Weird night at Wrigley, as the boys got held to just one hit and no runs while losing to the Dodgers 5-0 (box score).
Jake was stingy, allowing just two hits while walking four batters and striking out eight in his 7 innings pitched. The Cubs’ ace got a no-decision on a night where he’d normally have won.
Jake isn’t the story here, though.
The Cubs had only one hit tonight and it sometimes feels like there’s a feast or famine approach to this team. At times, when opposing pitchers find that one small weakness, the Cubs have their issues. This is a generally a sport of failure with only spots of success, so nights like this happen. Yeah, they suck, but sometimes things in baseball just suck.
The weakness of the Cubs’ bullpen was exposed again tonight – I’m sitting here wondering why we thought Clayton Richard would be effective in late-inning situations. I understand Joe Maddon’s optimistic thinking, but it’s starting to become a bit redundant.
Richard’s WHIP has spiked to 1.78, which is bottom tier, and his quirky delivery is fooling no one when the fastballs are 91-93 and thigh high. It doesn’t encourage me that his YTD ERA is 8.0 in 16 appearances this season. The fact is, he’s been the weakest link in an otherwise stout bullpen.
I’ve got more faith in Adam Warren, but he’s got to keep the ball DOWN. When it’s not, well, Cory Seager will show you what happens. His 3-run missile to the Budweiser Club put the score at 5-0 in the top of the ninth, completely out of reach for the Cubs.
Stats that mattered
- The Cubs have one hit, combined, in both of the last two starts in which Jake has lost
- In Jake’s 11 starts this year, his run differential is +52. The Cubs normally win big when he’s tossing the biscuit, this was a rare showing.
Jake gave up a mere two hits, and the four walks were a result of his stuff moving too much and not getting enough support from Montero behind the plate. He gave up two hits and somehow lost. Two. Hits.
Jon Lester (5-3, 2.48 ERA) will toe the rubber tomorrow looking to take control of the series at 7:05 PM CDT. For the Dodgers, Mike Bolsinger (1-1, 4.50 ERA) gets the start. He hasn’t been particularly good so far this year, so let’s hope the Cubs hammer the ball, as they should, and tap into this fraudulent bullpen, which ranks among the league’s worst.