Filed: Apr. 21, 2009
Click Cincinnati+Reds/default.aspx" target="_blank">here for the photo gallery of Tuesday's game.
The Cubs jumped on Micah Owings early, and kept up the heat against the Reds bullpen, winning handily 7-2 in front of 38,403 fans. The game was marred by numerous...incidents that left many seeing curses of old.
With Dusty Baker in the dugout, and an Alex Gonzalez on the field, should we be surprised? Probably not. And just as an aside...different Alex. If you didn't know that without having to look it up, shame, shame.
But back to the game, where the fourth inning was marred first by a two-minute delay to catch a white (and some black) cat that had mysteriously appeared on the field.
Later that same inning, Alfonso Soriano would go into foul territory to grab a Jay Bruce fly—one that would have ended the inning, by the way—only to be robbed by a fan in a scene eerily reminiscent of the "Incident," right down to what appeared to be the same seat section.
Bruce would then instead single to score Joey Votto and tie the game.
All this made for great theater, but it didn't really change the fact that the Reds just aren't all that good; yet.
Micah Owings was in trouble from the start, going four-and-two-thirds innings in the loss. Honestly, it was such a cold and bleak night that he could have struggled through longer, but when left fielder Chris Dickerson dropped a Derek Lee fly to extend what would be a three-run fifth, that was pretty much it.
Fortunately for the Cubs, the Reds bullpen would prove even worse. Reliever Mike Lincoln would come in, completely unable to throw strikes, allowing the Cubs to grab a couple more in the sixth.
All this—especially with a Micah Hoffpauir home run to boot—would have been just about a perfectly fun night at the ball park, were it not for reliever Neal Cotts, who is quickly headed for founding member of the 2009 Piniella dog house.
Cotts went one-third of an inning, putting two runners on in the eighth, before Lou decided to reverse course, and just bring in Carlos Marmol. He ended the threat, before giving way to Luis Vizcaino in the ninth to end the game.
Let me just say this, the televised broadcast did not do Neal's performance justice. He looked completely minor league; everything from his pitches to his mound presence. The kid is not right, and the Cubs are going to have to move quickly to address this; either fix him, or get a guy that can at least get a lefty out once in a while.
Great fun, and a good win to boot.