Cubs' Worst Game in, Oh, About 48 Hours: D-Backs 7, Cubs 2

The Cubs dropped their fourth game in five as Arizona's Dan Haren pitched a complete game, three-hitter to beat Ted Lilly, who just pitched like hell.

Why the Cubs lost: Aside from Alfonso Soriano's leadoff home run, Mike Fontenot's eighth-inning solo shot, and Lilly's third-inning single, the Cubs could do nothing against Haren.

On the mound, Lilly had little command of his breaking ball and it was painful to watch him try to steer his pitches over the plate. After walking but two hitters in his first 18 2/3 IP this season, the Cub lefty passed four men in his five innings Monday night. Worse, a number of the pitches that were in the strike zone got massacred, including one to Arizona catcher Chris Snyder (hitting just .094 coming into the game), that wound up 425 feet or so from home plate, in the seats beyond straightaway center field.

On defense, Fontenot, continuing to fill in for the injured Aramis Ramirez, looked awful, committing two errors, getting betrayed by his footwork on a routine ground ball (resulting in an "infield hit" for Justin Upton), and dropping the ball after what would have been a caught stealing on the Diamondbacks' Mark Reynolds in the early going. Fontenot also allowed a chopper hit by Haren to go over his head for a two-run double during the home team's decisive four-run, fourth-inning rally.

Speaking of caught stealing, the Diamondbacks weren't, not in five other attempts against the Lilly and Soto or David Patton and Soto batteries. Arizona seemed to come into this game determined to test Soto's balky right shoulder and the results for the Cubs on this night were dismal. I would think we can expect to see a lot more of this from Cub opponents in the near future.

On a positive note: Kosuke Fukudome gunned down Reynolds, attempting to score from third on a medium-deep fly ball. Fukudome threw the ball to Soto on the fly and Reynolds was tagged out without ever touching home plate. Also, Jeff Samardzija followed Patton to the hill and struck out two men in his one inning of work.

In honor of the Chicago Blackhawks, winners of their first-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames, here are your 3 stars of the game: Dan Haren, Dan Haren, and Dan Haren.



if theyre gonna play both miles and fontenot i still don't get why it's not miles at 3rd. miles may be a better 2nd than fontenot, but fontenot can play a good enough 2nd that having miles at 3rd isn't much of a downgrade at 2nd.


That might limit the damage Fontenot will do. I also think Soto needs to sit until his arm is better or at least 90%. Sure, Lilly wasn't holding runners, but it doesn't matter who is pitching; Runners who make it to first automatically get a double. Connor freaking Jackson SB... honestly?

Jackson is one of those guys like D-Lee was a few years ago where he picks his spots well - 10/12 in SB last year - but yeah, it was embarrassing to watch them run at will.

It was pretty bad... but most, if not all, of those stolen bases were on the pitchers.

During the Cards series, they pretty much ran whenever they wanted. Soto's shoulder still isn't right.

Bullet points:

- Thus far, we haven't continued with our 2008 ability of beating the other team's best pitchers, or at least touching them for some runs in the early going.

- I had thought Petit was starting today for AZ, so it's a bit more understandable that it was Haren that stifled the (as yet thoroughly unimpressive) offense, but still, these subpar offensive performances are starting to set a trend for the season.

- Lilly's been very good before this -- maybe he was having trouble getting bite on his breaking stuff, but this is the danger of having a pitcher whose fastball is barely 90 mph.

- I'm afraid that that the biggest downside of losing DeRosa and Wood will not be on the field but off the field leadership and clubhouse experience. This team seems to lack focus right now.

$35 million dollars sitting on the DL will hurt your offense. To be honest, the offense will go through slumps... I don't care about that. Just field the damn ball.

Andrew, the loss of DeRosa and Wood has me convinced this team won't be able to pull it off this year for exactly your points: leadership and clubhouse experience. I'm not buying this "Cubs needed an edge crap." Milton Bradley won't play enough to be a real factor. What was the point of getting lefty batters if most of the team isn't hitting for shit?
Yes it's early yet. I would feel better if we got another starter (Peavy or whoever). I don't trust our starters to stay healthy or consistent. The void left by DeRosa as an infield,outfield guy is obvious. We should be winning these games.

Appreciate the tip of the cap to the Hawks. Well done Cubnut

Appreciate the tip of the cap to the Hawks. Well done Cubnut

Can we get Zambrano to punch somebody or something?

Maybe he could take on Milton Bradley and we can get something like this hockey fight.

mlb scoreboard as of sunday had Y. Petit listed to pitch monday (and Haren tuesday) but I think they just had it wrong, hence Y. Petit Tuesday night. Useless factoid: Soriano career is 4-6 vs Petit.

in the pregame, they said Bradley would start Tuesday night. He did pinch hit in the 8th but made no contact (swinging strike/curveball, called strike/curveball, called strike/fastball). Thankfully he didn't re-injure his groin, rib cage, hamstring or ACL.

On the telecast, Len/Bob kept mentioning how abysmal the Cubs record is in Arizona. 14-27 (now 28)...not including 2 playoff losses. Sick.
I saw two of those wins during the regular season in 2003, including a near no-no Zambrano took into the 8th.

