The Cubs snapped their eight-game losing streak by beating the Reds on Thursday, but they returned to typical form Friday, committing five errors in a 10-8 loss to Cincinnati.
Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson and Welington Castillo all had miscues on a very windy day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had five errors for the first time since committing six on Sept. 12, 2006 against the Dodgers.
Besides the errors, the Cubs had two wild pitches and a passed ball, they had two runners thrown out on the basepaths (Alfonso Soriano at home in the third, Starlin Castro at third with no outs in the sixth) and they had an outfield collision on a ball that dropped in the eighth, giving Brandon Phillips a single.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty game for the Reds either, but they did take advantage just enough to snap their five-game losing streak. Jonathan Broxton nearly blew a 9-6 lead by giving up two runs in the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman came in to get the final out of the inning and send the Reds on to the ninth up 9-8. After the offense got him an insurance run, he pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.