Well, how should we look at this loss? Be thrilled that the Cubs fought back against arguably the best closer in the game only to fall just one run short. Or say that this was the typical Cubs “fake rally” where they get just close enough to give us fans some hope, then fizzle out. Maybe a little of both I guess, fact remains the Cubs left way too many guys on base in this one and that was the difference. The Cubs trailed 4-0 in the sixth before getting two runs in the bottom half to pull within two. Unfortunately the Cubs pen couldn’t keep the Reds in check over the next two innings as they built their lead back up to four runs heading to the ninth. The Cubs, somewhat miraculously touched up the untouchable Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning, scoring three runs off the flamethrower. Unfortunately, with the bases loaded and trailing 6-5 Darwin Barney struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat and the game, not a game to remember from Darwin Barney, more on that later. So close, so frustrating, so encouraging, so many things pulling us in different directions, welcome to the 2013 Cubs.
At The Plate – The Cubs had a solid game at the plate, but on one hand they could have been so much better. They scored five times on fifteen hits, that’s hard to do, too many opportunities wasted in this one. Anthony Rizzo is now far removed from his early season struggles as he was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .243 on the season. Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored but it was the at bats he had where he didn’t get a hit that hurt the most. The Cubs four hitter was 0-for-2 with zero RBI’s in this game with the bases loaded, both at bats came with less than two outs, unacceptable. Nate Schierholtz had another good day going 2-for-4 with an RBI, but he also left five guys on base. Luis Valbuena continues to string together good games here and there he was 3-for-4 in the loss. Really rough game for Darwin Barney, he was 0-for-5, he left eight men on base, eight, by himself, including striking out with the bases loaded to end the game. Tomorrow is another day, Darwin, go get em.
On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva didn’t have his best stuff in this one, but he did all he could to get deep into the game. Villanueva went 5.2 innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four. Michael Bowden really struggled out of the pen, and it was his own doing as he worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on three walks, ugh. Kameron Loe wasn’t much better has he work one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one. Kevin Gregg had another solid outing as he worked a scoreless ninth inning while walking one and striking out one.
Up Next – Game two of the series as the Cubs trying to even it up. Jeff Samardzija looks to get a little deeper in the game as lately his pitch counts have been elevated too early, it would be nice to see him get some run support as well. That won’t exactly be easy as the Reds will counter with Tony Cingrani who has been really good in the first few starts of his career.
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This might have been the worst game of the season, sure the Cubs lost 10-8, only a two run defeat, but the game was played at a high school quality level. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I want to disrespect any high school team with that comparison. This is the kind of stuff that needs to stop, sure, physical errors are going to happen, but the mental stuff can and should be avoided. Dale Sveum was probably the most upset that we have seen him after the game today, a lot had to do with Starlin Castro’s continued mental mistakes. Enough about that for now, Justin Germano got the start for the Cubs today and came back down to Earth a bit. Germano suffered his second loss of the season after going 5.2 innings giving up six runs, four earned, while walking two and striking out two. Germano got no help at all as the Cubs committed five errors behind him, FIVE. The Cubs did their best with the bats to try to make it a game and they did as the lead was cut to one in the 8th. The showdown of the game was in the 8th with the tying run on third Aroldis Chapman blew a 102 MPH fastball by Anthony Rizzo to get out of it, and basically end the Cubs day. Darwin Barney had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-5 with two runs scored in a day filled with missed opportunities as the Cubs were 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. This had to be the most frustrating game of the season, luckily for all of us there is a new game tomorrow.
Sveum not happy, hints at sitting Castro
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