Alec Mills’ performance tonight was a lot like his season as a whole. It started off a little shaky, then he legitimately found his rhythm, and finally, he was trusted just long enough to see it all come crashing down.
After going six-up, six-down with three strikeouts between the 4th and 5th inning tonight, Mills went out to face the meat of the Pirates order for the third time … and left with the bases loaded and nobody out. Adam Morgan, who came in to relieve him, almost got out of it with just one run crossing the plate on a sac fly, but a triple cleared the bases and all three runs were credited to Mills’ account. All told, Mills’ ERA ballooned up over 5.00 tonight on a 5.0 IP, 7H, 6ER, 2BB, 4Ks effort. Too much hard contact, too many elevated balls in play. Just like we said before the game.
There were some other shaky relief moments in there tonight, but that’s basically how the Cubs lost this one, despite a top-five in their own order that collectively went 10-20 with four walks, two doubles, and six RBI (plus, each of Happ, Schwindel, and Duffy had some really well struck/should-have-been-hits that found gloves tonight).
Some bright stuff? Nick Martini had a really nice game (4-4), Frank Schwindel had another two hits plus a walk (momentarily pushing OPS over 1.000 for the year), and Ian Happ was on base a couple times, tickling a .750 OPS, himself.
That’s seven losses in a row for the Cubs, who are inching closer to the Nationals for the sixth pick in the draft with five games to go.
The Cubs need pitching.