Reds Keep Sweeping at Wrigley – Cubs 4, Reds 7

Game Thirty-One – Cubs 4, Reds 7

WP – Mat Latos (3-0) LP – Edwin Jackson (0-5) Save – J.J. Hoover (2)

The Reds domination of the Cubs at Wrigley Field continued on Sunday as the Redlegs completed the three-game sweep behind another solid outing from Mat Latos. The Reds have won nine in a row at Wrigley Field and 12 straight day games at what is supposed to be the Cubs’ home ballpark.

The Cubs lost by only three runs but the game never felt as close as the final score after the fourth inning.

Edwin Jackson had another rough outing. And one bad inning sealed the game for the Reds in the fourth inning. Jackson looked good the first time through the lineup but the first four Reds reached in the fourth on three singles and a double and scored three times before Jackson could record an out. The Cubs defense gave the Reds the other run charged to Jackson in the fifth.

The Reds squared up Jackson pretty good in his five innings on Sunday. There were not many cheap hits. Jackson took the loss after allowing four runs, all earned, on eight hits with a walk, a wild pitch and five strikeouts. Jackson threw 86 pitches, 51 for strikes.

After the Cubs cut the Reds lead to 4-3 in the fifth, Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless sixth inning, the first time in five seasons he entered a game as early as the sixth inning. But the game got out of hand in the seventh and eighth innings with Shawn Camp and Kameron Loe on the mound.

Shawn Camp has been equally as bad as Carlos Marmol this season. Camp has not received the public criticism that Marmol has for one reason or the other. Camp gave up two runs on two hits with a walk and no strikeouts in one inning. The Reds then tacked on a run in the eighth against Kameron Loe. Loe walked the first two batters he faced and ended up allowed one run on one hit with two walks and one strikeout.

Cubs pitching walked four more batters on Sunday and walked 19 of the free-swinging Reds over the three game series.

The Cubs offense had plenty of chances once again and if not for a collision by Shin-Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips in the fifth inning would have likely been shut out again by Reds’ pitching. The Cubs scored four runs on eight hits with four walks … and were 2-for-12 with RISP while leaving nine men on base.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI) was credited with a double after Choo and Phillips collided in shallow center in the fifth inning that allowed the Cubs first two runs to score. Nate Schierholtz (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Soriano with the Cubs’ third run and cut the Reds lead to 4-3. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a RBI, a run scored and a walk) drove in the Cubs’ fourth run with a groundout in the seventh that plated David DeJesus (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored).

Luis Valbuena (0-for-1 with three walks) walked three times on Sunday and took over the team lead in free passes with 13, one ahead of Anthony Rizzo (12).

The Cubs defense struggled once again. Not only was Dioner Navarro charged with his second error of the season but Edwin Jackson uncorked the Cubs’ 19th wild pitch of the year. The Cubs have thrown a league-worst 19 wild pitches to go along with four passed balls.

With Sunday’s loss (0-5 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs dropped to a season-low nine games under .500 (11-20).

Edwin Jackson and Mat Latos threw up zeros for the first three innings. The Cubs and Reds put runners on base but could not push across any runs until the fourth inning.

The second time through the Reds lineup was not as kind to Jackson as the first time through. Jackson needed only 41 pitches, 24 for strikes, to complete three innings of work on Sunday.

For as good as Jackson was over the first three innings, he was just as hittable in the fourth inning.

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips reached on back-to-back singles to start the fourth. Jay Bruce followed with a double to left (0-1 pitch). Votto scored as Phillips held at third with no outs. Todd Frazier followed with a single to center. Phillips and Bruce scored, 3-0 Reds. The first four hitters reached and the Reds scored three runs on a single, single, double and single.

A wild pitch on the first offering to Xavier Paul allowed Frazier to advance to second base. Paul grounded out to second, Frazier moved up ninety feet but was stranded when Mesoraco struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) and Latos tapped out in front of the plate for the third out.

The Cubs tried to answer in the bottom of the fourth but predictably left the bases loaded without scoring a single run. Anthony Rizzo walked to start the inning. After Latos retired Soriano and Schierholtz, Dioner Navarro singled to center … the first single for the Cubs since the ninth inning of Friday’s game. Latos walked Luis Valbuena on four pitches to load the bases with two down. Darwin Barney flied out to a tumbling Jay Bruce in right (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.

The Reds tacked on in the fifth … thanks to another gift by the Cubs. Shin-Soo Choo singled to center and took off for second on a 0-2 pitch to Cozart. Navarro’s throw was low and misplayed by Castro. Choo ended up a third with no outs. Cozart then lifted a 1-2 pitch into left center. Choo tagged and scored, 4-0 Reds. Votto followed with a double to left. Phillips tapped back to the mound, Votto advanced to third but was stranded when Jackson struck out Bruce swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs got back in the game in the bottom of the fifth. After Julio Borbon hit for Jackson and lined out to first and Latos caught DeJesus looking at a 2-2 pitch, Starlin Castro pulled a 2-1 pitch into left for a single. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single to left.

With two on and two down, Alfonso Soriano popped a 1-2 pitch into shallow center. Choo raced in as Phillips went out. The two Reds collided, fell to the ground and the both Castro and Rizzo scored on what was ruled a double. Nate Schierholtz followed with a bloop single to left center. Soriano scored … 4-3 Reds. Navarro flied out to right (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

The game remained 4-3 until the seventh. Shawn Camp’s season-long struggles continued and the Reds put the game out of reach.

