Enhanced Box Score: White Sox 4, Cubs 3 – May 4, 2022

There’s a mini sweep for the White Sox at Wrigley Field. Didn’t have to be that way, but the Cubs can’t seem to pull anything out right now. After the early homers from Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom, the bats largely went to sleep. It was so briefly fun to watch this offense grind. Feels like months ago at this point.

Not gonna say the Cubs “deserved to win” this game, but whooo boy. The Cubs had some rough batted ball luck in this one throughout, on both sides, maybe best exemplified by the 106.3 mph, 23-degree, 407 foot Willson Contreras … fly out to the wall in center field (good catch, Luis Robert) that would’ve given the Cubs the lead in the 6th. A couple feet this way or that way and it’s in the basket. (Insert your deadened-ball comment here.) Meanwhile, the White Sox got their decisive runs on a soft groundball through the shift and a blooper that barely fell in. Different bounces, and the Cubs win this one by a run or three.

As has become obligatory with Kyle Hendricks, there were home runs – including one in the first inning, naturally – and there were also stretches where he was executing extremely well. Overall, his pitch locations looked pretty decent to me on the night, though there was plenty of hard contact, just two strikeouts, and enough traffic on the bases that a couple weak hits with two outs scored the other two runs off of him. Not as bad overall as he was in his ugliest outings this (and last) year, but clearly the White Sox were still seeing him reasonably well.

I’m just concerned. Been concerned for a long time now. If this is what the results side of the ledger looks like when I feel like (1) Hendricks didn’t pitch all that poorly, but (2) wasn’t totally just unlucky, then … that seems like a problem, right? Like, if tonight was the average version of Hendricks – where a good bounce or two means a two-run quality start, and a bad bounce or two means four runs and not getting through six – it’s a real bummer. Unsurprising given the issues we saw last year and what we know about aging curves, but a bummer. I don’t want to go too far down the long-term rabbit hole tonight (Hendricks wasn’t even really “the story” of the game), but it’s what was striking me as I watched.

The Cubs’ bullpen kept them in the game, once again, but the offense couldn’t do anything after the early innings. They had a great chance in the 8th with runners on first and third with nobody out, but Yan Gomes lined out to short, Seiya Suzuki popped out to the catcher, and Ian Happ struck out.

Full box score.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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