A Wind-Blown Comedy of Errors – Cubs 8, Reds 10

Game One Hundred Eleven – Cubs 8, Reds 10
WP – Homer Bailey (10-7) LP – Justin German (1-2) Save – Aroldis Chapman (26)

On a day the wind was howling in (24 mph at game time), the Cubs and Reds scored a combined 18 runs on 28 hits but in the end it was the Cubs’ miscues that were the difference … and the Cubs still had a chance to pull out a win in spite of playing their sloppiest game of the season.

Five different players (Anthony Rizzo, Josh Vitters, Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo and Brett Jackson) were charged with an error that led to a pair of unearned runs and prolonged innings for the Reds. Cubs’ pitching uncorked two wild pitches, Welington Castillo was charged with a passed ball and there were also mental lapses on the bases.

The wind played havoc throughout the game. Nothing hit in the air was a routine play. Balls were blown 90-120 feet from where they should have landed.

Pitching and defense were the problem Friday, not the offense. Every time the Cubs would make a run, the Reds were allowed to answer in the next half inning and at the end the Cubs were no match for Aroldis Chapman. The Cubs were just 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base in Friday’s two-run loss.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-5 with a double, three RBI and a stolen base) drove in the first three runs with a fielder’s choice groundout in the first inning and a two-run double in the third. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI) also recorded a two-run double but his baserunning gaffe in the sixth inning likely cost the Cubs a chance at a big inning.

Darwin Barney (3-for-5 with two runs scored) had a three-hit day and scored two runs. Welington Castillo struggled behind the plate but he went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored on the afternoon. David DeJesus (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI, a walk and two runs scored) doubled in a run in the eighth but was stranded at third with the tying run when Aroldis Chapman threw a 102 mph heater past Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored) to end the inning.

Josh Vitters (1-for-5 with a run scored) notched his first hit at Wrigley Field and Brett Jackson (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked and scored the Cubs’ seventh run in the eighth.

Justin Germano (six runs, four earned, on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings) pitched better than his final line. The Cubs’ defense was horrible behind Germano. The infield was charged with three errors in the Reds’ three-run third inning and the three miscues gave a good team too many extra outs. The last run charged to Germano scored after two were out in the sixth. Drew Stubbs reached on an infield single and chased Germano from the game. With Alberto Cabrera on the hill, Stubbs took off for second and scored on the same play after Brett Jackson overran Welington Castillo’s bad throw.

Alberto Cabrera replaced Germano and could not stop the bleeding, or throw a strike. Cabrera allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in a third of an inning (21 pitches, seven strikes). Jeff Beliveau was the only pitcher in blue pinstripes that did not allow a run Friday. Beliveau pitched a scoreless seventh. Shawn Camp allowed a run on a pair of hits and a walk in the eighth and Manny Corpas surrendered a run on three hits in the ninth.

To the Cubs credit they battled all afternoon in a game that took three hours and 56 minutes to complete but in the end there were just too many errors by Dale Sveum’s team.

With Friday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 44-67 on the season …

Justin Germano retired the side in the first on seven pitches (all strikes) in the first.

David DeJesus led off the home-half with a single to left off Wilson Valdez’s glove. Darwin Barney then blooped a single into left center (1-1 pitch). Drew Stubbs tried to make a diving catch, the ball hit off his glove then Stubbs kicked the ball into left. DeJesus held at second with no outs. Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases for Alfonso Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano hit a 1-2 pitch toward short. The Reds were able to force Rizzo at second and that was all. DeJesus scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Starlin Castro looked at a 0-2 pitch for the second out. With runners on first and third with two down, Josh Vitters stepped in and grounded out to third. Homer Bailey threw 23 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes.

Ryan Ludwick led off the second with a single to left. Xavier Paul popped out to short (2-0 pitch). Todd Frazier pulled a 1-0 pitch into the left field corner. Ludwick scored all the way from first on Frazier’s double to tie the game. Wilson Valdez flied out to Soriano for the second out. The Cubs decided to walk Devin Mesoraco and it cost them.

