For a while Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, it appeared the Chicago Cubs might be no-hit for the first time since Cole Hamels did it to them in July 2015.
The @CubsNHS_Bot Twitter account has been faithfully counting up all the games since then, 899 regular-season Cubs games entering Saturday’s contest.
Kris Bubic of the Royals no-hit the Cubs, allowing just one walk, through six innings, but a rain delay might have thrown him off his rhythm and the no-no was broken up in the seventh, the 900th straight game the Cubs have had at least one hit since Hamels’ no-no. The Cubs, however, could do no more than that and lost 4-2. It was the team’s 12th straight loss at Wrigley Field, tying the franchise record set in 1994.
First let’s talk a bit about Keegan Thompson’s return to the rotation for his first start for the big-league Cubs since May.
I wish I could tell you he was outstanding, but he struggled through both the first and second innings, allowing a run in each. Thompson ran up some long pitch counts and eventually completed four innings, allowing five hits and two runs, with a pair of walks and one strikeout. He threw 73 pitches (46 strikes). I’d grade that outing a “C”; overall it wasn’t good, but Thompson did work his way out of a jam in the first inning with two out and the bases loaded (after wild-pitching in a run), and again in the second with two out and two on.
He’s a work in progress. I still like his repertoire and mound presence and obviously, we will see more of him going forward.
The Cubs had another run-scoring play go against them by video review in this one. In the top of the fifth with the Royals up 2-0, the first two Royals went down easily. Andrew Benintendi singled and then this happened [VIDEO].
Royals manager Mike Matheny asked for a review based on the collision rule, per MLB’s official @MLBReplays Twitter account:
Top 5th - @Royals challenge call that there was no violation of the HP Collision Rule; call overturned, it was a violation of the HP Collision Rule, runner is safe. Powered by @Mitel. pic.twitter.com/1XddaK5aD0— MLB Replays (@MLBReplays) August 21, 2021
This is nonsense. That’s not a collision; how else is Robinson Chirinos supposed to tag Benintendi? In any case, the review went against the Cubs and after the third out was recorded a loud chorus of boos came from the announced crowd of 34,005.
This sums up that play:
Just before the top of the seventh began, a brief rain shower and lightning in the area delayed the game for 34 minutes, and Royals starter Kris Bubic apparently lost something during the delay, because when the inning finally got under way he immediately walked Frank Schwindel and then Patrick Wisdom broke up the shutout and no-hitter with his 20th home run of the season [VIDEO].
The Cubs could do no more, though, and this is just the fifth time in franchise history that the team scored two runs on only one hit — but the first time the single hit was a home run. Here are the other four such games — three of which the Cubs won! The last one was just over 50 years ago:
It’s the second time the Cubs have been one-hit this year; the other was long before the selloff, April 6 by Freddy Peralta and two Brewers relievers at Wrigley.
Does the no-hitter happen if not for the rain delay? Maybe. Bubic was dealing and Cubs hitters had little clue with him. But having to sit for half an hour before that seventh inning might have been just enough for him to make that mistake to Wisdom.
The Cubs and Royals will wrap up their series Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Alec Mills will start for the Cubs and Carlos Hernandez is the scheduled starter for KC. Game time is again 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.