5/24 Reds 7, Cubs 4
Scott Feldman hit his first career home run, a two-run shot, but he also served up a pair of homers as the Reds posted a 7-4 victory Friday night over the Cubs, who lost their fifth in a row. Joey Votto hit a solo home run with one out in a five-run fourth, which included a three-run homer by Ryan Hanigan on a pitch Feldman would like to have back.
The Reds trailed 3-0 heading into the fourth when Votto, a more experienced home run hitter than Feldman, collected his eighth of the season. Brandon Phillips then singled, and moved up on a wild pitch and errant throw by Dioner Navarro. Todd Frazier walked, although Feldman thought he had struck him out on a 3-2 pitch, and Xavier Paul followed with a RBI single. Hanigan then hit a three-run home run to go ahead, 5-3.
“[Feldman] was one pitch away from another good outing,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “A 3-2 hanging curveball [to Hanigan] — that seems to be our motto lately is one hanging off-speed pitch in situations where we can do anything with a baseball with the pitcher coming up. We’re making bad mistakes at the wrong time in situations where we don’t have to even throw a strike.”
Reds starter Bronson Arroyo followed Hanigan in the lineup, and Feldman got him to fly out to right but the damage was done.
“It really was a bone-head pitch there,” Feldman said of the curve to Hanigan. “We had the pitcher on deck and the one thing that could hurt us right there was giving up a home run. That one stings a little bit. It did come down to that one pitch, and I wish I had it back.”
Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-5, and now is 0-for-22 in his last five games. Since he signed the seven-year, $41 million contract extension on May 13, Rizzo was batting .143 (6-for-42) with one home run and three RBIs.
“I guess you can call it different things,” Sveum said of Rizzo’s funk, “but he’s not taking his walks, he’s just kind of swinging, guessing. There’s a lot more movement than he normally has at the plate.”
Could Rizzo benefit from a day off?
“I guess a lot of people could do that right now,” Sveum said.
The Cubs have had their patience tested. They’ve had 41 of their 47 contests decided by four runs or less.
– Carrie Muskat