Everything Else

I think the craziest thing about the borderline-traumatic deadline selloff this year is that despite fielding what is essentially a glorified AAA team with maybe a future piece or two, the Cubs still find ways to completely drop the ball offensively against other AAA-level teams around the league like the Minnesota Twins. The baseball that went on this week was bad, considering we did lose both contests, but nothing matters anymore and we’re just counting down the days until the season ends. Let’s break things down.

September 21, 2021
Cubs 5, Twins 9
WP: Barraclough (2-0) LP: Mills (6-7)
Box Score

Pitching? Defense? None of that existed today for seemingly either team, with eight runs scored in the first four innings of the game. Alec Mills gave up six hits and six runs. He also fell victim to hitting the deck in the 4th inning instead of catching a ball that was hit right at him, which has genuinely never made any sense to me. Is it really going that fast? Is it really hit that hard? A hit that barely made it to the outfield? You really can’t catch it? Am I in the wrong here?

At least Scott F-Ross made an attempt at catching a ball hit right over his head in the 5th inning. It was just a bit too high and ended up scoring yet another Twin, making the score 6-3. And a quick hit after that one made it 7-3. And by this time the game was all but over.

The Cubs tried their best offensively, with the team getting 11 hits (four more than they had in their win against the Brewers) and Trayce Thompson tying the game in the 2nd inning with a two-run dinger. A Willson Contreras dinger in the 3rd put the Cubs ahead briefly, but the Twins got a two-run lead just a half-inning later. The Cubs’ defense just couldn’t stop tripping over themselves despite some good hits in the bottom of the 6th by Rafael Ortega, Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom to make the score 7-5. That would be the last run the Cubs would score of the ballgame.

Every time a few runs were scored by the Cubs, the Twins just scored a few more, and by the 7th inning they had a four-run lead they wouldn’t give up. Every Cubs pitcher gave up at least one hit, with the five bullpen guys pitching an inning each. Trevor Megill had an especially terrible outing with four hits and two runs scored. I will enjoy wiping this game from my long-term memory.

September 22, 2021
Cubs 4, Twins 5
WP: Ryan (2-1) LP: Hendricks (14-7)
Box Score

This game started out with Frank Schwindel making a big play at first base early, catching a line drive and immediately flashing the finger guns in true Schwindel fashion. Other than that, the story early was that our dear friend Kyle Hendricks was credited with the loss because he allowed two homers for Max Kepler in the 1st and 4th innings.

Nico Hoerner had a two-run single in the bottom of the 2nd to match Kepler’s RBI number for the game thus far, which was good because for a while there I forgot Hoerner was on this baseball team. Glad to see he’s still doing something. He scored Happ and Matt Duffy, who walked and doubled earlier.

The offense on both sides stagnated a bit outside of Kepler’s second homer that put the Twins ahead. But it was mostly the Cubs, who had issues figuring out Joe Ryan with Two First Names, the Twins’ starter, who was throwing some nasty pitches. Just as the Phillies did to the Cubs not too long ago, the Cubs allowed Ryan to strike out seven batters in a row. Ryan ended up striking out eleven Cubs in only five innings pitched, which brings me great pain to tell you.

Kepler almost hit his third homer of the game in the 6th inning, but it bounced off the wall as our prayers were answered. An error from everyone’s favorite second baseman Matt Duffy allowed Kepler to score and extend their lead to 4-2. The Cubs wouldn’t be able to score any runs until the 9th, where it was Happ who RBI’d Schwidel and Contreras who, with a weird play at 1st, RBI’d Happ to make the score seem a little closer than the game actually was.

With the bases loaded, Trayce Thompson struck out on three pitches, the last one being completely in the dirt, to end the game in true Javy Baez fashion. It’s almost like he never left?

