Bad defense keeps dragging the Cubs down this season. Friday against the Angels, with the Halos leading 3-2, Jeff Baker booted the first two plays of the seventh inning which lead to three unearned runs of Cubs’ reliever Bobby Howry. Then, in the Cubs’ coughed up another unearned run when, while fielding a bunt, Derrek Lee failed to hit Ryan Theriot in stride. The error went to Lee but Theriot may well have caused the miscue as he was late getting to the bag. While the final score read 7-6, it really shouldn’t have been that close. In fact the Cubs made a run at tying the game in the bottom of the ninth.
But, what makes this loss so tough is the Cubs’ 4-run bottom-of-the-ninth rally came up short because of the errors. Tyler Colvin knocked a three-run homer (his eighth) after both Ryan Theriot and Chad Tracy drew walks off Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez was pulled for Fernando Rodney. Rodney retired the next two but then gave up a solo homer to Derrek Lee (his 10th) and the Cubs pulled to within one. That was as close as they got, however, as Rodney put it away by getting Geovany Soto to ground out.
Carlos Silva’s record moves to 8-2 with the loss despite giving up just three earned runs walking none and striking out four. There was an odd moment in the top of the seventh when Silva–who had made the final out in the bottom of the sixth–headed back out to the mound to continue throwing but Lou Piniella ran out of the dugout to take his starter out.
Turns out that Silva had been cramping earlier in the game and after rolling one to short in his final at-bat, had trouble running to first. Lou had had Bobby Howry up in the bullpen and already told home plate umpire Ed Hickox that Howry was coming in. Lou said after the game that because of his cramping, there was no way he was going to run Silva out for another inning and risk a long-term injury to his starter.