Homer Bailey hit a bouncer up the middle (1-1 pitch) that allowed Frazier to score. With the Reds up 2-1 and runners on first and second with two down, Zack Cozart grounded out to short for the third out … 28 pitches for Germano after two, 19 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the second. Bailey needed 41 pitches, 26 for strikes, to complete two innings of work.

After Drew Stubbs flied out to right center to start the third, it got ugly for the Cubs. Brandon Phillips reached on an error by Anthony Rizzo then trotted around the bases when Ryan Ludwick pulled a 2-1 pitch into the bleachers in left center. Ludwick hit a bullet through the wind and gave the Reds a comfortable 4-1 lead. Xavier Paul followed with a single.

With Todd Frazier at the plate, Paul swiped second. Wilson Valdez reached on an error by Josh Vitters. Germano still had a chance to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs. Devin Mesoraco hit a grounder under Castro (five-hole) and into left. Xavier Paul scored on Castro’s error and the Reds took a 5-1 lead. Homer Bailey grounded out to short to end the inning … 54 pitches for Germano after three, 37 for strikes.

The Cubs cut into the Reds lead in the bottom of the third. After DeJesus started the inning with a grounder to second, Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo reached on infield singles. Bailey uncorked a wild pitch on a 0-1 offering to Soriano. Barney and Rizzo moved up ninety feet. Soriano pulled a 1-1 pitch down the left field line. Barney and Rizzo scored, 5-3 Reds. Soriano stole third on a 2-0 pitch to Castro. Bailey ended up walking Castro on four pitches and the Cubs had runners on first and third with one down.

Starlin Castro stole second on a 0-1 pitch to Vitters. Josh Vitters tapped a 2-1 pitch up the third baseline. Bailey picked the ball up and shoveled to Mesoraco all in one motion to cut Soriano down at the plate. With runners on first and second, Brett Jackson drove Bailey’s first pitch into left to end the inning.

Justin Germano retired the side in order in the fourth … 67 pitches for Germano after four, 46 for strikes.

Welington Castillo popped out to Phillips in shallow center for the first out in the fourth. Justin Germano put together a 10-pitch at bat that ended with a single to left center but the Cubs could not take advantage. David DeJesus grounded into a 3-6-3 inning ending double play. Bailey threw 76 pitches over his first four innings, 47 for strikes.

Ryan Ludwick (tap back to Germano) and Xavier Paul (foul out to Castro) went down quickly to start the fifth. Germano walked Todd Frazier on five pitches then surrendered a single to right on a 1-1 pitch to Wilson Valdez. Germano uncorked a wild pitch on a 0-1 offering to Mesoraco. Frazier and Valdez advanced to second and third … but Mesoraco flied out to right for the third out. Germano threw 82 pitches, 53 for strikes, in five innings of work.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Germano made quick work of Bailey (groundout to short) and Cozart (groundout to short) to start the sixth. Drew Stubbs pulled a 3-1 pitch past a diving Josh Vitters. Castro fielded the ball but Stubbs reached on the infield hit.

Dale Sveum went to his pen and brought in Alberto Cabrera to face Brandon Phillips. Stubbs took off for second on a 2-0 pitch to Phillips. Welington Castillo’s throw ended up in center (well off the mark). The ball got past Darwin Barney (throw was 15 feet to the right side of the bag) and Brett Jackson overran it. Stubbs scored all the way from first on the two charged errors.

Brandon Phillips doubled to right (3-1 pitch) and Cabrera walked Ludwick. Cabrera did not hold Phillips on and the Reds’ second baseman stole third. Cabrera issued a four pitch walk to Xavier Paul to load the bases. The first three batters Cabrera faced reached on a double and two walks.

