The Chicago Cubs (52-32) struck quickly in the bottom of the second inning with back-to-back run scoring hits by Addison Russell and Miguel Montero – a double and a single – to take the early 2-1 lead. Ben Zobrist would add a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and it felt like the Cubs may sneak away with the win over the Cincinnati Reds (32-54) behind the spot start of Adam Warren.
For his part, Warren pitched a great game, as much if not more than Joe Maddon could’ve expected. He stuck around for five innings until Trevor Cahill replaced him in the sixth.
Fast forward to the seventh inning and Trevor Cahill got in trouble. He gave up back-to-back one out singles and then a three-run basket-shot home run to Tucker Barnhart. The Reds add another insurance run in the top of the eighth inning and beat the Cubs 5-3 (Box Score).
Stats that mattered
- Outstanding effort by Adam Warren – 5.0IP, 1R, 3H, 6Ks, 1HR
- The bullpen was not good – 4.0IP, 4R, 5H, 3BB, 5Ks, 1HR
- Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo were the only Cubs’ players that got on base more than once, both due to getting walked.
The Cubs are literally limping into the all-star break. Losing two-of-three to the lowly Cincinnati Reds sure feels like it should be the bottom of whatever the Cubs are going through but the boys still have four more games until the break. So, I guess it could get worse.
Playing 24 straight games heading into the all-star break is, no doubt, a tough stretch for the Cubs, particularly since they’ve been dealing with so many injuries. They’re now 8-12 over that stretch with four games remaining, three against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who’d love nothing more than a series win against the division leaders. And don’t look now but the Pirates have won seven straight games and are playing their best baseball of the season.
With the division lead now down to 8.5 games and a huge series coming up against the Pirates, the Cubs need to pull from deep down inside and kick start their offense to avoid letting the Pirates right back into the division race.
The Cubs have a make-up game on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves (28-57), another game the Cubs should win and the only team in the National League with a worse record than the Reds. Game time is 7:05 PM CDT with Jason Hammel (7-5, 3.45 ERA) taking the hill for the Cubs.