The Cubs have a four-game series this weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals, including a doubleheader tomorrow. The Cardinals are red-hot, having won eleven games in a row, sweeping other teams grasping blindly at playoff spots like the Mets and Padres, and all but cementing themselves as the second Wild Card spot for the NL with the next-closest teams 4.5 games back. This weekend will be painful, because we hate the Cards with everything in us and the Cards will probably destroy us in the end. Another instance where turning on the football may be a more lucrative experience for you. Go Cubs go.

Baseball

This series started on a surprisingly positive note and then ended with a disgraceful excuse of a baseball game for the Cubs. The Phillies continue grasping blindly at a final wild card spot despite being 2.5 games back thanks to the shellacking they brought upon us, whereas Cubs fans are now wondering if Kyle Hendricks being the #1 starter next year will even be enough to propel them to the playoffs since this is Totally Not a Rebuild. I love Hendricks, but I’m not sure if he’s the answer.

There’s a lot of crap to muddle through here, so let’s get on with it.

September 14, 2021
Cubs 6, Phillies 3
WP: Sampson (1-2) LP: Gibson (10-7)
Box Score

The Phillies needed this win much more than we did as they continue to attempt (in vain) to catch any of the four teams ahead of them for a wild card spot. And yet, they were still able to lose this one against this meaningless Cubs team, despite going up early on a solo homer against Adrian Sampson in his third start of the year and Kyle Gibson, the Phillies’ starter, at one point striking out five batters in a row.

Gibson dominated against the Cubs for four straight innings, allowing no hits until the 5th when the game was cracked wide open for the Cubs. A hit by Willson Contreras and Patrick Wisdom’s Kris-Bryant-rookie-record-tying home run gave the Cubs a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Immediately after, Alfonso Rivas hit his first major league dinger, which excited the entire bench. Ortega was able to hit a barely-fair ball to left field to score Sergio Alcantara in that inning, making it four runs in the 5th for the Cubs and ending Gibson’s day.

The Phillies didn’t give up, and in the 6th inning ended up scoring two runs thanks to a Bryce Harper hit that was difficult to field and some aggressive yet successful baserunning on their part. Another hit that poked its way through both Cubs outfielders and an unsuccessful play at the plate put the Phillies at only a one-run deficit. The Cubs answered back immediately with pretty sweet outfield hits by Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ to score two runners and wrap up this ballgame.

Sampson pitched pretty well all things considered, going five innings and only allowing two runs. (The bar is low in this neighborhood.) Manuel Rodriguez allowed the third Phillies run, walked a batter, and allowed two hits in his one inning, which isn’t good. After him, however, the Cubs bullpen allowed no Phillies hits, with Tommy Nance and Scott F-Ross pitching an inning each and F-Ross getting two strikeouts. Rowan Wick even struck out three batters in an impeccable save appearance.

September 15, 2021
Cubs 5, Phillies 6
WP: Kennedy (2-1) LP: Megill (1-2)
Box Score

I guess the Cubs should get credit for not giving up on this one, as they came from behind to tie the game multiple times. However, it never ended up being enough, as the Phillies were able to walk it off with a run scored in the bottom of the 9th.

Alec Mills pitched three scoreless innings before things started unraveling in the 4th. The teams traded bases-loaded, no runs scored situations in the 3rd inning. By the 4th, a few well-hit balls to the outfield that were hard to field gave the Phillies a one-run lead, but a double play fielded by the Cubs later on in the inning meant that the incoming two-run homer made the game 3-0 instead of 5-0. Good job, everyone.

The most amusing part of the game was when Frank Schwindel hit a two-run homer in the next inning and Schwindel’s extended family of like fifty people went nuts in the stands. At least someone’s happy about this current Cubs team, am I right?

The 5th inning was not good, with a hit and an intentional walk for Mills before getting pulled for F-Ross. Then F-Ross allowed a single to score a runner that made it 4-2. It wasn’t until the 8th inning when the Cubs were able to tie it with another two-run dinger, this time by Robinson Chirinos.

