The first inning of the game against Cincinnati on Saturday was indicative of the Cubs’ season so far. After giving up a double to Tyler Naquin on a pitch just above his shoe tops, Zach Davies made his pitch against Nicholas Castellanos. The Reds right fielder fought it off, sending a ball down the third base line toward David Bote. The Cubs third baseman made a pretty good play, keeping it out of the corner.
That was where the 2021 Cubs showed up. Had Bote held onto the ball it would’ve been first and second, one runner in scoring position, but the double play still in order, not undoable.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Bote instead tried to make a spectacular play at first, an ill-advised decision at best. He threw wild, causing Anthony Rizzo to have to track the ball down. Naquin, who had gone back to second, saw what happened and with his better-than-average speed, took off and rounded third to score ahead of Rizzo’s throw. The play at home allowed Castellanos to go to second.
It had all fallen apart, again!
Instead of first and third with no outs and no score, it was now 1-0 Reds with a runner on second and no outs. A disaster. The Reds were able to get Castellanos to third with less than two outs, and Mike Moustakas plated him on a sacrifice fly.
It was all too familiar. The 2021 Cubs can’t seem to get out of their own way.
The irony was, Davies actually appeared to be executing his pitches for the first time this year. And yet, even with him seeing some success as a starting pitcher, he was down two tallies early in the ballgame.
The Cubs managed to scrape together a gritty win, with Craig Kimbrel performing a magic trick in the ninth after allowing first and third with no one out. But the fact remains: Davies deserved better.
It’s been tough enough to find wins for the Cubs this year. These guys need to get out of their own way and stop giving their opponents extra chances to beat them.