The Cubs lost a frustrating game to the White Sox at Wrigley Field with a chance to gain ground on their playoff competitors. A lack of offense late in the game and several perfectly-placed hits by the visitors did the North Siders in on Tuesday night.
Kyle Hendricks ran into immediate problems in the opening frame with a walk, a bloop single, and an infield hit to load the bases with one out. The White Sox were only able to score one run on a groundout and the Cubs answered back in the bottom half.
Mike Tauchman drew a leadoff walk and came in to score when Ian Happ took Touki Toussaint deep for a two-run homer to right field that made it 2-1. Another soft single and a bunt put men at second and third for Elvis Andrus, who plated both with a hit to left and the Sox led 3-2.
Seiya Suzuki was able to tie up the score with a long solo home run in the bottom of the 4th inning. Hendricks finished his night strong and kept the Sox off the scoreboard after the first two frames. The Cubs offense was unable to do any damage against a bad bullpen, however, and it stayed 3-3 into the 7th.
Julian Merryweather made a costly two-out mistake to slugger Luis Robert Jr. in that frame and he crushed it for a go-ahead solo bomb. The South Siders’ relievers dominated from that point and they would take home the 5-3 victory. (Box score)
Merryweather got ahead of Robert 0-2 before eventually leaving a hanging slider right in the middle of the plate that the burly center fielder launched into the bleachers.
Why the Cubs Lost
They had some bad luck on a few well-placed singles but the much bigger problem was the inability to score on a lousy White Sox pitching staff.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks deserved a much better fate Tuesday and gave up almost no hard contact: 6 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 4 K, and 2 BB.
- Nico Hoerner was the only Cubs player to reach base twice with two singles.
- It would be nice to get a power surge from Suzuki, who had his second home run in the last five games.
Once again, the Cubs allowed the only good player in a bad lineup to beat them on Tuesday. Losing games like this one is tough when the other teams battling for the postseason are playing more difficult opponents. A failure to take advantage of this soft stretch of schedule could prove very costly, so the North Siders need to step it up.