The next three half-innings had the Cubs and Phillies each trading runs with each other. JT Realmuto hit a solo dinger in the 8th, and then Matt Duffy hit a homer in the 9th, but the Phillies walked it off again after Trevor Megill gave up a hit, a sac bunt, a sac groundout, and a passed ball by Chirinos that ended up scoring the winning run.

September 16, 2021
Cubs 8, Phillies 17
WP: Neris (3-6) WP: Rodriguez (3-3)
Box Score

Usually when you go up 7 runs on a team in a game it’s enough to net you a win. Not for this garbage-pile Cubs team, however, who almost instantly gave up 7 runs of their own to tie the game and then gave up 10 more runs to lose in the most embarrassing possible way there is to lose a baseball game.

It was the bottom of the 4th inning when Hendricks collapsed and gave up four hits, four walks and five runs before he got yanked for Michael Rucker, who on his third pitch of the game gave up the extra two runs to tie it on a line drive single to center field. Rodriguez proceeded to give up three more runs in the 6th inning and another two runs in the 7th inning to become the losing pitcher. Rex Brothers, Rodriguez’s mid-inning replacement with no outs, immediately gave up a three-run homer on his first pitch to make the game 15-8 Phillies for good measure. Dillon Maples gave up a few more runs in the 8th, too, just because everyone else was doing it.

Despite a deluge of Cubs offense in the 3rd inning that gave them a 7-0 lead on three hits, a home run, and four walks, the Cubs then went completely flat with only four hits in the rest of the game, because of course they did. The Phillies wanted and needed this game more to stay in the fateful playoff race, and they went out and trounced us here. It was awful baseball.

Speaking of awful baseball, it will likely continue this weekend when the Cubs get inevitably pummeled by the first-place Milwaukee Brewers this weekend in what will surely be an embarrassment of a series. I’d turn on the football if I were you. Go Cubs go?

Baseball

In a series of come-from-behind wins and no thanks to any of the starters, the Cubs swept the Pirates in a bunch of very close games over the weekend to extend their meaningless win streak against more minor-league-caliber teams to six.

Obviously, this is not something to get overly excited about. If you’re keeping the Pirates in these games as much as the Cubs were, your team has some real issues, and it’s still unclear if the solutions for those issues are still in-house. Personally, I’m not convinced the starting pitching is yet, but what do I know? I’m just a blogger.

At least Frank Schwindel is here to save us.

Let’s break these games down.

September 2, 2021
Cubs 6, Pirates 5 (F/11)
WP: Heuer (6-2) LP: Howard (2-3)
Box Score

Keegan Thompson was given yet another start, and pretty quickly gave up a three-run homer for the Pirates in merely the 1st inning. The Cubs were able to get two runners on in the bottom of the inning, mirroring the Pirates, except two strikeouts for the Cubs ended things with no runners scoring.

Luckily for us, the Pirates ended up choking in the 7th inning, with Robinson Chirinos and Sergio Alcantara getting a respective single and double. Then Rafael Ortega hit a three-run homer to tie the game. Then not long after that Ian Happ hit a two-run homer to take the lead. (Now it’s time for you to realize that Ian Happ is still 5th on this team for batting average, third in OPS, and third in slugging on this team despite only getting hot for like a month. And he is still training Willson Contreras in all of those stats, who just came back from injury. It’s really something.)

A pinch-hit single to right field in the top of the 9th ended up tying the game for the Pirates, which means we were forced to watch even more of this than we bargained for. It took almost two more innings before the Pirates completely blundered the game in the most hilarious possible way, as Ian Happ hit an infield pop fly and Pirates’ second baseman Wilmer Difo dropped the ball to score the winning run on second base.

Thompson didn’t have a good outing by any stretch of the imagination, getting pulled in the 2nd inning by Ross after throwing only 54 pitches and allowing four hits and three runs, one of which a homer. Adrian Sampson, Scott F-Ross, and Adam Morgan all had good outings, allowing no hits combined for 6.1 innings and eight (!!!!????) strikeouts.

