Friday, April 20, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Reds 9, Cubs 4
By Bruce Levine
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs' losing streak reached six on Friday as they dropped the first of three games against the Cincinnati Reds.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Cubs starter Chris Volstad fell victim to bad defense and his own ineffective pitching. Volstad threw 41 pitches in the first inning, allowing four runs. The game was marred with bad play (five errors combined ) in very cold and windy conditions. Volstad lasted just five innings. allowing six runs, including five earned, and taking his second loss of the season.
WHAT IT MEANS: The last time the team had lost six or more consecutively was during an eight-game skid from May 30 through June 10, 2011. Volstad has not won a start since July 10, 2011. He is the only pitcher in baseball to make 10 or more starts since the 2011 All-Star break without a win . First baseman Bryan LaHair continues to hit, contributing two hits and an RBI.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Injuries to key veterans are already taking their toll on the Cubs. Kerry Wood goes on the DL with a sore shoulder and Ryan Dempster may join him after having an MRI on his sore right quad. A fan was so cold and so bored he ran on the field in the sixth inning, was caught and removed by six security guards. Scott Maine was called up to replace Wood on the roster. Randy Wells was at the ballpark in case Dempster goes on the DL. He will start Sunday's game if Dempster can’t go.
UP NEXT: The Cubs try to snap the skid on Saturday in Game 2 against the Reds. LHP Paul Maholm (0-1 13.50 ERA) looks for his first win as a Cub . He opposes the Reds' Mike Leake (0-1 5.84 ERA).