That’s nine. In a row. And a series sweep. And four straight losses that followed an early lead.
The Cubs went up 2-0 early in this one thanks to actually notching some hits, including Kyle Hendricks driving in a run with a two-out single of his own. In the process, the Cubs FINALLY ended their 20(!)-game streak of eight or fewer hits. Just one team had a longer streak in the last century, so it’s positive not to set that record, eh?
Hendricks held the Reds down all day, allowing just the one run on five hits and no walks (and the run arguably shouldn’t have scored, as Ian Happ really coulda/shoulda made the catch). He struck out five and got six groundouts. And, of course, HE had the winning RBI single early in the game.
The problem, of course, is that the bullpen is not going to hold every 2-1 lead like they have most of the season, and this time it was Dan Winkler – he of the 9th best ERA in baseball coming into this one – loading the bases with no outs, eventually plunking in the tying run, and then having to get bailed out of the inning by Andrew Chafin, who allowed only one of the runs to score on a groundout. Lead gone, game over.
The Cubs mounted a mini rally in the 9th, getting two on against Amir Garrett, but Willson Contreras grounded into a double-play to end it.