The Cubs win streak ended at five games after the White Sox took the last game of the series at Wrigley Field. Still, the Cubs’ overpowering week keeps them within one game of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers and just half back of the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
Kyle Hendricks took the L despite earning a quality start in six innings of four-run work (three earned runs). Despite the loss, Hendricks looked sharp in striking out six batters and walking none.
The Cubs had Lucas Gioloto on the ropes early in the 1st inning by going up 2-0 on a Javy Baez single to center, but the White Sox starter ended up with the W. Gioloto walked seven — yes, seven — batters and gave up three runs in his 5 2/3 innings.
The offense just couldn’t string enough hits together, and the Northsiders actually mustered only three total base knocks (Box score).
Why the Cubs Loss
Simply put, the Cubs’ sloppiness lost them this game. Willson Contreras overthrew Anthony Rizzo on a pickoff attempt in the 3rd inning, allowing Adam Engel to advance to third base. Yolmer Sanchez immediately made the Cubs catcher pay by singling home Engel to tie the game up at 2-2.
Ian Happ knocked in a run to put the Cubs up 3-2 in the 4th inning, scoring Kyle Schwarber and advancing Addison Russell to third on the double. But the next at-bat, Hendricks chopped one to third base and Russell was caught in a rundown between home and third before being tagged out. That would prove costly, as a Nicky Delmonico triple would tie up the game at 3-3 in the 6th just before Matt Davidson would knock in the go-ahead run to put the Sox up 4-3.
An extra run in the 7th padded the Sox’s lead, and that’s all she wrote. Cubs lose 5-3.
Russell’s baserunning mishap was the blunder that cost the Cubs. On the very next play, Ben Zobrist grounded into an inning-ending double play. The Cubs still had a 3-2 lead, but that inning could’ve blown it wide open.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks walked no one and struck out six during six innings.
- Baez again knocked in two runs in the first inning. He leads the NL with 36 RBI.
- Brian Duensing’s 7th inning earned run was his first allowed this season.
The Cubs ended their otherwise impressive week with a true blunder. Nevertheless, they remain just one game out of the Central ahead of four games with the Atlanta Braves.