This weekend, hopefully, marks the low point in the Chicago Cubs’ 2018 season. We look at the series and much more in Monday’s Morning Marquee.
To call this four-game series forgettable may be the understatement of the year. The Chicago Cubs suffered its first sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in such a series since 1983. Yep, you read that correctly. It’s been 35 years since a series played out as this weekend’s did.
Let’s hope it’s another three-and-a-half decades before we see it again.
For six innings, Chicago appeared set to at least pick up one win at the Great American Ballpark. But, alas, the Cubs allowed seven runs in the seventh inning – erasing a five-run lead. Cincinnati, now winners of seven straight, put a hurting on their rivals all weekend long.
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Thanks to two consecutive losses by the Brewers, the Cubs still sit just two games out in the Central. St. Louis trails Chicago by 2 1/2 games from there after that weekend showdown with Milwaukee.
Overshadowed in the loss? Mike Montgomery pitched well again. Through six innings, he allowed just one earned run. After allowing a trio of Reds hitters to reach to open the seventh, Pedro Strop came on in relief of Montgomery – and promptly allowed all three men to reach.
But let’s let the past be the past. No need to dwell on it – especially heading into Monday’s opener with the Los Angeles Dodgers. These two teams put on a pressure-packed series last week at Wrigley Field. Now, the battle shifts to Los Angeles as the Dodgers eye the Diamondbacks in the National League West standings.
Despite a poor 0-for-4 showing with a pair of strikeouts Sunday, Kyle Schwarber looks much better than he did one year ago. Why? It was just over 12 months ago the Cubs demoted him to Triple-A Iowa after a horrendous start to the 2017 season.
He’s notably improved in left field with the glove. His bat also seems more well-rounded, as opposed to the all-or-nothing approach we saw last year. Another contrast year-over-year? Last season, the Cubs’ young arms that bounced between Iowa and Chicago struggled. This year, it’s been a very different story.
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Right-hander Duane Underwood (0-0, 0.00) gets the ball in Monday’s series opener in L.A. opposite Kenta Maeda.