Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/2/19) – Cardinals 2, Cubs 1: Wainwright Gem Caps Cardinals Sweep

The Chicago Cubs attempted to avoid getting swept by the Cardinals in St. Louis Sunday. Cole Hamels was sharp and kept the road team in the game all afternoon. Unfortunately, his counterpart Adam Wainwright was even more effective and the Red Birds completed the sweep.

Both sides traded zeroes through the first four innings. The Cubs failed to get a hit, but did draw several walks off of Wainwright. The Cardinals finally pulled ahead in the bottom of the 5th inning without the aid of a hit. Jedd Gyorko walked, moving to third when he stole second and Willson Contreras sailed his throw into center. Kolten Wong hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.

Kris Bryant broke up the no-hitter with the Cubs only hit through the first seven innings. A Daniel Descalso walk and a Kyle Schwarber bloop single put two on with one down in the 8th. Bryant struck out and then a promising Anthony Rizzo liner was snared by a sprinting Wong on Wainwright’s 126th pitch.

Wong singled against Brad Brach, stole second. He scored on a Matt Carpenter pinch-hit single off of Mike Montgomery in the bottom of the 8th. That insurance run proved critical, as closer Jordan Hicks walked Contreras and gave up a single to Jason Heyward to put men on the corners with one out. John Gant got grounders from Addison Russell and David Bote to preserve the 2-1 win. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Lost

It’s getting to be a broken record – the Cubs again couldn’t come through with runners in scoring position. RISP hitting is really not a skill, overall batting average tends to match it pretty closely over a full season. Still, it sticks out like a sore thumb during a scoring slump like we’ve seen lately.

Key Moment

Rizzo’s liner in the 8th had a 94% chance to be a game-tying hit. Instead Wong somehow grabbed it and it resulted in another loss. Seems like that’s how everything is going lately.

Stats That Matter

  • Hamels was excellent in a tough-luck loss: 7 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 K, and 2 BB. That is one positive sign going forward from this game.
  • Rizzo was robbed twice by great catches from Wong and drew a walk.
  • Wainwright walked a career-high seven batters, but only gave up two hits, allowing him to survive undamaged.

Bottom Line

The Cubs are now 2-8 in their last ten games, a worse stretch than they began the season with. I wish I could tell you exactly why it’s happening. A combination of bad luck, slumps, and just regression to the mean after a red-hot stretch. Whatever the reason, hopefully they snap out of it soon.

On Deck

Chicago plays a make-up game against the Los Angeles Angels at 3:05 CT Monday. Jon Lester takes on former Cub Trevor Cahill, in contest televised on WGN with radio coverage on 670 the Score.

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