Game One Hundred Twenty-Six – Cubs 1, Giants 9
WP – Madison Bumgarner (16-6) LP – Dan Haren (8-9) Save – None
Starlin Castro doubled in Anthony Rizzo for the first run of the game in the second inning. The Giants scored five unanswered runs off Dan Haren in two innings. Madison Bumgarner struck out 12 of the 19 batters he faced in six innings as the Cubs lost the final regular season game against the Giants.
The Cubs had little room for error Thursday and had to take advantage of every scoring opportunity to leave San Francisco with a victory. Madison Bumgarner was shaky early and gave up a run but after the Giants scored four runs in the third inning, the lefty just pounded the strike zone and ran up his strikeout total.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a run scored) singled to start the second and moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) drove in Rizzo with a double to left.
The Cubs managed only three hits Thursday and only two baserunners after the second inning … a walk by Dan Haren in the fifth and an infield single by Kris Bryant (1-for-4) in the ninth.
Dan Haren had one bad inning and it cost the Cubs a chance to win the game. The Giants tied the game at one in the bottom of the second after Matt Szczur broke late on a liner to center off the bat of Juan Perez. The Cubs defense led to the Giants second run. But it was a walk from Haren that put the runner on base. The big blow of the game off Haren was a three-run homer over the center field wall from Marlon Byrd.
Dan Haren settled down after the third inning and at least gave Joe Maddon innings without allowing any more runs. Haren surrendered five runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Haren made 105 pitches, 59 for strikes, in 6 1/3 innings.
The Giants other four runs came in the eighth on one swing of the bat.
Kelby Tomlinson hit the first homer of his career, and it was a Grand Slam off James Russell in the eighth that turned a one-sided game into a blowout.
The Cubs lost the series (2-1) to the Giants, but won the season-series (5-2). And Joe Maddon’s team is still 5 ½ games ahead of the Giants, six in the loss column, for the second NL Wild Card.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 73-53 on the season.
Anthony Rizzo started the second inning with a single to right. A wild pitch with Castro at the plate allowed Rizzo to move up 90 feet. Starlin Castro pulled a 2-2 pitch down the third baseline. Rizzo scored on a double by Castro and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Addison Russell struck out swinging.
Matt Szczur walked on four pitches and put two on with one out. Dan Haren did not bunt. Haren struck out. Jonathan Herrera chased a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Bumgarner made 43 pitches, 28 for strikes, in the first two innings. The first six outs he recorded were strikeouts.
Buster Posey popped out to Russell in shallow center for the first out in the second. Byrd went down swinging. Kelby Tomlinson singled to center on a 2-1 pitch. With Tomlinson running, Juan Perez doubled to center. Matt Szczur did not appear to react right away and could not catch up to the liner. Tomlinson scored and tied the game at one. Haren struck out Adrianza swinging to end the inning.
At the end of two, the game was tied at one.
Madison Bumgarner made quick work of the Cubs in the third … 1-2-3 on 11 pitches. And he started the third inning by lining out to shortstop.
Dan Haren issued a four-pitch free pass to Nori Aoki. With Duffy at the dish, Aoki took off for second on a 1-2 pitch. Schwarber threw the ball into center. Aoki went to third and Maddon brought his infield in. Matt Duffy smacked a single into center (2-2 pitch). Aoki trotted in, 2-1 Giants. Haren walked Brandon Belt.
Buster Posey flied out to deep center (0-1 pitch) for the second out. Marlon Byrd cranked a 2-0 pitch to center. The Giants took a 5-1 lead on Byrd’s longball. Tomlinson struck out swinging to end the inning … 65 pitches for Haren after three innings, 33 for strikes.
The Giants had a commanding 5-1 lead after three innings.
The Cubs offense did not record a hit after the second inning. Dan Haren settled down after the third inning and did not allow the Giants to tack on. The Giants took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth and that is when the game turned into a blowout.
James Russell continued to struggle and walked Belt on four pitches to start the inning. Buster Posey smacked a double off the right field wall. Maddon had Russell intentionally walk Byrd.
Kelby Tomlinson cracked a grand slam to left, and the first home run of his career made it a 9-1 ballgame. Kris Bryant threw out Juan Perez at second base trying to stretch a single to left center into a double. Mr. Perez should be told what he did was unacceptable. Adrianza flied out to Bryant in center and Maxwell popped out to second base to end the inning.
The Cubs went down in order in the ninth to end the game … the series and the season-series.
The Cubs open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Friday night (9:10pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Clayton Kershaw.