In the second inning of the Cubs’ 11-1 loss to the Phillies Wednesday evening, this appeared on NBC Sports Chicago’s feed:
This one image sums up the game, doesn’t it? The entire team felt like “technical difficulties,” it would almost have been better to just look at that for the rest of the evening, and if this team doesn’t start playing better, we all will indeed be standing by for Blackhawks hockey. Their regular season begins October 10, a date on which we hope we’re watching a Cubs postseason game. But... (and I don’t think I have to finish that sentence)
Cole Hamels got himself a couple of nice ovations from Phillies fans, taking the field and also coming to bat, and ... man, I don’t know, could his mind have been on something other than pitching? It seemed that way. He just got pounded, nine hits in two-plus innings, and at one point simply failed to cover first base in an obvious situation to do so.
He did do this:
Really cool tribute by Cole Hamels. pic.twitter.com/LQskum0C1I— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 14, 2019
The “DPM” patch is being worn by the Phillies this year in honor of their chairman, David Montgomery, who passed away this past May. It was a nice thing for Hamels, who played nine and a half years for the Phillies, to do.
After the game Hamels had some gallows humor about his outing, his worst as a Cub:
Cole Hamels with some joking sarcasm, when asked about he and Jon Lester going through some struggles:— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 15, 2019
“I guess we’re both competing who can suck the most."
That’s all you can do, I guess, and pick up and try to do better the next time:
Maddon on Hamels: “He’s still working through some kinks of the injury. I just think he needs time. I know we don’t have a lot of time left-- but we do have time.”— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 15, 2019
Joe Maddon’s quote reminds me of the old Yogi Berra-ism, when talking about daylight getting shorter late in a baseball season: “It gets late early out there.”
You don’t really need me to go through the play-by-play here, do you? One thing to note: Alec Mills relieved Hamels with the score 6-0, walked Aaron Nola on four pitches, got a forceout and then served up a grand slam to J.T. Realmuto, ending any fleeting thought that the Cubs might come back. After that Mills threw pretty well, and finished the game, leaving me to post this note on Twitter:
Alec Mills' six-inning relief appearance is the longest by a #Cubs pitcher in a nine-inning game since Jamie Arnold (yeah, I know, who?) threw 6.2 innings in relief September 22, 2000 (Cubs won that game 5-4) @ckamka— Al Yellon (@bleedcubbieblue) August 15, 2019
Here’s the boxscore from that game. Check out the reason Jamie Arnold had to do that — Kerry Wood was just awful, throwing 70 (!) pitches and issuing eight (!) walks in less than two innings.
And here’s one more thing I spent some time doing while watching this game. You have no doubt seen the Southwest Airlines commercial where a ballplayer gets traded four or five times. (I’d post it here, but the video doesn’t appear to be online anywhere.) At one point there’s a scene where you see him standing in front of what appears to be a scoreboard in a minor-league park:
Well, of course I wanted to sleuth out what park that is. I figured it had to be one in the California League, because several of those teams are located close to metro Los Angeles, where a lot of the ad agencies who film these TV spots are located.
The rocket on the left side of the scoreboard is the giveaway. It’s The Hangar, home of the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League:
The JetHawks are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, and the park is about 60 miles from the metro Los Angeles area.
There, have I distracted you enough from last night’s loss? Hope so. Here, have a Cubs highlight [VIDEO].
KB’s 24th home run was his longest of the season:
So there’s that, anyway.
The Cardinals and Brewers both won Wednesday, and trust me, if you don’t already know how, you don’t want to know. That put the Cardinals in a virtual tie for first place, one percentage point ahead of the Cubs, and the Brewers trail by 1½ games.
The Cubs will try to salvage one game from this series... you’re probably getting tired of reading those words regarding road series and I am certainly getting tired of typing them... Thursday evening in Philadelphia. Yu Darvish will start for the Cubs and Drew Smyly will go for the Phillies. Game time is 6:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via WGN, with the game carried nationally on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Phillies market territories.