Too Many Swings and Misses – Rays 4, Cubs 0

Game One Hundred Fifteen: Cubs 0, Rays 4

WP – Jake Odorizzi (8-9) LP – Edwin Jackson (6-12) Save – None

A day after striking out 12 times, the Cubs struck out 15 more times Saturday afternoon as the Cubs lost the second game of the series to the Rays. The Cubs managed five hits, six total baserunners, and were shutout for the 13th time on the season.

The offense could not put the ball in play against Jake Odorizzi. The Cubs managed three hits with only one runner making it to second base in six innings against the talented right hander. Odorizzi struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and ended up with nine strikeouts on the afternoon.

Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a double) was the only Cub to reach second base Saturday before the ninth inning, and not a single runner reached third base. Starlin Castro (2-for-4), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) and Justin Ruggiano (1-for-2 and a HBP) recorded singles Saturday afternoon. The Cubs put two runners on base for the first time in the ninth inning.

PrintEdwin Jackson had two rough innings in the six he pitched Saturday afternoon, but still ended up with his second straight quality start.

Edwin Jackson started elevating his pitches in the fourth and the Rays’ offense pounded the baseball. If not for an excellent diving catch by Arismendy Alcantara in right center that took away extra bases and a RBI from James Loney, Jackson’s line might have looked a little worse. Jackson gave up two runs in the fourth and Javier Baez’s first big league error, extended the sixth inning for the Rays. Tampa was able to tack on a pair of runs and put the game away.

Edwin Jackson turned the game over to the pen in the seventh inning. Jackson gave up four runs, three earned, on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Jackson threw 93 pitches, 59 for strikes, in six innings.

Chris Rusin struck out two and allowed a hit in two scoreless innings in relief of Edwin Jackson. Kyuji Fujikawa made his second appearance of the season in the ninth and retired the side in order (14 pitches, seven for strikes).

Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3) made two excellent catches in centerfield Saturday afternoon. Alcantara ran in and made a diving catch to take away a hit from Kevin Kiermaier in the third and a came out of nowhere to make a diving catch in the gap in right center to take away a run scoring hit from James Loney in the fourth inning.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 49-66 on the season.

Ben Zobrist led off the fourth inning of a scoreless game with a deep fly to right (1-2 pitch) that on a day the wind wasn’t blowing in would have been long gone. Justin Ruggiano tracked it to the wall but the ball hit off his glove and into the ivy. The ball disappeared and Zobrist was given a double, to the dismay of Joe Maddon. James Loney appeared to hit a gapper into right center as Edwin Jackson continued elevating his pitches. But Arismendy Alcantara came out of nowhere and made a diving catch to take away a run scoring hit from Loney. Zobrist tagged and went to third. Evan Longoria doubled to left, Zobrist scored and the Rays took a 1-0 lead. Jackson struck out Matt Joyce swinging and jumped ahead of Escobar 0-2. But Jackson could not put him away. Yunel Escobar hit a sinking liner into right that Ruggiano had a play on, but pulled up then did not throw to the plate. Ruggiano fell asleep and the Rays went up 2-0 when Longoria scored. Jose Molina grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Jackson needed 58 pitches, 37 for strikes, to complete four innings.

The Cubs managed a Starlin Castro single in the fourth with two outs, but that was all. Jake Odorizzi struck out nine batters in the first four innings … 56 pitches for Odorizzi after four, 44 for strikes.

The Cubs trailed 2-0 after four innings.

Jackson retired the side in order in the fifth (65 pitches, 42 for strikes) and the Cubs went down 1-2-3 in the home half. Jake Odorizzi was in total control and needed 77 pitches, 58 for strikes, to complete five innings.

Edwin Jackson lost his command in the sixth, and his defense could not pick him up. Jackson issued a leadoff walk to Zobrist. After Loney flied out to center, Longoria pulled a 0-1 pitch toward the hole at short. Valbuena made an excellent diving stop, got to his feet quickly and threw to second. Javier Baez took his eyes off the ball, and dropped it. With runners on first and second with one out after the error, Jackson walked Joyce to load the bases. Chris Bosio made a visit, but Jackson fell behind Yunel Escobar, 2-0. Jackson left a fastball out and over the plate that Escobar pounded into centerfield. Zobrist and Longoria scored, 4-0 Rays. Jose Molina hit a slow roller to third that advanced the runners to second and third with two down. Jake Odorizzi, hitting in the eighth spot in the lineup, struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs managed their third hit of the game in the sixth, a two-out double to left by Javier Baez on the tenth pitch of the at bat, but Anthony Rizzo lined out to Zobrist in the shift (shallow right) to end the inning.

The Cubs trailed 4-0 after six innings.

And that is the way the game ended. The Cubs offense could not put the ball in play against the Rays pen until the ninth inning while Chris Rusin and Kyuji Fujikawa pitched three scoreless frames in relief of Edwin Jackson.

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Alex Cobb on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).

