After getting swept in Milwaukee by the Brewers this past weekend, the Cubs started another tough series against a hot Cincinnati Reds team. With a lot of mental miscues and missed opportunities lately, manager Dale Sveum had some interesting comments about a few Cubs players, especially Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. Playing the Reds provided the Cubs with a chance to prove themselves to their manager but they let another one slip away on Monday.
The Cubs wasted another strong outing by Travis Wood who went six and a third, allowing just two earned runs. Wood had only allowed one run through while he was in the game but Sveum opted to pull Wood. James Russell eventually gave up a game tying triple to Jack Hannahan. I thought it was a very questionable by Sveum to pull Wood who had been cruising besides a line drive home run by Jay Bruce. Wood who has a spectacular 2.08 ERA, only has one win on the season.
Another quite offensive night for the Cubs. David DeJesus got the game going with a leadoff home run in the first. Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak with an RBI base hit in the third but the Cubs missed a golden opportunity in the third as Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano were unable to drive in a run with runners on the corners. Rizzo and Soriano combined to go 0-12 with three strikeouts.
After the Reds were able to tie it up in the seventh, it would take 13 innings to decide a winner. The Cubs had another great chance in the 12th inning but Castro lined out with the bases loaded. In the 13th, Wellington Castillo reached second on an error. Louis Valbuena was then able to connect for a deep home run, giving the Cubs a two run lead. But with a lot of bullpen pitchers used, the bottom of the inning was sure to be ugly.
Michael Bowden was on for the Cubs and actually had a chance for the win after pitching in the 12th. But after a couple of base hits, Bruce hit a two run double that tied the game up at four. Bowden had a chance to escape the inning but gave up a walk off single to to Cesar Izturis.
Another blown save and game for the Cubs. Sveum, who asked about his job security by reporters earlier on Monday, made some questionable decisions. Besides pulling Wood early, Sveum took out DeJesus who was been one of the Cubs hottest hitters of late and provides good defense. The move proved to be costly as Dave Sappelt missed a fly ball in the 13th that got the rally going. Instead of criticizing his own players, Sveum needs to take a look at his mental errors.
Cubs are back in action tomorrow night at 6:10.