The only thing of real note to discuss from the Cubs’ 6-0 loss to the Braves Sunday afternoon is Kyle Hendricks’ poor outing.
Hendricks gave up a three-run homer to Travis d’Arnaud in the first inning. Okay, one bad pitch, we get that, but as Ian Anderson mowed down Cubs — only three baserunners in the first five innings, none past first base — it seemed as if three runs would be enough to win the game for the visitors from Atlanta. d’Arnaud’s ball hit Waveland:
Braves Travis d'Arnaud 3-run home run to Waveland Avenue ! Braves up 3-0. Only the 4th street homer of 2022. #cubs #wrigley #braves pic.twitter.com/ONf0upZm5Q— BALLHAWK.NET (@Super_Dave) June 19, 2022
Then Hendricks got hit hard in the fifth, serving up another home run and then after a groundout, three straight doubles. That was enough for David Ross and Hendricks was removed for Adrian Sampson.
Sampson’s outing is worth mentioning, too, 4⅔ innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts, 56 pitches (41 strikes). That’s really good pitching, of course, it meant almost nothing down by six runs. The way things are right now, it seems as if Hendricks is likely still bothered by whatever kept him out for 12 days and if he has to go on the injured list, Sampson could take his next start.
Here are some highlights of Sampson’s outing [VIDEO].
This is impressive:
Updated: 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K from Sampson behind Hendricks. Generated a dozen whiffs. https://t.co/qqyk70RQVu— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 19, 2022
What else do I have for you? Ian Happ had two hits and a walk and that’s the best offensive day for any of the Cubs hitters. Oh, and he made this nice catch in left field in the sixth inning [VIDEO].
As the headline says, the weather was perfect, 76 degrees with a light wind blowing in from right field, as it has been all weekend. With the awful weather conditions we had here in Chicago most of April and May, that, at least, was welcome to see at Wrigley Field.
All three games in this series came in at under three hours (2:40, 2:55 and 2:41). The last time the Cubs played three straight games in under three hours was last September 6-7-8 against the Reds (2:45, 2:49, 2:49). This is the sort of thing we’ll see often when the pitch clock is instituted, and honestly I can’t wait for that. The pace of play in all three of these games was excellent and it makes for a much better fan experience. I imagine the players like it better, too.
That’s all I’ve got for this one. Hopefully the Cubs can bring some of the winning baseball they played in the first two games of this series to Pittsburgh. They’ll open a four-game set against the Pirates Monday evening at PNC Park. Caleb Kilian will get the call in the opener against JT Brubaker. Game time Monday is 6:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.