Cubs Repeat Big Inning Blueprint for Losing
Despite being the team to grab the lead first for the second day in a row, the Cubs found a way to let the opposing club comeback and win through the use of a big inning. The visitors took an early 2-o lead in the top of the third, compliments of a RBI double by Anthony Rizzo followed by a RBI single by Alfonso Soriano. Travis Wood made it once through the Reds order without allowing a run, thanks in part to Rizzo pouncing on a sac bunt attempt and getting the lead runner at third base in the bottom half of the third.
May 25, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood (37) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The Reds eventually got to Wood via a sac fly RBI in the fourth, but the knockout blow came in the sixth. Wood walked Joey Votto and allowed a single before getting the first out. The Reds tied it with a RBI single up the middle by Todd Frazier before manager Dusty Baker called and got a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt to give the Reds a 3-2 lead. A RBI double and a RBI single later, the home team was up 5-2 and never looked back.
Rizzo doubled again in the eighth with one out and Ryan Sweeney walked with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate, but Welington Castillo flied out down the right field line to end the inning.
Wood’s streak of nine straight quality starts to begin the season came to end and the Cubs skid hit six losses. The past few days against the Pirates and Reds have really showed that the Cubs still have a ways to go to catch up to the top tier of the NL Central. The North Siders have made visible steps of improvement to close the gap from the 2012 season, but the boys in blue are not quite there yet.