This loss makes it twice now that the Cubs have held early 7-0 leads that resulted in blowout losses, with the first coming back on June 30 in Milwaukee. Kyle Hendricks was spotted a touchdown after the Cubs went wild and sent 12 men to the plate in the 3rd inning. Hendricks helped the cause with an early sac bunt and a subsequent single, but then he fell apart on the mound an inning later.
In what was surely one of the strangest performances you’ll ever see from him, the pitcher with normally impeccable control hit two batters and walked two more before being lifted just two outs into the 5th. He was charged with seven earned runs on six hits, three walks, and the two hit batters, though at least he didn’t give up a homer.
Every member of Philly’s opening lineup recorded at least one hit and the top six batters all had at least two RBI, so that’s fun. They struck out only six times as a team and could have really piled up the score had they driven in some of the 22 men left on base over the course of the game. The Cubs left 14, which tells you they missed out on several late opportunities, but they only struck out seven times themselves. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Having your starter implode and give up a seven-spot to tie the game is typically a bad sign and this was one of those cases. The Phillies gained confidence and ended up scoring runs against every Cubs pitcher other than Michael Rucker, who threw 1.1 clean innings with just a lone hit after relieving Hendricks.
Hendricks was tagged for a double by Bryce Harper to open the 5th, but the real trouble became apparent when he hit the next batter, J.T. Realmuto. Something just seemed off with the starter, who managed to get a groundout from Didi Gregorius before allowing five straight Phillies to reach. Hendricks then got a second out before walking Bryce Harper to end his day.
Stats that Matter
- Hendricks now has a 4.81 ERA on the season and has appeared tired in all but one of his last five starts.
- Frank Schwindel had two more hits and is now batting .341 on the season.
- Patrick Wisdom had a hit and drove in two as he find his groove following a prolonged slump.
- Dillon Maples had two strikeouts, making him the only Cubs pitcher with more than one in the game.
Like the Phillies’ caps, the Cubs had pee on their heads in this one. It just wasn’t a strong effort outside of one big inning, and now they have to head to Milwaukee for a weekend set against a team that is motivated to clinch a playoff berth.
As mentioned, the Cubs will peek behind the Cheddar Curtain for three games against a team with a magic number of only five. Making matters worse, the Brewers are probably going to honor Ryan Braun, who retired while his former team was facing the Tigers in Detroit. I’d say we can only hope the courier lost the invitation, but that would probably result in Braun ruining yet another person’s life.
First pitch is at 7:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.