The Rundown: Hendricks Hurt By Longball, Wada Still Feeling Shoulder Soreness, Jacob Turner Shut Down with Elbow Flare-Up
Well, you can’t win them all.
After a great stretch of wins, the Cubs dropped one to the Dodgers 5-2 last night. Kyle Hendricks was plagued by the longball, giving up a solo shot to Adrian Gonzales and a big three-run homer to Justin Turner.
Hendricks lasted five innings and gave up four hits to go along with the four runs. He has been a bit of a disappointment this year after a really nice rookie campaign last year.
The young righty has pitched more than six innings only twice all season — the last time coming on May 26, when he went seven against the Nationals. Aside from last Friday’s start, in which Hendricks gave up seven runs and 11 hits, he hasn’t been awful.
But it sure would be nice if he started pitching how he did last season.
In terms of offense, the Cubs had one good inning. They started the 5th inning with three straight hits, but then Anthony Rizzo hit into a double-play. The frame produced two runs, but that was the extent of the offense for he night.
With Jorge Soler and Dexter Fowler out of the lineup, we could be seeing a few more performances like this. Fowler pinch-hit again on Wednesday, so hopefully he’ll be back as a starter soon.
Back of the rotation
Let’s look past Kyle Hendricks’ struggles for the moment — what is probably more concerning right now is that fifth starter spot.
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada left Monday night’s game with what was called shoulder cramping, but is still feeling some soreness, Joe Maddon said Wednesday.
Gordon Wittenmyer writes that the Cubs may take a look at Donn Roach to fill in for Wada if he can’t go.
Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson are also options, but Maddon really seems to like Wood coming out of the bullpen (and for good reason — he has been great in that role) and Jackson isn’t stretched out right now.
So it sounds like Wada’s injury is more serious than simple cramping. Hopefully it’s nothing too dire, as the Cubs have very few starting options right now.
One option — Jacob Turner, who is rehabbing an elbow injury in Double-A — has been shut down after a “flare-up” in the elbow, Theo Epstein said yesterday.
This is disappointing, as I was hoping Turner would get a shot at starting this year. But at this point, it looks like the Cubs are going to have to go outside the organization to find an answer.
The Cubs’ front office seems to like to make trades well before the deadline, so maybe we’ll see something sooner than later.
Lester backs Papelbon
One guy who would welcome Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Cubs is Jon Lester, writes Patrick Mooney.
The two were teammates in Boston, and Lester says criticisms of Papelbon’s personality and how it would fit with the Cubs’ chemistry are off-base.
“I love ‘Pap.’ I always have,” Lester said. “We all kind of get different raps for what people see on TV. People think that I’m like the most serious guy in the world, but that’s my day, that’s important.
“When he’s out there, he’s hyped up, he’s out of his mind and he’s trying to get a save. So people just assume that’s the way you are every day. So I think he’s gotten a bad rap. I loved him in Boston. The guy’s a competitor. He never shies away from taking the ball.”
The Cubs, along with the Blue Jays, have been linked to the current Phillies closer, and it has been reported that Papelbon would favor coming to Chicago.
But dealing with the Phillies is never a sure thing, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
This is the end?
Chris Denorfia ended last night’s game getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Joe Maddon challenged the play, but the call wasn’t overturned. To me, the play looked very close. Probably was safe, but tough to overturn.
Maddon, however, felt a little more strongly about it:
On last play Maddon said it might have been worst non overturned call he has seen. #Cubs
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) June 25, 2015
I’m not sure I’ve seen Maddon so rattled about something in his short time with the Cubs, and it surprised me a bit. The play happened with two outs and the Cubs down by three runs, so he was probably frustrated with the game ending in that fashion.
Denorfia admitted it wasn’t a smart play after the game. I’d agree the play shouldn’t have happened, but the ball did take a funny bounce off the door in left field. And he probably was actually safe.
* With the loss last night, the Cubs fell behind the Cardinals, who beat the Marlins, by another game. Sigh. However, they remain a half-game back from the Pirates, who lost to the Reds.
* Not directly Cubs-related, but check out this awesome catch by the Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson. Jays pitcher Marco Estrada had a perfect game going at the time.