The Cubs lost to the Phillies 13-3 Monday evening at Wrigley Field, their 10th consecutive defeat, the longest losing streak for the team since the awful 2012 Cubs lost 12 in a row.
I was sorely tempted to leave those words as the only content to this recap, but you do come here after each Cubs game for my thoughts on the game, some information and highlights, and so you shall get some, though “highlights” of this one would probably not be the right word. Pretty much, this is going to be a rambling collection of random thoughts, so let’s get down to it.
First, let me ask you a question. Are Adam Morgan and Kohl Stewart major-league pitchers?
Here, I’ve got the answer for you: “No, no, they are not.”
That’s the situation the Cubs have themselves in right now, having to call up guys who should either be in Triple-A, on the waiver wire, or maybe playing in Japan or Korea, to fill in bullpen slots. I’m sure those men are fine fellows and are nice to their mothers and love animals, but they should not be in major-league uniforms.
Yet, here we are, with David Ross calling on those two to help preserve what was only a two-run deficit going into the eighth inning, a deficit that perhaps even this freefalling Cubs team might have been able to overcome. You already know by looking at the final score above to understand these moves did not work.
Random thought No. 2: What do major-league umpires have against Patrick Wisdom?
He was called out on strikes in the first inning, again, as has happened several times over the last week, on a pitch that wasn’t anywhere near the strike zone:
The Cubs had the bases loaded and one out at the time. Perhaps they might have made something out of that inning if that call had been made correctly. Wisdom appears to actually have very good strike-zone judgment. If only the plate umpires making calls when Wisdom is at bat had the same.
That, and a couple other egregiously bad calls by plate umpire Nic Lentz, got David Ross tossed from the game in the sixth inning [VIDEO].
Here is the proper take on that pitch and Ross’ ejection:
That was correctly called a ball. Good to see Ross finally showing some intensity though.— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) July 6, 2021
It’s not as if the bad calls we’ve seen during this losing streak have caused all the losing. But enough was enough for the Cubs manager. Here’s Ross on his ejection [VIDEO].
Random thought No. 3: Zach Davies pitched all right, again, but not long enough or well enough to say that this was an outing that could have helped end the losing streak. Five innings, four hits, two runs... okay, I guess, and at only 75 pitches through five maybe he could have gone another inning but two of the first three hitters coming up in the sixth were lefthanded and there’s that managerial tendency to think, “I want a lefthander to face them” and sure enough, there’s Rex Brothers issuing that leadoff walk to Bryce Harper and seeing him driven in by Andrew McCutchen. That inning resulted in the 4-2 lead for the Phillies.
Here, have a Cubs highlight. Jake Marisnick homered in the second inning [VIDEO].
Random thought No. 4: What the heck was Nico Hoerner thinking in the fourth inning?
Situation: Nico on second, two out, Willson Contreras grounds to the right side and Phillies second baseman Jean Segura boots the ball. Willson is safe at first, but Nico rounds third and tries to score in a game that’s tied 2-2.
Now what would you rather have? Nico trying to score the lead run there, or having runners on first and third with two out and Kris Bryant — a hot hitter recently — at bat?
Hoerner chose the former. Look at this video, he’s out by at least 20 feet:
The Cubs had just three baserunners after that: a single by pinch-hitter Jason Heyward in the seventh (erased on a double play), a two-out single by Nico in the ninth when the Cubs were down by 10, and oh, yes, this home run by Javier Baez [VIDEO].
Big whoop, that turned a 10-2 game into a 10-3 game and then Eric Sogard came in to pitch. Again:
Games pitched in since the Cubs’ last win:— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) July 6, 2021
Eric Sogard — 3
Craig Kimbrel — 1
Well ha ha, position players pitching is generally entertaining, and the Wrigley pitch-speed meter said Sogard was throwing 68 mile per hour “fastballs” (though Gameday calls them “sliders” — they’re definitely not sliders), two of which were deposited into the bleachers for home runs.
Random thought No. 5: Welcome to the Cubs, Robinson Chirinos, at last! 21 years and three days after Chirinos was signed by the Cubs out of Venezuela, he made his first appearance for the major-league squad, inserted to catch in the eighth. His first Cubs at-bat came in the ninth, and he struck out to end the game.
In those intervening 21 years, he was traded away (10 years ago in the Matt Garza deal) and played for the Rays, Rangers, Astros, Rangers again and Mets. He’s got 86 career home runs and a decent 12.5 bWAR career, and that has to be the longest gap between the Cubs signing a player into their organization and that player’s first MLB game for the team.
The Cubs dropped under .500 for the first time since May 16, when they were 19-20, and they are now 4-16 since they reached their high-water mark for the season (38-27) on June 13. They are saved from having the worst record in baseball over that span only by the pathetic Diamondbacks, who are 3-17.
There will be another Chicago Cubs baseball game tonight. Watch if you dare. Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Cubs and Aaron Nola is scheduled to start for the Phillies. Game time is again 7:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.
I will have more to say about this Cub team’s collapse later this morning.