Zero Pitching and Three Errors … A Sixth Straight Loss – Cubs 4, Reds 9

Game Fourteen – Cubs 4, Reds 9
WP – Homer Bailey (1-2) LP – Chris Volstad (0-2) Save – None

It’s impossible to win a baseball game when the starting pitcher gives up six runs, five earned, on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings, the bullpen surrenders three runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts in four innings and the defense commits three errors.

Before the Cubs stepped to the plate on a cold, miserable day at Wrigley they found themselves in a hole again. The Reds scored four runs in a very long top of the first inning. Chris Volstad labored through a 41-pitch first inning and could not put hitters away. Several times Friday Volstad was ahead 1-2 in the count and either ended up walking the batter or giving up a hit.

The Reds batted around in the first and scored four runs on four hits, two walks and two errors. With the conditions at the park and a powerless offense, the Cubs were well on their way to their sixth straight loss before they picked up a bat.

The offense tried to make a game of it in the third. David DeJesus (1-for-4 with a run scored) reached on a one-out single and advanced to second when Darwin Barney (0-for-4 with a RBI) tapped back to Homer Bailey. DeJesus scored on a deep fly to left off the bat of Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a run scored, extended his hitting streak to eight games). Chris Heisey dropped a ball that on any other day would have been long gone. Bryan LaHair (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored, extended his hitting streak to nine games) followed with a single that plated Castro and made it a 4-2 game. But Chris Volstad gave those two runs right back in the top of the fourth and the Reds kept tacking on against the bullpen.

Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo and Rafael Dolis simply could not give the offense a chance Friday afternoon. Scott Maine was the only Cubs’ reliever that did not give up a run.

Ian Stewart had one of his better days at the plate but ended up with nothing to show for it (0-for-4). Stewart was robbed of a hit by Chris Heisey in the second and squared up three other balls that found their way into the Reds’ gloves.

The Cubs offense managed just five hits, not a single walk and finished the game 1-for-7 with RISP and left three on base.

The Cubs defense was charged with three more errors (Starlin Castro, Marlon Byrd and Bryan LaHair) on Friday. While Marlon Byrd saved a couple of runs with a diving catch in the eighth to take away a hit and RBI from Joey Votto, the Cubs keep giving teams extra outs.

Friday’s victory for the Reds was the 10,000 win in franchise history.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 3-11 on the season …

Chris Volstad’s day began on a positive note. Chris Volstad struck out Zack Cozart swinging. Drew Stubbs had another big day at the Cubs’ expense and singled to right on Volstad’s first pitch. Stubbs took off for second on a 3-1 pitch to Joey Votto. The ball went off Castro’s glove into center and Stubbs took third on Castro’s error. Votto singled to right center and less than 10 pitches into the game the Cubs were down 1-0.

Volstad jumped ahead of Jay Bruce 1-2 before giving up a single to right on a 3-2 pitch. Votto advanced to third with one out. With the infield back, Volstad got ahead of Scott Rolen 1-2. Bruce stole second on a 2-2 offering to Rolen and Volstad eventually walked Rolen to load the bases.

Chris Heisey stepped in and ripped a 2-1 pitch into center that Marlon Byrd bobbled. Not only did Votto and Bruce score but Rolen and Heisey advanced an extra ninety feet on Byrd’s error. Willie Harris grounded out to LaHair, Rolen scored and Heisey advanced to third … just like that, the Reds were up 4-0. Volstad issued his second walk of the inning to Devin Mesoraco before striking out Homer Bailey swinging to end the inning.

The Reds scored four runs on four hits and two walks on 41 pitches, 22 for strikes, from Chris Volstad.

The Cubs had a chance to crawl back into the game in the bottom of the first. After David DeJesus flied out to left, Darwin Barney reached on an error by Zack Cozart at short. Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single to center. Barney held at second but Bryan LaHair struck out swinging and Alfonso Soriano flied out to center to end the inning.

Chris Volstad retired the Reds in order in the second on just seven pitches … and the Cubs did nothing in the second against Homer Bailey.

Volstad ended up facing the minimum in the third after Jay Bruce reached on the Cubs’ third error of the game. Bruce hit a grounder to LaHair that he bobbled twice. Scott Rolen smoked a 1-2 pitch toward short. Castro caught and fired to first to complete the double play. Heisey flied out to center for the third out.