Rowan Wick, surprisingly to nobody, blew the save with the three hits and two runs in the 9th inning. Let’s not use him as closer again, shall we? He was soon replaced by our new regular closers, Manuel Rodriguez and Codi Heuer, who were able to help the Cubs close out the game with a W.

September 3, 2021
Cubs 6, Pirates 5
WP: Megill (1-0) LP: Miller (0-1)
Box Score

Things got a little wild this game with ump calls, rulebook headscratchers, and the like. Not to mention the Cubs defense was not good. However, they were able to pull out their fourth straight W, albeit against dumpster fire teams.

It was also unclear whether who was actually in charge of the ball club halfway through the game since Ross tested positive for COVID-19 before the game and Andy Green got ejected for absolutely handing it to the umpires in a socially-distanced manner. Hats were thrown to the ground and everything. The clown show here never ceases.

Things started out okay, as the Cubs got five runs on the Pirates in three innings—and none of those were homers, surprisingly. Singles and walks galore were given out by Pirates starter Steven Brault, who gave up seven hits and five runs in his four innings pitched.  By the end of this game, the only batter who didn’t get a hit was Jason Heyward. No surprise there, am I right?

Despite the five-run lead, the Cubs predictably blew it, specifically by allowing two Anthony Alford home runs in two innings. Alford’s career slash line is .168/.225/.309, by the way. So that’s pretty bad. Wisdom had a good catch in the 5th inning to stop a hit, but other than that the defense was atrocious. He also errored in the next inning, and Andy Green got ejected after we all watched one of the worst throws from Sergio Alcantara I’ve ever seen. Green argued interference, was ejected, and then promptly blew a gasket on the field in the most hilarious way possible, because once again, nothing matters.

After Alford’s second homer that knocked in three runs to tie the game, it was thanks to Frank Schwindel’s solo dinger in the bottom of the inning that the Cubs were able to get out of this one with a win. Perhaps we didn’t deserve this one.

September 4, 2021
Cubs 7, Pirates 6
WP: Effross (1-0) LP: Stratton (5-1)
Box Score

The Cubs didn’t exactly deserve this win either, but when the Pirates closer just about hands it to you in the 9th inning you don’t refuse it.

The Cubs started out in the hole after Kyle Hendricks gave up a solo homer in the 1st. Hendricks only gave up three other hits until the 5th inning, where things went completely off the rails. A walk, a single, two walks in a row, and a hit by pitch ended Hendricks’s day as he let the Pirates tie things up there.

Ian Happ had a nice double in the 4th inning that barely stayed fair, and it became one of many hits and on-bases in the 4th inning as the Pirates proved themselves to be defensive disasters. By the end of the 4th, Happ, Contreras and Wisdom scored to make it 3-1 Cubs before Hendricks allowed the game to get tied up.

Outfield catching was the name of the game today. Rafael Ortega was able to save another Pirates run or two in the 2nd by making a crazy diving catch in the outfield to end the inning with no additional scoring. Happ later decided that defense was his specialty by catching an otherwise foul ball in the 5th inning, but unfortunately the pitching performance for the Cubs in that same inning made it all for naught.

Down 6-3 by the bottom of the 5th inning, Schwindel hit a solo homer to make the deficit just a bit smaller. No more offense was seen until the Pirates utterly choked in the bottom of the 9th inning, giving the Cubs the walk-off win thanks to hits by Matt Duffy, Alfonso Rivas, Ortega and Schwindel again getting the winning hit after the Pirates’ first baseman whiffed on the tag.

