The roller coaster of a season continues and the past week say highs and lows. After taking 3/4 from the Giants capping off a 7-3 home stand, it looked like the Cubs were finally starting to click. The stand was highlighted by 20 homers and a Jon Lester complete game four-hitter beating Johnny Cueto in an NLDS rematch.
Then, the Dodgers series happened. The red-hot Dodgers swept the Cubs at Dodger Stadium with the Cubs getting shutout in the first two games with only five hits. The only four runs scored total in that series and ironically off Clayton Kershaw. All runs driven in that third game vs. the Dodgers were homers by Rizzo, Baez and Contreras.
Seemed like a trip to San Diego to play the Padres would be what the doctor ordered, but not quite. In game one the Cubs lost 5-2 after stranding so many baserunners; walked 10 times and had three hits with the only two runs scored on a Heyward two-run single. Kyle Hendricks was perfect through the first few innings until giving up a grandslam to Hunter Renfroe and nothing went right the rest of the way.
There are some struggling averages on the Cubs right now: Schwarber (.173), Russell (.220), and Rizzo (.235) who are expected to do a bit better. Now an interesting not to look at is that the Cubs are 22nd in BABIP (.280) right now and has hit balls hard for out. Usually in a season, things work out and the BABIP numbers will likely even out within a long 162 game season though it is very frustrating right now. The most frustrating part is their .238 BABIP with RISP which makes the RISP situations really bad. Obviously the Cubs have to work on a better approach in that department, but some of it has been some bad luck…which will hopefully work out.
The biggest silver lining is that the NL central has been mediocre overall. The first place Brewers are 1.5 ahead of the Cubs and are the only team above .500 (27-24) on Tuesday morning. Cubs need to start really taking advantage of that and hopefully be more consistent.