After Volstad lined out to Bruce in right center to start the bottom of the third, David DeJesus singled to left on a 3-2 pitch. With DeJesus running, Barney tapped back to Bailey on a 2-1 pitch for the second out. Starlin Castro launched Bailey’s first pitch to deep left. On any other day it’s a two-run shot but instead Heisey dropped a catchable ball at the wall. DeJesus scored and Castro ended up at second on the Reds’ second error of the game. Bryan LaHair followed and stroked a 0-2 pitch into right. Castro scored, 4-2 Reds. Soriano grounded out to third but it looked like the Cubs were going to make a game of it.

The fourth inning started the right way for the Cubs’ right-hander. Volstad struck out Willie Harris looking. Devin Mesoraco singled to left on Volstad’s first pitch. Bailey failed to get a bunt down and struck out (fouled bunt). Zack Cozart singled to right and followed Mesoraco around the bases on a double to the right field corner off the bat of Drew Stubbs. Votto grounded out to second but the Cubs were down 6-2 after three and a half innings.

The Cubs did nothing against Bailey in the fourth … and after four complete, the Cubs trailed 6-2.

Chris Volstad ended his day by retiring the Reds in order in the fifth.

The Cubs tried to make it interesting again in the fifth. Blake DeWitt hit for Volstad and recorded his first pinch-hit of the season. DeWitt doubled to left and advanced to third on a fly out to right by DeJesus. Darwin Barney put a 0-2 pitch in play and hit a grounder to third. Rolen threw out Barney at first as DeWitt scored the Cubs’ third run. Castro was robbed of a single by Willie Harris to end the inning.

Shawn Camp replaced Volstad in the sixth and gave the run the Cubs scored in the bottom of the fifth right back.

Willie Harris hit Camp’s first pitch into the right field corner for a double. Mesoraco reached on an infield single to third. Bailey then helped his own cause. Bailey put a 0-2 pitch into play. Harris scored on Bailey’s ground out to second … 7-3 Reds. Camp struck out Cozart and retired Stubbs on a fly out to left to end the inning.

Bryan LaHair led off the sixth with a double to right center. A wild pitch allowed LaHair to advance to third with Soriano at the plate. Alfonso Soriano hit a 3-2 pitch to short. LaHair scored and the Cubs trailed 7-4. Stewart flied out to left and Soto grounded out to second to end the inning.

After six, the Cubs trailed 7-4.

Scott Maine made his 2012 Cubs’ debut on Friday and other than issuing a walk to Joey Votto to start the seventh, Maine put together a good inning. Maine struck out both Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen before retiring Heisey on a flyout to center.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh against Homer Bailey.

The Reds added to their lead in the eighth against Lendy Castillo. Castillo walked Mesoraco with one out. Wilson Valdez hit for Homer Bailey and popped out to Soto for the second out. Castillo issued a four pitch walk to Cozart. Stubbs drove in Mesoraco with a single to left center … 8-4 Reds. With Joey Votto at the plate, Stubbs stole second. Marlon Byrd made a diving catch to take away a hit from Votto for the third out in the eighth.

Aroldis Chapman struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.

After eight, the Cubs trailed 8-4.

The Reds added their ninth and final run off Rafael Dolis in the last inning of Friday’s game. Jay Bruce singled to right to start the inning. Dolis walked Rolen but induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Chris Heisey. With Bruce at third, Todd Frazier hit for Harris and ripped a triple into right center. Bruce scored … 9-4 Reds. Dolis struck out Mesoraco swinging to end the ninth.

The Cubs did nothing against Jose Arredondo in the ninth … game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm will face Mike Leake in game two of the series on Saturday afternoon.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • Texcubnut

    No comment.

  • matthew8510

    26th in hitting 27th in pitching and 23rd in fielding 7 games out keep runnin them out there

  • Skeldor

    This team seems to be much more fundamentally sound!  Maybe they should have taken more fielding drills instead of bunting drills. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Volstad hasn’t won a game in his last 14 starts……

    Sorry. Wells is better than that. 

    On 670theScore this afternoon, the question was raised by Bernstein: “How bad can Travis Wood be if he is worse than that, and in the minors, too?
    Lack of starting pitching killed them in 2011. If our starting staff falls down, there is no bullpen to hold them up. And now that Dempster is having an MRI, and at his age….this could get very ugly. 

    • wrigleylover

      Mainly because Volstad has had terrible run support

  • matthew8510

    btw rizzo 0-2 with 2 so iowa down 3-2 in the 4th

  • Anthony

    Man, as mentioned before several times, I am not a Cubs fan, never was, never will be, but

    the boxscore tells a tale

    DeJeezez is playing up to Par, mediocre
    Barney is playing up to Par, mediocre
    Castro gets his meaningless hit for maintenance, rotten defensive SS
    LaHair proving the system screwed him
    Soriano retired 2 years ago but is still playing…lol
    Stewart is a bust
    Soto is mental
    Byrd missed his MMA window, stiff

    Now, suprise promote Nelson Perez from Daytona and he would fit right into the fold, awful.

