The ratio of positive to negative things to recap this week is pretty lopsided, and not in a good way for the Cubs. The team went 2-4 over their two road series vs the Rockies and Cardinals. Getting shutout twice vs. and old Adam Wainwright who is struggling this year and a rookie Rockies pitcher who carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning.
Game two of Tuesday’s double-header was the last time a Cub got a hit with a runner in scoring position, and only Jon Lester, yes Jon Lester, has driven in a run since Wednesday that wasn’t a home run. RISP continues to be really bad so far and hopefully will improve soon.
The Cubs also have 30 errors now…30! A team that is supposed to be really good defensively is flubbing routine play after routine play and it continues to hurt the team. Willson Contreras has seven errors and one that almost cost the Cubs the game on Friday when he threw away a dropped 3rd strike (Rizzo also could have caught it but it was not a good throw). Even the wizard Javier Baez has five errors already.
Arrieta lost both games this week and now has a 5.44 ERA. Not good for him wanting to get paid next year. While the pitching has improved as a whole, it still is not good seeing a guy like this struggle so bad. Justin Grimm was also sent to AAA has he posts a 7.53 ERA so far this year.
Lets get to the few good things. First of all in the 8-1 victory vs. the Rockies, John Lackey pitched 7 innings of shutout ball with 10 Ks which is by far the best a starting pitcher has done for the Cubs this season. The last pitcher to have that kind of game at Coors Field was Pedro Martinez in 1997. Not to mention Bryant homering and now boasts a .299/.401/.949 slash (he missed the entire St. Louis series due to illness).
Also some impressive and much anticipated debuts from RHP Eddie Butler and IF/OF Ian Happ. Butler won his first game as a Cub vs. the Cardinals on Friday going 6 innings with six Ks and no runs. Ian Happ hit a two-run homer in his MLB debut Saturday in a 5-3 loss and also had two more hits in Sunday’s 5-0 loss.
Now the Cubs are sub.-500 at 18-19. The Cubs have a homestand facing the Reds, Brewers and Giants. It is time to get back on track.