Chicago Cubs Recap: Early three-run blast too much to overcome in loss

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs were flying high out of the All-Star Break at 14-3, but since the calendar turned August, a lot of the same issues plague the Cubs again.

A three-run homer by Buster Posey in the first inning put the Chicago Cubs behind the eight-ball right away. Unfortunately, they were never able to recover. Now 3-5 in August, the Cubs problems in the first half have once again resurfaced in August. First inning runs and the inability to come up with a big clutch hitter was the death of the Cubs, as the NL Central  tightens up.

Jose Quintana was much like what we have seen from him as a Cub. He struggled out of the gate, but then settled in nicely to finish six innings and technically record a quality start.

A three-run home run off the bat of Posey in the first proved too much for the Cubs’ bats. Quintana (6-10)  is now 0-2 in two career starts at AT&T Field with nine earned runs allowed.

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Once again, the Cubs offense was stymied by Ty Blach (8-7), who went seven innings of two-run ball. His outing marked one run better than his last outing, in which he allowed a trio of runs.

The bullpen was once again unable to prevent the Giants from adding on, killing any momentum the Cubs were trying to build up.

Offensively, the Cubs scarped across a few runs. Ian Happ drove in two on an RBI double and sac fly. Jon Jay also drove in a run via a groundout but the Cubs were unable to do much else. Anthony Rizzo bounced into his 15th double play on his 28th birthday, tied for 6th in the NL in that category.

Division Tightens

At this point in the season, the Cubs basically control their own destiny. Being a game and a half ahead of Milwaukee, the Cubs don’t need to worry about anybody else as look as they keep winning. The problem is they are not winning consistently.

Even though Milwaukee lost, the Cardinals and Pirates each won, meaning that just 3 1/2 games separate the top four teams in the division. With the schedule favoring the Cubs, there is still hope that they Cubs create some separation in the division. However, right now, it looks like it could come down to the wire. Only time will tell.

Next: Contreras wins NL Player of the Week

What’s Next

The rubber match is a matinee at 2:45 p.m. CT. Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.81 ERA) opposes Madison Baumgarner (1-5, 2.88). The game will be on CSN Chicago and 670 The Score.