Difficult to imagine it getting worse than this for Cubs
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Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro jumps over Scott Rolen after forcing Rolen out at second base in the sixth inning of the Cubs' loss to Cincinnati on Tuesday.
The Cubs spent much of the last 36 hours trying to get a grip.
They tried to get a grip on themselves.
They tried to get a grip on the baseball, without much success.
Now, they're faced with trying to get a grip on their season, which is slipping away as quickly as all those baseballs the Cubs threw away in the rain Tuesday night.
The Cincinnati Reds scored 7 unearned runs, overcoming yet another deficit, with the help of 4 errors by the hapless Cubs. The result was a 7-5 Reds victory and a two-game sweep in this short set at the Great American Ball Park.
Manager Mike Quade vented to his team and the media after Monday's 7-4 loss, mixing in some salty language.
Tuesday's loss happened after a day of roster moves and the Cubs getting news that starting pitcher Andrew Cashner would be shut down for at least a couple more weeks of his rehab because his strained right shoulder acted up again.
As far as the game goes, it might have been the worst and most fundamentally unsound and embarrassing the Cubs have played all year, and that's saying something.
The Cubs committed 4 errors: 1 fielding error, 2 throwing errors and 1 that ended up being an error of omission on a play the umpires might have got wrong.
The upshot is that the Cubs have lost three in row to fall to 17-23 and are still only 7 games behind the Reds in the National League Central.
So what did Quade have to say for an encore?
"If we haven't hit rock bottom with this, we're pretty (darn) close," he told reporters.
Given the history of the Cubs, Quade should stick around awhile, if he can take it, because things always have a way of getting worse in Cubdom.
The Reds got 3 in the fourth on one play, when first baseman Carlos Pena made a fielding error and pitcher Matt Garza threw one away trying to get a runner at the plate.
In the sixth, catcher Welington Castillo was charged with an error when it looked like Miguel Cairo struck out to end the inning. Castillo trapped the ball, and Cairo ended up on first base, even after leaving the home-plate circle and heading to the dugout. By rule he should have been out.
And in the eighth, with the Cubs nursing a 5-3 lead, pitcher Kerry Wood threw a bunt away and down the left-field line (it would have helped if third baseman Aramis Ramirez had come off the bag) to score the tying runs. The go-ahead runs scored soon thereafter.
"The ball's going to be wet, so you just make sure you make a good throw and I threw it to the wall," Wood said. "I had a (good) grip. When I went to go throw it, it slips out."
Earlier, the Cubs brought up outfielder Tony Campana from Class AAA Iowa to replace Tyler Colvin, optioned the night before. They also swapped relievers, sending Marcos Mateo to Iowa and bringing lefty Scott Maine up.
Campana grew up not far from Cincinnati, and he picked up his first hit and RBI with an eighth-inning double.
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