Game One Hundred Twenty-Eight – Cubs 1, Brewers 4
WP – Yovani Gallardo (14-8) LP – Travis Wood (4-11) Save – John Axford (21)
The Cubs dropped to a season-low 30 games under .500 with their seventh straight loss to the Brewers Tuesday night. The Cubs have won only three of the 15 games with Milwaukee this year.
The Cubs offense was non-existent once again. The Cubs managed only three hits and three walks while striking out 11 more times … in the last five games against the Brewers, the Cubs have struck out 63 times. The Cubs did not record a hit or put a runner on base after the third inning. Yovani Gallardo, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford retired the last 19 batters they faced on Tuesday night.
Travis Wood (1-for-2 with a home run) supplied the Cubs only run in a losing effort. Wood launched his first home run of the season, third of his career, leading off the third inning.
On the mound, Travis Wood made only one mistake and it cost him three runs. Former Cub-for-a-minute, Jeff Bianchi launched a 3-0 pitch into the bleachers in left with two on and two out in the second. The first home run of Bianchi’s career ended up being all the runs Yovani Gallardo would need.
Travis Wood recorded another quality start but picked up his eleventh loss of the season after allowing three runs on five hits without a walk and four strikeouts in seven innings.
The Brewers’ fourth run scored on a botched rundown in the eighth.
Starlin Castro (1-for-4) and Luis Valbuena (1-for-3 with a walk) recorded two of the Cubs’ three hits and turned in excellent plays in the field behind Travis Wood. Brett Jackson (0-for-2 with a walk) and Alfonso Soriano (0-for-3 with a walk) also reached base. The Cubs finished the game 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left four runners on base.
Darwin Barney did not commit an error on Tuesday night and tied the National League single-season record of 113 consecutive errorless games at second base. Barney has not been charged with an error at second base since April 17.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 49-79 on the season … Travis Wood faced the minimum in the first inning on 11 pitches, eight for strikes. Starlin Castro made a fine play on a grounder to the hole at short to retire Aoki for the first out. Wood plunked Rickie Weeks with a 0-1 pitch … the 48th batter Cubs’ pitching has hit this season. Ryan Braun grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Yovani Gallardo also faced the minimum in the first. David DeJesus struck out swinging to start the inning. Luis Valbuena singled to center (0-1 pitch) but was thrown out at second (strike ’em out, throw ’em out) after Anthony Rizzo looked at a 3-2 pitch right down the heart of the plate. Gallardo struck out two in the first on 14 pitches, eight for strikes.
Travis Wood really labored through the second inning … and before he could record three outs he found himself in a big hole. Wood struck out Aramis Ramirez swinging to start the inning (2-2 pitch). Corey Hart ripped a 1-1 pitch to deep right center. The ball one-hopped the ivy and Hart ended up at second with a double. Martin Maldonado hit a chopper back to the mound. Wood fielded the ball and saw Hart too far off the bag. Wood ran toward Hart, forced him toward second and tagged him out. Wood executed the play perfectly. With Maldonado on first and two out, Carlos Gomez pulled a 2-1 pitch into left field for a single.
Jeff Bianchi stepped in with two on, two out and Yovani Gallardo on deck. Wood fell behind 3-0 then tried to throw a high fastball past Bianchi. Jeff Bianchi launched the ball into the bleachers in left … and just like that the Brewers took a 3-0 lead on Bianchi’s first big league home run. Yovani Gallardo lined a 3-2 pitch to the track in left to end the inning. Wood needed 36 pitches, 22 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.
Alfonso Soriano flied out to right for the first out in the second. Starlin Castro singled to center (2-2 pitch). Welington Castillo tipped a 2-2 pitch into Maldonado’s glove for the second out. Jackson quickly fell behind 0-2. Brett Jackson worked a full count then took ball four to put two on with two down for Barney. Darwin Barney hit the first pitch he saw into right … and Aoki hauled it in to end the inning.
After two, the Cubs trailed 3-0.
Travis Wood rebounded nicely in the third. Other than a two-out double into the left field corner off the bat of Ryan Braun, the Brewers did nothing in the third. Wood retired Aramis Ramirez on a flyout to right to end the inning … 54 pitched for Wood after three, 32 for strikes.
Travis Wood led off the third … and put the Cubs on the board. Wood cranked a 0-2 pitch to the bleachers in left center. Wood’s first homer of the season, third of his career, cut the Brewers’ lead to 3-1. David DeJesus flied out to the track in right (first pitch) for out number one. Luis Valbuena walked. Anthony Rizzo chased a 2-2 pitch in the dirt and went down swinging. Alfonso Soriano walked on four pitched and the Cubs had two on with two out for Starlin Castro. Castro hit a routine grounder (2-0 pitch) toward short to end the inning. Gallardo threw 56 pitches, 28 for strikes, in the first three innings … and the Cubs were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position after three with four runners left on base.
Travis Wood retired the side in order in the fourth … 60 pitches for Wood, 36 for strikes, after four innings.
The Cubs did nothing in the fourth. Gallardo threw 70 pitches over four innings, 38 for strikes.
Other than a two out single by Norichika Aoki, the Brewers did nothing in the fifth. Wood needed 72 pitches to complete five innings on Tuesday night, 44 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing in the fifth. Gallardo had settled in at that point. Gallardo threw 75 pitches, 46 for strikes, in his first five frames.
Travis Wood set down the side in order in the sixth. Wood needed 82 pitches, 50 for strikes, to complete six innings of work.
The Cubs did nothing in the sixth. Gallardo struck out Rizzo and Soriano swinging … 91 pitches for Gallardo after six, 53 for strikes.
After six complete, the Cubs trailed 3-1.
Luis Valbuena and Starlin Castro made two excellent plays behind Wood in the seventh. Valbuena made a diving stop toward the line to take away extra bases from Martin Maldonado to start the inning. Wood struck out Jeff Bianchi swinging to end the inning … and his night.
The Cubs did nothing against Gallardo in the seventh. Gallardo ended his night by retiring the last 13 batters he faced (102 pitches, 60 for strikes).
Alberto Cabrera retired pinch-hitter Nyjer Morgan (for Gallardo) on a grounder to short for the first out in the eighth. Cabrera jumped ahead of Aoki 0-1. Aoki worked a full count before pulling a double into right center. Aoki took off for third on a 2-1 pitch to Weeks. Aoki made it to third without a throw. Cabrera then walked Weeks. With runners on first and third with one out, Sveum went to his pen for Shawn Camp. Sveum made a double switch, sent Joe Mather out to right and moved DeJesus to center.
Shawn Camp fell behind Ryan Braun 3-0. Weeks broke for second to early before a 3-2 pitch to Braun. Camp stepped off and threw to Barney. Barney ran Weeks back toward first then saw Aoki break for the plate. Aoki stopped, Barney re-engaged with Weeks and threw to Castro for the out. As Castro ran to tag Weeks, Aoki broke for the plate and slid in safe just ahead of Castro’s throw with the Brewers’ fourth run. Braun popped out to Rizzo to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Francisco Rodriguez in the eighth … 16 in a row retired by Brewers’ pitching.
Shawn Camp retired the side in order in the ninth and the game went to the bottom half with the Cubs’ down 4-1.
John Axford retired the Cubs in order on just 10 pitches to end the game.
Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Mike Fiers in game three on Wednesday night.
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