Same Old Story for Samardzija – Reds 4, Cubs 1

Game Fifteen: Cubs 1, Reds 4

WP – Alfredo Simon (2-1) LP – Jeff Samardzija (0-2) Save – Jonathan Broxton (2)

The Cubs lost to the Reds for the 16th time in 17 games (1-16) at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. And once again, Jeff Samardzija took the loss after receiving no run support. The Cubs have scored only four runs while Samardzija has been on the mound this season in four starts. And in those four starts, Jeff Samardzija has allowed four earned runs.

Jeff Samardzija put together a very good outing. But two errors in the sixth inning led to a pair of unearned runs and gave the Reds an insurmountable lead. Samardzija labored through the first two innings. The Reds did not string together any hits or put runs on the board, but Bryan Price’s lineup ran up Samardzija’s pitch count. Samardzija threw 45 pitches, 32 for strikes, in two innings. Samardzija retired the Reds in order in the third and fourth innings and needed only 22 pitches to do so … 67 pitches, 48 for strikes, for Samardzija after four innings. The Reds scored all three runs off Samardzija in the fifth and sixth innings.

Jeff Samardzija was charged with three runs, one earned, on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Samardzija picked up another quality start (fourth of the season) after throwing 113 pitches, 77 for strikes, in seven innings.

Justin Grimm surrendered his first run of the season in the eighth and James Russell pitched a scoreless ninth.

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo turned in excellent plays in the field, but the two errors in the sixth (Emilio Bonifacio, Welington Castillo) and the five stolen bases by the Reds on Friday gave the Reds too many extra bases … and outs.

The Cubs offense finally managed a run, their first since the ninth inning of Sunday’s game in St. Louis. The Cubs scored a run in the seventh on a RBI single off the bat of Luis Valbuena (1-for-2 with a RBI and two walks) that plated Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a run scored).

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4) collected two of the Cubs six hits and Welington Castillo (1-for-4 with a double) managed the team’s only extra base knock.

After going 0-for-13 with RISP (12 left on base) on Wednesday in the Bronx, the Cubs were 1-for-7 with RISP on Friday afternoon and left eight men on base.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs have dropped five in a row and are 4-11 on the season.

The Reds broke through against Jeff Samardzija in the fifth inning. And it was the bottom of the Reds lineup that started the run scoring inning. Devin Mesoraco led off the fifth with a single to left. Samardzija did not pay enough attention to the Reds catcher and he took off for second on the first pitch to Zack Cozart. Mesoraco stole second and held when Cozart struck out swinging. Alfredo Simon advanced Mesoraco to third with a tapper in front of the plate. Billy Hamilton dumped a single into left center in front of a diving Junior Lake. Mesoraco scored, 1-0 Reds. Joey Votto walked but Ramon Santiago flied out to right after Hamilton stole third to end the inning. Samardzija needed 87 pitches, 60 for strikes, to complete five innings.

After the Cubs threatened in the bottom of the fifth following a two-out double by Welington Castillo and an intentional walk to Luis Valbuena, the Cubs defense gave the Reds two runs in the sixth.

Jay Bruce doubled to right to start the sixth. Samardzija struck out Todd Frazier before Welington Castillo was charged with catcher’s interference that allowed Ryan Ludwick to reach. The second catcher’s interference called on the Cubs in three games. Samardzija walked Mesoraco to load the bases with one down. Zack Cozart hit a grounder to third that Valbuena fielded cleanly and threw to second. But his throw was to the centerfield side of the bag. Bonifacio caught the ball with Mesoraco barreling in on him. Mesoraco disrupted Bonifacio’s throw, the ball sailed to the inside of the first base bag. Rizzo had no chance. Bruce and Ludwick scored, 3-0 Reds. Simon lined out to right to end the inning … 104 pitches, 70 for strikes, for Samardzija after six innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the sixth. And Anthony Rizzo made two sensational plays in the seventh to take hits away from Hamilton and Votto. Rizzo and Samardzija teamed up for all three outs in the seventh. The game went to the bottom of the seventh with the Cubs down 3-0.

Starlin Castro led off the seventh with a single to center. Ryan Sweeney reached on a fielding error by Todd Frazier at third base. The Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs and Bryan Price went to his pen. Sam LeCure replaced Alfredo Simon and struck out Welington Castillo. Luis Valbuena pulled a 0-1 pitch past Ramon Santiago and into right center. Castro scored the Cubs first run in 24 1/3 innings. Ryan Kalish hit for Samardzija with runners on first and second, one out and the Cubs down 3-1. Kalish popped out to Santiago (infield fly) in short right for the second out. Emilio Bonifacio struck out swinging to end the inning.

