Monday’s game was delayed nearly 90 minutes after inclement weather blew through, bringing potential for tornadoes that had sirens blaring all over Chicago. Once things eventually got started, it was all about the starting pitchers.
Justin Steele and Yu Darvish went toe-to-toe for seven innings and allowed just one run apiece while neither walked a batter. Steele is just a completely different pitcher when he attacks hitters in the zone and doesn’t worry about trying to miss bats on chases. He only struck out three but induced a ton of grounders and scattered five hits.
Yan Gomes gave the Cubs an early lead with a solo homer in the 2nd and it felt like that lone run might be enough the way Steele was pitching. The Padres knotted it back up quickly, however, as Jake Croenenworth drove home Jurickson Profar with a two-out single in the top of the 3rd.
The bullpen has been a rare bright spot for the Cubs this season, but Rowan Wick was not sharp in this one. He opened his appearance with a walk and then allowed back-to-back singles to break the tie. After a groundout, Eric Hosmer doubled to pad the lead with two more runs.
Scott Effross came in to shut the inning down and gave up a harmless single before getting a double play to keep the Cubs within three. Darvish pitched around a little trouble at the end of his outing but it wasn’t really enough to be called a fake rally.
Why the Cubs Lost
They only managed to score one run, spoiling Steele’s excellent effort. Even if Wick hadn’t surrendered those runs, the bats could do nothing against Darvish and rallying for another score seemed out of the question. They almost got something going in the 8th with a pair of singles before Ian Happ struck out to silence the threat.
The game might have gone in an entirely different direction had Steele felt any ill effects from the Cronenworth comebacker he tried to snag with his bare hand in the second at-bat of the game. The ball bounced away for an infield single and Steele was checked out by the trainers for a while after Manny Machado subsequently lined out, but he was clearly good to go and ended up cruising for the most part.
Stats That Matter
- Steele threw 77 pitches, 60 for strikes, to go 7 innings for the second straight start
- Gomes hit his third homer for the Cubs’ only extra base knock
- Christopher Morel went 1-for-4 to start a new hitting streak
- The Cubs are 1 for their last 54 with runners in scoring position
This makes it seven straight losses for a team that is going nowhere fast and may soon start making moves to hasten the trip.
These two are back at it again Tuesday night at 7:05pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.