After the homeplate ump ruled that Donald Lutz did not attempt to get out of the way of a 1-2 pitch from Camp that hit him, Lutz singled to center for his first big league hit. Choo grounded out to a diving Barney at the hole at second. Lutz advanced to second. Camp walked the struggling Cozart. Joey Votto pulled a 0-1 pitch into the right field corner for a double. Lutz scored and Cozart held at third with one down. Phillips hit a sac fly to right. Cozart tagged and scored, 6-3 Reds. Bruce lined out to Rizzo for the third out.

The Cubs actually manufactured a run in the seventh. David DeJesus doubled off Sam LeCure to start the inning. Castro grounded out to second, DeJesus advanced to third then scored when Rizzo grounded out to third … 6-4 Reds. Soriano popped out to left center for the third out.

The Cubs’ pen gave the Reds another run in the eighth. Kameron Loe issued back-to-back walks to Todd Frazier and inch hitter Jack Hannahan to start the inning. Devin Mesoraco pulled a 1-1 pitch down the third baseline. Valbuena dove and got a glove on the ball but could not field it cleanly. Lutz stepped in with the bags juiced. Lutz pulled a 0-1 pitch to Barney. Barney turned and threw to Castro for the force at second. Frazier scored as Mesoraco took out Castro at second. With runners on first and third with one down, Choo tried to check his swing on a 1-2 pitch. After Choo struck out and with runners on second and third with two down, Cozart lined out to left to end the inning.

The game remained 7-4 until the bottom of the ninth.

Scott Hairston hit for Michael Bowden and singled to center off J.J. Hoover. DeJesus then tapped back to the mound. Hoover short-armed his throw to second, Cozart could not haul it in and the Cubs had runners on first and third with no outs … but Castro popped out to right, Rizzo popped out to left and Soriano fouled out to Votto (3-2 pitch) to end the game.

The Cubs face the Rangers on Monday night in the make-up of the game that was rained out on April 17 … Scott Feldman faces Nick Tepesch and his old team at 7:05pm CDT.

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Quote of the Day

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

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  • Zonk

    OK, so what is the problem with Edwin Jackson?

    Most pundits didn’t think it was a bad signing for the Cubs, Edwin hasn’t been an all-star, but he was durable, young, and serviceable. He always had pretty good stuff, and pitched just a bit under his ceiling, but as a #3 you could do worse.

    He has been a “one big inning” pitcher his whole career, but this trend has been pronounced. His ERA is higher than his WHIP would suggest, but still….is something wrong?

    He is the only real long-term FA commitment at this point, so we have to get him straightened out

    • BosephHeyden

      The problem is that he’s not what a #3 pitcher should be. Even before all this, he was basically Jason Marquis: an innings eater capable of pitching quality games on occasion, but most of the time he wasn’t that great (even when he threw his no-hitter, I remember people on ESPN trying their hardest to gloss over it due to it being a lengthy, ugly feat, to the point where there was a lengthy debate about whether or not throwing a no hitter was that big of a deal anymore). He’s the type of pitcher good teams need, but not for any lengthy period of time, which is why he hasn’t been with a team longer than a year.

      Signing him for longer than two years was a mistake before all of this happened. Now it’s a mistake that the Cubs are going to have to work very hard to correct so they can get something out of it. Even if they did sign him for just two years, he’s still not the type of pitcher the Cubs need for their rotation yet, because they don’t have an ace yet, meaning the concept of eating innings is useless, much like how Jason Marquis wasn’t particularly appreciated when he was a Cub: they didn’t have an ace, so he got loud criticism that he probably wouldn’t have received on a team with an established ace.

      Maybe if the Cubs obtain an ace in the offseason, Edwin Jackson would be a useful piece. But, as it is, no ace just means there’s five starters on the staff that will got a lot more criticism because they don’t have a role.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, and on top of that, it serves no purpose to have inning eaters if the team cannot score.
        I really don’t foresee Garza’s coming back as changing anything. The pitching they have lacks so many things the task is beyond reason.
        Neil is right, Camp does not get the recognition he deserves, he is as bad if not worse than Marmol, and Loe ( I have no idea why they ever even brought him in) just as bad.
        I made a point earlier with starting Marmol and then coming in with a legitimate starter in the second or third
        as a joke, but he did well today, and it was the earliest he had been brought in a game in a long time, if ever unless when he was a starter.
        Cubs have very little hitting, even so they would be in a lot more games if the opposition could be held to 3-4 runs or less.
        It’s just a mess and looks like it’s only going to get worse, just too many things to try and put together.
        Sorry to rant here, but it’s getting to be old hat. Thanks for putting up with it.

        • DWalker

          Could at this point, Jackson be looking at being moved to long
          relief/back up starter once garza come back until the next time a
          starter goes down/stats catch up with/gets traded one of the others? replace camp with him in the pen.

      • Theboardrider

        Nice analysis. I lile the Marquis comparison amd rationale.

    • John_CC

      I never was big on Jackson, and I wasn’t crazy about the signing. He has great “stuff” …sometimes, but has always been erratic. Now we live with it.

  • Ray Ray

    Dave Sappelt needs to go to Iowa but for Ryan Sweeney? Yes….Sweeney is hitting in AAA but he bats lefthanded. So now you have an outfield of Borbon(L) Sweeney(L) DeJesus(L) Schierholtz(L) Hairston(R) and Soriano(R) First of all you do not need 6 outfielders and to top it off 4 LH hitting outfielders.

  • John_CC

    To Neil’s point that Camp hasn’t received the same, criticism as Marmot, one of the guys at the Cubs Den called it the “Midwest” attitude. Because of the contract Marmol always gets it worse. I like that, pretty funny.