September 5, 2021
Cubs 11, Pirates 8
WP: Alzolay (5-13) LP: Howard (2-4)
Box Score

Once again, the Cubs went down early in the 1st inning thanks to a Pirates solo homer. It became the first in a series of back-and-forth half-innings where the teams were trading leads with each other. Matt Duffy and Jason Heyward, two extremely unlikely duos, hit solo homers in the 2nd to take things back, but the Pirates ended up scoring four runs on Zach Davies in the 3rd to put them back on top. He still sucks.

The Cubs came back after this inning and ended up scoring 5, with Schwindel and Happ getting hits, Ortega and Wisdom with walks, and Matt Duffy with a three-run homer. The 4th was a scoreless inning, but the Pirates ended up tying things up with a litany of hits in the top of the 5th after Davies was yanked for Rex Brothers. Brothers gave up three walks and a sac fly, which was infuriating to watch. Then Manuel Rodriguez threw a wild pitch after replacing Brothers so the Pirates could tie the game, though putting him in that bases-loaded situation certainly wasn’t a recipe of success for him in this outing. We’ll let it slide.

The Pirates scored another run in the 6th to give them the lead, but it was Schwindel who continues to crush every ball that comes his way, this time with a grand slam in the 7th inning to give the Cubs the lead for good. He scored Robinson Chirinos and Ortega, who walked, and Rivas, who singled, to win this one.

Adbert Alzolay collected the win as he once again came out of the pen for 1.2 innings and threw pretty good ball. I am now firmly in the camp that Alzolay maybe just doesn’t have that starter ability, and he should be kept in the pen where he is serviceable and (the Ricketts will hate this one) you’ll definitely have to spend some big bucks on some actual starters if you REALLY want to accelerate the rebuild for next year. But that’s just me.

Starting shortly, the Cubs will probably get shellacked in a series against the Cincinnati Reds, who are currently half a game back of the Padres for the final wild card spot and dammit, Cubs, just win to make things a little more difficult for the Reds, okay? The Padres are also playing a relatively bad team in the Angels, but everyone is fully aware that Shohei Ohtani can simply  will that team to a win whenever he wants to turn on his god-tier playing status. Hopefully it will be something worth watching, as the Cubs work to be playoff spoilers. Go Cubs go!

Baseball

In what was supposed to be a battle of bad pitching for this two-game series against the similarly terrible Minnesota Twins, the Cubs ended up winning both games with our own pitching holding things down. Not to mention it was a Joe West Production this series as we all sat and prayed that soon the season will be over and we’ll all be put out of our misery.

Despite there being a lack of offense for a majority of the series, the Cubs defense got out of jams when they needed to and held the Twins to only one run over the two games. Because there were no runs scored in 14 of the 18 innings I watched, there wasn’t a ton to review here, so let’s wrap this up quickly.

August 31, 2021
Cubs 3, Twins 1
WP: Rodriguez (3-2) LP: Gant (4-9)
Box Score

Allowing Frank Schwindel to homer off of you in the first pitch of the game is truly something else. A genuinely ridiculous way to start the game. But since nothing matters to either of these teams anymore, you can’t help but laugh at it all.

Zach Davies did…fine, I guess? He pitched 4.1 innings and allowed six hits, but only one run, the only run of the game. He also had three strikeouts on the day to put his ERA down to 4.91, which is still incredibly bad.

The middle of the game was incredibly boring thanks to the lack of offense. The Cubs’ fielders were able to help Davies hold the Twins to one run, which included a pretty nice sweeping catch by Patrick Wisdom at third base in the 4th inning. There was also a bases loaded situation in the 7th inning that Matt Duffy struck out to get the Twins out of the jam in true Matt Duffy fashion.

The bullpen actually did a pretty swell job. It was only Codi Heuer who allowed hits—three of them, actually, which loaded the bases in the 8th for the Twins (see below). Manuel Rodriguez got the win, continuing to impress. He, Adam Morgan and Rowan Wick allowed no hits in their combined 3.2 innings pitched.

