The Chicago Cubs ended the regular season with the best record by winning 103 games. However, they have hit a bit of a brick wall offensively against both the Giants and Dodgers. Two California teams who have not made things easy.
Yes, I’m aware that the Chicago Cubs have rallied late against both teams mentioned in the subheading of this article. But when you take a look at this Cubs team, you can’t help but notice the lack of offense.
Saturday’s pinch-hit grand slam off the bat of Miguel Montero was absolutely huge. In addition, Dexter Fowler followed up with a solo home run of his own, extending Chicago’s lead to 8-3 over the Dodgers.
Since then, the Cubs have been silent. Southpaw Clayton Kershaw took the mound against this powerful Cubs team on three days rest. Something that isn’t easy to do, especially for the Ace of a ball club.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
- Cubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel
- Justin Steele has evolved into a frontline starter for the Cubs
- The future of first base is murky right now for the Cubs
Kershaw cruised through this Cubs lineup, picking up a 1-0 victory to help even the series at one apiece. Now, the Chicago Cubs will travel out to California for the second time this month in hopes of recovering.
At the end of the game, one spot in the lineup stood out. The top of Joe Maddon‘s order went 0-for-11 against Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. If this team has any hopes of advancing to the World Series, they need to wake up.
Yet while it feels great to watch this team battle from behind late in the game, you can’t always rely on an eighth or ninth inning rally. For a bit, it looked as if the Cubs were zoning in on Kershaw, lifting pitches out to the warning track.
Close, Not Close Enough
What’s sad about last night is how well Kyle Hendricks pitched. No, he was nowhere near Kershaw’s level but he limited the Dodgers to one run. His location was off a bit after that big fly. Other than that, Hendricks pitched extremely well.
These Chicago Cubs hitters need to put themselves in position to score runs. They had a shot against Kershaw after Rizzo worked a walk. At one point, Clayton allowed two runners to reach but Jason Heyward was unable to capitalize.
Same goes for Addison Russell. Russell drove in 90 plus runs which are the most by a Cubs shortstop in a very long time. Heck, not even Starlin Castro managed to do that during his time on the North Side.
After Game 2, Russell is now 1-for-22 with three strikeouts. His only hit of the postseason came in the 6-5 loss to the Giants. This series is now going back to California, yet again, and it’ll begin with Jake Arrieta taking on former Cub, Rich Hill.
Hill is no Clayton Kershaw but he has pitched well this season, putting him in a position to be traded to a postseason contender. You can’t expect to win this series if your key hitters are not producing at the plate.
They will need to either figure it out, bounce back and silence their critics or prepare for another LCS exit. This is the postseason. In order to win ballgames, you need to be able to put together hits and drive in runs no matter who is on the mound.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Kershaw, Bumgarner, Clemens, Rivera, Ryan, or even Babe Ruth. If you can’t score runs when it counts, you’re not going anywhere. Game 3 on Tuesday.