April 13, 2006
The Reds handed the Cubs an 8-3 loss to take the game and the series this afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The bearded Eric Milton allowed just three runs (two earned) on six hits through six and two-thirds innings to get the win. Todd Coffey held the Cubs hitless in the next inning and a third. Kent Mercker, the strike-out king of late, struck out three in a scoreless ninth.
Adam Dunn started the Reds' scoring with a solo shot in the first. Score: 1-0.
In the third, David Ross walked but was erased on Milton's fielder's choice. Milton went to second on a balk before Ryan Freel was hit by a pitch. About that time, Felipe Lopez thought it was time for his third home run of the year. Score: 4-0.
The Cubs got on the board in the fourth when Matt Murton hit a lead-off home run. Milton went on to retire the next three he faced. Score: 4-1.
The fifth inning was the only one in which both teams scored. The Reds added another run when Milton tripled and came in on Ryan Freel's ground-out. The Cubs scored in the bottom of the frame when Henry Blanco and Carlos Zambrano singled, Juan Pierre sacrificed them over, and Murton singled them in (with the help of a fielding error by Dunn) three batters later. Score 5-3.
That's all the Reds would need, but they'd get three more in the eighth when Dunn walked with one out, Scott Hatteberg singled with two out, and Austin Kearns homered them all in.
The win brings the Reds' record to 6-3. Aaron Harang and the Reds travel to St. Louis tomorrow to face Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals at 8:10 pm, about the time I'll be somewhere in Illinois on I-70 on my way to meet up with Bellyscratcher for a weekend of baseball fun. I hope to post from the road, but I may be too drunk to type.
April 13, 2006
10. They stayed up all night watching Golden Girls reruns.
9. Griffey's out, giving them a false sense of security.
8. Milton's in, giving them a false sense of security.
7. If they won today, what would be their motivation going into the Pittsburg series?
6. Adam Dunn hasn't had a home run in two days. He's due for a few.
5. Deep down, they want to lose. Otherwise they'll never get better.
4. They need a time out to kiss Aramis Ramirez' ouchie.
3. Encarnación has had a three-error game before. He's good at bouncing back.
2. Contrary to popular belief, mooses can't pitch.
1. The Cubs have a date with destiny. She asked them to meet her in the cellar.
April 13, 2006
The Reds put on a comedy of errors yesterday. They committed five as a team (three by Edwin Encarnación) that resulted in a 1-4 loss to the Cubs in Wrigley Field Wednesday afternoon.
Brandon Claussen took the mound, and he did OK. I think. It's really hard to tell how a pitcher does when the team commits five errors behind him. The box says he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits through five innings.
Mike Burns took over the sixth and seventh innings and held the Cubs scoreless on three hits. David Weathers came in in the eighth to hold the Cubs hitless.
In the bottom of the first, the Cubs got on the board when Juan Pierre led off with a bunt single, and Derrek Lee walked two batters later. With Michael Barrett batting, the runners pulled off the double-steal, and then advanced again on a throwing error by Javier Valentín. Barret then hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Lee before the final out. Score: 0-2.
They were at it again in the third. Pierre reached when Scott Hatteberg couldn't handle a throw. Lee reached on a throwing error by Encarnación. The two again pulled of the double-steal, and when Barrett induced a fielding error by Encarnación, Pierre scored. Sigh. Score: 0-3.
Encarnación was responsible for the Reds' only RBI when he hit a double in the fourth to bring in Adam Dunn, who had walked. Does one RBI make up for three errors? No. But at least he prevented a shutout at the hands of the Cubs. Score: 1-3.
The Cubs got their final run in the fifth inning somehow. The GameDay won't load the bottom of the inning, and I can't research it right now lest I be late for work. Whatever happened, it was disheartening. Score: 1-4.
The loss brings the Reds' record to 5-3. Eric Milton takes on Carlos Zambrano today in the rubber game at 2:20 pm.