The Chicago Cubs continued to struggle against the league’s worst team as they would fall 11-5 in the series finale on Sunday, allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to complete the three-game weekend sweep.
Philadelphia’s offensive explosion occurred just one day after soon-to-be traded Cole Hamels no-hit the Cubs – something that hadn’t been done in 50-years. Right-hander Jason Hammel was tagged for six runs across 3 2/3 frames prior to being pulled from the contest while outfielder Dexter Fowler and catcher David Ross provided a little run support.
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Both men went deep and Ross even made his second relief appearance of the season later on in the game. Ross recorded a 1-2-3 inning, just like he did in Milwaukee against the Brewers earlier in the year to keep his earned run average to zero.
I don’t know about you, but maybe skipper Joe Maddon should consider moving him to the bullpen. Not really.
It’s frustrating to see this once hungry team stumble out of the gate to begin the second half. If they have any hopes of catching the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Central – they’re going to need to step it up and get things figured out quick.
President Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer continue their search for pitching help and may even bring in an extra bat. Since Saturday’s no-hitter, Hamels has received some serious attention from both the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, who appear to be the favorite to land the veteran southpaw before Friday’s deadline.
While Hamels stole the spotlight, right-hander Johnny Cueto found himself being dealt away to the American League. The Kansas City Royals were able to come to an agreement on a package that included three left-handers in Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed being shipped off to the Cincinnati Reds.
Now that the Royals and Astros have landed themselves a solid arm, you would think the pressure would be on Chicago’s front office to get something done.
There’s no question that the Cubs should buy low and focus on what they have instead of going all-in on what appears to be a Wild Card opportunity.
Here’s more from around the league: