Cubs Eighth Inning Defensive Vacation Leads to Loss
I’ve done my best to stay away from individual game recaps for the last month or so, mostly because it’s just too boring to write the same thing every day. Today though, the Cubs took a very interesting approach to losing, deciding to take an entire inning off defensively.
The first seven innings of the game hummed along nicely. The Cubs got a ton of runners on base, very few of them scored. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce did some damage, though Casey Coleman wasn’t terrible in his third MLB start (6 IP, 4ER). The Cubs found themselves trailing 5-3, and with All Star set-up man Arthur Rhodes entering the game, the game seemed all but over.
Instead, Rhodes had a rare bad outing, allowing Geovany Soto to hit a leadoff double, and Kosuke Fukudome to tie the game with a home run. It was Dome’s 12th homer of the season, a career high, and his second in as many days. His numbers are looking really good right now, his .835 OPS is the highest among Cubs outfielders. Perhaps he has performed well enough to get a team or two interested this offseason.
With a 5-5 tie and Sean Marshall on the mound, things were looking good for the Cubs. A comical collection of bad baseball plays and decisions followed. With a runner on first and one out, Ramon Hernandez singled to right field. Aggressive base running from Chris Heisey, who was trying to reach third base, drew a throw from Fukudome. That throw skidded past Aramis Ramirez, who didn’t exactly go all out for it, and Sean Marshall wasn’t able to get to it in time. Heisey scored, the Cubs were down 6-5, and the game was over at that point.
Aramis Ramirez flailed at another ball in the inning, off the bat of Johnny Gomes, which resulted in an infield single and another run scored. That play is a little harder to get upset about, but Aramis hardly gave an all out dive. Normally I’m not one to get upset about that kind of thing, but those two plays were clear examples of Aramis taking it a little too easy. I’m already over it though, because I’d be just as frustrated if he injured himself diving full out during a pointless game.
This loss ends the 2010 season series, and the Reds took 12 of 16. Give them credit, they did what good teams should do to the bad teams in their division. That is why they currently lead the division, and why I expect them to continue to lead the division.
Up next, the Pirates, who the Cubs have beaten once this season. Carlos Zambrano will start against Paul Maholm.