Another tight loss for the Cubs is not what the heart needed after Thursday’s painful loss and last night’s drubbing.
The heart also didn’t need to see Jake Arrieta come out of the gate with the same lack of fastball command that has plagued him recently, cost him two runs in the first, and over 30 pitches. Although he rebounded nicely at times, flashing periodically premium command, it was not a good night overall. The second two runs that Arrieta gave up came on a blooper where he made a very good pitch and could easily have ended the inning. But that blooper came after Arrieta walked Alejandro De Aza, who was sporting a 27 wRC+ at the time. Arrieta didn’t have perfect luck tonight, but he also didn’t have solid, consistent command. Whatever mechanical adjustments are being worked on through these starts, they will have to continue. The good news is we’ve seen Arrieta come out of his command troubles before – and the guy he was on the other side was something truly special.
Offensively, the two homers were nice, but the Cubs failed with runners on base yet again. In the series, they are now an incredible 0-17 with runners in scoring position. Just a few hits in that stretch, if they came in games one and three, and this series could be entirely different. And if ifs and buts were candy and nuts and shut up about it.
Also, if you were watching, you were complaining about the strike zone. It was one of those nights that it was pretty hard to not notice some really brutal calls, and it sure didn’t seem two-directional. But, as usual, (1) I hate to “blame” the strike zone for a loss, because so many other things can change a game, and (2) I don’t like to bust the zone until I see the hard data the next day. We’ll see.
In any event, it was yet another loss for the Cubs. This is a very bad stretch, my friends.