Well, folks, there are no silver linings to this one. After dropping the second game of the night to the Cardinals, 5-1, the Cubs again appear to be looking for serious answers to the same questions they’ve been asking over and over during the post World Series era.
Maybe playing all of these doubleheaders because of the Cardinals’ COVID-19 outbreak wasn’t such a good idea, after all. Now just 2.5 games up on the Cards in the Central, things probably wouldn’t look so dire if the Cubs weren’t without 40% of their starting rotation or if Javy Báez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo weren’t hitting so poorly
With both teams throwing a bullpen game and the Cubs trotting out a split-squad spring training lineup, the only hope was that David Ross‘s punt could be downed inside the five-yard line. Add in the fact that they DFA’d Steven Souza Jr. in between games after starting him in left field against a right-handed pitcher in the first game and this night just had all kinds of bad vibes.
The Cubs managed just three hits and a single run plated on a David Bote groundout against myriad relievers. The Cards, on the other hand, had no problem teeing off on Colin Rea, who lasted just two innings while giving up five runs, including bombs to Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Three hits doesn’t cut it most nights, certainly not when you’re throwing a bullpen game.
Even with their struggles, this one seemed to be over when the lineup card was written without Bryant, Rizzo, and Willson Contreras.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs were outscored 9-3 in the doubleheader and had just nine hits in the two games.
- The Cubs’ record now stands at 23-17 after jumping out to a 13-3 mark. That means they’re 10-14 since their hot start.
- The first five batters in the lineup were 0-for-14 in the nightcap.
- Duane Underwood Jr. hasn’t given up a run in his last five appearances. So there was one silver lining after all.
Despite the putrid results on Saturday, the Cubs are still in first place and still have a chance to win this series if they can win the last two games. Time to regroup and hope for Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks to be big the next two days.
The Cubs and Cardinals are the Sunday. night game on ESPN, with Lester taking on Dakota Hudson. Game time is 6:08pm CT on ESPN and 670 The Score if you’d rather.