The Cubs took the field for the final game of their series against the Detroit Tigers amid walkouts in solidarity with protests against the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jason Heyward was a “healthy scratch” from the lineup after he chose to join the athlete walkouts. He reportedly encouraged his teammates to play, and no other Cubs joined his act of protest.
After getting out to an early lead despite a slew of Tigers hits, the Cubs’ luck finally ran out. Ryan Tepera had compiled a run of eight consecutive scoreless appearances, but that ended in a big way and the Cubs weren’t quite able to overcome the deficit despite a late rally. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Jon Lester pitched well enough to record a victory, but the bullpen let him down. He exited with a 2-1 lead after five innings, but Rowan Wick and Tepera allowed five runs on seven hits in the 6th. This gave the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish.
The Tigers had runners at first and second with two outs in the 2nd inning when ex-Cub Jeimer Candelario stepped to the plate to face Tepera. Candelario drove a single into right field to bring Jonathan Schoop home and give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. The Tigers would go on to tally two more runs in the inning, giving them a late 7-3 lead.
After four straight hits and a sacrifice fly in the 9th inning cut the Cubs’ deficit to one run, Javier Báez and Kyle Schwarber were unable to find gaps in the Tigers defense, making the final two outs with a flyout and lineout, respectively.
Stats that Matter
- Lester bounced back from a poor start against the White Sox on August 21, allowing just one run on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 5.0 IP.
- The Tigers scored all of their five runs in the 6th inning with two outs.
- Nico Hoerner is getting hot after a poor start to the season, hitting .429/.579/.429 in the last seven games. He was 3-3 tonight with two runs scored and an RBI.
- Schwarber went yard in the 6th inning for his sixth homer of the year.
- After eight straight scoreless appearances, Tepera was tagged for three runs on five hits in 0.1 IP. His ERA for the season is now 4.63.
The Cubs dropped the rubber match against the fourth-place Tigers after doing well against lower-tier competition early in the season. More information is expected to be forthcoming about the Cubs’ decision to take the field after the Brewers-Reds game was postponed when players chose to sit out in support of the NBA walkouts earlier in the day. Look for this to be a major topic of discussion during the off day tomorrow.
The Cubs are next scheduled to take the field against the Reds at 6:10pm CT on Friday to open a three-game weekend series at Great American Ball Park. Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 3.55 ERA) will face Wade Miley (0-3, 9.72 ERA) and you can catch the action on 670 The Score or Marquee Sports Network.