    • SuzyS

       Anthony…if you are not a Cubs fan…never was…and never will be…Then please go bother somebody else…
      I’m NOT a fan of Anthony…NEVER WAS…AND NEVER WILL BE…Please bother some team in Taiwan where they can’t understand your neghative schtick.!!! NuFF said…Go AWAY.

      • Anthony


      • Texcubnut

        Well said, Suzy. And from the looks of all the readers who punched ‘like’ after your post, I’d say everyone is in agreement. In other words, don’t bother posting your drivel, Anthony, because no one wants to read it!

  • Anthony

    Wassup with Taiwan?
    Wassup with Caesar?
    Who is Bonne?


  • Ripken Boy

    PLAY THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If the Cubs are going to be bad, at least play the kids every day.

    This team looks like an Ed Lynch team with patch work/lightning in the bottle  guys playing all the time while young players either in the minors or on the bench.

    I do not want to see Johnson, DeWitt, Baker, or Byrd start another game this season. Campana, Cardenas, Valbuena and Sappelt should be here instead of these veterans.

    Johnson, DeWitt, Baker, and Byrd would be nice players on contending teams and the Cubs management needs to make that happen and let the kids play. 

    Play Mather in CF and LaHair at 1b every day no matter who is pitching.

    I agree keeping Jackson, Rizzo and Vitters in AAA, but no reason not to bring up Campana, Cardenas, Valbuena and Sappelt  now. These guys are still young enough to maybe have a future with the Cubs and we need to see what they can do with the big club.

    GO YOUNG CUBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ripsnorter1

      The team, as currently configured, may have difficulty exceeding the record of the Houston Astros in 2012.

      • GaryLeeT

         Speaking of the Astros, I heard they were shopping Wandy, and willing to eat half his salary. At $6 million per for a couple of years, that’s not a horrible deal for a #3 or #4 starter.

    • OttawaBob

      I don’t get why they are platooning LaHair,  The Cubs are 3-11, Lets find out what he can do!  Totally agree RB !!!!

    • Tony_Hall

      You are in charge starting today.  You have made a great decision, that Johnson, Dewitt, Baker or Byrd are not a part of the future.  Add to that list Soriano and Soto on offense.  

      Now you call up the other GM’s and make your pitch.  They come back as, we are interested, just not right now.  Maybe late May, but June or July is when I will be interested.

      Now what.

      Bench them – decreases value

      Cut them – zero value now

      Play them and give them more days off…I guess that is our best choice for now.

      I agree that Campana, Cardenas, Valbuena and Sappelt can come up now.   But in a season where the team is not going to the playoffs, it seems that patience and letting the first couple months of the season play out, is the best choice to try and get something in return for these players.  

      As with all players, teams need to decide which players they want to keep (sign to a contract, versus using the system for 0-6 players).  

      Once a team has decided which players are not in their long term plans, the next step is to be patient, with the goal being to sell high on the player.  

      JH was very poor at this part of the job.  

      He always sold low.  

      Which is what we would be doing with Byrd, Soto, etc.  

      If the player(s) don’t ever have a hot streak, or a market for trading him, then they can always cut him.

      But that is a move that is more late May at the earliest.

      • Texcubnut

        Tony, who would give anything, and I mean ANYTHING, for Byrd. Maybe if there is a team without scouts in their system. Nobody wanted Dewitt when he was given waivers. I can see trying to build up Soto and sell high but other than that, these teams know exactly what these other players are worth…..not much or nothing.

        • Tony_Hall

          We may find out shortly…

        • Neil


  • Chadaudio

    Thanks for the summary Neil.

    At least Maine, Stewart, & LaHair looked good.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Boston lost. Again. They can’t score a run. IN-credibly, Manager Bobby Valentine sent up Nick Punto to PH for the BoSox today. That’s a head scratcher. Of course, their CF is hitting .091, (compare with Byrd’s .070 mark), so that’s why Valentine sent up Punto. Things aren’t too good in Boston. 

    In the same game, Nova of the NY Yanks won. Again. That’s 17 in a row. He’s ahead of the streak Roger Clemens had with the Yanks of 16, 2nd longest all-time in Yanks history.Compare with Volstad, winless in last 14. 

