In yesterday’s installment we went over some of the worst of the worst games the Cubs played before the trade deadline selloff.
The guys who replaced the traded Cubs did play some good games, as chronicled here. But they also had some rough ones. Here are the five worst in my view, in chronological order.
Another Kyle Hendricks misadventure. The Professor allowed 11 hits, nine runs and two home runs in four innings, the most runs Kyle had given up in any start in his career.
The Cubs trailed 16-1 when Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning, perhaps the most meaningless back-to-back homers in Cubs franchise history.
It was, at least, entertaining in the ninth when Andrew Romine pitched an inning with his brother Austin catching [VIDEO].
There were lots of NFL score jokes this season for Cubs scores — Dolphins/Bears, anyone?
In this game the Cubs actually had a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning on a homer by David Bote.
An 11-run second for the Marlins, the most the Cubs had allowed in an inning since the Mets had an 11-run inning at Wrigley July 16, 2006, seemed to put this game away.
Give the Cubs credit for at least trying to come back; they had the deficit cut to four in the ninth and the tying run on deck when Robinson Chirinos struck out to end it.
So, Bears vs. Bears?
This is another game where the Cubs took a huge lead in the first inning, this time 6-0, thanks in part to a three-run homer by Patrick Wisdom.
The lead was gone by the third, when the Sox put up eight off Keegan Thompson and Adrian Sampson. They might have scored again in the fourth if Michael Hermosillo hadn’t stolen a home run from Andrew Vaughn [VIDEO].
Eventually the Cubs went behind 13-6 after five — yes, 13 unanswered runs. Weirdly, they began coming back and had the deficit cut to 14-10 in the top of the eighth, but Yasmani Grandal hit a three-run homer off Ryan Meisinger to make it 17-10.
The Sox then put Craig Kimbrel in the game. Why? Who knows?
The Cubs hit two homers off Kimbrel, a solo homer by Wisdom and a two-run blast by Ian Happ. Austin Romine struck out to end the game.
Kimbrel vs. Cubs, 2021: 2⅔ IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 HR, 20.25 ERA, 2.625 WHIP
Kimbrel vs. all other teams, 2021: 57 IP, 13 R, 6 ER, 3 HR, 0.95 ERA, 0.737 WHIP
The Cubs led this one 1-0, but Zach Davies got pounded for five runs in the second, throwing 58 pitches to record six outs before David Ross had seen enough.
The Giants then took things out on poor Manuel Rodriguez, who faced five batters in the fifth. All of them reached base (two hits, three walks) and all of them scored, two of them after he left the game when Tommy Nance served up a three-run homer to our old buddy Tommy La Stella.
Scott Effross drove in the final Cubs run of this game with a sacrifice fly. Presuming we have the universal DH in 2022, that will be the last RBI by a Cubs pitcher, so here it is, memorialized forever [VIDEO].
To add injury to insult, this was the game where Jason Heyward suffered a concussion when Brandon Crawford inadvertently kneed him in the head during a J-Hey slide into third base [VIDEO].
Heyward missed the rest of the 2021 season.
This completed a trifecta the Cubs never wanted: Three games lost in a single season after being ahead at least 6-0.
They waited until the third inning for a seven-run outburst this time (the others had both been first-inning leads), the big blow in that inning a three-run homer by Matt Duffy. That was fun:
Matt Duffy entered yesterday with 25 career home runs in over 1,800 at-bats.— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) September 16, 2021
He’s hit two in the last two games off the Phillies bullpen.
The Cubs held that lead for one full inning!
After that, though, the Professor was again the victim, serving up seven runs to the Phillies in the fourth, although no homers this time.
I’ll spare you the rest of the carnage and just leave you with these notes on the historic nature of the Philadelphia comeback:
The @Phillies are the first NL team in the modern era to trail by 7+ runs in a game but end up winning by 9+ runs.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 17, 2021
Cubs on June 30: led 7-0, lost 15-7— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 17, 2021
Cubs tonight: led 7-0, lost 17-8
They are the only MLB team in the modern era to have 2 games in a season where they led by 7+ runs only to lose by 7+ runs.
Our SB Nation friends over at The Good Phight summed up this game quite well:
Holy crap these teams are bad— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) September 17, 2021
One last note: 2021 was just the fifth year in Cubs franchise history that they had given up 17 or more runs in at least three different games. The other such years: 2010, 1999, 1975, 1922. In 1922, the Cubs allowed 17+ runs four times — but won one of those games, 26-23. That is one of only six games in MLB history where a team has allowed 17+ runs and won. (One of them, of course, is the famous 23-22 Cubs/Phillies game at Wrigley Field in 1979.)
I’ll leave you with that and hope we have better times in 2022.
Which is the worst post-selloff Cubs game of 2021?
This poll is closed
August 12: Brewers 17, Cubs 4
August 13: Marlins 14, Cubs 10
August 27: White Sox 17, Cubs 13
September 11: Giants 13, Cubs 4
September 16: Phillies 17, Cubs 8
A different game not mentioned above (leave in comments)