Having won five of their last six games, the Cubs came into this “four-game set” with the Braves looking to carry their momentum forward against more challenging competition. For much of the early innings, it was back and forth between the two clubs, both exchanging the lead via home runs. In the late stages, the Cubs were unable to capitalize on the few scoring chances that were presented that would have given them the lead (Box Score).
Why the Cubs Lost
Although they played neck and neck with the Braves for much of the early innings, Jose Quintana and the Cubs allowed too many early runs that proved to be unattainable to overcome. They were presented a valuable scoring opportunity in the 7th inning, but pinch hitter Willson Contreras and Tommy La Stella were unable to make anything happen.
José Bautista blasted a three-run home run in the top of the 5th inning to give the Braves a 6-4 lead. This deficit would prove to be too much for the Cubs to overcome against the Braves bullpen.
Stats That Matter
- Kris Bryant hit his eighth home run of the season in the bottom of the 3rd inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.
- Quintana struggled with his command early on in this ballgame, issuing three walks in just the 1st inning. He was able to escape though with only one run by notching back-to-back strikeouts of Ender Inciarte and José Bautista.
- Quintana (4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 BB) was unable to build upon his successes in his last two starts in which he posted a 0.90 ERA over 10 innings pitched.
- The Cubs bullpen was able to stop the bleeding following Quintana’s departure in the 4th inning. On the day, Steve Cishek, Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop, Justin Wilson, and Justin Hancock combined for 4.1 innings pitched, allowing no hits and notching three strikeouts against issuing five walks.
The Cubs were unable to keep up in this slugfest in which nearly every run was plated via the longball. Quintana’s command issues led to several Braves runs, ultimately too many to match.
The Cubs head to Atlanta Tuesday for a three game set as Yu Darvish gets set to make his return from the 10-day disabled list. He is slated to take on Mike Foltynewicz with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35pm CT. The game can be viewed on NBC Sports Chicago+.