Samardzija Squanders Away a Win – Cubs 5, Phillies 6

Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 5, Phillies 6

WP – B.J. Rosenberg (1-0) LP – Kevin Gregg (2-4) Save – Jonathan Papelbon (23)

Jeff Samardzija took a two-hit shutout and a 5-0 lead into the top of the sixth inning. The Phillies scored four runs in the sixth, tied it in the seventh and won the game in the ninth against Kevin Gregg … and the Cubs lost yet another game in which they had a lead in on Friday afternoon.

Jeff Samardzija was in full control over the first five innings and after the offense handed him a five-run lead, the Cubs appeared to be in line for a win. But Kevin Frandsen led off the sixth with a pinch-hit triple and Samardzija was never the same.

Samardzija gave up four runs in the sixth, with the big blow coming off the bat of Chase Utley, a two-run triple that cut the Cubs lead to 5-3. Samardzija survived the sixth and started the seventh clinging to a one-run lead. But Kevin Frandsen tied the game at five with a solo shot in the seventh with two outs. Samardzija gave up a double to Michael Young and walked Jimmy Rollins before Dale Sveum went to his pen.

Jeff Samardzija turned a tie game over to the pen with two outs in the seventh inning after allowing at least five earned runs for the sixth different time this season. Samardzija gave up five runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings on 103 pitches, 62 for strikes. Samardzija received a no decision in a game his team lost after he was staked to a 5-0 lead.

James Russell and Pedro Strop did their jobs and kept the Phillies off the board but Kevin Gregg plunked Roger Bernadina with one out in the ninth on a 1-2 pitch. Bernadina stole second and scored on a bloop single to right off the bat of Michael Young (4-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored).

While the offense had plenty of chances to tack onto their lead (3-for-10 with RISP, nine men left on base), a 5-0 advantage with a team’s number one pitcher on the mound in their home park should be enough to win a ballgame.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) put the Cubs on the board in the first inning with his 21st longball of the season. Nate Schierholtz (1-for-4 with a home run) added a solo shot of his own in the fourth, his 20th of the year, that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a walk) had an excellent day at the plate. Castro delivered a two-out, two-run double in the fourth that gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead at the time. Brian Bogusevic (1-for-1 with a RBI, a run scored, a walk and a HBP) singled in Rizzo with the Cubs’ fifth run in the fifth inning.

The Cubs outhit the Phillies 10-9 and did a good job of working the counts and getting on base (four walks, two HBP) early in the game.

Ryne Sandberg returned to Wrigley Field and picked up his first victory against his former team. Sandberg improved to 9-6 as the Phillies’ manager.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season-low 22 games under .500 with a 56-78 record and have lost 17 of their last 20 games at Wrigley Field.

Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with two outs in the first inning. After Roy Halladay retired Castro and Lake for the first two outs, Rizzo lifted Halladay’s first pitch out to right. Navarro grounded out to first to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija gave up a pair of singles to the first six batters he faced, then shut down the Phillies offense. Samardzija needed only 25 pitches, 14 for strikes, to complete the first two innings on Friday afternoon.

The Cubs could not take advantage of Halladay hitting Brian Bogusevic and Darwin Barney with two down in the second inning. Samardzija flied out to right center to end the inning.

After two complete, the Cubs led 1-0.

The game remained 1-0 Cubs through the third inning and into the bottom of the fourth. Samardzija retired the side in order in both the third and fourth innings and threw 53 pitches, 33 for strikes, over the first four innings.

Nate Schierholtz led off the fourth and lined a 1-1 pitch from Halladay into the bleachers in right. Schierholtz’s 20th longball of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Donnie Murphy then reached on a double to center. Bernadina lost the ball in the sun and Murphy was credited with a two-base hit. Bogusevic walked and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs.

Darwin Barney flied out to right center (2-1 pitch). Murphy tagged and advanced to third. Samardzija bunted Bogusevic to second with two outs. Starlin Castro drove a 1-1 pitch into the gap in right center. Murphy and Bogusevic scored, 4-0 Cubs. Lake grounded out to short to end the inning.

At the end of four, the Cubs led 4-0.

Samardzija made quick work of the Phillies in the fifth. Samardzija retired 11 row and needed 65 pitches, 40 for strikes, to complete five innings of work.

Anthony Rizzo and Dioner Navarro reached on back-to-back singles to start the fifth inning. Schierholtz popped out to Young (near the mound) for the first out. Halladay retired Murphy on a flyout to right for the second out.

Brian Bogusevic singled to right (1-0 pitch). Rizzo was waived around and scored. Mayberry’s throw was well up the line but Carlos Ruiz made a strong throw to second and threw out Bogusevic at second to end the inning (9-2-6).

Kevin Frandsen hit for Halladay to start the sixth inning and tripled to center. Junior Lake tried to make a diving catch on a sinking liner. The ball got past him and rolled all the way to the wall … Samardzija was not the same from this point forward.

Michael Young plated Frandsen with a single to right, 5-1 Cubs. Jimmy Rollins followed with a single to center and the Phillies had two on with no outs for Chase Utley.

