The Rundown: Cubs Lose Slugfest, Starters’ Struggles Continue, Strop Leaves Team, Dodgers Duo Destroys Brewers

“In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
‘Til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains.” – Paul Simon, The Boxer

Instant Replay

Whatever had been ailing Cubs hitters has seemingly been cured, but the pitching failed Chicago far too often in yesterday’s heavyweight bout with the Reds that ended in a 13-12 win in extra innings by Cincinnati. The North Siders shed plenty of blood, sweat, and tears in losing for the seventh time in their last 10 games.

Though it was wonderful to see the Cubs break out the bats, the pitching, particularly the starters, continues to trend downward. Trevor Williams couldn’t escape the 3rd inning in yesterday’s loss and his ERA now sits at an even 6.00 on the year, which is par for the course with regards to the entire rotation. The Cubs have really struggled to play complete games under David Ross and yesterday was a prime example. That’s no shot at the manager by the way, as it’s been a continuing trend since the All-Star break in 2018.

Things don’t get any easier as the Dodgers come to Wrigley Field for a three-game set on the heels of destroying the Brewers to end a three-game losing streak of their own. Kyle Hendricks will take on Walker Buehler in the 6:40pm contest and hopefully Hendricks will rid himself of his recent tendency to give up home runs. Chicago needs to string together a few wins, but that’s probably too much to expect against the reigning MLB champions.

  • The GoodKris Bryant hit two homers and is tied with Nick Castellanos, who also hit two, to lead the majors. J.D.Martinez and Ronald Acuña Jr. have also hit nine.
  • The Bad – Williams lasted just 2.2 innings before being knocked out after giving up six earned runs. Only the Pirates have averaged fewer innings per start.
  • The UglyIan Happ, who had his first multi-hit game of the year, had to be carted off the field after a scary collision with Nico Hoerner.

Cubs News & Notes

Climbing The Ladder

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Muhammad Ali

  • Games Played: 28
  • Total Plate Appearances: 1,048
  • Total Strikeouts: 282
  • Strikeout Rate: 26.9%
  • Team Batting Average: .224

Odds & Sods

The Phillies and Cubs are trending poorly right now.

How About That!

Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks is has a forearm injury that has the club somewhat concerned.

The Mets and Phillies played the most bizarre game of the year yesterday.

Yankees starter Corey Kluber earned his 100th career win this weekend.

Max Scherzer held the Marlins to just five hits in a complete game 3-1 win, and then joined his wife at the hospital for the delivery of the couple’s third child.

Giants infielder Tommy La Stella was forced to leave yesterday’s game due to an injured hamstring.

This is one of the greatest baseball dating stories ever.

Sunday’s Three Stars

  1. Matt Beaty and AJ Pollock – The Dodgers dynamic duo, both backups, combined to go 7-for-12 with five runs, three home runs, and 15 RBI as Los Angeles blasted the Brewers 16-4 in Milwaukee.
  2. Nick Castellanos – Big Nick Energy was the difference as the Reds out slugged the Cubs yesterday. Castellanos was 5-for-6 with two home runs and four RBI.
  3. Kris Bryant – The Cubs third baseman also blasted two taters, giving him nine on the season and a share of the major league lead.

Extra Innings

If Anthony Rizzo is looking to prove value in any future contract negotiations, perhaps notching a save or two as a “looper” could give him a leg up in those discussions.

They Said It

  • “We really need to do better as a rotation, and we know that. We really do. It’s something that has been addressed as a group, and it’s something that will be addressed going forward. And it’s something that we just need to get going as a rotation.”Trevor Williams
  • “[Happ] feels fine. Got a pretty good blow to the face. I did talk to Ian [afterward]. He’s in good spirits.”David Ross
  • “Fun game. Just each team taking one good swing after another, putting points on the board.” Nick Castellanos

Monday Walk Up Song

Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly & The Family Stone – What a fantastic weekend, weather-wise, at least.

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