Cubs Swing, Cubs Miss, Cubs Shut Out – Cubs 0, Dodgers 4

Game One Hundred Thirty-Three – Cubs 0, Dodgers 4

WP – Ricky Nolasco (11-9) LP – Edwin Jackson (7-14) Save – None

Dale Sveum was ejected five pitches into the game and the Cubs struck out 14 times while managing only three hits on Wednesday. The Dodgers shut out the Cubs for third time this season and took the finale of the three-game series.

Ricky Nolasco picked up where he left off against the Red Sox and just mowed down the Cubs for eight innings. The Cubs managed three hits and a walk against Nolasco while he struck out 11 of the 29 batters he faced. The Cubs put two runners on base only one time in nine innings.

Welington Castillo (2-for-3 with a double) collected two of the Cubs’ three hits and Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) singled with two outs in the sixth … that’s it. Starlin Castro (0-for-3 with a walk) and Brian Bogusevic (0-for-3 with a walk) worked the two free passes. The Cubs were 0-for-2 with RISP and left six men on base.

Edwin Jackson was serviceable on Wednesday but once again he struggled with his command and consistency. Jackson served up a pair of solo home runs in the first four innings that gave Ricky Nolasco all of the runs he would need. Hanley Ramirez took Jackson deep in the first inning and Andre Ethier launched a big fly in the fourth. Jackson’s own throwing error in the fifth led to the Dodgers last two runs. Jackson pitched better than he had in his most recent outings leading up to Wednesday’s finale against the Dodgers.

Edwin Jackson was charged with four runs, two earned, on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Jackson threw a season-high 124 pitches, 81 for strikes. The 124 pitches were the most for Jackson since he tossed 124 on June 4, 2011 over six innings against the Tigers.

James Russell picked up the final out in the seventh and Blake Parker struck out the side in order in the eighth.

Dale Sveum was ejected in the first inning of Wednesday’s game for disputing a blown check swing call on a 2-2 pitch to Yasiel Puig. First base umpire, Lance Barksdale, ruled that Puig checked his swing. Sveum and the Cubs’ bench took exception to the incredibly bad call and Sveum was shown the door after he argued from the dugout.

The Cubs finished the six-game West Coast swing with a 2-4 record and went 1-6 on the season against the Dodgers after dropping two of three at Chavez Ravine. Dodgers’ pitching shut out the Cubs three times in seven games and five different starters picked up wins against the Cubs this year.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs are 8-22 since the end of July and have been shut out seven times. For the year, the Cubs dropped back to 21 games under .500 with a 56-77 record.

After the Cubs went down in order on 14 pitches, 12 for strikes, to start the game, Edwin Jackson appeared to strikeout Yasiel Puig to start his afternoon. But Lance Barksdale ruled that Puig checked his swing (it was not close, Puig swung). Sveum and the Cubs bench barked at Barksdale and after the umpire would not quit looking into the dugout, Sveum was ejected … it was just another example of the Ump Show.

Jackson caught a break when Carl Crawford grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Puig did not slide on the play.

Hanley Ramirez stepped in and launched Jackson’s first pitch into the stand in left field … 1-0 Dodgers. Jackson retired Hairston Jr. on a grounder to third to end the inning. Jackson threw 22 pitches, 14 for strikes, in the first inning.

The Cubs had a chance to at least tie the game in the second inning.

Junior Lake reached on a error by Hanley Ramirez with two down in the second inning. Welington Castillo pulled a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner. The ball stayed in play but bounced right back to Crawford after it hit the wall. Lake could not score and Nolasco caught Cody Ransom looking at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning … 30 pitches for Nolasco after two innings, 23 for strikes.

The game remained 1-0 Dodgers until the fourth inning.

After Hanley Ramirez flied out to deep left for the first out in the fourth, Andre Ethier gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with a long homer to right. Jackson struck out Hairston Jr. and Mark Ellis swinging to end the inning.

The Dodgers led 2-0 after four innings.

Welington Castillo singled with one out in the fifth. Ransom grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice and Jackson struck out swinging to end the inning. Nolasco needed 65 pitches, 46 for strikes, to complete five innings.

Juan Uribe led off the fifth with a bloop single down the left field line. Tim Federowicz followed with a single to left. With runners on first and second with no outs, Nolasco bunted back to the mound. Jackson picked the ball up and airmailed his throw to third. Uribe scored, 3-0 Dodgers. With runners on the corners and no outs, Skip Schumaker singled to right through the drawn in infield. Federowicz scored, 4-0 Dodgers. Jackson retired Crawford on a flyout to center, Ramirez on a 5-4 fielder’s choice and struck out Ethier swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Jackson threw 94 pitches, 62 for strikes, over five innings.

