The Cubs used 6 pitchers in the loss and ALL 6 pitchers were rookies. It is believed to be the 1st time since 1957 (according to the Elias Sports Bureau) that a team has done that before the September call-up of minor league players. Casey Coleman started the game and took the loss — 3ER on 6 hits and 3 walks in 4 1/3 innings. James Russell and Justin Berg each recorded the only batters that they faced. Thomas Diamond (who was replaced by Coleman in the starting lineup after 3 bad starts) – tossed 2 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit while striking out 2. Andrew Cashner gave up a run on 3 hits in the 8th inning and Marcos Mateo gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 9th inning.
The 2 biggest surprises for me are Andrew Cashner and Marcos Mateo. Cashner started his season on fire – he did not allow a single run to score in his first 7 appearances. Then he went through a rough – but somewhat unlucky stretch – where he allowed a run in 4 straight appearances and suffered a blown save and 3 consecutive losses. From July 7th through July 26th, Cashner seemed to have turned it around again – allowing just a total of 2 runs to score in 8 appearances. But since then, Cashner has really struggled. He gave up 6 ER in each of 2 straight outings against the Astros on July 27th and the Rockies on July 30th. And now he has given up a run in each of his last 3 outings. His ERA has risen to 6.15 and his WHIP now stands at 1.78. Not sure where it all went wrong for the young stud, but pitching coach Larry Rothschild really needs to work with the kid to make sure he doesn’t lose too much confidence during this rough rookie campaign. Hopefully Greg Maddux can even re-assure Cashner that this is all part of the growing process and he will get more consistent and effective as his career catapults on.
Mateo is just awful. Mateo gave up a run on 2 walks and a hit. His ERA is now 12.46 and his WHIP is 3.00! That means he let’s at least 3 runners on base every single inning that he pitches?! Isn’t there someone else in Double-A or Triple-A who can offer more than this guy.
Now I know that the Cubs were bit by the injury bug with Jeff Gray all having season-ending injuries throw the bullpen into a tizzy, but you have to be prepared for something like that. And clearly GM Jim Hendry and the Cubs weren’t. It is great experience for these young pitchers to see so much major league action this early in their careers, but it is really making an already painful season to watch that much more excrutiating.
Oh yeah – it wasn’t only rookie pitchers seeing a lot of game action yesterday – outfielder Tyler Colvin, Catcher Wellington Castillo, 2nd baseman Darwin Barney and SS Starlin Castro were all in the game at the same time. Castro and Barney each had singles, while Castillo went 0 for 3 and Colvin did not get a hit in his pinch-hit at-bat.
Alfonso Soriano was the only Cubs starter to have more than 1 hit and Jeff Baker had the Cubs only RBI with a double that plated Soriano.
FYI – Padres just completed the 4-game sweep of the Cubs with the 5-3 win today. Not surprising that Matos shut down the pathetic Cubs offense, but what is surprising is that Sean Marshall blew the 2-1 7th inning lead that Carlos Zambrano handed to him when he allowed 3 ER in the inning to suffer his 4th loss of the season. If Marshall and Carlos Marmol start to have issues, there truly won’t be anything good left to watch on this 2010 Cubs lineup…