Despite Slugging Seven Doubles, Cubs Fall to Nationals 7-3

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May 11, 2013 by Ryan S

How can a team hit seven doubles and only put up three runs?  Well, by hitting 0.153 (2 for 13) with runners in scoring position in a ballgame.  In fact, there were only three innings in yesterday’s match in which the Cubs did not get a runner into scoring position.  In the first, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings, the Cubs had a man double to get into scoring position.

However, this is troubling for a couple of reasons.  First off, the Cubs drew just one walk yesterday, drawn by OF Ryan Sweeney in the ninth inning.  This is not good.  Washington

English: Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs wa...

English: Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs waits to bat in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nationals SP Ross Detwiler faced 27 batters, yielding eight hits– six of which were doubles.  And following a double yesterday, the Cubs batted 0.143 (1 for 7).  The only hit was a double by Castro after Jeff Samardzija’s double in the third inning.

I also want to acknowledge that recording seven doubles in one game is pretty crazy.  Even more so when you can’t do anything with them.  Other than those doubles, the Cubs put up just three hits– all singles.  Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of it was bad luck.  The Cubs were hitting Detwiler all day, but they scattered their hits pretty evenly.  Only in the third inning did they have more than one double in an inning.

In fact, they only had two or more hits in the same inning once yesterday, and that inning only resulted in one run.  Especially after a game like last night’s, it becomes very hard to feel confident in this Cubs squad.  They put up nine runs against the Rangers just a few days ago, and then you feel like they should have done that last night but they fall well short.

Also curiously, Castro hit leadoff last night.  And more curiously is that manager Dale Sveum said that Castro will remain the leadoff hitter against lefties.  I hate that idea.  Castro is hitting 0.273 right now, which makes his 0.297 on-base percentage abysmal.

He’s drawn just five walks in 155 plate appearances.  Castro has talent, but he is not nearly patient enough to hit leadoff. He does not take pitches, he does not draw walks, and he does not get on base like a leadoff man should. With that said, there aren’t a lot of options right now in the leadoff spot vs lefties because this is not the best offensive squad ever, so let’s see how it pans out.

In other news, Samardzija’s double in the third was pretty much the highlight of his day.  Surrendering eight hits and two walks over five innings with five earned runs, he clearly did not have his best stuff yesterday.  However, after the game he did say that he thought he had some pretty good stuff.  So maybe it truly was just a couple of bad pitches that were at the wrong moments doomed him.

He has been solid all year, pitching four quality starts in eight games, posting a .227 OBA with a 1.25 WHIP despite his one win thus far.  I’m not worried about him, and I’m sure that he’ll be ready to go when his name gets called on that next fifth day.

Finally, I struck back last night with my “Use pitchers other than Carlos Marmol” remarks when Sveum used Hector Rondon, Shawn Camp and Kyuji Fujikawa in his return from the disabled list.  The best part is that they gave up one base runner total, a single off of Fujikawa in the seventh.

Isn’t that nice to see? Relief pitching that sends batters down in order, no runs, no walks, no no stress.  I stand by my Marmol comments.  The good guys fall 7-3 on the road to the Nats, but as always, go Cubs!

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