Justin Grimm gave the run right back in the top of the eighth. Grimm retired Jay Bruce on a fly out to left to start the eighth. Grimm walked Todd Frazier then the Reds’ third baseman got a running lead and stole second base. Ryan Ludwick reached on an infield single to short, Castro tried to barehand the ball but came up empty and Frazier advanced to third. A wild pitch on a 1-0 offering to Mesoraco allowed Frazier to scored, 4-1 Reds. Mesoraco struck out swinging and Cozart grounded out to short (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

The Cubs could not put anything together in the eighth or ninth innings.

Edwin Jackson faces Tony Cingrani on Saturday afternoon.

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  • Larry Schwimmer

    The one thing I’m happy about is that if Samardzija continues to pitch well, maybe the CUBS F.O. will make him an excellent offer to keep him a CUB. Even though this team is not ready for prime time, let’s not forget they were willing to give long-term contracts to Sanchez and Tanaka. So, there’s no reason not to give him a long-term contract.

    And…let’s not forget one other thing, any decent F.A. will require a big financial incentive to sign with the CUBS (just like the Nationals had to pay ridiculous “over-market” price for Wirth). Let’s not drink any Kool-Aid and believe that great players are waiting in line to play on a losing team with a rich tradition of being chronic losers. If they are willing to come to the CUBS — they will want big $$$.

    • cubtex

      The only prob is Sharks age and where the Cubs are. I agree with a lot of what you are saying though

    • BosephHeyden

      After this year and last year? If they don’t trade Samardzija, he’s going to want to get out of dodge ASAP.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        I agree that either Samardzija signs at extension mid-season or he should be traded. But there are certain realities that are true in 2014:
        1. Baseball GMs have gone insane and are spending money on players like drunken sailors.
        2. There is a brief window to sign a young player when he’s a value (like one at the age of Castro or Rizzo).
        3. If we owned a baseball team we’d be doing what Ricketts & Theo are doing: we’d be growing our own young players.
        4. Would you want to sign more players like Edwin Jackson at $10-11 million a year? I wouldn’t.
        5. We need to have the patience of KC and Pirate fans and build up enough prospects — some of whom will be stars.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      We could be paying Shark $20m/year right now…not sure how that makes this team better.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        That’s not the point. At some point in re-building a team, the F.O. needs to invest in players. You cannot build a winning team all in 1 year.

        The CUBS were willing to give Tanaka 6 years and $120 million. He wouldn’t have made the CUBS much better either. But you have to start somewhere to “slowly” build your team. No one is going to pay Shark $20 mil a year. But he might get $14-16 million. He’s 29. If he shows he can continue to pitch well in this first 1/2 of the season, I’d offer him: $70-$75 million for 5 (or go to 6 years if necessary). If he doesn’t accept: trade him in July.

        • mutantbeast

          Tanaka was 24yo. Spellcheck is 29, and has never pitched like a TOR starter, realistically. Even now, yes hes started the season well. He collapsed last year after the AS break. The odds he will do so again go up with more 100+ pitch outings over 6 innings like yesterday.,

    • BillyFinT

      The “Major League Baseball Bubble Economy” (MLLBE, which has nothing to do with British knighthood) has inflated the salary structure in recent years. A player who can perform with a win above AAA player (w.a.r.) will cost 7.5 Million USD per year of service going into this off season. That’s $7,500,000 for a bench player, a typical journeyman who can play platoon or as a fourth outfielder; a.k.a. Jonny Gomes.

      Shark will be at least a 3-win pitcher. That makes him worth a generous 23 million if paid year by year at the free agent market. I’ve said this before, and I’ll shout this to Ricketts again: Pay him now! Lock him into a long-term contract!! Winning is important in baseball. I don’t care about the Wrigley renovation project. You’ll make much more money if you can assemble a winning ballclub.

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

      There aren’t too many of those big name free agents we’ll want anyway. Gotta build from within then augment the roster with a player or two here and there to push over the top. Big free agents look good for a year or two then they become the worst contracts in baseball. Shoot, even Pujols is looking like a albatross.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        I agree with 100%. If we owned this team we would never offer contracts like the ANGELS have. The only contract that has made any sense was signing Trout.

        I thought the extension for Cabrera by the TIGERS was stupid and wasteful. They will regret it the same way the ANGELS will regret Pujols.

        We should never pay mediocre ballplayers $12 to $15 million a year. Let other Teams waste their budget signing players that will drain them the way Soriano drained the CUBS.

        The truth is: there have not been any F.A. that were were paying the huge contracts it would have taken to sign them.

        The best strategy is to take young, promising talent like Castro and Rizzo and “roll the dice.” Pay them $6-7 mil for 6 or 7 years and build your team that way.

