CHICAGO – Even for the Cubs, this was bad.
The Cubs made five errors, their most in six years, in Friday’s 10-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
“I’m a little upset today, yeah,” an irate manager Dale Sveum said. “There’s a few things just taken for granted today. Some things aren’t acceptable.’
It was the Cubs’ most mistake-prone game in the field since they made six errors in a 9-8 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 12, 2006, according to STATS LLC.
Catcher Welington Castillo, shortstop Starlin Castro, center fielder Brett Jackson, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and third baseman Josh Vitters made errors – three of them rookies.
“Not the prettiest game we’ve played all year, that’s for sure,” Sveum said. “Sometimes those things happen, you take things for granted or whatever. There’s no rhyme or reason why they happen all the same day, three in the same inning and five different guys.”
Rookie Todd Frazier doubled twice and drove in four runs, and Aroldis Chapman came out of the bullpen to stop an eighth-inning rally attempt as the Reds ended their season-high losing streak at five games.
Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer into a 24 mph wind in the third against Justin Germano (1-2) as the NL Central leaders built a 5-1 lead. Ludwick also doubled, walked and matched his career best with four runs.
Germano gave up six runs – four earned – and seven hits in 52⁄3 innings.
“My ball was kind of doing some crazy things with the wind,” Germano said. “It was coming back in a little too much. Really the only pitch I’d take back was the pitch to Ludwick.”
Castro was thrown out at third base in the sixth after losing track of Vitters’ single to right while trying to steal second.
“I went stealing and the second baseman faked me out because I didn’t know where the ball was at,” Castro said. “I watched (third base coach Dave) McKay and he told me to go over, but I didn’t see the ball. He didn’t tell me to stop. He talked to me and said it’s not my fault.”
Sveum didn’t agree.
“He was decoyed, but you’re going to steal a base five runs down, you better ... know where the ball is hit,” Sveum said.
Castro was booed when he batted in the seventh, then hit a two-run double.
“The lack of concentration – it’s still not there on a consistent basis, in situations where you can’t make mistakes like that at all,” Sveum said, adding that he would talk to the club’s All-Star shortstop about the mental lapses.
After the Cubs closed to 9-8 with a pair of runs in the eighth, Chapman struck out Rizzo with a runner on third. Chapman retired the side in order in the ninth for his 26th save in 30 chances and 18th in a row. He has a 0.18 ERA against NL clubs this season.
Alfonso Soriano, who drove in three runs, put the Cubs ahead with an RBI grounder in the first.
“It was a tough game all-around for everybody,” Germano said. “Our offense really stepped it up and kept us in that ballgame.”
After Ludwick’s homer made it 4-1 in the third, the Reds tacked on another run on three errors, the last a routine roller that went under the glove of Castro.
Drew Stubbs reached on an infield single with two outs in the sixth and stole second, with Castillo’s throw skipping into center field. The ball also eluded Jackson as Stubbs came around to score.
The wind blowing in from Lake Michigan made every ball hit into the air an adventure.
“There was a popup to second base and it ended up 30 rows in the stands, then that ball that Castillo hit ... ball was doing the Salsa, Merengue, La Cucaracha out there. Everything,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who managed the Cubs from 2003-06. “That’s a tough day today out there.”
NOTES: Baker sat slumping outfielder Jay Bruce, who is hitless in his last 12 at-bats with seven strikeouts. Baker said Bruce’s slump is “like being in quicksand.” Xavier Paul started for Bruce. ... Soriano has driven in 15 runs in his last 16 games at Wrigley Field.