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Giants 7, Cubs 2: The bad old days

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That wasn’t the way we wanted this road trip to begin.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I suppose the reason the Cubs’ 7-2 loss to the Giants Thursday night felt so bad is that the Cubs hadn’t had a defeat like this in quite some time.

Seriously — the last time before this that the Cubs had lost by five or more runs (a “blowout” as defined by baseball-reference.com) was a 10-0 thrashing by the Braves April 28. All but one of the eight defeats in May were by one run, and even the 5-1 loss to the Reds last Sunday felt like the Cubs could have gotten back into that game in the late innings.

Not this one, although it started out well. Zach Davies gave up a run in the second inning, but the Cubs got that one back and another when Joc Pederson smashed this two-run homer [VIDEO].

That one landed in McCovey Cove:

Pederson became the fourth Cub to homer into the water in San Francisco. The others: Robel Garcia (2019), Ben Zobrist (2016) and Corey Patterson (2004), quite an eclectic list. Patterson’s came in the game where Greg Maddux posted his 300th win.

In the first inning, Joc had been robbed of a homer by Steven Duggar on the first pitch of the game [VIDEO].

If that one goes over the wall, maybe we have a different game. But it didn’t.

It was good to see Pederson hit the ball with authority. His .385 slugging percentage so far in 2021 is far below his career SLG of .465. It would be great if he’d start hitting for power.

The Cubs had a 2-1 lead at that point, but Davies served up an RBI double to Giants pitcher Anthony DeSclafani to tie the game in the fourth. DeSclafani had been 0-for-20 this year and was on an 0-for-40 streak going back to 2019. Really, you can’t do that.

Pederson’s home run was it as far as Cubs highlights are concerned; they didn’t score further and Davies got into trouble in the fifth inning. He was running a high pitch count anyway (he wound up throwing 93 in all) and likely wouldn’t have gone past the fifth even if he had gotten out of it. But after allowing two singles and a walk, he was removed for Rex Brothers, who promptly served up a three-run homer to Brandon Crawford. That would have been worse, too, had Willson Contreras not picked off Alex Dickerson earlier in the inning.

Dillon Maples, who had also been solid much of this season, threw two innings and allowed a pair of runs to the Giants in the seventh, and that was pretty much that.

I realize there isn’t much to this recap, but there wasn’t much to this game from a Cubs standpoint and let’s just hope this one was an aberration and they get back to winning Friday night in San Francisco. Fortunately for the Cubs, the Cardinals also lost Thursday, so the Cubs continue to lead the NL Central by 1½ games. Keep an eye on the Brewers, too: They defeated the D-backs Thursday night and trail the Cubs by just two games.

Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Cubs as they try to even the series Friday. Logan Webb was supposed to start for the Giants, but they placed him on the 10-day injured list Thursday and at this writing they don’t have a listed starter for Friday’s game. It could wind up being some sort of bullpen game for them. Hopefully the Cubs can take advantage.

Game time Friday is again 8:45 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.