Game Forty – Cubs 5 Reds 7
WP – Bill Bray (1-0) LP – Kerry Wood (1-3, BS 3) Save – Nick Masset (1)
For those that have not been paying attention, the Chicago Cubs are bad at baseball … and the performances over the last two days in Cincinnati prove that this group of players are well beyond fundamentally flawed.
Less than 24 hours after a horrible loss to the Reds and receiving an ear full from their manager, the Cubs went out and put together an even more embarrassing loss Tuesday night. Following Tuesday’s game, Mike Quade said that if his team has not hit rock bottom then they are pretty close. With the teams on the Cubs schedule in the coming days, the Cubs manager should choose his words carefully.
The game began on a very positive note and had a very special moment in the seventh but Tuesday night’s game will be remembered for three bizarre plays, two of which led to five runs for the Reds.
Five of the Reds seven runs scored in the fourth and eighth inning on three Cubs’ errors … and all seven runs the Reds scored Tuesday were unearned due to four errors by Q’s squad.
The Reds were given three runs in the fourth on errors by Carlos Pena and Matt Garza. The Reds then tied the game in the eighth on a throwing error by Kerry Wood on a play Wood was trying to do too much.
The Reds scored five runs without a hit or the ball leaving the infield … and the only run the Reds plated with a hit came on a RBI double by Joey Votto in the bottom of the eighth, the Reds final tally of the game.
Carlos Pena, Darwin Barney and Tony Campana provided the highlights for the Cubs’ offense. Pena gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead with a three-run shot in the first inning. Pena hit his fifth longball of the year on his 33rd birthday.
Darwin Barney worked a bases loaded walk in the seventh that forced in Tony Campana with the go ahead run. Campana pinch ran for Soriano who walked to start the inning.
Tony Campana had a big night in front of friends and family at The Great American Ball Park. The Cincinnati area native hit a double in his first big league at bat that drove in the Cubs fifth and final run of the game.
The rest of the Cubs offense struggled again and finished the game 2-for-11 with RISP and eight runners left on base.
Marlon Byrd’s 16-game hitting streak came to an end with a 0-for-4 night at the plate … four strikeouts.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs are 1-4 on the season against the Reds and 5-16 versus Cincinnati since the beginning of the 2010 season.
The Cubs are now a season-low six games under .500 with a 17-23 record … The Cubs could not put together a complete performance. Tuesday night they hit the ball, kinda, but could not keep from throwing it all over the park. The players are starting to press and are once again trying to make something happen rather than just playing the game the right way. Unless something is done soon it could get worse before it gets better.
Matt Garza was successful at working his way in and out of trouble but that all changed in the fourth … and once again it was Garza’s own throwing error that cost him a lead.
Brandon Phillips led off the fourth with a single to center on a 2-0 pitch. Phillips advanced to second on a ball that Welington Castillo should have caught … it was ruled a wild pitch. Jay Bruce fouled out to Aramis Ramirez for the first out.
Garza continued struggling with his command and eventually walked Scott Rolen. Fred Lewis grounded out to first on a 2-2 pitch. Phillips and Rolen advanced on the play.
After a meeting on the mound, the Cubs decided to intentionally walk Ramon Hernandez.
With the Cubs up 3-0, the bases loaded and two out, Edinson Volquez put the ball in play and hit a humpback liner to Carlos Pena. Pena could not field it cleanly but Barney did in shallow right and appeared to throw to the plate with Scott Rolen rounding third. Matt Garza intercepted the throw then threw wide of the plate. The ball ended up hitting the camera well and three runs scored on two errors … one by Carlos Pena and the other by Matt Garza.
On a totally bizarre play that could only involve a team from the North Side of Chicago, the Reds tied the game by scoring three runs without a hit.
Matt Gaza kept the Reds off the board in the fifth and sixth and the Cubs’ offense actually put him in line for a win in the top of the seventh.
Alfonso Soriano led off with seventh with a walk. Tony Campana made his big league debut and ran for Soriano. Welington Castillo attempted to bunt Campana to second but Votto could not get a grip on the ball and Castillo beat out the weak throw to first. After Reed Johnson hit for Garza and struck out swinging, Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases.
Darwin Barney put together an excellent at bat that resulted in a walk on the ninth pitch from Jose Arredondo. Campana scored the go ahead run … 4-3 Cubs. Dusty went to his pen and brought in Jordan Smith to face Starlin Castro.
Castro hit into a 5-3 double play to end the inning.
Sean Marshall kept the game 4-3 after retiring three of the four batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh.
The Cubs tacked on a run in the eighth thanks to a one-out, RBI double by Tony Campana.
Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena led off the eighth with back-to-back singles. Following Marlon Byrd’s fourth strikeout of the night, Tony Campana doubled to right on the first pitch he saw … in his first big league at bat. Ramirez lumbered around third and scored the Cubs fifth run.
With runners on second and third with one out, Welington Castillo grounded out to short and pinch hitter Blake DeWitt grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Cubs were just 2-for-10 with RISP with seven left on base after the top of the eighth.
Kerry Wood took the hill in the home half of the eighth and completed the miserable two-game series in Cincinnati with one of his worst appearances out of the Cubs pen.
Scott Rolen led off the eighth with a double to right center. Fred Lewis reached on an infield single to third. Ryan Hanigan then bunted the ball too hard back to Wood. Kerry tried to bare-hand the ball and throw out Rolen at third. The ball ended up down the left field line. Rolen and Lewis scored and tied the game at five.
The Reds first five runs scored on three Cubs errors without the ball leaving the infield.
Hanigan took third and scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Chris Heisey. After Paul Janish reached on a two out single to left, Joey Votto doubled to right on a 2-2 pitch and completed the embarrassing eighth inning for the Cubs. Janish scored all the way from first … 7-5 Reds.
The Cubs put a runner on in the ninth. But stranded the runner and did not give much effort to try to save face.
The Cubs are reportedly in the production business … what exactly are they producing other than a losing record?
The Cubs make the trip to Miami to open a two-game series versus the Marlins on Wednesday night. Ryan Dempster versus Ricky Nolasco in game one.