        It’s hard to ask fans to be patient…but the truth is we must continue being patient.

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

          It sucks because it takes longer for a rebuild like this but it’s just the way to do it smartly. Ellsbury and Tanaka are really the only one’s I would have even considerred recently, maybe Jimenez and Santana. Every now and then a good one who is still young enough to be worthwhile but overall it’s just a bad strategy. Patience is the virtue, and we’ve always been so now isn’t the time to all the sudden be hasty. At least it’s not to me. More than ever our patience is nearing a point of paying off. Stay the course. Smart baseball people are steering the ship. Faith…

      • Larry Schwimmer

        Boatrider…I like the way you think. You gave an excellent response the other day to some fans on this site that were complaining about what a “dumb” trade it was to trade Cashner for Rizzo. (Geez: Talk about “Monday morning Quarterbacks! :)

        You reminded everyone of the truth: At the time of the trade, Cashner was an unhealthy pitcher and when he pitched he alternated from looking fabulous to getting shelled. He did not look like any phenom!

        Based on what all of us saw as fans, the F.O. made a sound trade sending him to San Diego for Rizzo. And Theo and Jed clearly have a “man love” thing for Rizzo. They knew him well and believed in him. So let’s rely on their judgement that he’ll be a great 1st Baseman. He’s a Gold Glove caliber defender and can be a solid hitter as he matures.

        No one could have forecasted that Cashner would get healthy; settle down and learn to pitch. Rizzo looks like he’ll do well, too.

        In the next 3 years we’ll be able to say who got the best of that trade.

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

          The way Cashner looks now, yes he looks great. If he goes on to have a 2 ERA and win a bunch of games over the next few seasons it will suck for us. But you have to give to get. At the time we were desperate for near MLB ready hitters with power. As bad as we are could you imagine us without Rizzo?! Nightmare scenario. If Cashner reaches full potential then it’s quite possible it will be a slight win for them. But I heard it calle a “blunder,” today. Crazy talk and obvious Theo hating bias. No reasonable, objective person is calling that trade a “blunder.” Sure it may be easier to find a frat baseman but if that’s the case why hadn’t we? Many teams would love to have a promising player like Rizzo. They don’t grow on trees. Cashner types don’t either and may be harder to find, but when Cashner went in that deal I for one breathed a sigh of relief. I thought Cashner was gonna break our hearts with disabled trip after disabled trip. Turns out he has done well for them. Good deal for both sides. We need pitching badly but without Rizzo’s bat in the lineup we’d be behind where we are now too. It’s a close call, but “blunder,” that’s just obvious bias.

          • mutantbeast

            Board, have you seen Cashners home/road splits? Hes WAY better in Petco than on the road. Id imagine most RH pitchers would like Pitching at Petco, with its death to LH power hitters power alley in right center.

      • mutantbeast

        Indeed. The Marinerds are going to regret overpaying for Cano as well. Heck, Kershaw gets huge $ and al,most immediately gets hurt.

    • Tony_H

      The FO already has offered Samardzija a contract that was fair. He wants to be paid well above his value and the AAV is way to high when considering he is still arbitration eligible next year, let alone only received $5M for this year.

      He will be traded soon.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        Tony, I think you’re right. I think the big issue for Samardzija is that he does not want to wait 2 to 3 more years for the CUBS to bring on some good players. We both know that you can’t re-build in one year. You need to bring on some players each year of the re-building. The problem is that — other than Tanaka — there wasn’t anyone to really go after.

        But you’re right Jeff was made a good offer. If he could see the CUBS being in contention, he would sign I believe.

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  • GaryLeeT

    Woooo hoooo! I saw it with my own 2 eyes, James Russell struck out a right handed batter!

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I’m pretty sure too he wants to be traded to a team that can win now not when he is 33 34 35

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    This is the first game I didn’t watch the whole thing it’s April 18th and the Cubs are 7 games below .500 it’s pathetic. PATHETIC !!!!!!

    • GaryLeeT

      I don’t know if you have siriusxm, but on their mlb talk station, they run this hilarious promo. You can here a fan who has called in, ranting in the background about his team, and it’s voiced over with a soothing sounding woman saying “it’s going to be OK. We are here to help”

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        That’s hilarious that sounds like my wife. It’s going to be okay it’s just a game lol.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    One thing that is amazing though is that Valbuena got a hit with a man in scoring position. That doesn’t happen very often. Next he’ll be batting cleanup.

    • cubtex

      .200 hitting bat flipper

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        He knows he can’t hit he goes up there with the intention of getting a BB every AB. Don’t get me wrong walks are good but some hitting especially with men on would be nice.

