The Chicago Cubs wasted early scoring opportunities and a strong start from Jose Quintana, as they dropped the series opener against the Phillies.
On paper, it’s hard to swallow a 2-1 loss to a potential postseason foe. But, when you look at the numbers, it makes sense why the Chicago Cubs came out on the wrong end of things in Friday’s series opener.
The Cubs offense went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Their only tally of the night came on Javier Baez‘s 29th home run of the year. Aside from that, they just never could get that one hit in an inning to pick up some momentum. But, there were still positives on the night.
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Baez recorded a pair of hits, as did Albert Almora, Daniel Murphy and, believe it or not, Jose Quintana. Speaking of the lefty, he put together a stellar performance on the bump, tossing six frames of one-run ball. With the effort, he lowered his earned run average on the year down to 4.21 as he seeks to find some consistency heading into the final month.
The loss proves costly in the National League Central standings. Milwaukee scored early and often, topping the Nationals, 4-1. Meanwhile, Matt Carpenter stayed hot, leading the Cardinals to a lopsided 12-5 victory. That narrows the gap in the division.
Chicago leads St. Louis by just 3 1/2 games and the Brewers by four. Milwaukee also made some last-minute waiver deals, trading for Gio Gonzalez and Curtis Granderson, giving them further reinforcements for the stretch run.
But, the Cubs counter with the returns of both Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. The team’s two infielders make their return to the club on Saturday in Philadelphia. If Bryant can be what he’s been since breaking onto the scene, this offense could take a huge step forward.
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