The Cubs scored a run early against Madison Bumgarner, but couldn’t do much else the rest of the way and lost to the Giants by a score of 9-1.
Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro provided the only offense the Cubs could muster against Bumgarner today. Rizzo led off the 2nd inning with a single to RF, advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, then scored on a Castro double (14th double, 48th RBI) down the line and that was it for the day offensively.
The defense had some nice plays today, especially in the 7th inning. Nori Aoki hit a liner down the LF line that Chris Denorfia lunged for and had bounce out of his glove. Aoki was hustling the whole way and tried to score an inside the park HR, but Denorfia recovered and threw the ball to Addison Russell, who made a one-hop throw that Kyle Schwarber picked beautifully for the bang-bang out at the plate. Then for the final out of the 7th, Chris Coghlan made a diving catch in the gap on a ball ticketed for triples alley.
Kris Bryant got the start in RF and moved to CF later in the game and cut down a runner at 2nd trying to stretch a single into a double with a perfectly placed throw and an even better tag from Castro.
When the best things about the game were defensive plays you know the bats were nonexistent. The Cubs struck out 16 times today and could only get 3 hits, with 2 of those coming in the 2nd inning.
Dan Haren was okay for most of his start and even pitched into the 7th, but the 3rd inning was really his undoing today. He walked 2 and gave up a 3-run HR to Marlon Byrd, which pretty much sealed the deal for the game against Bumgarner.
In all, Haren worked 6.1 innings and gave up 5 runs (all earned) on 6 hits (1 HR) and 3 walks with 4 Ks. The walks were really the big issue in today’s game. A HR to Marlon Byrd doesn’t hurt as much if it a solo shot, but you can’t people on base via walk and get away with a mistake like that.
James Russell was even worse in his 1 inning of work, giving up a grand slam to Kelby Tomlinson (his 1st MLB HR) to end any ideas of a rally. In the inning he gave up 4 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks without any Ks. His ERA jumped up to 5.40 on the year and it is obvious that he is destined to be a mop-up guy the rest of the way.
The Cubs will head to LA for 3 against the Dodgers with game 1 starting tomorrow at 9:10 PM (CST) on WGN and the MLB Network. The road doesn’t get any easier in LA with Jason Hammel (7-5, 3.35) taking on Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.29) for the Dodgers.