Cubs squander more fine pitching in 1-0 loss to Pirates
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 22, 2013 11:02PM
The facts: 11:35 a.m., CSN,
The pitchers: Edwin Jackson (1-6, 5.76 ERA) vs. Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.78).
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:21PM
PITTSBURGH — An already strong starting rotation that got better this week with the return of Matt Garza continues to be — as Kerry Wood might say — irrelevant, dude.
Which makes this idea of forcing the front office to rethink its plans to blow up the roster in July, and add players instead, a pipe dream at this point.
For Matt Garza’s one-hit season debut for five innings Tuesday and ace Jeff Samardzija’s seven dominant innings Wednesday, the Cubs have nothing but a pair of one-run losses to show for it — in fact, exactly nothing in a 1-0 loss to Francisco Liriano and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
“[Same old] song and dance,” manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s just unbelievable how these kinds of things happen. To have this kind of starting pitching, and we just can’t seem to score any runs.”
The Cubs entered the game with the fifth-ranked starting rotation in the majors, and lowered that rotation ERA to 3.36 — with just a 12-20 record by the rotation to show for it.
“You take it with a grain of salt,” Samardzija (2-6) said. “That’s just the way the game goes sometimes. There’ll be other times when you get a win and you give up five runs.”
Struggling reliever Shawn Camp was placed on the disabled list for a sprained toe the team says he kept quiet for much of the last month, then aggravated this week.
Camp, who gave up a decisive grand slam in Tuesday’s loss to the Pirates, didn’t alert the team to the problem until seeking treatment from trainers Sunday — too late, Sveum said, to prevent the Cubs from designated reliever Michael Bowden for assignment to make roster room for Garza.
Even then Camp didn’t indicate how significant the issue was as he tried to pitch through it, said Sveum, who suggested it could have contributed to Camp’s decreased velocity and effectiveness.
Camp, who has a 7.56 ERA and three blown saves, could be in for a lengthy stay on the DL. He has been ordered to stay off the foot as much as possible to let the pain subside before resuming baseball activity.
And Camp, who left the team to return home for that part of the recovery, might need a minor-league rehab assignment after that, Sveum said.
Dale Sveum said he held a three-minute meeting with his relievers to go over roles, including the likelihood that Carlos Villanueva will be used in multiple roles.
◆ Rafael Dolis was recalled from AAA Iowa to replace Camp in the bullpen.