Samardzija Struggles, Cubs Shut Out – Cubs 0, Dodgers 3

Game One Hundred Ten – Cubs 0, Dodgers 3

WP – Chris Capuano (4-6) LP – Jeff Samardzija (6-10) Save – Kenley Jansen (16)

Jeff Samardzija had a rough outing but the offense could not string together any hits and the Cubs dropped their third game in as many days to the Dodgers.

The Cubs were shutout for the seventh time this season after grounding into four double plays on the afternoon. The Cubs went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. The Cubs have scored only two runs on 22 hits over the last two games.

Junior Lake (1-for-4), Cole Gillespie (2-for-4), Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a double and a walk), Starlin Castro (1-for-4), Cody Ransom (1-for-4), Darwin Barney (1-for-3) and Nate Schierholtz (1-for-4) each collected hits, but not one that drove in a run. Chris Capuano ran his scoreless innings streak at Wrigley Field to 32 with 6 1/3 shutout innings on Saturday.

Jeff Samardzija was not sharp on Saturday afternoon. Samardzija had very little command of his fastball and pitched from behind in the count for a majority of his outing. Samardzija walked three batters and hit another in the first four innings. Samardzija ran up his pitch count and lasted only six innings. Samardzija issued five walks on Saturday, the third time in six starts and the second time in three starts that Samardzija has walked five batters.

Samardzija had two different innings in which it took him 28 pitches to record three outs. Samardzija threw 28 pitches in the fourth and 28 pitches in the sixth that accounted for half of his 112 pitches. Samardzija threw only 56 pitches in his other four innings of work (average of 14 per inning).

Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs on seven hits with five walks and nine strikeouts. Samardzija threw 112 pitches, 69 for strikes.

The Cubs pen kept the Dodgers from adding on after Samardzija left the game. Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless seventh, Matt Guerrier retired his old teammates in order in the eighth and Kevin Gregg wiggled out of a jam in the ninth.

Over the last two games (18 innings), Cubs’ pitching has issued 12 free passes and hit two batters. While the offense should have done something on Saturday, giving a good team like the Dodgers 14 free baserunners in two days will not lead to many victories.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 49-61 on the season.

Jeff Samardzija faced one over the minimum in the first inning on 15 pitches, 10 for strikes, after giving up a leadoff single to Carl Crawford. With Puig at the plate, Crawford took off for second. Welington Castillo threw out Crawford for the first out. Puig reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Samardzija struck out Ramirez swinging and retired Ethier on a flyout to center for the third out.

The Cubs managed a Junior Lake single in the first, but that was all. Chris Capuano threw only nine pitches, seven for strikes, in the first frame.

Jeff Samardzija did not allow a ball to be put in play in the second inning. Samardzija struck out the side and issued two walks. Samardzija’s pitch count started to elevate in the second inning. It took Samardzija 37 pitches, 22 for strikes, to complete two frames on Saturday.

The Cubs were unable to take advantage of a couple of Dodgers’ miscues in the second inning. Starlin Castro reached on an infield single with one out. Capuano fielded the swinging bunt and threw to first but Scott Van Slyke could not scoop the low throw and Castro was safe. Schierholtz struck out swinging for out number two. Cody Ransom reached on an error by Jerry Hairston Jr. at third. With runners on first and second, Darwin Barney lined out to Ramirez to end the inning. Capuano threw 35 pitches in the first two innings, 24 for strikes.

The Dodgers pushed across a run in the third. Samardzija really struggled with his command and it cost him. Yasiel Puig reached on a bunt single to third with one out in the third inning. Ramirez popped out to second. Samardzija fell behind Ethier 3-0. Andre Ethier singled to right. Puig advanced to third and scored when Jerry Hairston Jr. broke his bat and singled to right. Ethier was caught in a run down and tagged out to end the inning. Samardzija needed 49 pitches, 30 for strikes, to complete three innings.

After the Cubs went down in order in the third, Samardzija issued a walk to Skip Schumaker to start the fourth inning. Samardzija jumped ahead of Van Slyke 1-2 before hitting him and putting two on with no outs. Tim Federowicz flied out to right center. Schierholtz caught the ball and Schumaker went to third. Capuano then bunted the ball back to Samardzija, but instead of taking the out, Samardzija threw to second. Samardzija’s throw to Castro was high and the Dodgers had the bases loaded with one out.

Jeff Samardzija struck out Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig swinging to end the inning. Samardzija threw 77 pitches, 46 for strikes, in the first four innings.

Welington Castillo worked a one-out walk in the fourth but Castro grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the fourth. Capuano threw only 55 pitches, 37 for strikes, to complete four innings on Saturday.

Jeff Samardzija recorded his only clean, 1-2-3 inning, in the fifth. Samardzija threw only seven pitches in the fifth and 84 pitches, 52 for strikes, in five innings on Saturday.

Cody Ransom reached on a one-out single to left in the fifth inning … but Darwin Barney grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning, the third time in five innings the Cubs grounded into a double play.

The Dodgers put the game away in the sixth inning. Samardzija issued a four pitch walk to Skip Schumaker to start the inning. Samardzija struck out Van Slyke swinging. Tim Federowicz doubled into the right field corner. Schumaker held at third with one out. Samardzija struck out Capuano but he could not get through Crawford again. Carl Crawford blooped the first pitch into right center. Schumaker and Federowicz scored, 3-0 Dodgers. Samardzija walked Puig. Hanley Ramirez worked a full count before striking out swinging to end the inning. Samardzija threw 112 pitches, 69 for strikes, in six innings of work.

The Cubs could not take advantage of a two-out double by Cole Gillespie in the sixth and the game went to the seventh with the Cubs down 3-0.

Hector Rondon faced the minimum in the seventh.

Welington Castillo led off the Cubs’ seventh by pulling Capuano’s first pitch down the third baseline. Castillo ended up at second with a double. Yasiel Puig made a diving catch to take away a hit from Castro for the first out. Nate Schierholtz blooped a single to left. And Don Mattingly went to his pen for Brandon League.

Dale Sveum left Cody Ransom into hit for himself with runners on first and third with one out … Ransom grounded into the Cubs’ fourth double play of the day (5-4-3) to end the inning (edit: Sveum announced after the game that Luis Valbuena was not available due to an oblique strain and is going on the DL).

Matt Guerrier sat down his former teammates in order in the eighth.

Darwin Barney greeted Ronald Belisario with a single to center to start the eighth. DeJesus hit for Guerrier and lined out to left. Junior Lake almost grounded into the Cubs’ fifth double play of the game. Barney was forced at second and Lake took over at first. Cole Gillespie collected his second hit of the game, a single to left. With runners on first and second with two down, Don Mattingly went to his pen for a lefty to face Rizzo. Paco Rodriguez walked Anthony Rizzo on four pitches to load the bases.

Welington Castillo worked a full count before striking out swinging to end the inning. After eight at bats, the Cubs were 1-for-5 with RISP and left seven men on base.

Kevin Gregg wiggled his way out of a bases loaded one out jam in the ninth. Adrian Gonzalez hit a soft liner to Castro that he caught, took to the bag and doubled off Ramirez to end the inning.

The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs down 3-0.

Kenley Jansen retired the Cubs in order to end the game.

Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to face Zack Greinke on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the four-game series. Don Mattingly mentioned on Saturday the Dodgers might push Greinke back to the opener in St. Louis and have Stephen Fife start on Sunday.

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Quote of the Day

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