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Jeff Samardzija was just about as good as a starter can be tonight (he loves him some Pirates), but Francisco Liriano was apparently better. If you judged by the Cubs’ at bats tonight against the lefty, he is in Cy Young form this year.

The epitaph for the evening will stand as the third inning, in which the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out … and failed to score a run. The 9th inning included the obligatory tease (two on, one out).

may 22 box

Full box.

  • Zogie

    It has been hard to watch the cubs the past few days. Rizzo went from being on fire to solid ice. Castro has been slumping, Ransom is no longer the hero, Sori has yet to heat up, and the cubs have relied on pitchers to kick start the offense. The starting pitching continues to pitch out of their minds at least. The cubs just need some offense and some timely hitting. Some bright moments in the game would be Borbon’s drag bunt single and SB, and Castillo’s two base hits. My shout out goes to Jeff Samardzija. We need to get the shark some runs. He has pitched too well to be 2-6. Sadly, the cubs just could not figure out Liriano’s change up. Way too many whiffs. Hopefully tomorrow brings us some better baseball.

    • demz

      I think I saw Rizzo swing at that change up 3 times in a row and whiffed everytime. It looked like he was trying to hit it into the river.

  • Die hard

    20 LOB must be close to a record

    • Cyranojoe

      Holy moly, looks like you’re right:
      http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/left_on_base_records.shtml

      The NL record is/was 18, according to Baseball Almanac.

      • Die hard

        You doubted my 80 + yrs of memory?

        • fromthemitten

          where are you getting 20 from? I only count 13 all together

      • Nick

        Team LOB was only 0-8

        • Nick

          8**

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        Team LOB was 8.

    • Matty Ice

      Team LOB: 8

      Learn how to read a box score

      • SirCub

        Yea, you can’t leave more men on base then you get on base in the first place.

        • Die hard

          You look at bottom to get true picture of futility

          • SirCub

            The Cubs had 8 men reach base (4 singles, 2 on errors, 1 walk, and 1 reached on a dropped third strike), none of whom made any outs on the basepaths, and none of whom scored. Theretofore, they left 8 men on base.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              The real story is in the homers, doubles+triples and walks. 0, 0 and (wait for it…) 1. Getting runners home correlates much more strongly with slugging than with BAwRiSP. Extra base hits always get guys home from second and frequently get them home from first. Extra base hits leave guys a single away from scoring (or already scored) most of the time, too. The Pirates lone run came about because of a double for the latter reason.

              Walks are critical, too, because most batted balls are going to be caught. A walk avoids that and often pushes runners up a base in addition to getting the guy on base.

              • SirCub

                No doubt. But the Cubs are especially bad at getting hits with runners in scoring position, even accounting for how bad they are otherwise. They have a lot bigger problems with their offense, but still. It’s damn frustrating.

      • Die hard

        Look at bottom

        • SirCub

          That’s the sum of each individuals LOB. Different from the team LOB. 20 is not a lot.

          (I don’t know why I’m trying to explain this).

          • Die hard

            20 vs 10 for Pirates– bet that column total for Cubs is far greater than opponents

            • SirCub

              Yea, I mean, they’d rather not leave 20 men on base. But, like, they did. It’s not a good thing, but it’s not an historic failure.

  • Patrick G

    Poor Samardzija

  • SirCub

    Rizzo since the wammy:

    0/13 with 8 k’s

    Way to go Brett…

    • Honey nut Sorianos

      Maybe Brett needs to suggest a day off again.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Pitchers duel tonight, but really, the Cubs offense is just terrible right now.

  • jay

    This team chokes in RBI situations even worse than the late 70’s teams. Batters get ahead in the count and then swing at total shit even when they know the pitchers have to come to them.

    • demz

      turns out baseball is a hard game to play at a professional level.

      who knew.

  • Rcleven

    Official scorers suck.
    Shark gets the K on McCutchen and a wild pitch.
    How do you get a wild pitch when you hit the catchers mitt on the fly?
    Castillo is a passball waiting to happen.

  • Die hard

    I can see Sveum being kicked upstairs after this one and somebody promoted from minor leagues to manage

    • JulioZuleta

      I admire your persistence. You always make just plain idiotic statements like this and they never, ever come to fruition. Keep up the good work.

      • DarthHater

        The chimps will eventually write Hamlet. Just keep typing…

        • jt

          as you like it

    • Die harder

      Yeah, especially after 20 men left on base. I didn’t even think both teams totaled that many on base!

      Bring in Sandberg!!!!

  • Jason

    Seriously, how could we possibly be this phenominally bad with runners in scoring position in the ninth? Literally, every time a guy comes up with the tying or go ahead run in scoring position in the late innings, you can almost book it that it will either be a K on a pitch not near the strikeout or a weakly hit ball that doesn’t get out of the infield.