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Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • paulcatanese

    The first strikeout for Baez can be chalked up to Manny. If I recall reading it somewhere that Manny had mentioned to Baez to just stand there and don’t swing and they will walk you. That’s exactly what Baez did and they almost did walk him. I thought that was a good at bat for him.

    • Theboardrider

      That’s true Paul. I was super glad to hear he had given him that advice. Was overall pretty impressed with what I’ve heard and read of Manny’s effort and interaction there.

    • Theboardrider

      Paul, I have a question/opinion and I wanted to post it here and see what people thought. It’s late and a long since past game review so I was worried I wouldn’t get any opinions tonight. You are the perfect person!

      I was watching the talk on ESPN about Jeter passing Wagner on all-time hit list. It made me think…could Jeter have the all-time greatest MLB career? Totality of a baseball career. Look at Jeter’s big plusses.

      20 year career
      14 all-star appearances
      20% of MVP vote share 5 times, but no win. 2nd place in 2007.
      5 Gold Gloves
      Lifetime BA: .311
      Led league in runs 1 time, 2nd in league 5 times, 14 times in top 10, 10 times in top 5
      Led league in hits 3 times, 10 times in top 5
      259 HR
      1,291 RBI (batted 1 or 2 almost exclusively)
      5 Championship Rings

      • Theboardrider

        158 postseason games (record)
        Captain of Yankees 11 years (only 13 people ever)
        4 SS to play in over 2,500 games
        Sporting News Team SS on team of Decade 2000’s
        Leads active players in sacrifice hits
        4th best range factor defensively at SS all-time
        3rd lowest errors all-time at SS
        24th all-time in power/speed rating
        537 Doubles all time
        .379 OBP
        World Series: .321 average, .384 OBP, 38 games, 50 hits!, 32 runs, MVP one time
        5 time Silver Slugger
        SI sportsman of the year in 2009
        2006 Hitter of the year
        All-star MVP once

        • Theboardrider

          He’s not the all-time greatest player most likely. He’s probably not the very best in too many categories. But he’s top 10 across the board in a way few others ever have been.

          Also, he’s a class person and been a phenomenal ambassador of the league, the Yankees, and the United States his entire career. Never been ain a lick of trouble, even while being the most eligible bachelor in the city that never sleeps for 20 years. And he goes out, It’s not like he’s not in positions where he could have found trouble easily.

          So what do you think? The totality of his career? Greatest ever MLB career?

          • Theboardrider

            32 WS games, 50 hits!!!!!! That stat right there is mind-blowing to me. He averaged 1.3 hits a game in the World Series!

          • Theboardrider

            And it’s only one play. But that defensive play he made against the A’s on the play at the plate. Basically kept them in that game and turned the series. The A’s were never back in it after that.

            Single most memorable defensive play I ever saw. It is to defensive plays, what the Kirk Gibson HR is to offensive plays.

          • paulcatanese

            Just woke up here on the West Coast. I think you said it all. I always thought of Jeter as the consummate, standard shortstop, he approached the ground ball textbook and threw the same way. No flashy moves, always in position to make the play. Didn’t use that leap in the air until late in his career, but instigated others to start. No, I think you said it all. Perfect team player, the team and the game plan always came first. People have a tendency to overlook the glove and look at the bat, and can’t deny that, he was a professional hitter, every day.

        • triple

          Some may not agree, but as far as being the total package, I think he has to be the best player of his generation. If someone doesn’t agree, just show me another player who has consistently performed for his team while in the spotlight of the most storied sports franchise in history living in the biggest city of our country, all while avoiding all of the controversy that usually goes along with his fame and fortune.

          • triple

            To put up a .311/.379/.442/.821 slash line over a 20 year career as the starting shortstop of the New York Yankees is just ridiculous. He was coined “Mr. November” for how clutch he was at big moments in the World Series. Speaking of which, his career post-season stats amounts to one year of the regular season. Over 16 postseasons (33 post-season series) here’s what he did:
            158 games/ 734PA/ 650AB/ 111R/ 200H/
            32 doubles/ 5 triples/ 20HR/ 61RBI/ 18SB/ 5CS/ 66BB/ 135SO/ .308/.374/.465/.838

          • Theboardrider

            Totally agree. A friend just told me “he doesn’t compare to Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.” And looking at Ruth’s all-time stats, that may be true. But I said ‘career,’ not best player. Ty Cobb has some impressive stats, but he never won a title and hit .262 in 3 WS lost. Sorry, but Jeter’s career beat that with the difference being the rings.

      • jtrain23

        He is definitely the best “winner” of our generation and one of the greatest true professionals ever. He played through all of the ‘roid days and played in the biggest market in New York, yet he escaped all scrutiny and appears to truly be a complete class guy.

        The only question I ever have in my mind is how well Jeter would have done if he were THE guy in a lineup ever. He has always been the catalyst, but has also had lots of protection throughout his career. That is obviously not his fault, and I do not hold it against him. You play the hand you’re dealt. He just happened to be dealt a damn good one.

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