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Rockies 7, Cubs 3: Can’t anyone here play this game?

The Cubs lost, and looked bad doing it.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs fashioned a nice early lead Wednesday afternoon and all looked well, as if the team was going to meatloaf this series and head into their off day with a victory.

That’s not what happened. What food would you call losing two of three? On second thought, maybe we don’t want to know. The Cubs lost the game 7-3 and the series to a very bad Rockies team, though they sure didn’t look that bad the last two evenings.

This one did start out well for the Cubs. Christopher Morel led off the game with a double and Nico Hoerner singled him to third.

Morel scored on this sacrifice fly by Cody Bellinger [VIDEO].

The Cubs might have scored more runs in the first, but Nico was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning [VIDEO].

Yes, yet another runner lost on the basepaths. This has become an unwanted theme of late, and it really has to stop. Later in the game Nico stole his 40th base of the year, but it did not result in any runs.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the second, but could not score, as Pete row-Armstrong struck out and Morel hit into a force play [VIDEO].

The Cubs extended the lead to 3-0 in the third. Hoerner and Bellinger singled. Dansby Swanson doubled in Hoerner [VIDEO].

Bellinger took third on that double and scored on this sac fly by Seiya Suzuki [VIDEO].

Swanson also flashed some glove with this nice play in the bottom of the third [VIDEO].

Credit to Bellinger on that play, too.

Jameson Taillon, thanks in part to that defense, breezed through the first three innings. He allowed a run on a walk and a couple of singles in the fourth, but... well, that’s not so bad, is it? A 3-1 lead after 4, Taillon looking pretty good. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, and it all happened in the fifth inning. A one-out single was followed by a two-run homer by Nolan Jones — the guy who got robbed twice by PCA Tuesday evening. That tied the game 3-3. But Taillon recorded the second out on an infield popup and then got the third out on a fly to left.

Oh, wait. No, he didn’t. [VIDEO]

You have to make that play, Ian Happ. It’s not routine — Happ had to run after it — but it absolutely should have been made.

Elehuris Montero followed with a homer to make it 5-3.

So Taillon, again, finishes with a line that isn’t awful but isn’t good, and again, beyond the dropped ball by Happ, you have to finish off that inning and remain tied.

Two more Rockies homers in the seventh, one by Kris Bryant off Hayden Wesneski and one by Ryan McMahon on Drew Smyly’s very first pitch in relief, made it 7-3.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Yan Gomes and Morel flied out and no runs scored. In the ninth, Nico led off with a single — his fourth hit of the game — but the next three hitters were routine outs and that, as they say, was that.

Beyond all the miscues, I just cannot understand how a team that’s a pretty good offensive club can go into a hitting environment like Coors Field, facing the league’s worst pitching staff (854 runs allowed entering Wednesday) and score just 12 runs in three games. That’s just not going to cut it. They will have to do better going forward.

Only one of the Cubs’ competitors for postseason spots played this afternoon. The Giants were losing, late, to the Guardians, so that’s good. Beyond that we can only wait and hope that the Brewers, Phillies, D-Backs, Marlins and Reds all lose tonight. The Cubs have come back from looking bad like this to win games a number of times this year. Now they’re going to have to do that again.

The Cubs will have Thursday off, a really needed off day, before beginning an important series Friday evening against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Justin Steele is the scheduled Cubs starter, but the D-backs, who have an afternoon game Thursday against the Mets in New York, do not currently have a starter listed. If they keep on their current rotation, Brandon Pfaadt, who was the “bulk guy” last Sunday at Wrigley Field, could get the call. Game time Friday is 8:40 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network (and MLB Network outside the Cubs and Diamondbacks market territories).