Ian Happ continues to stay hot in the part of the season where nothing matters as he hit a solo homer in the 8th inning that was one of his longest ever. A half-inning later, it was the Twins’ turn to be in a bases loaded situation and Matt Duffy specifically decided he was going to make up for his blunderous at-bat earlier by catching a ball hit into right field and then throwing to home to tag a Twin at the plate to end the inning and the jam. Pretty impressive stuff, even if it is just the Twins.

September 1, 2021
Cubs 3, Twins 0
WP: Steele (3-2) LP: Ryan (0-1)
Box Score

The fun continued into yesterday as the Twins put on an even worse performance than the day before. It unfortunately came with Twins pitcher Joe Ryan making his major league debut. Despite striking out Ian Happ to start things off, he allowed an Alfonso Rivas walk (only his third game with the Cubs), an Andrew Romine double, and yet another Schwindel home run to make the score 3-0 Cubs. That’s it. That was the offense for the entire game.

Justin Steele started this game and got the win. He only allowed one hit and had three strikeouts in his 5 innings pitched. He also gave up three walks, something he should likely work on. Adbert Alzolay took over pitching for the rest of the game in his first relief appearance in about a year. He made things look easy with five strikeouts and one hit in forty total pitches thrown. Pretty good stuff, I guess.

The Cubs continue their garbage team tour with a series against the Pirates starting tonight. The Pirates continue to break barriers regarding how bad a major league team can be, despite the Orioles recently giving them a run for their money. They only have a .361 winning percentage and the White Sox pummeled them earlier this week despite coming off splitting a series with the Cardinals before that. Who knows what fun will be had this week and into the weekend. See you then to wrap things up. Go Cubs go!

Baseball

Well, that went just about as expected, with the newly-rebuilding Cubs being unable to get a win against the contending Sox. The first game was at least a close call, outside of dragging on far too long. The other two games, however, were pretty horrific to watch, as the Sox pretty much decided both games in the first couple of innings of each. The Cubs also gave up four homers that scored six runners in last night’s game, and two more solo homers in Saturday’s game. If anything, it shows that the Cubs have quite a long way to go to become the contending team they once were.

August 6, 2021
Cubs 6, Sox 8
WP: Hendriks (6-2) LP: Rodriguez (0-2)
Box Score

Kyle Hendricks started this game because any other Cubs pitcher would have made an absolute fool out of themselves (see below). With Hendricks, the Cubs at least stood a chance in the season opener.

Greg Deichmann made his major league debut with the club in right field, the first prospect the Cubs received for developed players this deadline to debut. I guess he was a home run guy in the minors; he replaces Jason Heyward in right field, who is now on the IL with an index finger issue. He had one hit in the 4th inning and that was about it, but we’ll see how he develops over the coming weeks.

It was a pitchers’ duel up until the 4th inning, where Hendricks gave up two hits with no outs, as Adam Engel stole third base. He ended up scoring and the Cubs soon put themselves in a bases-loaded situation as the Sox easily started finding holes in our defense to hit balls through.

Lance Lynn gave up a pair of walks in the 5th, getting frustrated on some admittedly sketchy ump calls. With Matt Duffy up to bat and two outs, he ended up striking out to keep the Cubs off the board.

Eloy Jiminez then led off the 6th with a double. Deichmann was able to catch a fly ball in right, but the sacrifice put Jiminez on third base. Despite giving up another walk after that, it was a pretty impressive tag out by Robinson Chirinos to keep the game 2-2. Cesar Hernandez was intentionally walked to keep the bases load, but Hendricks came in clutch when it mattered, getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Once Hendricks came out of the game, things once again started out shaky with Jake Jewell on the mound in the 7th, as a hard-hit ball to left field gave Engel a double. He made it out of the inning unscathed, however, with a groundout and a strikeout.