Misery loves company: Kerry Wood got the loss vs Boston last night giving up a 9th inning 3 run HR to Jason Bay. MLB gameday says it was on a 99 mph fastball. Eerily familiar to how things go bad when KW has an off night usually a HBP is in there somewhere on those nights.

Was I the only one who thought Lilly was getting squeezed, particuarly on his curveball over the outside corner to RH batters?

I don't think you were the only one; Lilly mentioned that he couldn't use the umpires as an excuse for his poor performance, which I read as "they were squeezing me".

Well I guess Dan Haren is going to shut any team down, let alone a team without its usual 3,4,and 5 hitters.

We all pine for Derosa and Wood back, but as of right now, Derosa is hitting .200 and Wood has a 7.71 ERA...ouch. I'm hoping both of them start to turn the numbers around a bit.

We need to get everyone healthy and get it going again, I want to get back to the days when our main concern was middle relief :) not a complete lack of hitting.

Your right. Why would you want DeRoasa's .200 average when you could have Bradley's groin and his .047 average. Or you could have Miles' .189 average. DeRosa's versatility and good defense would be a terrible thing to have as well...

Wood had a terrible outing tonight, but we all know ERA isn't the way to judge a relief pitcher. His 4 saves (in 5 opportunities) and 13 strikeouts vs. 4 BB's would be a terrible thing to have in a bull pen that struggles to get people out...

That's a terrible argument, DJH. A lot of those stats from Cubs players that you listed would be better replaced by DeRosa's numbers. And of course his versatility would help the team! And a number of those Kerry Wood statistics you listed are really good.

Ha, I don't know why I never noticed this, but Bobby Scales has one of those MLB blogs and it's called "30 is the new 20". Nice.

Call up Bobby. He'll belt a few nice hits for the Cubs given the chance. Figures that the Cubs finally get a guy in AAA that I like and he turns out to be 31 years old.

What little I saw of Scales in spring training last year he actually looked to be a pretty good player. But, that opinion is skewed by a very small sample size and large quantities of high quality ales.

A IF that woulda helped this team, on the cheap:


This puts Fontenot on the bench where he belongs, and Miles on someone else's team, where I'd be pleased.

As AZ PHIL called it in March: "It's going to be a long season."

I fail to see this as a Championship-caliber baseball team.

Fuck you Hendry!

umm... OK

Jake Fox is really struggling now in AAA. He's only slugging .043

He's clubbing so many HRs that he's messing up the slugging calculator.

Too bad AZ Phil says there isn't anywhere he can field without disaster striking.

Figures, he's only 11-70. That's what? .157

That's 11 home runs.

On a more serious note... that's ridiculous.

I propose Fox to Detroit for Nate Robertson. I think Detroit takes that deal. The worst thing for the Cubs at this point would be to call him up and see him go 2-22 or something goofy like that.

Ugly game. Errors. SB's. No hitting. I guess it shouldn't be a shocker with Reed Johnson as our cleanup hitter against a top tier pitcher like Haren. But still not fun to watch.

The most important thing is to tread water and get healthy. We can't have Soto, Bradley, Lee, ARam banged up all year, so get them 100% and then bring them back to get this team whole and make somekind of run. But let's just hope we don't fall too far behind (already 4 back of STL).

Amen, Manny. The Cardinals are not the Brewers. Overcoming an 8-9-10 game lead could prove very tough to overcome.

4 games back, huh? The lucky thing is the Cubbies have 144 games left to work on that.

It's a long season, fellas.

the best part about a two hour time difference is that it is a good excuse for not watching this garbage baseball

Holy balls, Phillies pitching giving up 39 homers so far this year (18 games)? Did I just hear that right?

Patton has got to go. Dude sucks, plain and simple. Before this season, never pitched above A ball. It shows. Bring up Chad Fox and his 2.13 and 2 saves at AAA.

Well... it would help if Lou didn't keep putting Patton in (or leaving him in) in situations where he is destined to fail.

He pitched really well in his first two outings.

He had no business pitching to Pujols over the weekend, and I see little reason for Lou to have left him in to fact him.

Last night he pitched well in his first inning, but was left in for another inning. But even still, it isn't like he got hit hard in that second inning he pitched.

If you have to coddle him and only put him in favorable situations, then what good is he?

Well... first, he is a Rule V pitcher that the Cubs are obviously trying to keep. I would think that they would want to put him in positions where he is more likely to succeed.

Second, I don't think that having a relief pitcher only pitch one inning is "coddling" him.

The Pujols situation is a little different, he was struggling before facing Pujols, and there is little reason to let a pitcher like Patton face Pujols with the bases loaded.

Not to mention that he hadn't pitched in like 8 days before he came in against Pujols. Not saying that he didn't suck, but most relievers, especially those who've never pitched above A ball, need more regular work than that.

frankly, it will be a drag to carry our current bullpen lefties for the entire year.

Lefties? There are more than one?

Whoops! My bad. Forgot Patton is rh.

Well then, if we're stuck with Cotts for a whole season, we're in trouble.

Recent comments

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  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.