full of David DeJesus….do you think you could win? That is my point. Please read my argument. OBP matters for certain places in the lineup….but is not the most important stat for Middle of Order Hitters. Rizzo’s OBP and Castillo’s OBP could be .340 each next year as an example….but do you think the Cubs will have a potent offense with those 2 batting 3 and 4. Give me a guy who can drive in runs and swings the bat. Drive in a run with a sac fly with a runner on 3rd and one out. Hit a ground ball on the right side with a runner on 3rd and one out to drive in a run. These are middle of order bats.

        • 07GreyDigger

          I’m not arguing that at all. I’m arguing that having a guy who drives in runs and swings the bat and is your best HITTER, a high OBP is generally to follow. Would you rather have a guy like Soriano who hits .250 and strikes out a ton (making outs) as your 3,4,5 guy or a guy who gets hits and gets on base? Look at Atlanta, with the best record in the league and your 3,4,5 guys all have high averages and wait for it, high OBP.

          J. Upton .363
          Freeman .389
          McCann .351

          These guys get on base and don’t make outs. That’s why you want a team full of them. But they don’t have to be David DeJesus to be those guys. The three Braves hitters mentioned above have 14, 17 and 22 HRs to their credit this season.

          Need further proof? The 2002 A’s which Moneyball was based on had just a .261 batting average as a team, but a .339 OBP and won 103 games. They were not a team of David DeJesus’ but I think that illustrates how that philosophy put into practice can work.

          • cubtex

            That goes without saying that the better middle of order bats will have a high OBP. The poor ones like Rizzo could have 18 HR’s as well with a high OBP but can’t deliver with RISP

          • 07GreyDigger

            Right. Difference is Rizzo is batting .232 and has an OBP of .323. While higher than Soriano, that average is definitely a problem. I think what you think the FO wants for players and what they actually want is skewed.

            They want high OBP guys, but ones that can actually hit too. I don’t think they or anyone has ever suggested a team of David DeJesus’ once.

          • Tony_Hall

            BABIP
            2013 – 256
            2012 – 310

            AVG
            2013 – 232
            2012 – 285

            His BABIP is very low this year and not likely to stay that low in the future.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If Cubs fans are crying about missing Soriano, then it is time for them to go to therapy.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Just to let you know….Matt Garza getting his a** kicked in Texas tonight by the Brewers…….since the trade, Rusin has out pitched Garza…….so I don’t want hear no one crying about missing Garza.

    • paulcatanese

      Texas just scored two, and now ahead, Garza as well has a chance for a ring.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        But Garza did not get the win…..he had to leave in the 6th.

        • cubtex

          who cares. the team won the game…isn’t that what a starter should do? keep your team in the game when you don’t have your best stuff to give your team a chance to win. What is the Rangers record on games started by Garza? That is an important stat….don’t you think? To compare Garza to Rusin is ridiculous.

  • paulcatanese

    Soriano, Marmol both have one thing in common. They have a legitimate chance at post season play and maybe a World Series ring. Cannot be said the same about the Cubs that were left behind.

    • gary3411

      Soriano has legit chance at postseason play? I’d call it a prayer.

      • paulcatanese

        A chance, even slim, is better than none at all.

        • Tony_Hall

          Especially for older players like Soriano, but the Yankees will be watching the playoffs.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I agree that it is a legit chance. Much more than a prayer. We shall see. He looks like he is having fun. At the root of it that is what matters most.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      You should get Big $$$$ on your Cubs Marmol & Soriano jerseys on Ebay then!…….

      Odds are better of Samardzija turning into an “Ace” than either Soriano or Marmol getting a W.S. ring.

      • paulcatanese

        Not a Marmol fan, just his situation on a team that could go post-season, as many Cubs in the past have after being traded.

  • Tony_Hall

    Just saw this, since being traded for Willy Mo Pena in March of 2006, Bronson Arroyo lead the NL in innings and wins. Now, wins is a stat that is soooo outdated and doesn’t show anything about how they actually pitched, except that they gave up less runs than the other pitcher while they were still in the game and the team held that lead to win the game. But it is still impressive to think that Arroyo is leading this category along with innings which is amazing to me and many others that have watched his little floating curve ball all these years and shook our head asking why we can’t hit off this guy.

    • paulcatanese

      When you figure that one out , let the Cubs know. I sure can’t. I really expected a no-no after the third inning yesterday. Don’t know, but he does it.