Alberto Cabrera fell behind Todd Frazier 2-0 (six straight out of the zone). Frazier drove a 2-1 pitch into right. Phillips and Ludwick scored, 8-3 Reds. With runners on second and third, Valdez grounded out to third (1-0 pitch) for the third out.

Starlin Castro blooped a single into right to start the sixth. Castro rounded first too far and was almost thrown out trying to get back to the bag. Dale Sveum called for a hit and run on a 2-0 pitch to Josh Vitters. Vitters singled to right. Castro stopped at second but was deeked by Brandon Phillips. Castro lost track of the ball and ran toward third with Pat Listach telling him to hold at second … Castro was out at third by a mile (9-4-5). After Jackson struck out swinging (3-2 pitch), Welington Castillo drove a 1-1 pitch to right. Xavier Paul appeared to have a play on the ball but the wind pushed the ball more than forty feet toward the line. The ball ended up near the well and Vitters scored all the way from first. Dusty Baker decided that was enough for Homer Bailey and he went to his pen for Jose Arredondo. Sveum went to his bench and sent up Bryan LaHair to hit for Alberto Cabrera. LaHair flied out to left to end the inning (3-2 pitch).

Jeff Beliveau gave up a leadoff single to Devin Mesoraco in the seventh … but that was all. Mike Leake hit for Arredondo and struck out swinging. Cozart grounded out to first and with Mesoraco at second, Stubbs struck out swinging to end the inning.

Sean Marshall took over in the seventh with the Reds up 8-4. David DeJesus worked an eight-pitch at bat that ended with a walk. Darwin Barney singled to right center. Anthony Rizzo smashed a 1-0 pitch back up the middle. The ball hit Marshall, DeJesus held at third and Barney advanced to second with one out. Baker made the slow walk and replaced Marshall with Sam LeCure. Alfonso Soriano pulled a 3-2 pitch into left. The wind knocked the ball down and DeJesus had to hold at third. Starlin Castro drove LeCure’s first pitch off the base of the wall in left. DeJesus and Barney scored, 8-6 Reds. Vitters pulled the first pitch to Wilson Valdez (third base) to end the inning.

After seven complete, the Cubs trailed 8-6.

Shawn Camp retired Brandon Phillips (groundout to third) to start the eighth. Ryan Ludwick drove a 2-2 pitch down the right field line. A wild pitch allowed Ludwick to advance to third with Paul at the plate. Camp ended up losing Paul and putting runners on first and third with one out. Todd Frazier hit Camp’s first pitch into center. Ludwick scored, 9-6 Reds. A passed ball allowed Paul and Frazier to move up ninety feet … but Wilson Valdez popped out to third and Mesoraco popped out to Barney in shallow right to end the inning.

Brett Jackson worked a walk against Jonathan Broxton to start the eighth. Welington Castillo pulled a 0-1 pitch into the left field corner. Jackson scored, 9-7 Reds. Luis Valbuena popped out to Frazier in foul ground to the first out. David DeJesus drove a 3-1 pitch into the left field corner. Castillo scored, 9-8 Reds. Darwin Barney grounded out to Phillips near the bag for the second out. DeJesus advanced to second and Baker went to his pen.

Aroldis Chapman replaced Broxton and struck out Anthony Rizzo with a 102 mph fastball.

Ryan Hanigan, who came in as part of a double-switch with Chapman, singled to center off Manny Corpas to start the ninth. Zack Cozart pulled Corpas’ first pitch into the left field corner. Hanigan scored, 10-8 Reds. Drew Stubbs popped up a bunt attempt to Corpas for the first out. Brandon Phillips blooped a single into left. The wind brought the ball back in toward the infield. Ryan Ludwick popped out to shallow left for the second out. With runners on first and third, Paul popped out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs went to the bottom of the ninth trailing 10-8 … and Aroldis Chapman set down the side in order (Soriano, Castro and Vitters) to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Travis Wood is scheduled to face his old team for the first time on Saturday afternoon. Bronson Arroyo is expected to take the hill for Dusty Baker.

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