The Chicago Cubs have now lost five straight games, and the most recent game was the most devastating loss of the entire season. It looked as if the Cubs were going to end their losing streak by beating the Houston Astros, but then the unthinkable happened.
The Chicago Cubs entered the 8th inning on Wednesday night with a 6-2 lead after another terrific outing from Drew Smyly. It had been a rough few starts for the Cubs starting pitchers in this series, but Smyly just continues to pitch well when his team needs it the most.
Adbert Alzolay pitched a solid inning out of relief for the Cubs in the 7th, but then things started to unravel in the 8th. Mark Leiter Jr. has been incredible most of the season for the Cubs, but he gave up a two run homer to allow the Astros to make it a 6-4 ballgame heading to the 9th inning.
Manager David Ross doesn’t have a true closer, and he has been trying to piece the 9th inning together all season. He went with Keegan Thompson on Wednesday night, and it was clearly the wrong decision.
Thompson was wild in facing three batters, and he gave up a two-run homer and then a walk in just nine pitches. That forced Ross to go to Brandon Hughes to try to salvage the game, but it really didn’t matter at that point.
A two-run single by Kyle Tucker gave the Astros a 7-6 victory and sent the Chicago Cubs to Philadelphia with a horrible taste in their mouths. This was a game that the Cubs had to win, and it appeared that they had it locked up for 21 outs.
The bullpen was actually a strength of the team over the last few seasons, but it has been a weak spot this year. It might be time for the front office to try and make a move and see if there is any help available.
There are some terrific pitching prospects coming for the Chicago Cubs, but none are close enough to help the team this season.
Suzuki Finding His Groove
There were some silver linings from the series finale in Houston, but they were overshadowed by the bad loss. Seiya Suzuki was actually great the entire series, and he belted a pair of long home runs in the loss on Wednesday night.
After a very slow start to the season, Suzuki now has a batting average all the way up to .286 on the year. The power also looks like it is starting to return, and that will be a great asset to the Cubs lineup moving forward.
Chicago Cubs Just Need a Win
It seems a bit cliche to say this, but the Cubs just have to turn the page and move forward. There is still a ton of baseball to be played, and this team showed that it can compete with the best teams in the league.
Heading to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies is not going to be any fun, but the Cubs just need to find a way to steal two wins. Warm weather is coming to Chicago, and the Cubs should get a huge boost from the home crowd when they return back to Wrigley.
There is still time to get back into the division race, but the Cubs need to get it turned around right away.
Read more about the Chicago Cubs.