Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 2 Brewers 3
WP – Zack Greinke (13-5) LP – Casey Coleman (2-7) Save – John Axford (40)
The Cubs lost for the eighth straight time at Miller Park on Sunday afternoon and were swept in a three-game series in Milwaukee for the second time this season.
The Cubs looked overmatched against Zack Greinke, who took a no hitter into the fifth inning. Q’s offense did not put two runners on base in the same inning against Greinke, who improved to a perfect 10-0 (12 starts) at Miller Park this season.
Tyler Colvin (1-for-4 with a home run) helped make the game interesting in the ninth. Colvin launched his sixth homer of the year off John Axford with one out in the ninth. After Marlon Byrd walked, Alfonso Soriano flied out to deep right for the second out of the inning. Reed Johnson hit for Koyie Hill and reached on a fielding error by Casey McGehee.
Geovany Soto (0-for-last-20) pinch-hit for Carlos Marmol and grounded Axford’s first pitch to third. McGehee bobbled but recovered and tagged out a sliding Marlon Byrd to end the game.
Darwin Barney (2-for-4, two doubles, RBI) doubled twice in four trips to the plate and drove in the Cubs first run of the game in the eighth. Blake DeWitt ripped a pinch-hit double off Greinke in the eighth, the Cubs fourth hit of the game, and scored on Barney’s second double.
Aramis Ramirez (0-for-4) and Starlin Castro (0-for-3 with a walk) both saw their hitting streaks come to an end.
The Cubs finished the game 1-for-5 with RISP and left seven on base. In the last seven games, the Cubs are 9-for-63 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 59 baserunners.
Casey Coleman put together a quality start and his best outing of the year. Coleman completed seven innings of work for the third time in his career after a rough start. Coleman gave up a run in the first then a two-run bomb to Corey Hart in the fifth. The Cubs defense turned two double plays that bailed Coleman out of early jams.
Casey Coleman retired the last seven batters he faced and ended up allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Coleman threw 93 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Mike Quade was ejected for the sixth time this season early in Sunday’s game. Aramis Ramirez did not like homeplate umpire Bill Miller’s strike-three call on a 3-2 pitch that ended the first. Ramirez voiced his displeasure and Quade came out to defend his player. Quade said something to Miller and was tossed just six minutes into the game.
Sunday was the third time in the last month that Quade has been ejected from a game. The Cubs’ skipper is one ejection away from the organizations All-Time mark for ejections by a manager in a single season. Johnny Evers and Frankie Frisch hold the record (7). Quade is tied with Ron Gardenhire for the most ejections by a manager in baseball this season (6) and has equaled the number of times Lou Piniella was shown the door in his nearly four seasons as Cubs manager.
The Cubs have lost seven of eight (5-16 on Sundays in 2011) and find themselves 20 games under .500 again with a 57-77 record on the season … The Cubs went in order against Zack Greinke in the first inning … and shortly after homeplate umpire Bill Miller rung up Aramis Ramirez on a questionable 3-2 pitch, Mike Quade went out to get his third baseman, who was voicing his displeasure with the call. Quade said something to Miller and was tossed from the game.
The Brewers came out swinging against Casey Coleman … and for the second game in a row, ended the game in the first inning.
Corey Hart ripped a single into center (2-1 pitch) to start the inning. Nyjer Morgan sacrificed Hart to second … and nearly beat Pena’s throw to first. Casey Coleman then left one up and over the plate for Ryan Braun. Braun ripped Coleman’s first pitch into the right field corner. Hart scored and Braun ended up at second with a double.
Prince Fielder got under Coleman’s first pitch and hit a high fly into right center. Byrd and Colvin had communication issues again. Byrd fielded the ball (Colvin’s play) and threw to third. Braun advanced but was stranded when McGehee struck out swinging to end the inning (2-2 pitch). Casey threw 13 pitches in the first, nine for strikes.
Other than a two-out walk by Marlon Byrd, the Cubs did nothing against Greinke in the second.
Casey Coleman faced the minimum in the second. The extremely aggressive Brewers’ offense saw only five pitches in the inning. Betancourt tried to bunt his way on but Coleman threw him out at first. After Jerry Hairston, Jr. singled to right (0-1 pitch), Lucroy rapped into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play on the first pitch.
Zack Greinke kept the Cubs off balance in the top of the third. Outside of a nice, seven-pitch at bat by Starlin Castro that resulted in a two-out walk, the Cubs did nothing in the third.
Casey Coleman started the bottom of the third by missing on his first two pitches to Zack Greinke. Greinke eventually grounded out to second (2-2 pitch) but the lack of command was a forecast of things to come.
Coleman issued back-to-back walks to Corey Hart (3-2) pitch and Nyjer Morgan (3-2 pitch) ahead of the big boys. With one out and two on, Coleman walked Ryan Braun on four pitches to load the bases.
Prince Fielder hit a 1-1 pitch to Barney, who threw to second to force Braun. Braun tried to take Castro out at second. Castro was able to get enough on a hop-throw to first for Carlos Pena to make an excellent scoop to complete the double play.
The Cubs continued to be no-hit by Greinke in the fourth … and went down in order.
Casey Coleman sat down the Brewers in order in the bottom of the fourth. At the end of four, Coleman’s pitch count stood at 52 (30 for strikes) and the Cubs were down 1-0.
Marlon Byrd broke up Greinke’s no-hit bid with a bloop single to center to start the fifth. Alfonso Soriano hit a 1-0 pitch off the end of the bat and right back to Greinke. The Brewers’ pitcher snagged the liner and doubled off Byrd at first. Hill struck out swinging to end the inning.
Zack Greinke faced only two over the minimum through five innings.
Casey Coleman struck out Lucroy looking to start the bottom of the fifth … then it turned ugly. Zack Greinke ripped Coleman’s first pitch into right field. On a 0-2 offering to Corey Hart, Greinke took off for second and recorded the first stolen base of his career. The Cubs were not holding him on base.
Coleman went from 0-2 to 3-2 on Hart before throwing a changeup down and on the outside part of the plate. Hart reached down and pulled the ball into the second deck above the left field wall … and just like that it was 3-0 Brewers.
Nyjer Morgan grounded out to second and Braun reached on an infield single to short. Braun tried to check his swing and hit a weak grounder to Castro that he could not make a play on. Fielder flied out to center on the first pitch to end the inning.
After five complete, 3-0 Brewers.
Corey Hart robbed Starlin Castro of an extra base hit in the sixth. Castro lined a 0-2 pitch into the right field corner that Hart made an excellent running catch on to take away a hit. Darwin Barney followed with a two-out double to right center but was stranded when Ramirez struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Brewers did nothing against Casey Coleman in the sixth (80 pitches, 48 for strikes).
Carlos Pena led off the seventh with the Cubs’ third hit off Greinke … a single to right through the shift. Colvin (struck out swinging), Byrd (lineout to center) and Soriano (groundout to hole at short) went down in order to end the inning.
The Brewers did nothing against Casey Coleman for the second straight inning. Coleman sat Milwaukee down in order and finished his outing by retiring the last seven batters he faced.
After Koyie Hill flied out to right to start the eighth, Blake DeWitt hit for Coleman and pulled a 3-2 pitch into the right field corner. DeWitt ended up at second with the Cubs’ fourth hit. Starlin Castro grounded out to short … and ended Zack Greinke’s day.
Francisco Rodriguez replaced Greinke and gave up a double to Darwin Barney. Barney went with a 0-2 pitch and drove in DeWitt with the Cubs first run of the game. Ramirez grounded out to third to end the inning (2-2 pitch).
Carlos Marmol sat down the Brewers in order in the eighth on 15 pitches, 10 for strikes.
Carlos Pena led off the ninth and launched a 1-0 pitch to deep right center. Nyjer Morgan tracked it down a couple of feet from the wall for the first out. Tyler Colvin stepped in and smoked a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right center. Colvin’s sixth longball of the year cut the Brewers lead to 3-2.
Marlon Byrd walked on four pitches to put the tying run on base … and Tony Campana remained on the bench.
Alfonso Soriano went with a 1-2 pitch and drove the ball to the wall in right. Hart caught the ball maybe three feet in front of the wall.
Reed Johnson hit for Koyie Hill and reached on a fielding error by Casey McGehee. With runners on first and second with two out, Geovany Soto (0-for-19 in series) hit for Carlos Marmol. Soto swung at the first pitch and hit a grounder to McGehee. Marlon Byrd was running by the Brewers’ third baseman and was tagged to end the game.
The Cubs did not quit on Sunday … but a loss is a loss.
The Cubs open a three-game series on Monday night in San Francisco. Randy Wells versus Tim Lincecum in game one.