    At the center of the struggles have been Castro and Rizzo. Neither seemingly have a clue how to hit in high pressure situations. Both go into swing-mode and chase bad pitches time and time again.

    The Cubs continue to freaking suck and suck in the worst possible ways.

    • Jason

      *strike zone in the first paragraph

    • Die hard

      A good manager finds a way to score

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Which means that there has never been a good manager…..

        • SirCub

          Cap Anson was pretty good…

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Touché. So, I guess that Pete Rose was the last good manager, then.

        • hansman1982

          Ehhhh, I bet plenty of managers have gotten it with women tons of times…

          • SirCub

            I bet Jack McKeon scored all the time.

    • Jeffrey Wilson

      Castro Swings At Terrible Pitches Regardless Of The Situation. That’s Why, In Large Part, I’ve Said He Should Be Moved. Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About How Inept He’s Been At The Plate?! Does Anyone Know Where We Can See His K-zone (Where He Swings At Pitches)?

      • DarthHater

        Worst song title ever. :-P

      • cms0101

        Why is there so much willingness to push the panic button on Castro? He’s 23 years old and is loaded with talent. Jim Hendry did him a major disservice calling him up to the ML so young. Even with his mental lapses, he’s been to 2 allstar games and has had a 200 hit season. He’s got things to work on. These are growing pains. If he’s making the same mistakes at age 26-27, then maybe it’s time to pull the trigger.

        • crazyhorse

          Castro only fault was being real good with raw talent back in (lol Jim Hendry days)
          What should be of a concern is that Castro has not improved or tweaked his game . One can see that Castro under this field manager he has not improved And I think its a great deal of concern this team should have improved but has failed .

  • cubmig

    Can’t win if you don’t score. Can’t score if you don’t hit and hit and hit and hit………..you get the picture.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It is not even the “hit and hit and hit.” You win by outslugging and outwalking the opposition. Shark did his job: he gave up only 1 walk and 2 doubles. The relievers coughed up only one more walk. Give up only 2 doubles and 2 walks, and you’ll win most of the time.

      However, hold the opposition to zero extra base hits and only one walk, and you’ll win even more often.

      • SirCub

        If your offense is relying on finding holes for singles (like tonight), you have to get really lucky to string together enough of them to actually score runs.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Yeah, it was not a coincidence that the Cubs little winning flurry last week coincided with a lot of doubles. I really do like doubles…..

          • Kyle

            Doubles are a fickle mistress. The ratios between singles and 2bs/3bs is subject to crazy tons of variance.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              True, but that is because the variance in singles is so high, and that always makes covariance low.

          • http://Noclue SenorGato

            Next comes some HRs from the lineup, right? Right?

  • Joe

    Sveum has got to go

  • Moises Canchola

    Where’s D. Lee when you need him

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Castro proves time and time again he cannot THINK the game of baseball. He needs to either play another position , probably not in the infield & he needs to bat six or seven in the current lineup. If he still struggles with the THINKING part then it may be time to move him in a trade.

    • Die hard

      Yea Quade picked up on this early on and was fired– hmmmm

      • Die harder

        They should have kept Quade!

    • Dustin S

      Castro does seem a little like the Devin Hester of the Cubs at times.

    • jt

      Didn’t Sveum say that Castro was a natural 5th or 6th hitter? I don’t think there is anyone else to bat 2nd?

  • Koyie Hill Sucks

    This team just chokes with runners in scoring position, horrible really, I really think part of that is coaching.

    Hairston at .107 now, yet they continue to play him.

    I dont know why Sveum gave up on Castro hitting lead off vs LHP

    Soriano, as always, will start hitting when this team is 20 games under .500 don’t expect him to heat up when games still sort of matter…

    • RY34

      Screw the platoons, just put our best hitters out there regardless! And Hairston, get the fuck out!

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Almora 3/4 in his first game at Kane County with a double. .750 BA -bring him up to the big club.

    • Ben

      I like it. Help is on the way fellas. Be patient. We knew the Cubs were going to suck this year.

  • cubmig

    Would like the Fire Sale to start now. Would also like to see prospective ML youngster up with the club to develop and hone their skill (physical / mental) under ML play situations.

  • cubmig

    *youngsters

  • Jeff

    Our highlight of the year is coming on June 6th, the rest is just pure torture.

  • jim

    YOU might as well forget it, CUBS FANS
    because THEY are going absolutely
    “NOWHERE”! THEY SIMPLY DO NOT
    KNOW HOW TO WIN! IT IS UNFORTUNATE,
    because they very easily could have a very
    good record! NO SMALL BALL,CAN’T HIT
    WITH RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION,
    BULLPEN VERY SUSPECT. CASE DISMISSED.
    PERSONALLY,I see NO WAY THAT THEY GET
    IT TOGETHER THIS YEAR!

    • adam shallenberger

      Can’t wait for the mess of comments making fun of this post.

