The Cubs jumped out to an early lead that lasted less than an inning, after which the Giants authored an offensive onslaught aided by 11 walks. The Cubs, meanwhile, struck out 11 times while walking just once. It took seven pitchers to get through nine innings after Zach Davies was chased two frames in, and three of those pitchers walked at least three batters.
Pretty, this game was not.
It appeared for a moment as though the Cubs might have been able to rally, scoring a pair of runs on three straight two-out hits, but the Giants put up a sixer in the 5th and put it in cruise. Other than Frank Schwindel picking up three more hits, the offensive highlight of the game had to be rookie reliever Scott Effross collecting his first career RBI on a sac fly in the bottom of the 9th.
Effross also led the Cubs with three strikeouts over 1.2 innings and has now punched out 10 batters in 7.1 frames (12.28 K/9) with no walks. With nothing left to play for in terms of the postseason, seeing some of the new guys step up and prove they belong is a good reason to watch. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Giving up 15 runs kinda hurts your chances, but it was over when Davies got pulled before the start of the 3rd inning. This was the fourth straight game in which he failed to complete five innings, the first two of which were actually solid performances.
With one down and men at the corners in the bottom of the 9th, sidearm specialist Effross dug in to take his hacks. There was no way he was going anywhere but oppo standing as far from the plate as he did, but his fly to right was all the Cubs needed to close the gap to 11 runs.
Stats That Matter
- Schwindel had three more hits and is now batting .344 on the season.
- Willson Contreras drove in a pair of runs and looks like he wants to destroy every pitch thrown his way.
- The Cubs walked just once while their pitchers issued 11 walks, which is just gross.
The Giants are a really good team that looks like the 2015 Royals, what with their collection of solid veteran hitters throughout the lineup. It’s a little odd to see so many guys having career years well into their 30’s, but we’re late enough in the season that it’s not a fluke. As big as the home run ball has been for them, it’s also clear that they know how to score runs in other ways. Of course that team is going to beat even a hot Cubs squad.