4/19 Marlins 5, Cubs 3

The Cubs began their first road trip with a confidence-boosting win over the defending World Series champions, and ended it Thursday with a sputtering offense. Greg Dobbs hit a two-run double to back Ricky Nolasco and lift the Marlins to victory and a sweep of the Cubs. They went 1-5 on this trip. Jeff Samardzija (2-1) took the loss in the shortest outing by a Cubs starter this season, lasting 3 2/3 innings. He deflected Logan Morrison’s liner off the meaty portion of his right hand in the fourth but stayed in to strike out Giancarlo Stanton and was then pulled.

“I should’ve caught it,” Samardzija said. “That was the least of my worries.”

The problem was a lack of first-pitch strikes. In Samardzija’s first start of the year against the Nationals, he threw first-pitch strikes to all but five of the 31 batters he faced. On Thursday, he did so for 12 of the 21 batters faced.

“I’m not 100 percent disappointed,” Samardzija said of his outing. “There are just things you have to work on.”

* The Cubs rank last in the Major Leagues in home runs and are 28th in the Majors in slugging percentage. Since their April 13 win over the Cardinals, they’ve been outscored, 34-10. They’re not panicking; just need some consistency in all facets of the game.

“It’s tough,” David DeJesus said of the five-game skid and overall 3-10 record. “We come to the field to win the games. It’s not like we’re coming to hang out and have fun. We just have to get better as a team. We have to focus and take every at-bat the way professionals do. I feel that will lead to better innings and ‘W’s in the win column.”

* The Cubs finally got the big inning they’ve been looking for in the second, sparked by Darwin Barney’s three-run triple. But in the three-game series at Marlins Park, the Cubs were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 baserunners.

* Geovany Soto posted his first multi-hit game of the season. He led NL catchers in 2011 with 21.

* Starlin Castro extended his hitting streka to seven games, and is .444 in that stretch. He’s reached base safely in 52 of his last 53 games since Aug. 15, 2011.

* Ian Stewart had two hits to end an 0-for-13 skid.

* On Friday, the Cubs open a three-game series and six-game homestand against the Reds. Chris Volstad will face Homer Bailey on Friday.

— Carrie Muskat



How much longer are we going to have to suffer thru Soto as our everyday catcher?

As Volstad struggles in Cincy on his way to his 15th(?) consecutive start without a victory Wells remains “at the ready” to step in for DEMPSTER????????? Because Dempster may be hurt. The way Volstad is pitching one can’t wonder if Hoystein let his ego dictate a roster position because getting Volstad for Big Z and allowing Volstad to start the year in AAA would have looked “weak”??? Yeesh, once and for all it sure would be nice to have SOMEONE assemble a roster based soley on ability.
This year is SHOT so I don’t think us fans are demanding some kids come up to turn the big leauge club around AND WIN…we just want the kids up so we can watch them have A CHANCE at developing together in the bigs and replace the Godawful over paid players that are on the ML roster because somebody waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when deemed them MAJOR LEAGUERS and the label stuck, and now putting pressure on Hoystein to KEEP them because they have ML contracts. It’s about time that some starters sit the bench making way for OPPORTUNITY. Surely this team will not miss the every day appearances of Soriano, Byrd, Soto (and Stewart) and the every fith day appearance of Volstad. Castro, Barney, LaHair, Clevenger and possibly DeJesus should be the only starters on this current team. Surely, right? C’mon Shirley, admit it.

i would rather see the kids too but you can’t do that if its determental to the team’s control of that spect and to the kids development… look at what the Padres did to Rizzo last year… luckily he seems to have gotten his swing back… also I think you are crazy if you think calling up the young kids is going to turn this team into a winner. The only thing it may do is let us know what pieces we have and what pieces we still need to put this puzzle back together.

petrey, I am not crazy. You misintepreted my comment. If you go back and READ it I said I DON’T think us fans are demanding some kids come up to turn the big leauge club around AND WIN we just want the kids up so we can watch them have A CHANCE at developing together in the bigs …pretty much how YOU summed up YOUR comment. Funny, even when we essentially agree you seem to pick my comment(s) to pieces for the sake of an arguement? Whatever, I do enjoy the passion of our bantering whether or not we agree. Passion and patience, my friend are in for the loooooong haul this season.

sorry i misread… ya its going to be a long season… GO Rangers and Nationals!! Clubs that have done themselves right! Sure they have both overspent in areas but they are winning!!

Thanks petrey. I think now woud be a good starting point to regroup, realize our adoration and passion for our Cubs, understand what a mounumental task is at hand for all involved and at least show the world what being a FAN is all about. When you think of it, being CUBS’ fans sets us apart from EVERYBODY. Right on brother?

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