      • SirCub

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      WHY DO YOU EVEN POST HERE? NO ONE GIVE A CRAP WHAT YOU THINK>

    • SirCub
      • SirCub

        src=”http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5448/8796789650_b39f3a167f.jpg” width=”500″ height=”390″ alt=”old school3″

        • SirCub

          I fail.

          • Die harder

            [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5448/8796789650_b39f3a167f.jpg[/img]

            • SirCub

              I’m drunk.

  • RY34

    Collectively this offense is one huge pile of shit! It’s that simple; I feel sorry for the starters.

  • Rebuilding

    Between our offense and our bullpen we have a chance to have our starters only give up 1 run in a series and still get swept. I bet that hasn’t happened often. It’s a shame to waste all of these good starts

  • Bfulp12

    enough with the righty/lefty platoon….Hairston has no business being a major leaguer. Sveum needs to stop over managing and just play the guys that can add value to a lineup!

  • Kenster

    I would like to see some late inning numbers of Rizzo’s. he hasn’t seemed very clutch in his career except for that St. Louis game last year.. Plus Len threw out an ugly stat that’s sadly true. The 9th spot has more RBI than the 4th spot… Way to go Soriano and Rizzo…

  • another JP

    When you get right down to it the leaders of this team are really two 23 year old kids that still have a lot to learn about the game. Soriano is far from the type of player to be able to be a team leader. The position player I see with the most desire to do whatever’s necessary to win a game is Barney, and every guy I’ve mentioned is far from an impact player that Theo covets in the line-up… at least right now. Looks like another long painful summer of baseball on the north side.

    • another JP

      And let me also add this- it’s a direct reflection of the comatose manager they have sitting in the dugout. Where the hell is the passion to win a game? The best thing I heard today was about Almora being the first player out to his position after every inning today in the KC game… that’s the kind of positive energy we need on the field. I can’t remember the last time I saw a high five, fist pump, or collision in a game. Heck, I can’t recall our pitchers even drilling a batter that has it coming- Braun should have been decked half a dozen times when we played the Crew. Being a loser is bad enough, a boring loser in insufferable.

    • mjhurdle

      High fives, fist pumps, and running out to your position have absolutely nothing to do with winning a game.
      Talent and ability are what wins games. Just because sometimes talented players fist bump or high five does not mean that if someone just chest-bumps Camp enough he will be a good reliever.

      Also, as a side note, how do you know that Soriano isn’t a leader?is it based solely on your distaste for him and the speed at which he runs to first on groundouts?

  • willis

    I was four hits off, but I did predict this outcome as soon as that run was scored in the first. Shark was off the hook good tonight. Coming back against lefties just doesn’t happen. Not with the lineup that plays against them. Not with Borbon leading off, and not with 2, 3, 4 being less than patient every time up. It happens every time.

    So frustrating. And really, I get protecting Dejesus, kinda, but can anyone make an argument for starting Borbon two nights in a row over Sweeney or Dejesus? Just seems interesting to me.

    I feel for Shark on a night like this. His stuff was amazing. Just a couple bad pitches early.

  • Alec

    That’s what you get with Liriano. One night he will have ace stuff. And then the next night he won’t have his command and will give up 8 runs in an inning.

    • SHarmon

      And usually it is giving up 8 runs in a start

  • SHarmon

    This team struggling with runners in scoring position which is hard to watch but I am sort of happy. I long for the future when Theo and Hoyer assemble a team to compete for the playoffs is finally complete, and unfortunately losing this year might assemble key pieces to that team. I will never root for the Cubs to lose but I do have faith in getting prospects for Feldman, and other players that might get traded. I hope they resign Garza because that man is a beast and no matter what he is on the top step rooting for this team but almost anyone else I would understand if they traded (not the core players). I have only been alive for 23 years, 15 of which I would say is suffering for the World Series, so 2 more years of suffering for 5+ years of playoffs teams would be amazing! Have faith in the front office and GO CUBS GO!

    • Ben

      I agree 100%.

    • scorecardpaul

      I am pulling for that high pick next year already. We need to be careful, because there are some other really bad teams out there this year. Half way at anything sucks. If we are going to loose lets really aim high. How about 2nd pick again next year?

  • Dustin S

    It seems like it’s a different thing every night other than SP (other than Jackson and Villanueva a few times). Having been through many bad Cubs seasons, I have a sinking feeling that about the time Soriano/Castro/Rizzo all finally get hot the SP will cool off.

  • Jp3

    Sweet, I was hoping I didn’t miss the Scott Hairston hit of the month, boy he is good against those lefties…

  • Wester

    I hate saying it but I am really getting sick of starlin Castro. He’s gone from a bad ball hitter to a bad ball swinger. At least a couple years ago you could count on him to have a decent at bat with the bases loaded and one out. He seems content with going up there to swing three times and hope for the best, and every pitcher knows it. Ill stop enforce my drunken rant gets out of control now.

    • Wester

      Before…before it gets out of control.

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