Samardzija fell behind Utley 3-0. After getting one over, Chase Utley tripled to right center. Young and Rollins scored, 5-3. Domonic Brown grounded out to second, Utley scored … and just like that, the Cubs lead was down to 5-4. Samardzija walked Ruiz but got out of the inning when Darin Ruf grounded into a 5-4-3 double play … 90 pitches for Samardzija after six innings, 53 for strikes.

The Cubs could not cash in a two-out walk by Starlin Castro in the sixth. After six complete, the Cubs were clinging to a 5-4 lead.

Jeff Samardzija retired Mayberry and Bernadina to start the seventh. Kevin Frandsen stepped in and launched a 0-1 pitch from Samardzija into the bleachers in left field … and tied the game at five. Michael Young followed with a double and Rollins walked. With two on and two down, Dale Sveum decided that was enough and went to his pen for James Russell. Utley flied out to left to end the inning.

Zach Miner started the seventh after he retired three of the four batters he faced in the sixth. Miner struck out Rizzo swinging for the first out. Dioner Navarro reached on a single to left with one out and Sandberg went to his pen for lefty Jake Diekman. Schierholtz worked a walk and Murphy stepped in with runners on first and second with one down.

Diekman caught Murphy looking and Sveum sent up Darnell McDonald to hit for Bogusevic. McDonald singled to right but Navarro was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

James Russell and Pedro Strop retired the Phillies in order in the eighth.

B.J. Rosenberg retired Barney on a flyout to left and struck out pinch-hitter Logan Watkins to start the eighth. Starlin Castro doubled to left but Lake struck out swinging to end the inning.

Kevin Gregg took the hill in the ninth with the game tied at five. Gregg retired Mayberry on a flyout to right and jumped ahead of Bernadina 1-2. Gregg hit Bernadina with his next pitch. Bernadina stole second with Frandsen at the dish. Frandsen flied out to center and Bernadina stayed at second.

Michael Young blooped a 2-2 pitch into right. Bernadina scored, 6-5 Phillies. With Young at second and two down, Rollins flied out to left to end the inning.

Jonathan Papelbon retired the Cubs in order on eight pitches to end the game.

Chris Rusin faces Cliff Lee in game two with the Phillies on Saturday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"Now there's three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain." - Casey Stengel 

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  • Bryan

    Outside of the outcome today, I was reading through the message stream that occurred during the game. I can honestly say that I am getting really tired of the crappy banter among several posters here, and the personal jibes being taken. Do you guys realize the length of nonsense stream that others here have to put up with? I feel like I’m reading a bunch of kindergarten behavior.

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

      We forget we’re all on te same side it seems at times. It’s like a clubhouse, when winning they have chemistry, when losing they have none. It seems like this here.

      We disagree a lot. But should show each other respect. That’s where I stand. Sometimes I grt ahgravated and say things I regret, but I try to apologize or admit if I acted out.

      Hopefully when we start winning we will have some comradarie. I dream of that day.

    • Tony_Hall

      Bryan – I am sorry if we crossed a line yesterday, I agree with Boardrider, that we all post things we regret and wish we could take back, just like you have on here before as well.

      When I am just getting in to watching mid-game and there is a thread already going, I read through the posts to see what is going on, and when I get to an extended thread that I don’t like, I stop reading and move on. You can go back to the top and condense the thread and it is gone, it is right next to the flag for an inappropriate comment.

      • texcubnut

        Nicely said, Tony. I really enjoy Neil’s site and we should all try and respect each other. Boardrider is right, also. We all, and I do mean all, want the same thing…A CHICAGO CUB CHAMPIONCHIP. We may have different visions oh how to attain that but it shouldn’t interfere with our shared support for our Cubbies. The last several years have been frustrating and the day to day operations have been tedious, to say the least. But as long as we respect each other and each other’s opinion, than this web site, and it’s posters, will remain the best. Peace to all and may the Cubs future be successful and prosperous for decades.

    • cubtex

      Bryan. I apologize as well. I told myself to not watch any more games this year and I should have listened to myself. I turn on the TV with the Cubs leading 5-0 in the bottom of the 5th. I’m like…OK…they are going to win a game.

      The frustration of seeing Sveum do nothing and not be prepared again and again has gotten my blood boiling. Even though wins and losses aren’t important, to lose games when you should win is terrible for the team and players no matter what the record. This is twice in 2 weeks that they have had a huge lead and blew it. 6-0 and now 5-0. Losing is a habit….just like winning. You need to manage a game to win and give the players the opportunity to play the game with the best chance to compete. How did that game help Shark? Regardless of what some might think….wins definately mean something to a starting pitcher! There are many questions still needed for next year. Is Blake Parker a late inning guy? Can Pedro Strop close? Why not find out now? Again, it was over the top yesterday and I apologize to you and everyone.

      • Dorasaga

        I don’t agree with your assessment of Sveummy, but I remember making similar comment about Ron Washington years ago, so I’m no different from a good number of similar opinions.

        It seems to me now that when we fans look from the outside-in when the season just not fine (“crap”), we tend to see the glass half empty.

