The Cubs lost an exasperating game Wednesday afternoon to drop two of three to the lowly Rockies at Coors Field. It was another very sloppy performance with numerous missed opportunities and another blown lead.
Chicago again jumped out to an early edge in the 1st inning when Christopher Morel doubled off Ty Blach and scored on a Cody Bellinger sacrifice fly. Dansby Swanson doubled in a run and Seiya Suzuki added his own sac fly to make it 3-0 after three innings.
Jameson Taillon started strong, only allowing a single tally through the first four frames, but then he and the entire team imploded in the 5th inning. First, Nolan Jones launched a two-run home run to tie the score. Taillon got the next batter and then got frenemy Kris Bryant to hit a lazy fly ball to left field. Ian Happ settled under it and it clanged off his glove for an inexplicable error.
What followed was almost expected as Elehuris Montero went deep right over Happ’s head in left for what would eventually be the game-winning home run and Colorado was ahead 5-3.
Chicago continued to get men on base but could not get them home and failed to score the rest of the afternoon. Bryant and Ryan McMahon hit solo shots against Hayden Wesneski and Drew Smyly, respectively, in the bottom of the 7th to make it 7-3.
That would be the final as the North Siders dropped the game and the series in incredibly frustrating fashion. (Box score)
Happ’s error immediately brought to mind for Cubs fans of a certain age the infamous Brant Brown drop in Milwaukee during the 1998 Wild Card chase. Instead of ending the inning tied, Chicago fell behind and never recovered. I’m sure somewhere Ron Santo was screaming Wednesday afternoon.
Why the Cubs Lost
They made way too many mistakes again and once again paid the price for it. They also failed to build on an early lead despite numerous chances to do so. When you’re playing at Coors Field, that is always a recipe for disaster.
Stats That Matter
- Taillon ran out of steam and the Cubs needed more from him but his defense certainly didn’t help: 5 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
- Nico Hoerner had four hits and stole his 40th base of the season.
- Suzuki got on base two more times Wednesday.
- A mixed bag for Pete Crow-Armstrong, who made another terrific catch in center field but also lost a ball in the sun and has yet to get a hit.
There is really no sugarcoating it, this was an unacceptable outcome. It wasn’t just that they lost to a bad Rockies team, that happens in baseball, it’s that they basically gave away these losses. Walks, defensive lapses, and outs on the bases are all unforced errors you can’t make when you’re trying to get into the playoffs. Now the Cubs have put the pressure on themselves to have a winning series in Arizona. If they don’t tighten things up, it could be a very long weekend in the desert.
After getting Thursday off, the Cubs begin their three-game series in Arizona on Friday at 8:40pm CT. Justin Steele takes the hill for Chicago and the Diamondbacks will have Brandon Pfaadt either starting or following an opener. Broadcasts are available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.