Cubs make more mistakes in 5-1 loss to Brewers
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org April 20, 2013 11:24PM
The facts: 1:10, CSN, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00 ERA) vs. Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19).
Updated: May 22, 2013 7:16AM
MILWAUKEE — After yet another sloppy loss by the Cubs on Saturday, manager Dale Sveum said he’s losing patience with his team’s performance.
“You can probably tell in my tone,” said the level-toned Sveum, who then chuckled.
There it was.
In less than seven months of regular-season baseball since Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Sveum took over, the Cubs have gone from 101-game losers to simply laughable.
Certainly, there’s lots of time left. But whether that’s a good thing is in serious doubt the way the team has looked, especially considering that the 5-1 loss to the Brewers, which included three more errors and four unearned runs, was played in maybe the best playing conditions of the season.
No blaming the cold or the rain or the wind or the facilities at Wrigley or baseball gods, bogeymen or gremlins.
“This is obviously getting old,” said Sveum, who already has held enough team meetings that he fears overdoing it.
The Cubs are tied with the Washington Nationals for the most errors (15) in the majors.
Errors by left fielder Alfonso Soriano and shortstop Starlin Castro led to two runs without the benefit of a hit in the fifth inning, and Edwin Jackson’s throwing error on a would-be inning-ending double play led to two more runs in the sixth.
They looked like they might have sole possession of the errors lead until Anthony Rizzo salvaged a play at first after muffing a ground ball in that ugly fifth.
The Cubs’ 11 unearned runs trail only the Nationals for most in the National League.
“We almost had more errors than hard-hit balls,” Sveum said. “We’re making a lot of the same mistakes. Obviously, [Castro and Rizzo] are young, but we’re making mistakes that rookie-ball people make.”
Sveum claims he has options if players don’t step up and start performing, but the lack of depth on his bench and in the minors clearly leaves him little chance to shuffle the deck.
So what you see is what you get.
“Clearly we have to play better-executed baseball,” Jackson (0-3) said. “But it’s not an issue that anyone is panicking over.”
Boston in common
Several among the team’s traveling party watched the broadcast of pregame ceremonies at Fenway Park early Saturday that included Boston clubhouse and fan favorite David Ortiz’s sudden, heartfelt and public pronouncement:
“This is our f---ing city! Nobody’s gonna dictate our freedom! Stay strong!”
Said Sveum, the former Red Sox third-base coach: “I probably watched every bit of it.
‘‘A pretty emotional day and easy to tear up in that scenario today. I caught Big Papi. That was interesting.
“Fitting statement for the day.”
Soriano’s RBI single in the fourth was the Cubs’ first hit with a man in scoring position since the third inning Thursday, ending an 18-at-bat skid in that situation. Then they went hitless in their final three tries after Soriano’s RBI.
◆ Castro extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fourth inning.