Reds 3, Cubs 2 (10 innings)

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hero: A two-run single by Tyler Colvin in the eighth inning tied the game and provided the Cubs with their only runs over their last 21 innings. Colvin, who went 1-for-5 and rolled into a game-ending double play, has just seven hits in his last 41 at-bats (.171).

Goat: With Jay Bruce bearing down on him, Starlin Castro couldn't hold onto the ball to and make the relay to first to complete an inning-ending double-play in the 10th. Instead, Miguel Cairo scored the winning run from third.

Key Play: With Jay Bruce bearing down on him, Starlin Castro couldn't hold onto the ball to and make the relay to first to complete an inning-ending double-play in the 10th. Instead, Miguel Cairo scored the winning run from third.

Comments: Once again, Carlos Silva deserved better, but he did give up 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings. Coming down to Earth? Likewise, Colvin's two-run single gave the Cubs their only runs, but he also went 1-for-5 out of the leadoff spot and left three men on base. Derrek Lee went 0-for-4 out of the three-hole, including one strikeout, and left two men on base. He's hitting .231. Aramis Ramirez went 1-for-4 out of the clean-up spot, with two strikeouts. He's hitting .180. Bob Howry (1-2, 6.41) took the loss. Simply put, the wheels are coming off this team.

And for all his lineup variations, as we've pointed out endlessly, Lou Piniella still doesn't want to put his best hitters where they ought to be. Castro's average, for example, is down to .274 but he walked twice; how about auditioning him in the leadoff spot? Colvin appears to be a prototypical No. 1 hitter. He should at least be paired with Marlon Byrd. And Mike Fontenot continues to have the (relatively) hottest infield bat.

Aw, what does it matter. This team is toast.

Next: Sacrificial lamb Ryan Dempster (6-6, 3.58) takes the mound against probable winner Bronson Arroyo (7-4, 4.49) in a Friday afternoon tilt (1:20 p.m., WGN) unlikely to produce fireworks.

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