By: Alex Patt
It was another week of ups and downs for the Cubs as they completed a 3-3 road trip against two last place teams. They won the series in Cincinnati 2/3, but blew a late 2-1 lead in the third game which avoided a sweep. The MLB-worst Philadelphia Phillies were next on the agenda and the Cubs lost to them 2/3 and once again lost a lead in the finale that would have at least given them a series win. The Brewers surprisingly won 2/3 at Dodger Stadium against a team that already has reached the 90-win mark before September, and they are now 2.0 back of the Cubs.
The offense showed up for the most part of the trip, in Cincinnati they scored 22 runs in the first two games before only scoring two in the finale. In Philadelphia they were limited to one run in the opener and three in the finale while scoring 17 in their one win. It was another odd case of the Cubs scoring most of their runs in a series in one game. Anthony Rizzo continues to stay hot, bating .409 on the trip and hitting two home runs in their 17-2 win on Saturday. Rizzo is currently slashing .275/.395/.919 with 30 home runs and 92 RBI. Tommy LaStella also had a two-homer game in Saturday’s win and is batting .400 his past ten games.
As for the pitching, it was fair. Jose Quintana got rocked on Friday night in Philly giving up six runs in five innings and John Lackey in the finale melted down in the 5th inning giving up five runs and four earned. Jake Arrieta did not get a win on Thursday but pitched 5.2 really good innings striking out eight. Pedro Strop on Thursday got two quick outs in the eighth but the Reds rallied for three runs to win 4-2 in a very tough loss. Kyle Hendricks pitched a great game on Saturday going 7.0 innings and only giving up two runs and even hit an RBI double.
The Cubs head back to Wrigley to take on the Pirates.