    And speaking of Zambrano, he pitched very well, second start in a row. Last game: 6 IP, 1 ER. This game: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER. Ozzie has him happy as they reminisce about Chevez, Castro, etc. But he still took the loss: 2-0 

    Meanwhile, the Pirates continue to lose, scoring just 1 run. Again. Their 3B, Alvarez, is 2 for 30 this year: both solo HRs. He’s awful and I believe, hopeless. Their starting RF has 0 HR and 0 RBI in 38 AB, hitting a robust .150. Their starting C is hitting .067 for the year, their starting SS is hitting .103. What a team!

    Cubs didn’t have a single hit from the #5 through #9 hole all day, except for DeWitt’s pinch double.

    • wrigleylover

      Nova has won all those games because he has had tons of run support through the streak

      • Ripsnorter1

        No doubt you are correct.

    • Neil

      Why did you post this? All of the information until the last sentence had nothing to do with the Cubs.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’m  a baseball fan, and I found these items interesting.

        And then today Boston dealt for Byrd to solve their CF problem.

        • Neil

          You posted this yesterday … not today.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s correct. Yesterday I found it interesting that the Red Sox had such CF problems that they were PH with Punto for their CF whom they had just called up. 

            Today, by chance, the Red Sox make a deal with the Cubs to solve their CF problems. It was by chance that I mentioned it yesterday. 

          • Neil

            Gotcha …

  • Ripsnorter1

    Castro has 5 errors in 55 chances. 

    Last year, he had 29 errors in 742.
    If he kept up this year’s pace with the same number of chances, that’d be…..124 errors.

    • Aaron

      …..another reason why things need to be put in context, but I definitely agree with the underlying point you seem to be making….that it is ALARMING.

      Here are some scary facts:
      Cubs starting pitching was horrible
      Cubs could not get clutch hits
      Cubs defense was wretched
      When they did get offense, and/or good starting pitching, pen could never hold a lead
      Cubs offense was incredibly impatient, hacking at first pitches, rarely drawing walks

      Cubs starting pitching IS now terrible after 3 good starts at the outset of the season
      Cubs cannot get clutch hits
      Cubs defense is wretched
      When they’ve had good starts, both the offense and pen forget to show up
      Cubs offense is wretched….altogether. Almost NO extra base power, no patience, and no clutch hits…

      • Ripsnorter1

        What’s this line you are trying to teach us all…”trust…but verify.?” You are so negative. You ought to be preaching “Faith, brethren! You need more faith!”   

        (Pardon me for a moment….HAW HAW HAW!)

        Excuse me. I had to clear my throat.

        Thank you.

        Well, this post of yours seems to verify that we shouldn’t trust Team Theo. What ARE you, anyway? A closet Cardinals fan????

        Meanwhile the faithful are preaching that it’s really sad that it was idiotic and impossible to make any improvements to the club this past off season. That’s what faith says. 

        In other sad news, the SD Padres lost again last night after scoring just 1 run. As you may recall, they were shut out the previous night. Last year they were shut out more times than any team in MLB–20 times I believe.

        When that SD Padres skillset is perfected at Wrigley, think just how exciting it will be when the Cubs start getting shut out 20 times a year!

        Getting shut out, along with the skills you mentioned in your post, will make this team so very attractive to watch.

    • OttawaBob

      Rip, As bad as he’s looked, defensively speaking, I’m shocked its only 5.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Now that is one of the most encouraging posts I’ve read in a while. 

        I now have something to look forward to.


    • Whatupbr

      You’re not very good at math.

  • Baron_S

    After 14 games, 
    Matt Kemp has more HR (8!!) than the Cubs team (5),despite playing in one of more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball

    • Ripsnorter1

      It’s hard to get shut out when someone on your club hits a HR. 

      That’s bad.

    • GaryLeeT

      9 individual players, the Pirates, and Padres, all have as many or more HRs than the Cubs.

      • cubs1967

        Rizzo with 6 has more homers than the Cubs; but he’s not good enough to be a major leaguer.

        • Coachdon

           I think he actually has 7…

        • Scott

          No one has said that at all.  It’s a business decision.  He was brought up too early last year, and paid the consequences.  He ended up changing his swing and losing his confidence.  Even if he is pulverizing the AAA pitching right now, allow him time to reset the good habits so that when he is called up again, he will be here to stay.

          PLUS, it is a very, very simple business decision.  Why lose a year of control by bringing him up too early this year?  You think that they Cubs are going to win 30-35 games this year anyway, bringing Rizzo up now increases that to 33-38?