The Chicago Cubs were hoping to build on a solid win yesterday, but instead sloppy play and poor pitching doomed the Cubs in a 6-1 loss.
Anthony Rizzo returned to the leadoff spot for the Chicago Cubs and promptly got hit by reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. Kris Bryant then drove a ball off the wall in right field to score Rizzo, and the Cubs were in business. Or so it seemed. This time the 1-0 lead did not hold up.
Jake Arrieta was far from the pitcher we saw in his last start when he went seven quality innings. Instead, Arrieta had no command and the Nationals, specifically Trea Turner, took advantage of the Cubs battery by swiping four bases. In total, the Nationals tied a franchise record with seven stolen bases. Arrieta walked six in just four and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs.
More from Cubbies Crib
- 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
The Nationals didn’t slug their way to a win. Instead, they played small ball, scoring four of their six runs off infield hits and errors by the Cubs defense. Of course, the Cubs offense didn’t help as well.
Cubs Offense Lifeless
The Cubs offense mustered only two hits however, there was some tough luck. Throughout the first several innings, the Cubs made solid contact off Scherzer, but only Bryant and Tommy La Stella were able to get a hit. Regardless of the score, it’s hard to win a baseball game on two hits. It also doesn’t help when the average age of the Cubs lineup is 24, and only Miguel Montero is over 30 in the starting lineup.
As we’ve seen too often, the Cubs defense was shaky again. La Stella did not look good at second. He waited back on a ball hit to him in the first that led to an infield hit and then made a bad throw a few innings later that resulted in another run. Montero continues to remain unsuccessful in throwing out base runners. The Nationals stole seven bases although not all were Montero’s fault. Three of those seven steals were uncontested though. Montero also committed an error when attempting to throw out a base runner.
Facts from the Game
On a more positive note, Arrieta recorded his 1000th career strikeout tonight. The Nationals also tied a franchise record with seven steals.
From a bullpen standpoint, Felix Pena had one of his best outings of his young career. He tossed three shutout innings out of the bullpen, allowing just two hits.
This will be the fourth time this season the Cubs have been limited to just two hits. They did win one of those four games.
The Chicago Cubs (39-38) send John Lackey (5-8, 4.74 ERA) to the mound tomorrow night. Lackey is coming off back to back quality outings and looking to get the Cubs back on the right track. The Nationals (46-31) will counter with Stephen Strasburg (8-2, 3.57 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 from our nation’s capital.