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  #71  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 1:15 pm
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I know he strikes out a bunch, but he was tied for the team lead in walks during ST. Thought he might be more patient there.

And of course, the Reds smack a two-run homer to extend the lead.
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  #72  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 1:18 pm
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One last chance.

End of 8th: Cubs 2, Reds 5
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  #73  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 1:23 pm
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And 1-2-3 gone!
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  #74  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 1:24 pm
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Wow. Way to be patient guys. Cubs lose series 2-1.

FINAL: Cubs 2, Reds 5
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  #75  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 8:25 pm
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cubs.com recap:

Quote:
CINCINNATI -- The Cubs missed opportunities Thursday and the Cincinnati Reds didn't.
Scott Hatteberg belted a two-run homer in the eighth, but the damage came in the seventh when pinch-hitter Jeff Conine hit a game-tying RBI single and then scored on a passed ball to help the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cubs, 5-2.

"We did have opportunities," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We had 10 base hits. We certainly had a chance to score a lot more than two runs."

Jason Marquis was in line for the win in his Cubs debut, exiting with a 2-1 lead. But Hatteberg singled to lead off the seventh against Bob Howry (0-1) and eventually scored on Conine's single.

"I had a chance to get out of it," Howry said of the inning. "[Conine] is a good hitter and put it in play. I compounded it by walking the next guy.

"It's one thing to give up the tying run -- it's like being 0-0 and you're starting clean. You walk the next guy and put another guy in scoring position -- and I hate walking guys."

Ryan Freel drew the walk and forced Howry's exit. Enter Will Ohman, who allowed both Conine and Freel to advance on a wild pitch. Ball four to Adam Dunn got away from catcher Michael Barrett, and Conine scored the go-ahead run on the passed ball. Barrett wasn't crossed up.

"It was a poor 3-2 pitch to an above-average hitter," Ohman said. "If I hit my spot, I'll take my chances. I just didn't locate well. That's on me. If I don't throw the first wild pitch, they don't advance. If the last pitch doesn't happen, he doesn't score. You can't look at a game and do hindsight. I'll take my lumps and that's what it is. I didn't get my job done."

Barrett said the wild pitch had gone to his left, so he was prepared to go left. The ball that allowed Conine to score skipped to the right.

"My job right there is to keep the ball in front of me no matter what," Barrett said. "I didn't get it done, I didn't get the job done. We'll get to work on it. It's not a matter of whose fault it is."

Barrett chased the ball to the backstop, but wasn't able to get a grip on it to attempt a throw home.

"When I went back, I knew it was a do-or-die play. I had to make a perfect attempt, and I went back and I tried to be quick with it and didn't get a grip on it," he said.

Hatteberg then sealed the win and the series for the Reds when he belted his first homer off Scott Eyre with one out and one on in the eighth.

Marquis, one of the Cubs' free-agent additions this offseason, held Cincinnati to four hits and two walks over six innings while striking out one. Mark DeRosa belted a solo homer and Aramis Ramirez had three hits, including a tie-breaking RBI double, for the Cubs, who had chances. They stranded 10 baserunners in the game.

They also ran themselves out of an inning in the seventh when Alfonso Soriano singled to lead off but was picked off at first. Matt Murton then singled and pinch-runner Ryan Theriot came in to steal, which he did. But Theriot was forced out at third on Derrek Lee's grounder and the rally ended.

Marquis did his job.

"When his ball is sinking, he throws a lot of ground balls," Piniella said of the right-hander. "That's what we're looking for. He had some really good games this spring where his ball had good movement and good sink and his ball moved really well. He had a couple games where his ball was a little flat and he got hit.

"One thing I do like is he throws strikes and goes after the hitter," Piniella said. "One thing we're trying to work on and improve on is he gets two quick strikes and then has a tendency to get deep in the count for no reason."

One thing Piniella didn't like was the walks. On Monday, Cubs pitchers walked six and lost. On Wednesday, they issued two walks and won. On Thursday, five Reds drew walks.

"We weren't walking them in Spring Training," Piniella said. "Maybe this cooler air has something to do with it."

It was another day better suited for hot chocolate than lemonade with a game-time temperature of 35 degrees.

"I'd rather have snow than rain," Lee said.

He got it. There were snow flurries at the start of the game. DeRosa, who had two hits and two RBIs Wednesday, hit his first homer with one out in the second off the first pitch from Reds starter Kyle Lohse. DeRosa is now 6-for-8 lifetime against Lohse.

The Cubs thought they had another homer when Cesar Izturis' line drive hit the top of the right-field wall, then bounced back onto the field. Piniella argued the ball had cleared the fence, but replays showed the call was correct. Izturis had a double, but was stranded when Marquis grounded out.

The Reds tied the game in the fourth on Edwin Encarnacion's single. But with one out in the Chicago fifth, Murton walked, and scored one out later on Ramirez's double -- his third hit of the game. The Cubs third baseman, who hit .197 last April, also had three hits Wednesday. It's the first time he's posted three consecutive three-hit games since May 29-31, 2005.

The Cubs now head to Milwaukee for a three-game series. What has Piniella learned so far about his team?

"It's the start of the season," he said. "We have to do a better job with men on base. We have to cut down on the walks. Baserunning mistakes hurt us today. All in all, it's the start of the baseball season and we'll go from here."
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  #76  
Old Apr 5th 2007, 9:12 pm
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I was listening on and off in my car when I made my deliveries today, and I heard on the post-game show that the Cubs just need to be able to hit in the clutch today. Getting the hits is one thing, clutching up is another. Lou's gotta get in the guys' heads about getting that clutch knock.
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