John Lackey (7-4, 3.29 ERA) has certainly seen better days. He got walloped in the fourth and fifth innings – charged for seven runs – before being pulled with one out in the bottom of the fifth. It was his shortest outing of the year and ends a streak of ten consecutive quality starts.
The Chicago Cubs (48-25) were unable to bounce back from those two innings on Saturday and they end up losing this one to the Miami Marlins (40-35) by the score of 9-6 (Box Score).
The Cubs got things going early on Saturday, pulling out to a 4-1 lead by the end of the third inning on the back of a Miguel Montero solo home run and an Addison Russell three-run laser over the left field wall.
The fourth and fifth innings saw the Cubs surrender six runs, and the Marlins had the lead for good at 7-4.
The Cubs managed to scrap together a couple more runs in the eighth and ninth innings, and even had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, making it intriguing if only for a moment. That was all the Cubs had and all the Marlins needed to get the win.
Stats that mattered
- Lackey with his worst outing of the year – 4.1IP, 7R, 7H, 3BB, 5Ks, 1HR
- Willson Contreras continues to bust out and was, again, right smack in the middle of everything – 1-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 2BB, 2B
- Jason Heyward is getting up to bat regularly with men on base but he’s struggling. His season average is now a lowly .229 and his Off is -5.7 – that’s bad this early in the season. Joe needs to find a way to get Jason swinging the bat more effectively.
- Addison Russell had another solid game and he’s 8-for-17 over his last five games, but on Saturday he gave his most complete performance over that period – 1-for-3, 2R, 3RBIs, 1BB, 1HR
The Cubs have now lost five of their last six games and are 13-10 in the month of June. Not exactly the performance that Cubs’ fans were expecting to get in the final full month before the all-star break. The Cubs are getting dangerously close to losing the infamous title of best record in baseball. But baseball is a game of a lot of ‘close’ and the Cubs will break out of this funk. They’ve endured a lot of injuries this season and Joe has mixed and matched players quite well. The exposure that young players like Willson Contreras and Albert Almora are getting to big-league pitching will pay off in spades come September and October.
The Cubs look for the series split behind the arm of Jason Hammel (7-3, 2.55 ERA) on Sunday at 12:10 PM CDT.