If not for one bad inning, José Quintana‘s night probably turns out much differently. Sadly, we can’t just arbitrarily erase innings we don’t like. The Cubs starter got the first two outs pretty quickly and everything looked great. Then he allowed a single and things went bad.
Quintana threw 20 pitches to the next four batters, 15 of which were balls. He walked three straight to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead and it looked like he was going to have a short outing. Luckily, he settled down and gave the Cubs a fighting chance.
Unfortunately, the Cubs squandered a few chances on offense, which is something they’ve been known to do.The bullpen was solid overall and did a great job keeping the Dodgers from scoring when they had men on second and third and no outs to maintain a 2-2 score.
But when the Cubs couldn’t get over on Kenley Jansen after putting men on first and second with no outs, well, that was that. A 2-5 road swing dented their momentum, but a nice homestand awaits after a much-needed day off Monday. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The inability to score runs doomed them. Quintana struggled at times, but he kept the Cubs competitive. If not for a Justin Turner throwing error in the top of the 6th, then the Cubs probably don’t score any runs. Joe Maddon also made a questionable decision to keep Quintana (who was at 92 pitches) in the game to start the 6th with Cody Bellinger leading off. That resulted in a long bomb to center and a short-lived Cubs lead, in addition to three straight well-hit balls in play.
Steve Cishek threw a 3-2 pitch to Chris Taylor to lead off the 8th that should have probably been called a strike. That allowed Taylor to reach base, which then allowed him to score the eventual winning run.
Victor Caratini pinch hit for Addison Russell in the bottom of the 9th with one out and men on second and third. On a night when Jansen clearly didn’t have it, Caratini was unable to make him pay. The infield was back, so all he had to do was hit it past the pitcher to drive Albert Almora Jr. in from third. Unfortunately, Caratini hit a weak, bouncing ball to Jansen’s left, which Jansen easily fielded and was able to throw out Almora at home.
Stats that Matter
- The Cubs went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, which doesn’t help improve their numbers in that department. It was more about the result than the approach tonight, as they made some good contact with RISP, including the last out of the game.
- The Cubs struck out 10 times while walking only once.
- The offense got no extra base hits.
- Almora went 3-ror-4 with three singles.
- Cubs pitching walked five while striking out only six.
The Cubs’ road woes continued tonight as they dropped yet another game and series away from the Friendly Confines. They are now a game behind the Brewers in the NL Central with a 39-31 record.
The Cubs have Monday off, which allows them to prepare for the two-game series against the White Sox at Wrigley Field. Cole Hamels will take the hill for the Cubs on Wednesday, while Ivan Nova gets the start for the Sox. First pitch will be made at 7:05pm CT.