Before we get into the meat of the Cubs’ 5-2 loss to the Padres Monday afternoon, let’s have a look at one of the few Cubs highlights of the game. Addison Russell flashed some glove in the first inning:
It was all downhill from there. The Cubs had loaded the bases in the top of the first on two walks and a hit batsman and Jason Heyward lashed a single into right field for a 2-0 lead.
That’s good! (The rest of this recap, not so much.)
Then they loaded the bases again in the second inning. Russell led off with a triple and two more walks filled them with two out, but no Cub scored.
That should have been a warning sign for the rest of the game. Kyle Hendricks actually started this game off extremely well, retiring the first 10 Padres he faced (including that fine play by Russell shown above).
Then Hendricks fell apart in what seemed like about 15 seconds. Two little dinky singles and a hit batsman (and it looked like the Cubs might have had a beef with Ryan Schimpf, because he didn’t appear to make any effort to get out of the way of the pitch) loaded the bases for the Padres with one out.
Maybe the Cubs can study what other teams are doing with baserunners, because Hunter Renfroe then un-cleared them for San Diego with a grand slam, and suddenly it’s 4-2 Padres. The Padres added another run in the fifth when Russell and Javier Baez couldn’t quite turn an inning-ending double play.
The Cubs loaded the bases again in the seventh on walks. At least one run’s going to score here, right?
Maybe the Cubs can study what other teams are doing... wait, you’ve read this before, right? Heyward hit into an inning-ending double play.
This game can be summed up in three numbers:
- 10 walks
- 11 men left on base
- 1-for-10 with RISP
You’re not going to win too many games doing that. The Cubs walked 11 times May 7 against the Yankees, but of course they had 18 innings to do so that night. The 10 bases on balls give the Cubs the N.L. lead with 203, small consolation (I seem to be writing those last two words fairly often these days). That’s 4.06 walks per game, a pace for 658, which would break last year’s franchise record of 656.
But they have to get these runners home!
Russell made another fine defensive play in the seventh:
Fun facts about that one:
Addison Russell covered 118ft on his catch in the 7th. https://t.co/u85hDF3A2v— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 29, 2017
Fun facts, though, aren’t going to get the Cubs back on track. This was their fourth straight loss, dropping the Cubs back to .500. It clinched both a losing road trip and losing month of May for the team. The Cubs last had a losing month in July 2016 (12-14) and last had a losing May in 2014 (11-16). Fortunately, the Brewers and Cardinals both also lost Monday, so the Cubs remain 1½ games out of first place in the N.L. Central. This is hardly an insurmountable deficit, but the Cubs are simply going to have to start bringing all those runners home. (Yes, I repeat myself. Again.)
The Cubs did get good bullpen work out of the just-recalled Justin Grimm (two scoreless innings, one hit, no walks, two strikeouts) and Brian Duensing (a scoreless eighth, one hit and the only walk issued by Cubs pitchers on the afternoon), who’s been really good for the last month or so.
They’ll try to even up this series in the only night game of the set, Tuesday at 9:10 p.m. CT. Eddie Butler goes for the Cubs and Dinelson Lamet for the Padres.