The Cubs lost to the Cardinals 6-0 Tuesday evening in St. Louis.
It was the second straight time the Cubs had been shut out, and sixth time this year.
I’m really struggling to come up with more to say about this game, because Tuesday was almost exclusively focused on the two trades the Cubs did make (David Robertson and Mychal Givens) and the two they didn’t (Willson Contreras and Ian Happ). I will have more to say about the latter a bit later this morning.
Even Marquee Sports Network focused on the deals/non-deals as an interview with Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer spilled over into the first inning, with the game broadcast put into a box on the right side of the screen and the audio kept from Hoyer’s news conference. This was clearly the right thing to do, as that was the big story of the day. Again, more on that later this morning. If you missed the news conference and would like to hear Hoyer’s remarks, it’s all here:
The Cubs did have a chance in the very first inning against Adam Wainwright. Rafael Ortega led off with a single, and after Contreras flied to right, Ortega tried to steal second as Seiya Suzuki struck out [VIDEO].
Ortega has now stolen eight bases this year and been caught seven times, which is a terrible SB rate. Someone ought to tell him to not try anymore.
Keegan Thompson did all right until the third inning, when Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run single. In the fourth, Happ provided the only real Cubs highlight of this game [VIDEO].
Happ stole a home run from Paul DeJong. This was only a precursor to the two home runs the Cardinals did hit in the fifth, a two-run shot by Dylan Carlson and a solo homer by Goldschmidt. It simply wasn’t Thompson’s night. He’s up to 93 innings this year, and the Cubs are clearly trying to manage those innings. For example, Thompson was originally slated to start the first game after the All-Star break, but was pushed back to take advantage of a couple of off days. The Cubs might wind up doing that again later this month.
Michael Rucker and Anderson Espinoza finished up the game, throwing 3x innings and allowing just one hit, a home run by Nolan Arenado off Espinoza. Both those pitchers were called up from Triple-A Iowa after the trades of Robertson and Givens and they’ll certainly be given extended looks the rest of the year to see if they fit on the 2023 Cubs. (Personally, I’d say Rucker = no, Espinoza = yes; I like Espinoza, who has a good arm, and if he can cut down on the walks he could possibly become a solid MLB reliever.)
That’s all I’ve got. The Cubs had seven hits, one of them a triple by Contreras, his second of the season.
Perhaps tonight will be better. The second game of this three-game set in St. Louis will feature Justin Steele starting for the Cubs and Miles Mikolas for the Cardinals. Game time is again 6:45 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.
A couple of site notes: As noted above, I’ll have further comments on the trades and non-trades made by the Cubs Tuesday coming up at 9:30 a.m. CT. Heroes & Goats will run at 11 a.m. CT, and I’ll also have some thoughts on the passing of the great Vin Scully later today, Today’s game preview will return to its “normal” posting time of 4:30 p.m. CT.