The Dodgers led 4-0 after five innings … and that is how the game would end.

The Cubs managed one hit and two walks after the fifth inning. And Cubs’ pitching kept the Dodgers from tacking onto their lead.

Thursday is an off day for the Cubs. Dale Sveum’s team opens a nine-game homestand on Friday with the first of three against Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Roy Halladay in the opener.

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Some things I noticed while looking at this game….

    Cody Ranson has returned to reality:
    .190 BA…288 OBP…423 slug

    We talked bad about him…Navarro is better….but he had 2 hits today.
    Only .360 slug for the year….4 HR….not a slugger and not a good defender.
    Slow learner……..just perfect for a Team Theo built team.

    .215 for the year…..barely worse than Castro…..323 slug. GAG he’s awful.
    Castro….barely better than Barney…..239 BA and lousy .332 slug. GAG he’s awful.

    .266 BA with 318 OBP…hey, that’s Soriano-like! LOL .501 slug is very nice.

    Blake Parker has 2.15 ERA for the year. NICE.

    • Dorasaga

      Are you implying that each of these players is easily replaceable by what’s available from the Cubs farm?

      • Ripsnorter1

        No. Blake Parker has really had a nice year for the Cubs.
        That 2.15 ERA speaks for itself.

        Schierholtz has slugged well, but BA is starting to sag.
        I think his bat has slowed somewhat due to playing so much.

        Castro has had such a bad year that Barney is outperforming him offensively.
        And Barney has been very poor offensively himself. It’s a nightmare that needs
        to end.

        Ransom has returned to being what he always has been: a .190 hitter.

        Just some observations, that’s all.

        • Dorasaga

          Hmm, wasn’t thinking about Schierholtz’s slowing bat, here at CCO folks had some talk (debate?) about Soriano’s bat, if he slowed or found harder to manage it. That was two years ago as he became age 35, so it was a reasonable doubt.

    • Thomas D

      Castillo is actually a better defender than Navarro according to advance stats his dWAR is better than Navarro

  • Tom U

    From Randy Wehofer of Iowa Cubs Radio

    Brian Schlitter ties Laddie Renfroe (1987-88, 90-92) for 4th on @IowaCubs career saves list with #33 tonight

    • Ripsnorter1

      Laddie Renfroe….you really, really know how to bring nightmares
      to a guy.

      Jim Essian…how he became a ML manager is beyond any explanation.
      But the Cubs made him one. When he needed a closer, he called upon
      Iowa closer Laddie Renfroe. Renfroe had been just awful in Iowa: 118 IP with 146 H
      in 1990, and a beautiful 4.96 ERA. But Jim Essian had a lot of confidence
      in Laddie Renfroe. So Renfroe gets called up. Here are his ML numbers:

      4 games
      4.2 IP
      11 H
      7 ER
      2.786 WHIP
      13.50 ERA
      2 BB
      4 K
      1 WP
      and…..drum roll, please… saves.

      Those were the days……..not a lot different from Team Theo days now.

      BTW…how does Brian Brain Schlitter compare with Laddie….
      8 IP….18 H…12.38 ERA…2.875 WHIP….

      You get the picture…..

  • SirGladiator

    I remember reading a while back, somebody here said they were very happy to hear that Sveum had told the hitting coaches to leave Castro and Rizzo alone to figure things out, and get themselves out of their slump. It’s entirely possible that emotion was reasonable, given how bad the hitting coaches are. There’s just one problem with that thinking, and that is that Castro and Rizzo now have no coaching whatsoever, so not surprisingly, they continue to be horrible, and if anything actually get worse. When the best thing you can say about the hitting coaches is ‘this is great, Sveum told them not to do their jobs’, it’s not hard to figure out that those hitting coaches need to be fired. Because the reality of the situation is that Castro and Rizzo do need help from the hitting coaches, a LOT of it. Granted, not these hitting coaches, because they’re terrible, but a real hitting coach, somebody who actually makes the hitters better, not worse. That’s got to be a top priority in the off-season, going out and finding a top notch hitting coach. Look what having a great pitching coach can do for a rotation. Now look what having a horrible hitting coach can do for a lineup. It’s time to get a good one instead, it’s just sickening to watch the results of the ‘coaching’ these hitters are currently getting. We’ve got such incredible talent, it’s time we brought in some guys who can let that talent loose, not stifle it and make it look like these great hitters are really terrible ones.