The Guardians returned the favor to the Cubs Saturday night with a blowout victory in the contest delayed two hours and 45 minutes by rain. Chicago hitters could do nothing and Cleveland broke the game open in the final inning of Marcus Stroman‘s night.
Neither team could generate anything in the first two innings before the Guardians rallied with two outs in the 3rd. Stroman walked light-hitting catcher Bo Naylor and left fielder Steven Kwan doubled off the tip of first baseman Jared Young‘s glove to put men on second and third. Amed Rosario then smoked a single back up the middle to put the road ahead 2-0.
That turned out to be all Cleveland starter Tanner Bibee would need as he pitched shutout baseball into the 6th inning. Terry Francona‘s squad put the win away with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Andrés Giménez brought in a run on a base hit to knock Stroman out of the game.
Julian Merryweather took over and gave up consecutive RBI singles to Will Brennan and Myles Straw. That last hit was, for lack of a better word, the last straw as center fielder Cody Bellinger overran the ball for an error that allowed a sixth and final run to score.
The Cubs did very little against the Guardians’ bullpen and went down to a 6-0 loss. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
There was certainly some sloppy defensive play, but the complete lack of offense did them in on Saturday. They had a grand total of five hits and the only one that went for extra bases was a routine fly ball that was lost in the lights by the outfielders.
Stats That Matter
- Stroman looked very good to start before one bad stretch and then the ‘pen let his final two runners score: 5.2 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 7 K, and 2 BB.
- Bellinger had three of his team’s five hits Saturday.
- Javier Assad saved the bullpen with three scoreless frames: 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
After a temporary reprieve Friday, the Cubs were right back to the uninspired play they displayed against the Phillies. Sunday is a big game to avoid going 1-5 and having a truly lousy homestand. Unfortunately, Chicago has to turn to the starting pitcher nobody wants to see at the moment.