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Phillies 6, Cubs 1: It just wasn’t their night

The Phillies thoroughly dominated the Cubs in the homestand opener.

Kyle Hendricks did seem out of focus most of the night
Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks retired the first four hitters he faced Monday night. And Kyle Hendricks also retired the last seven hitters he faced Monday night.

It was the time in between those outs that resulted in a 6-1 Cubs loss to the Phillies that ended the Cubs’ four-game winning streak. Hendricks lost command, allowed three walks (at one point throwing a pitch so far out of the zone that Joe Maddon and a trainer came out to the mound) and a home run by Nick Williams that might have hit the video board if the wind hadn’t been blowing in at 24 miles per hour.

I’ll get back to the game in a moment, but first I want to talk about the tribute video the Cubs created for Jake Arrieta, who was at Wrigley Field Tuesday for the first time since signing with the Phillies.

Here’s the video, and Jake acknowledging the full house at Wrigley:

Now, the complaint department door is open. The Cubs made a terrific video and then failed to show it to a significant portion of the crowd. As you can see above, that’s the left-field video board. Up to 20 percent of people in the seats at Wrigley can’t see that board (almost the entire left-field bleachers and about the last seven or eight rows of most of the lower deck). Thus when I found this tweet showing the video, it was the first time I had seen it, since the Cubs didn’t run it on the right-field video board.

Fail, Cubs. Instead of the video, the team lineups stayed on the right-field board the entire inning break. The Cubs run videos on that board all the time, including their intro video every day, including before this game.

I applauded for Jake anyway, even without being able to see the video. But for me and the others in the park who couldn’t see it, that lessened the moment.

When Nick Williams hit that home run, the game was basically over, as the Cubs managed just one run all night. I could go into another discussion of how they failed to hit with runners on base, leaving RISP in the third, fourth, eighth and ninth innings, but this time I’m going to give some credit to Zach Eflin and two Phillies relievers, who did a pretty good job keeping Cubs hitters off balance. It didn’t help that Willson Contreras, who was on second base with one out in the second inning and the Cubs down just 2-0 at the time, ill-advisedly tried to take third on a short fly to center. He was thrown out to end that inning.

Cubs relievers Tuesday, Cory Mazzoni and Randy Rosario, held the Phillies to one run in four innings, which at least left the rest of the bullpen well-rested for Wednesday’s game. (I’m trying to find positives here, there weren’t many!)

There were two nice defensive plays turned by Cubs that are worth a look. First, this sliding catch [VIDEO] by Jason Heyward with one out and a runner on in the eighth.

And then, Javier Baez being Javy with this tumble into the seats [VIDEO] after catching a foul popup leading off the ninth.

Those didn’t have any impact on the result, but were fun to watch and generated some cheers from a game that had almost nothing to cheer about. The only Cubs run came in the eighth, when Kris Bryant singled with two out and Anthony Rizzo doubled him in. Rizzo had two hits on the night and since May 1 is hitting .315/.412/.570 (36-for-114) with eight doubles, seven home runs, 19 walks and 30 RBI.

Since every team in the N.L. Central lost Tuesday night, the standings remain the same, the Cubs in second place, trailing the Brewers by two games, but even with Milwaukee in the loss column (24).

The Cubs will try it again Wednesday evening at 7:05 p.m. CT. Jose Quintana will go for the Cubs and Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies. TV coverage Wednesday night is via NBC Sports Chicago Plus.