One rough inning. That’s all it took for Marcus Stroman and the Cubs to drop this one. The second inning saw Stroman go double, wild pitch, strikeout, double, groundout, walk, balk, homer, single, lineout. Four runs were in, and that was that. The Giants tacked on a solo homer late off of Michael Rucker, but the damage was already sufficient.
Multi-hit days for Alfonso Rivas and Ian Happ, but otherwise it was a very quiet day on offense. Feels like that’s been the case for a while now, excepting that one blowout against the Reds.
Sean Newcomb pitched three very clean, very easy, very strike-filled innings after Stroman departed. When he’s right, it’s not hard to see a big league arm there (obviously, he has the pedigree and history). Like, if today was the only time you watched him, you might be forgiven for wondering why he’s not getting a look in the rotation. But other times he’ll come out, and although the fastball looks live, it’s either way above the zone or belt high. And although the cutter looks sharp, it’s not where it needs to be. When that happens, he’s pairing walks with hard contact, and the damage is exponential. In other words, it seems like command troubles, for him, make for a really wide chasm between his potential and his current results.
That is to say, I’m really not sure what the plan is for him even if he shows more good outings the rest of the way. Are the Cubs really going to keep him on the 40-man for the offseason, and then tender him in arbitration, knowing that he’s going to make well over a million? That’s hard for me to see. It would require some kind of special knowledge that they are thisssssss close to getting their arms around his command troubles. I guess we’ll see. Dude looked good today, no lie.