Cubs put forth yet another embarrassing showing
By Jake Misener
It’s nothing short of a miracle the Chicago Cubs enter action Sunday at 4-4. The offense, which has been the worst in baseball by most measures, looked lost again in Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Pirates – managing just two runs on the night.
Never mind the fact Chicago tallied eight hits – if you’re not scoring runs, not much else matters and, as we all know, that’s been a huge issue for the team. David Ross’ club has scored three or fewer runs in half their games – and have been on the wrong end of the Pirates’ only two wins on the year.
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That fact – that the Cubs have struggled against a basement-dwelling team like Pittsburgh – is hardly confidence-inspiring. Quite frankly, this is a team you have to beat if you want to have any hopes of playing meaningful games late in the summer.
Zach Davies’ second start couldn’t have been more different from his Cubs’ debut. The soft-tossing right-hander turned in the worst start of his career, lasting just 1 2/3 innings and surrendering seven second-inning runs. This comes after Davies dominated the Bucs just last week at Wrigley Field.
"“They were able to make adjustments to the way I pitched in the first game,” Davies told MLB.com. “So, for me, it’s going back and seeing counts, seeing approaches, seeing the way guys take pitches off me, that’s something that I’ll study.”"
The Cubs’ pitching has been a strong suit in 2021 – without their solid performances, really, this team would likely find itself near the bottom of the NL Central. But on Saturday, Davies sputtered and put Chicago in a deep hole early – one that this offense had no chance of digging out from.
Cubs: Only Kris Bryant has looked solid at the plate so far this year
Only Javier Baez managed multiple hits – continuing a recent trend where few players have been capable of getting into much of a groove consistently. Kris Bryant laced a double and drew a walk, continuing his strong start and finishing the night with a team-best 1.005 OPS.
But the group, as a whole, struck out 14 times and drew just two walks while going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. On the year, Chicago’s .168 batting average ranks dead last in Major League Baseball and its .268 OBP is a mere two points from falling in the same category.
As has been the case, the offensive struggles stole the show on Saturday. Hopefully, the Cubs can start getting some sort of momentum coming out of Sunday’s finale at PNC Park before hitting the road for Milwaukee, where the team opens a three-game set on Monday.