Chicago Cubs’ offense struggles again in 5-3 loss to St. Louis Cardinals

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 17: Starting ptucher Tyler Chatwood
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 17: Starting ptucher Tyler Chatwood /

The Chicago Cubs’ offense could not get the job done on yet another miserable night at Wrigley Field, falling 5-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals.

It was more of the same Monday night at Wrigley Field in a 5-3 loss for the Chicago Cubs (7-8).

The Cubs had their chances, though they ultimately left 11 runners on base. In fact, they hit just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Tyler Chatwood struggled for the second time in three starts, walking a whopping seven batters in  4 2/3 innings. He did strike out seven batters as well, but the free passes eventually caught up to him.

Chatwood walked two straight St. Louis Cardinals’ (10-7) hitters  to open up the second inning before striking out the next three. He was not as fortunate in the third, however, allowing two runs after walking two Cardinals to open the inning.

Matt Carpenter knocked in the game’s first run with a double that landed at the base of the right field wall. A subsequent groundout by Marcell Ozuna brought another runner home, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

The Cubs loaded the bases in both the third and fourth inning. Like their season as a whole to date, though, they struggled to bring runners in. They did get on the board via a Jason Heyward single, which brought Addison Russell home.

Chatwood walked two more in the fifth before Joe Maddon pulled him. His night ended at 97 pitches, with just 50 of those being strikes. Chatwood has now walked six, one and seven batters, respectively in his three starts this season.

Despite his struggles in throwing strikes, Chatwood limited the damage and kept his team close. Steve Cishek loaded the bases following two singles and a walk in the sixth. He managed to wiggle out of the inning unscathed, however.

Paul DeJong lined a home run into the left field bleachers in the eighth inning. A bases loaded single by Carpenter gave St. Louis a 5-1 lead; Javier Báez made things interesting with a two-run home run in the eighth, but that would be all for the Cubs.

Ironically enough, the Cubs squared up several pitches throughout the night, many of which went for long flyouts. One has to wonder how many of those outs would have been in the bleachers on a warmer night.

Ian Happ’s struggles continued, as he struck out three times to increase his season total to 25. Báez put together a nice night offensively, going 3-for-4 with a double, single and home run. His only out was a fly ball that would have left the yard, wind not being a factor.

Ben Zobrist, who was penciled in to lead off and play right field, was a late-scratch due to back soreness. Zobrist not playing comes on a night in which Anthony Rizzo returned from the DL due to a back injury.

The Cubs and Cardinals will be back at it tomorrow, weather permitting. The game is likely to be postponed, which would be the fifth such occasion for the Cubs this season.

Next: Who will step up for the Cubs?

Both teams have a day-off Thursday, so they could make up Wednesday’s game then, if needed. For the time being, though, it’ll be Jon Lester (1-0, 4.40 ERA) on the mound against Luke Weaver (2-0, 2.08 ERA).