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updated: 8/10/2012 9:06 PM

Cubs bumble their way to another loss

Five fielding errors, Castro's gaffe riles up Cubs' manager

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  • Alfonso Soriano, left, and Starlin Castro can't make a play on a single hit by the Reds' Brandon Phillips during the ninth inning Friday at Wrigley Field.

      Alfonso Soriano, left, and Starlin Castro can't make a play on a single hit by the Reds' Brandon Phillips during the ninth inning Friday at Wrigley Field.
    Associated Press

  • Cincinnati Reds third baseman Wilson Valdez, left, tags out Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro at third base as third baseman umpire Jeff Nelson looks on Friday.

      Cincinnati Reds third baseman Wilson Valdez, left, tags out Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro at third base as third baseman umpire Jeff Nelson looks on Friday.
    Associated Press

  • Cubs relief pitcher Manuel Corpas reacts as he walks on the field during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chicago, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. The Reds won 10-8.

      Cubs relief pitcher Manuel Corpas reacts as he walks on the field during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chicago, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. The Reds won 10-8.
    Associated Press

 
 

Growing pains?

Oh, yeah, on some days it feels like those pains are growing inside the Cubs.

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Take Friday's 10-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Manager Dale Sveum didn't say, "Please, take it," but he was irritated aplenty after the Cubs made 5 fielding errors and shortstop Starlin Castro appeared guilty of a mental gaffe.

"I'm a little upset today," Sveum said. "There's a few things just taken for granted today. Some things aren't acceptable when you just take some things for granted. It wasn't just the baserunning blunder, either."

A look at the box score showed that these players appeared for the Cubs in this ugly game: Castro, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Welington Castillo, Justin Garmano, Alberto Cabrera, Jeff Beliveau and Anthony Rizzo.

Castro has been with the Cubs since 2010, but he's only 22.

The Cubs purged their roster near the trading deadline, dealing away several veteran players and leaders.

With youth comes mistakes, but Sveum wasn't hearing it.

"No, that's not part of a young team," he said. "That had nothing to do with being young today."

After beating the Reds on Thursday night to snap an eight-game losing streak, the Cubs fumbled their way to another loss Friday to fall to 44-67.

Making errors in the field were Castro, first baseman Rizzo, third baseman Vitters, catcher Castillo and center fielder Jackson.

Castro, Vitters and Rizzo each made an error in the Reds' 3-run third. In the sixth, Castillo made a throwing error on a stolen base, and Jackson let the ball get past him for a second error, allowing baserunner Drew Stubbs to score from first base.

Castro's baserunning gaffe occurred in the sixth, with the Cubs down 8-3. After leading off with a single, Castro took off for second as Josh Vitters singled into right field. The Reds decoyed Castro at second base, and the problem was twofold: He didn't know where the ball had been hit, and he bought the decoy. He then ran for third base and was easily put out.

"He's decoyed, but if you're going to steal a base 5 runs down, you better (darn) know where the ball is hit," Sveum said.

Castro said he looked back at first-base coach Dave McKay.

"I was stealing," he said. "The second baseman (Brandon Phillips) freaked me out because I don't know where the ball is at. I was watching McKay, and he told me to go. But I didn't know where to go because I didn't see the ball. He didn't tell me to stop. I talked to him here and he told me it's not my fault because I looked back."

Castro has been slumping at the plate, but he did walk, single and hit a 2-run double as the Cubs rallied. Sveum said he would talk with Castro about the play and would consider sitting him Saturday.

"He hit a 2-run double yesterday and a 2-run double today," Sveum said. "… Concentration is still not there on a consistent basis in situations where you can't make mistakes like that at all."

The other element coming into effect Friday was a natural one: the wind. A 24-mph breeze coming straight in played havoc with almost every ball hit into the air, reminding Reds manager and former Giants skipper Dusty Baker of his days at Candlestick Park.

"Yeah, I've seen those days in Candlestick," Baker said. "I've seen them here, too, but I haven't seen the wind like that. That was a rough day out there."

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