The Cubs then put two more runners on board in the 7th when Michael Kopech gave up a walk and a sac fly. David Bote sac flied again for Andrew Romine to make it 2-1 Sox. Trevor Megill in the 8th gave up a tough single that Frank Schwindel on first base couldn’t make the diving play on, and soon Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run homer, which seemingly all but closed out this game for the Sox.

Until Craig Kimbrel, of course. He wasn’t even the closer because the Sox have arguably the two best closers in the game, and we all know what his stuff looks like — maybe too much, to Kimbrel’s detriment, as Duffy and Schwindel got base hits off of him, and then Romine hit a two-run homer to tie it! Very unfortunate to see statistically the worst outing Kimbrel has had in like ten years, but hey, our allegiances are elsewhere now. To add more salt in the wound, Chirinos singled right after this to get him pulled after getting only two outs.

The thing about the Sox is that their replacement, Liam Hendriks, is the other best closer in the league, and got the third out quickly. So the Cubs retaliated with ex-Sox reliever Codi Heuer to pitch the 9th inning, and he had some pretty good stuff – the Cubs completed a double play to keep it tied at the bottom of the 9th thanks in part to Willson Contreras, who had an off-day today but eventually suited up as catcher near the end of the game.

Matt Duffy put the winning run on first, then second with a steal, in the 9th inning with two outs, in which Ian Happ promptly and predictably struck out as he is wont to do, forcing the Cubs into extra innings.

Manny Rodriguez allowed a two-run homer in the 10th for the Sox, and by that time it had all unraveled for the Cubs and the fun was over. One more runner scored to end Manny’s day. In his place came Michael Rucker, with a sparkling 12 ERA in 2 games played, which he was able to knock back down to 9.64 despite allowing another run scored. And despite another two-run homer by Schwindel in the bottom of the 10th, the game finally ended after 3.5 hours.

August 7, 2021
White Sox 4, Cubs 0
WP: Rodon (9-5) LP: Alzolay (4-12)
Box Score

August 8, 2021
White Sox 9, Cubs 3
WP: Cease (9-6) LP: Davies (6-9)
Box Score

The other two games were nothing short of a disaster for the Cubs, to the point where they don’t even deserve individual game wraps because who wants to relive that dreck? They got outscored 13-3, including 9-2 in the first two innings of those games. Most notably, Zach Davies, who sucks in case you didn’t know, gave up seven runs in the first two innings of last night’s game to give the Cubs no chance in the game at all. Had he not given up seven runs it wouldn’t have been a blowout, especially considering our bullpen wasn’t horrific even though they had to start eating innings starting in the 3rd.

Adbert Alzolay, at least, was okay; despite giving up six hits and two runs in his 6.2 innings pitched on Saturday, he also struck out seven batters. The Sox are 16th in the league when it comes to strikeouts, so being able to strike out seven guys against a really good team is a step in the right direction on his part. Had the Cubs made any attempt at trying on offense, it would’ve been a quality start for Alzolay, people — he is likely the future of our pitching rotation.

David Bote had two hits in Saturday’s 4-0 loss, accounting for exactly 40% of the offense for the Cubs that day. Rafael Ortega was the only multi-hit Cub for last night’s game, despite scoring no runs. Instead, it was pinch-hitter Frank Schwindel last night who batted in two of the three Cubs runs to score Patrick Wisdom and Sergio Alcantara. Schwindel, at least, is growing on me. He will likely be the regular starting first baseman going forward. More please, why not?

Jake Jewell continues to develop as well. After getting out of the jam in Friday’s game, he pitched two innings yesterday and was the only pitcher who didn’t allow a hit; he gave up only one walk and had two strikeouts. He is definitely a reliever to watch over the coming weeks as the season begins its downhill stretch.

I’ll be out of state for the next week or so, while the Cubs likely get decimated during a four-game series against the first-place Brewers this week. They then have a three-game weekend series against another bottomfeeding team, the Miami Marlins, after that to recuperate. Enjoy the baseball, and I’ll be back at it with more wraps again soon. Go Cubs go.