Chicago Cubs: Team’s most glaring weaknesses on display in Dodgers series

(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers may not be a first-place team right now, but this weekend, the Chicago Cubs learned the hard way that the reigning World Series champions have all the pieces to go back-to-back.

After the Cubs no-hit Los Angeles in the series opener, the Dodgers came roaring back to take the next three games, taking advantage of lackluster Chicago starting pitching in Sunday’s finale at Dodger Stadium.

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On the national stage, Adbert Alzolay got shelled – with most of the damage coming via a Zach McKinstry grand slam in the second inning. He lasted just three innings, allowing six tallies in the loss.

"“To be honest, this one in particular, I just want to trash it and move on. I feel in my personal opinion, there are no good takeaways that I can take from this game,” Alzolay told “My body was completely out of rhythm today. I couldn’t find it. [I] just have to move on from this one and keep working for the next one.”"

In his two starts since returning from the IL with a blister issue, Alzolay has struggled, working to an 8.22 ERA, allowing seven earned runs in 7 2/3 innings of work. Opponents are slugging .645 in those outings – and if the Cubs have any chance at getting back on top of the division, they’ll need their young righty to get things figured out.

Chicago Cubs: Offense continues to sputter, fail to manufacture runs

Starting pitching was so-so in the series, especially after the combined no-hit bid. Jake Arrieta held his own on Friday, but Alec Mills flirted with disaster on Saturday and Alzolay was ‘off’ in the finale. Pair that with some bullpen struggles, something this team hasn’t dealt with this season, and it was a recipe for disaster.

But there’s plenty of blame for this series loss to go around. In the final three games of the series, Chicago tallied a total of five runs – as the Dodgers hung 16 on Cubs pitching. The offense has been feast or famine for much of this season. Really, it’s nothing short of a miracle the club has managed a .500 mark in June.

Next. Ian Happ has been wildly disappointing this season. dark

As a team, the North Siders are batting just .186/.251/.374 – with the second-worst OPS in all of baseball, better than only the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. In short, the bats haven’t gotten the job done. That’s an issue that goes back years, as we all know and, as has been the case in the past, the Cubs have a lot of work to do if they plan on remedying it before it’s too late.