        • cubtex

          He wouldn’t be on a team back in my day. He can’t hit. saber computer guys are giving this guy a job

          • Richard Hood

            Mickey Tettleton, Rob Deer, Pete Incavilla (later in life), there have been plenty of guys that kept getting jobs that had one skill. The difference is their one skill was hitting home runs and Valbuena’s is playing defense at multiple positions at above average level.

            When I get discouraged about the play of the current should be bench players I just remember that GA Hill was suppose to be an EVERYDAY PLAYER.

          • cubtex

            Look at his stats since 2011. Zero offensive threat

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Valbuena is good defensively at 3rd base but has poor range at 2nd.

          • mutantbeast

            OBP guys should be at the top of the lineup. Look at todays As as an example.

  • paulcatanese

    Tough to win when they have only three legitimate hitters, Castro, Rizzo and Castillo (ones who can drive the ball).
    Defense lacks a third baseman and a second baseman, both spots are lacking.

    • Tom U

      Nice to see you posting again Paul.

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks Tom.

        • BillyFinT

          By the way, had any more of the Cold War base-ballers (descents) who served with you at Germany replied?

          • paulcatanese

            Two, although one had passed away during communication and the other is retired and living in
            Florida, an ex-mayor of a small township in south Chicago.

          • BillyFinT

            That’s good to know. I’ll love to follow up and see how many more will step in and share similar experience, if not with your “regiment” (circus, you said?), at least of a similar age. I think you folks lived through an interesting time, at an interesting location, and played interesting activities (for the German spectacle viewers back then, at least). That collective memory, widely unknown or forgotten, should be revisited.

  • cubtex

    Iowa Cubs with only 1 hit tonight. Christian Villanueva is now hitting .190. On positive. Wada pitched another great game. 1 run allowed. They might have something with him. That is 3 great starts in a row!

    • Tom U

      2 hits. Logan Watkins got a single in the ninth

      • cubtex

        :)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Logan Watkins doesn’t count. : )

        At least, not in my book.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Logan Watkins doesn’t count. : )

        At least, not in my book.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thanks Tom for posting the update.

    • GaryLeeT

      I just don’t know how to rectify what I saw this spring with what he’s done at Iowa. One thing’s for sure, there’s nothing to to lose by bring him up, and seeing what he’s got.

      • Tony_H

        Not sure what has happened, but I agree with you again. But boy, his ST starts were horrible. Hopefully he was just getting up to his full speed.

  • Eugene Debs

    Should someone be assigned to play “Go Cubs Go” every once in awhile to make sure the “we won a game song” still works?

    • GaryLeeT

      I wish they would dump it anyway, because the lyrics really make it a pre-game song.

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

        I love that song. One of the truly wonderful things about being a Cubs fan to me. My kids will come in at the end just to sing. Few places in the world outside a concert venue and the national anthem where you can get 28,000 people all singing along to a song. Pretty special if you ask me.

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

    I’m getting really frustrated. Don’t know what to say. Wish Olt, Lake and Kalish were playing everyday then the losses would still suck but at least we’d be seeing what these guys can do and maybe they’d be improving and getting consistent. Never will otherwise. I don’t see what the point is of losing game after game and trotting Sweeney and Valbuena out there is.

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

      On the bright side Rizzo is turning into the stud we hoped he’d be right before our eyes. His ability to come in this season and excel at parts of his game that last year were his biggest weaknesses really says a lot for the kid. Bodes extremely well for his career. I expect a long run of all-star appearances and gold gloves from our first baseman.

      • brent carmona

        http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=32186545

        Hope this helps!

        I’m disappointed in how Sweeney looks this year. Last season he looked like a legit ballplayer to me who has or had some upside left if he got alot of at bats. But man he looks like a whole different player as far as his swing and at bats this year. I guess management thought he could be a flip guy at the trade deadline in 2014 so they decided to give him the majority of ABs..hopefully he can snap out of his funk soon

        • Tony_H

          I think the FO saw Sweeney as a guy who for the next 2 years could start, platoon, or be a 4th OF and fill a role until Bryant, Soler and Almora come up.

        • Eugene Debs

          When his bat hits the ball, it sounds different this year. There was a nice “crack” to it last year. This year sounds like when a pitcher makes contact.

          He seems in shape from what I can tell, so its weird.

          • Tony_H

            Ryan and his wife had their 1st baby this off-season. I think his mind is on other things right now.

          • Tony_H

            Ryan and his wife had their 1st baby this off-season. I think his mind is on other things right now.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Hey man, quick reminder I have not received your info on the contest. I have to send the winners info in this weekend.

          • brent carmona

            You mean I won?? Or are you reminding me to predict today’s pitcher s stats?

          • brent carmona

            Wait there’s no contest today..I’m behind and oblivious I’m sorry haha

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