        Regarding Parker and Pedro, I dare say no and no. They have stuff but accompanied with their own erratic command, that’s on and off. Non-consistency. I prefer to see the Cubs assign late inning RP-s to be reliable, day-in and out. Ah, sounds like I need a refill!

        • cubtex

          I don’t think Strop can close either but why not end that experiment now? Wouldn’t it be better to do that now than have him blow games next year without having a viable replacement?

          • Dorasaga

            You’re probably right. There’ll be one positive by not using Strop as the closer unless the management exhausted all other cheap options. Pedro is under team control for another 4 years. Closers are paid more; e.g. Marmol’s latest deal with GM Hendry as soon as he turned closer.

            Not closing means less to bring to the arbitration table. The Cubs can keep Pedro without much commitment (cheap), then use him as a good trade bait or convert him later next year if he really matures as a pitcher.

  • SirGladiator

    Well, another starter gives up another huge lead. The good news is at this rate, we’ll soon be able to re-sign Samarja for the League Minimum! Wow he sure threw away a lot of money when he didn’t sign that long term contract back when people thought he was good.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Samardzija rather leave than sign a low $$$ contract….believe me, other teams willing to pay Shark’s price….but first, they need to pay Theo’s asking price………. Theo will trade Shark before letting him walk.
      Stop reading those “other” guys who believe Shark is an “Ace”…… let them spin their Beatles LP’s and quote other people’s comments & book lines.

      • texcubnut

        Hey Cubby, I love Beatles music and I constantly plagiarize others. However, I don’t think Samardzija is an ACE. Like Tony, I believe he’s a mid-rotation starter with the talent to be better than that if he can control and harness his natural abilities. That’s a really big IF.

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

    If comimg imto this season I was told Rizzo would hit 25 HR and play gold glove defense I would have taken it in a heartbeat. Though he has been down in average and RISP, it is tough to say he’s ha anything but a solid season. If this is his “sophomore slump,”. His future looks pretty bright.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      I think many people compare Rizzo with Castro due to age….but Castro has more games under his belt than Rizzo……..both have bad years…..lets them chalk up this season to experience & learning adjustments.

    • Eugene Debs

      I feel like he’ll improve, but I cannot call this a “solid season.” in 2013, Rizzo has not been any better than Pena was.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not true. read this on 1B and the part about Rizzo. His average is low, but not Pena low, and has a lot to do with a low BABIP.

        http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/08/cubs-organizational-depth-1b/

        • Brp921

          I agree. I’m more old school and not up to par on all the new stats, but I definitely don’t see Rizzo as another Pena. I wouldn’t even compare Rizzo’s season this year to Pena.

          • Tony_Hall

            Nothing wrong with old school, and playing that way. But with stats, you have to ask the why and that is where the more advanced stats come into play. Breaking down the stats to find out more.

            On TV players AVG HR and RBI’s use to be posted, so that is what everyone knows. But OBP is much better gauge than AVG and SLG is better than HR’s and RBi’s. Keep taking it further and you have the stats we use today to evaluate players. No one is saying that AVG and HR’s are not important, but need to be looked at in context of other numbers.

          • Dorasaga

            By the way, I picked up woba and babip fast, because they sound good!

          • Eugene Debs

            Pena had a higher OPS. He hit more home runs. He got on base more. He struck out less. He hit better with men on base. He drove in more runs. I believe Rizzo has a higher ceiling, but Pena’s season in Chicago was comparable or even better.

          • Brp921

            Well stats don’t lie. I watched both players and by the “eye test” Rizzo seemed more of the complete player to me, without looking up the numbers, but I will cede you your point.:)

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  • Eugene Debs

    Trade Samardzija. He’s good, but he’s about to get expensive and he’s actually been a bit of a whiny jerk this year.

  • Brp921

    The FO has to decide what they want to get out of Samardzija. Do they want to pay the money he will demand and hope he turns into the pitcher he thinks he will be? Do they want to trade him for what they can get this off season. Or do they they want to make him a reasonable offer of what they think he’s worth and take the draft pick if he leaves. I wonder what the market for him would bear?

    • cubtex

      They still have time to make a decision. He is not a FA till 2016.
      Samardzija is now tied with Edwin Jackson for the team lead with giving up 5 or more runs in 6 starts. He has had some rough starts.

      • Brp921

        I thought he was a free agent sooner than 2016.

        • Tony_Hall

          Service Time (01/2013): 3.028
          Arb Eligible: 2014
          Free Agent: 2016 [*]

          Ater the 2015 season for the 2016 Season

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/samarje01.shtml

        • cubtex

          With his question marks not answered, there is no rush to extend him. If he pitches well next year you can try and work out a deal then, or his value will be higher than it is now and you can look to deal him then. No rush to do anything now.

  • Steve Baier

    I would like to apologize for yesterday’s loss. I was at the game, sitting near the Cubs’ bullpen. I saw Kevin Gregg warming up and I turned to one of my friends and said, “well there goes the game”….and wouldn’t you know, there went the game in the top of the 9th. In all seriousness though, watching Samardzija get shelled was painful.