Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Reds 4, Blunderful Cubs 3

Cubs lose
Trivia question: how do you lose a game 4 to 3 in extra innings while only allowing a single earned run?  Answer: start a second baseman at third and watch the magic happen.

It's pretty ridiculous on the surface.  Ryan Dempster gave the Cubs 6 solid innings of 6-hit, 2 walk baseball.  He struck out 7.  He lowered his ERA to 4.12.  But because Mike Fontenot mishandled a ball in the first the Cubs were trailing from the get-go. 

Amazingly, they would then pitch nine consecutive innings of shut-out ball, including efforts from Aaron Heilman, Carlos Marmol, and Angel Guzman while slowly nicking away at the Reds' lead.  Bobby Scales! would homer, Geo Soto would homer, and even the seldom-used Jake Fox sac-flied in a run.

Then in the 11th Sean Marshall lost it.  He walked Jay Bruce, advanced him to second on a wild pitch, walked Ray Hannigan, and then Bruce scored on another Fontenot error.

Its not Mark DeRosa I miss, as he is presently leading all AL third basemen in errors, but instead it's Aramis Ramirez himself. 

The thing is, I understand that the Cubs offense is sluggish and they are trying to get their best hitters in the lineup but Fontenot can't possibly be the best fielding third baseman on the team.  No way.  I wonder if he's even better than Fox (I assume he must be).  Why not leave him at second base even if third becomes an offensive vacuum? 

Anyway, it's no third place for the Cubs although a win today could put them within percentage points.  But the Reds are not a good team.  The Cubs could have swept, perhaps they should have, and last night's loss was a heart-breaker.

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