I don’t get it. At all. “It,” of course, being the Cubs suddenly turning into the worst team in baseball when they play away from Wrigley Field. I mean, sure, teams generally play better at home, but this is getting ridiculous. The Cubs are prevented from having the worst road record in the National League only by the horrid Marlins, who are 20-36 away from home, while the Cubs are “only” 22-35. I should note that every team in the N.L. Central has a losing record on the road, which is... weird.
The Cubs brought their home white pinstripe jerseys with them on this trip and hung them up in the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park, to create some Wrigley Field vibe, I guess. Maybe they should ask MLB’s permission to actually wear them in road games. I’m joking. Mostly.
Kyle Hendricks, who is nearly unhittable at Wrigley Field, allowed 12 hits in fewer than three innings. That was, by far, the most he’d ever allowed in a start, and the most runs, too, making this the worst start of his career.
I don’t get it. A guy who was non-tendered by the Reds after six undistinguished minor-league seasons, re-signed to a minor-league deal last offseason, hits three home runs? How is that even possible? Aristides Aquino now has seven home runs in his first 10 major-league games, and against the Cubs he’s 6-for-12 with five of those home runs. It led to this sort of gallows humor:
Aquino was non-tendered by the Reds during their fan fest this past winter. Re-signed to a Minor League deal shortly thereafter. Now, he's the all-time career home run leader vs. Cubs.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 11, 2019
(Not really, but it feels like it.) https://t.co/havYv9lO4s
I don’t get it. A team that pounded the Reds for 19 hits and 12 runs just two days earlier manages just two hits in six innings off Sonny Gray? I mean, sure, Gray is a pretty good pitcher, but he’s not that good.
Dillon Maples, who allowed one of Aquino’s homers, and Alec Mills helped save the rest of the bullpen, so there’s that, at least.
Here, have a Cubs highlight. Kyle Schwarber smashed a home run [VIDEO] leading off the ninth to ruin the Reds’ shutout bid.
That was Kyle’s 27th of the season, and in case you care about these things, his 61st RBI, which matched his career high set last year.
And that’s a salient point. As poorly as the Cubs have played over the last two days, they still will leave Cincinnati in first place. And they do still have a chance to leave with a split in this series by winning Sunday afternoon’s contest, which will feature Jon Lester starting for the Cubs and Luis Castillo for the Reds. Game time is 12:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via NBC Sports Chicago.
That’s all I’ve got. Sunday’s game preview will post at 10:30 a.m. CT.