Chicago Cubs: A tale of two games for the team so far in Cincinnati

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Team didn’t get the job done with runners on

On Thursday, the Cubs went 4-for-11 (.363) with runners in scoring position. But in Friday’s loss, the club went 1-for-10 (.100) – repeatedly squandering what looked like strong opportunities. At the end of the day, it wound up proving costly.

The Cubs’ five through nine hitters were pretty much dead weight, going 0-for-20 in the game. As a team, the Cubs managed just five base hits on the night – walking four times and striking out 13 times.

More from Cubbies Crib

Nicholas Castellanos provided the only spark for the offense, blasting a solo shot to center field in the early innings to get things going. Chicago’s only other tally came when Anthony Rizzo got hit by a pitch from Amir Garrett in the eighth, pulling the Cubs within three runs at 5-2.

"“When your team has gone to the playoffs four years in a row,” said Maddon, “it’s hard to accuse them of a lack of hunger. What I have seen this year is teams have caught up. That’s what I’ve talked about. It’s not the same sashay that we’ve had maybe a couple years ago to get there. It’s tougher."

There’s little doubt this Cincinnati team has improved. All you have to do is look at the rotation they’re trotting out in this four-game set. Former Dodgers lefty Alex Wood took the ball in the opener, Bauer shut down the Cubs on Friday and Maddon’s club has two tall tasks lined up for Saturday and Sunday in the form of Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo.