Sunday, August 19, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Reds 5, Cubs 4
By Doug Padilla
CINCINNATI -- The Chicago Cubs' 5-4 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday means they lost three of four at Cincinnati one weekend after losing three of four to them at home.
How it happened: A shaky third inning meant that Chris Volstad once again could not put an end to his current winless drought. The right-hander has now gone 24 consecutive starts without a victory, dating back to July 17, 2001. He was at least able to avoid his 10th loss of the season when an Alfonso Soriano ground out in the eighth inning pushed across the tying run. Volstad gave up three runs in the fourth inning. The Reds won it in the ninth inning on Ryan Hanigan's game-ending single to center off Shawn Camp.
What it means: Volstad could be out of chances after failing to win a game this season in 14 starts with the Cubs. A pitcher figures to be called up to start in Tuesday’s game at Milwaukee. It’s possible that Volstad could get sent down in order to free up a roster spot. Rosters can be expanded at the end of next week but there would still be no guarantee Volstad would return if he was sent down.
Outside the box: Make that two more RBIs for Soriano, who now has 75 on the season with 6½ weeks still to play. Soriano drove in runs Sunday on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly and an eighth-inning ground out to tie the game. Soriano has been impressive this month, driving in 14 runs in the 16 games he has played. His best RBI month this season was the 18 he delivered in June.
Off beat: Mark Luis Valbuena down for the latest Cubs blunder on the bases. He was caught off third in the eighth inning to snuff out a potential go-ahead rally. After the Cubs had already pushed across a run, Valbuena was on second base with two outs when Starlin Castro hit a grounder to third base. Castro ended up being safe, though, when a wide throw pulled Reds first baseman Todd Frazier off the bag. But Valbuena had drifted so far down the third-base line, apparently assuming the last out, that he was easily thrown out to end the inning.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano (2-2, 3.91 ERA) to the mound Monday at Milwaukee in the opener of a three-game series. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Mark Rogers (0-1, 4.94) in the 7:10 p.m. game from Miller Park.