clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants 13, Cubs 3: The complaint department is OPEN

That game was one big mess.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

SAN FRANCISCO — I have a question.

What on Earth is Javier Assad doing on this roster if not for this exact situation, when a Cubs starter is struggling in the early innings, doesn’t have his best stuff and maybe at that point Assad can come in, throw three or four innings and settle things down?

Instead, David Ross put a sad parade of relievers out there in place of Hayden Wesneski and saved Assad for garbage time, when, predictably, he got lit up.

What is the point of that? Assad hadn’t thrown since Monday in San Diego, he could easily have come in starting the fourth, when the Cubs were down only 4-2, and maybe this game could have been salvaged. Instead, the Giants teed off on Brandon Hughes, Michael Rucker and Jeremiah Estrada and blew out the Cubs 13-3.

This game was really lost in the first two batters, when Wesneski hit leadoff hitter Thairo Estrada and then Joc Pederson smashed a long home run. Why not take Wesneski out then, David Ross? It was clear he was rattled.

Even at that, the Cubs managed to tie the game. Yan Gomes blooped a single leading off the third, moved to second one out later on a walk and third on a force play. Then he scored when Giants shortstop Casey Schmitt made two errors on this play [VIDEO].

One more run scored on a Giants misplay in the third. Christopher Morel beat out an infield hit and one out later, went to third on another single by Dansby Swanson.

Gomes beat this double-play relay and the game was tied 2-2 [VIDEO].

But Wesneski got hit hard again in the third, giving up a leadoff double to Schmitt and then an even longer homer to Pederson, one that landed in McCovey Cover for “splash hit” (as they call them) No. 101 since the ballpark opened.

Still — it’s only 4-2 and Giants pitchers have thrown 84 (!) pitches in three innings. Ryan Walker threw 19 more in the fourth, but the Cubs could not score. Oh, yes, even with those two runs scoring in the first three innings, the Cubs left six other runners on base, yikes.

Wesneski allowed the first two Giants to reach in the fourth. Michael Fulmer got out of it with only one more run scoring. Even at 5-2, this game might have been with in reach. THAT was the time for Assad to come into the game and eat up innings, not pitch when the Cubs are already down by seven in the seventh. I just didn’t understand it at all.

The rest of the game was Hughes, Rucker and Estrada getting hammered for five runs in three innings and I will spare you the carnage.

Overall the Cubs left 11 runners on base and went 0-for-15 with RISP and that’s even worse than usual. So bullpen failure AND RISP failure doomed this game to defeat.

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford threw the ninth inning, which thrilled the home crowd. Crawford is one of the most beloved players in recent Giants history and is their last link to their World Series winners from 2010, 2012 and 2014, and this is likely his final season at age 37. He walked Mike Tauchman and gave up a hit to Nico Hoerner but then retired three Cubs in a row — and not throwing the 40 mile per hour pitches we are used to seeing from position players pitching, either, he was hitting around 85-88 most of the time. Here’s the final out [VIDEO].

So that was entertaining, at least.

The way David Ross handled pitching today was not. And that is my complaint department for today, other than to say that if Justin Steele is, in fact, going to return to the rotation on June 17, I’d think Wesneski is likely headed back to Triple-A Iowa, with Keegan Thompson probably returning to help out a bullpen that could really use that assistance.

The Cubs went 4-6 on this tough West Coast road trip, which is... not terrible! 5-5 would have been better, of course, but the division-leading Brewers dropped out of that lead by being swept by... the A’s. I mean, come on. The Pirates defeated the Mets Sunday so they’re now in first place but you don’t believe that’s for real, do you? (Also, maybe the Cubs should send me on more road trips. I’m 4-1 in road games I’ve attended.)

The Cubs trail said Pirates by 6½ games and now will get a chance to play them head-to-head for the first time in 2023 beginning Tuesday at Wrigley Field. In fact, six of the Cubs’ next nine games will be against the Pirates, and after that stretch is over we should have a lot more clarity on where the rest of this Cubs season is headed. I will have some more to say about that on tomorrow’s off day.

So far, only the Tuesday pitching matchup has been posted: Jameson Taillon vs. Luis Ortiz. Game time Tuesday is 7:05 p.m. TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.