Monday seemed a little soon to be talking about the future of Cubs manager Dale Sveum. And Tuesday seemed a little early for talk of the dreaded “vote of confidence” for Sveum.
That's the way things are going for the beleaguered North Siders. General manager Jed Hoyer flew into Cincinnati and saw a little bit of everything as the Cubs beat the Reds 4-2 in 10 innings at Great American Ball Park to break a four-game losing streak.
Pitcher Carlos Villanueva turned in his fourth straight quality start, working 8 innings, but Carlos Marmol gave up a game-tying RBI single to Joey Votto in the bottom of the ninth to turn a 2-1 Cubs lead into a 2-2 tie.
However, Marmol got the win and Kevin Gregg his first save as the Cubs scored 2 in the 10th, with Darwin Barney breaking the tie with a one-out homer and Dave Sappelt adding insurance with an RBI single.
The Cubs' 5-13 record before Tuesday victory prompted talk of Sveum's job status, barely one season and one month into the job.
Hoyer flew in and told reporters Sveum has the full support of himself and team president Theo Epstein.
“We're all in this together,” Hoyer said “We've struggled. It's been painful to watch because we keep on squandering leads. That's on Theo and that's on me. We have to figure out ways to get better. We're not the most talented team in the league right now.
“We're trying to build to get there but as we get there, we can't continue to make the kind of mistakes we've been making. We have to clean it up and get better. Dale has our complete support. That's not what he should be thinking about in the least.”
The Cubs have been victimized by poor defense, a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position and poor late-inning relief.
“Our starting pitching has been real good, and if you had told me we were going to hit the number of home runs we have and have the kind of starting pitching we have, we should have a much better record,” Hoyer said.
Sveum also raised eyebrows this past weekend when he seemed to indicate players such as first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Starlin Castro could be sent to the minor leagues. That was not and is not going to happen.
“The point Dale is trying to make, and I support him 100 percent, is that at some point there has to be accountability,” Hoyer said. “If that means benching a guy or reducing his playing time, disciplining him in some ways, at some point, (Sveum) has to be able to pull the strings he has to pull to manage the team successfully and obviously, he has our total support to do that. He's got a great feel for the clubhouse, players respect him, and if he needs to do something to emphasize his point, then he has to do that.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.