Cubs Fall Short, Unable to Produce Clutch Hits; Magic Number Stays at 7

The Chicago Cubs (90-51) had plenty of chances today with runner’s in scoring position – 10, in fact – but they were able to produce only one run all day and no hits with RISP. They fell just short against the Astros (75-67) by the score of 2-1 (Box Score).

John Lackey was great today, with the exception of the third inning, where things got wild. He gave up a solo home run to Alex Bregman, followed by back-to-back singles and a safety squeeze bunt to score the Astros’ second and final run. The Astros finished 0-for-3 with RISP.

On offense, the Cubs just couldn’t convert with runners on base. And, although they were held to only two hits, they had plenty of chances. They earned six walks and had runners in scoring position ten times. The only run they scored was on a Willson Contreras sacrifice fly to drive in Jorge Soler, who had walked and then advanced to third base on a Miguel Montero double.

Stats that matter

  • Lackey had a good outing – 6.0IP, 2R, 4H, 3BB, 5Ks, HR
  • The Cubs bullpen, Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards, were very good again – 3.0IP, 0R, 1H, 1BB, 3Ks
  • Not a lot of offense today, for the second straight game. Only two hits.

Bottom line

The Cubs had a tough time, again, with Astros pitching. Granted, the Astros are fighting for a Wild Card spot and are certainly playing with a sense of desperation, while the Cubs are cruising towards the Division title, but this game was their’s for the taking. It’s tough to watch an offense as potent as this Cubs team have trouble converting runners in scoring position. Something they’ll need to focus on going into the playoffs.

Next up

The Cubs close out the series against the Astros on Sunday at 7:05 PM CT. Jake Arrieta (16-6, 2.84 ERA) will be pitching for the Cubs.

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