Game Six – Cubs 2 Reds 9
Updated – 9:27pm C.T. with a tidbit from XM Radio
The Wind Blowing Out….The Cincinnati Reds Offense….Glendon Rusch on the Mound….all ingredients for a Cubs loss and for the second time in less than a week, Bronson Arroyo beat the Cubs and hit a home run off of Glendon Rusch. Before this season Arroyo did not have a Major League home run and now he has two. The Reds scored all 9 runs on home runs, 5 solo home runs by Ken Griffey, Jr., Austin Kearns, Bronson Arroyo and two by Adam Dunn and the grand slam by Edwin Encarnacion….for a total of 6….the most hit off the Cubs at Wrigley since the Astros in 2000.
Bronson Arroyo threw seven shutout innings and only gave up 6 hits. Arroyo is 2-0 for the season, both victories against the Cubs. The Cubs could not build on the momentum from the weekend. Jacque Jones left the game with a strained right hamstring and Aramis Ramirez left the 8th inning with soreness in his glut….both are listed as day-to-day. Jones was taken for an MRI…. The first six batters that Glendon Rusch faced all hit the ball at least to the warning track and two were actually home runs. Rusch continued his lack of location and the Reds took full advantage of his mistakes. Rusch only made it 5 innings and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits….all home runs; he struck out 4 and walked 1. What is it with the Cubs and lack on concentration when Rusch is on the mound? The four other games the Cubs have played this season they have looked like a different team. All of the guys are concentrating and making good plays, when Rusch is on the mound the opposite is the case.
In the top of the 6th, a pop up fell in between Ronny Cedeno and Aramis Ramirez. How does this happen? This is not a rookie mistake….this is lack of concentration by both players. From the time you can put on a glove, you are taught how to call it and catch the ball….there is no excuse and that mistake allowed the Reds to put runners on 2nd and 3rd before Will Ohman walked Adam Dunn to load the bases for the Encarnacion grand slam.
Michael Wuertz and Jerome Williams (the Cubs announced on Tuesday, he will start against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Saturday) held the Red scoreless over the last 4 innings and only allowed 1 hit between the two of them. Cubs pitching gave up 4 free passes on Tuesday….that is 20 total for the year, in three games, versus the Reds….mistakes will beat you.
The players were not the only ones with their head not in the game on Tuesday. Dusty has been making the right calls over the first five games, but on Tuesday he made a bad decision.
In the bottom of the 5th with the Cubs down 4-0 and the game within reach, Matt Murton led of the inning with a single; Ronny Cedeno popped out to right; John Mabry was in the on deck circle. After Cedeno made the out and did not advance the runner, Dusty called Mabry back and put in Freddie Bynum to pinch hit for Glendon Rusch. Bynum struck out and Juan Pierre grounded out. Baker should have let Mabry hit, granted saving your best pinch hitter for later in the game is ideal, but the Cubs needed a momentum shift and Mabry might have been able to supply it.
The offense pounded out 10 hits and left 7 on base. The scoring came late with an RBI double in the bottom of the 8th by Derrek Lee and a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th by Michael Barrett. Pierre continued his struggles, going 0 for 4. Ronny Cedeno ended his 5-game hitting streak, going 0 for 4. Matt Murton had a couple of hits and Michael Barrett was 3 for 4.
The Cubs are making Bronson Arroyo look like the trade of the year….let’s hope he comes back down to earth soon.
Tidbit from XM Radio
John Rooney (part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ radio broadcasting team along with Mike Shannon) was on The Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on Tuesday and they were talking about the first week of the season and the teams in the Central Division. Steiner said the Cardinals are still the favorite to win the division this year and mentioned what he thought of all the teams in the division….except for the Cubs and asked Rooney who he thought could challenge the Cardinals for the Division Crown this season….Rooney quickly said the Cubs.
Rooney said he was very impressed with the team that just swept the Cardinals and this is the most well rounded Cubs team he has ever seen….good mixture of speed and power. Rooney was very impressed with Dusty Baker and said there is a change of philosophy with the Cubs. He went on to say, this team wants to win and is good enough to do so. Sean Marshall made a huge impression on Rooney and if the Cubs could get either Prior or Wood back and solidify the pitching….this team will be very dangerous. Steiner and Rooney never mentioned the other teams in the division again.