Two days after hanging 15 runs on the Brewers, the Cubs bats fell silent again on Sunday in a 6-0 loss that was a one-run game until the ninth when the wheels totally came off.
Another stellar outing from Jake Arrieta was for naught as Chicago dropped the rubber match of the three-game set. The big storyline? The Cubs offense struck out 11 times, walked just twice and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon, giving us all a reminder that we’re bound to see plenty of these types of efforts this season.
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At one point, the bearded right-hander set down 15 straight Brewers hitters, dancing in and out of trouble on a chilly afternoon at the Friendly Confines. His six innings of one-run, two-hit ball lowered his ERA on the year to 2.57 – by far tops in the rotation. But none of that mattered because, once again, Brandon Woodruff silenced the Cubs bats.
"“Runs are going to be at a premium,” Arrieta told MLB.com after the game. “So, giving up one in the first and being able to squeeze my way out of it, I understood that that was about as much as I could give up, if we wanted a chance to win the ballgame.”"
The right-hander has started three contests against Chicago this spring – and David Ross’ lineup has looked utterly lost against him with the Cubs losing two of the three matchups.
- 3 GS, 19 IP, 1 ER, 11 H, 20 K, 5 BB
Cubs offense still lacks any real semblance of consistency
Despite scoring double-digit runs three times in the last week, the underlying issues that have plagued this team for years are clearly still at play. On the year, Chicago is batting just .213 – the second-lowest mark in the National League, better than just Milwaukee at .209.
The Cubs are middle-of-the-pack in terms of OBP and slugging percentage, which hardly comes as a shock. But they don’t manufacture offense all that regularly, and it’s proven costly. The team seems to either hang crooked numbers or be held to next-to-nothing and its signature trait has to be considered its inconsistency at this point.
A seven-game road trip kicks off on Monday in Atlanta. Let’s hope the offense finds a rhythm with Nico Hoerner in the mix – and comes back to Wrigley in early May ready to get hot as the weather heats up in the Windy City.