After handling Chicago White Sox ace Lucas Giolito yesterday, the Chicago Cubs were looking to do the same against the struggling Ivan Nova today. The first time these two teams met last month, Nova took care of the Cubs, throwing five innings of one run ball.
Similarly in today’s game, Nova breezed through the Cubs lineup (5.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB). After a quiet first three innings, the Sox gave Nova some run support with home runs in both the 4th and 5th innings. The Cubs worked to come back from a three run deficit but were unable to close the gap. (Box Score).
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs’ bats were quiet today, unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position against Nova and throughout the entirety of the game. The White Sox bullpen was able to limit the Cubs offense to just one run following Nova’s departure, and the crosstown rivals ended with a split 2019 series.
Eloy Jiménez homered in the bottom of the 4th inning to score the first two runs of the game. The White Sox were able to tack on another in the 5th and the Cubs were unable to overcome the small deficit.
Stats that Matter
- The Cubs continued their RISP woes, going 0-8 today. Coming into the game, the team combined for a .252 average with runners in scoring position (3rd worst in the NL)
- Kyle Hendricks struggled with pitch efficiency in his second start back from his IL stint. He finished with a line of 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER (1 HR), 6 K, 2 BB. He threw 86 pitches, 53 of which were strikes
- The Cubs committed their 65th error today (Robel Garcia) tying them for the fourth most errors in baseball
Offensive inconsistency in run scoring opportunities has been a regular storyline for the Cubs and it was present today. Thankfully, the Brewers (just 0.5 GB in the NL Central coming into today) have been slipping as well lately. The Cubs need to regroup this week and come back strong for the second half, displaying the sense of urgency that was talked about all offseason.
The Cubs will have the next four days off as they have reached the halfway point of the season. However, you will be able to tune into Javier Báez, Willson Contreras, and Kris Bryant represent the Cubs at the All-Star game on Tuesday, July 9th. The first pitch is at 6:30pm CT and it will be broadcast on FOX.
The Cubs will resume regular season action on Friday, July 12th when they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. Yu Darvish has been announced as the Cubs starter while the Pirates have yet to announce who will open up the second half on the mound for them. The first pitch is at 1:20pm CT and the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago.