The Cubs headed into the finale of their three-game set with the Giants hoping to avoid a sweep after what had been a very strong run against inferior opponents. Despite some poor defense that allowed Chicago to hang around Sunday afternoon, they could not pull out the late win.
Justin Steele gave up a lot of hard contact early on but managed to avoid extra-base hits as San Francisco put up single runs in three consecutive innings to take a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 4th. Austin Slater misjudged a Rafael Ortega fly ball, allowing it to drop for a gift triple. A groundout scored Ortega and Ian Happ followed with a solo home run to center to cut the lead to 3-2.
Steele finally allowed a big knock in the 5th inning, when Wilmer Flores launched a two-run homer to left. A nasty collision between Slater and Kris Bryant in right led to another gift hit and run for the Cubs in the bottom of the frame. Thankfully, both players appeared to be okay after the run-in.
The Giants added another run on a wild pitch in the 7th inning that would prove to be vital, as the Cubs rallied in the bottom half. A David Bote double and a Robinson Chirinos single cut the road team’s lead to just 6-5.
That’s where it stayed the Giants were able to close out the 6-5 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They had a couple of chances late with runners in scoring position but could not get that one big hit.
The Cubs had the bases loaded with one out in the 7th down by a single run. Willson Contreras struck out looking on a very questionable inside pitch and Alfonso Rivas followed suit to strand the bases full.
Stats That Matter
- Steele had about the results you would expect for as much hard contact as he gave up: 5 IP, 5 R, 11 H, 4 K, and 2 BB.
- Ortega had a pair of hits after some recent struggles.
- Rowan Wick had another two innings of scoreless work as he continues to impress late in the year.
Well, the Bryant return is now over and Cubs fans can officially return to looking to the future. Playing a quality opponent exposed Chicago’s rebuilding roster yet again and there’s nothing more to say about that except hopefully the roster will look better in 2022.
The Cubs head to Philadelphia for a three-game series with the Phillies starting Tuesday at 6:05pm CT. Adrian Sampson takes on Kyle Gibson in a game airing on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.