The month of June was expected to be tough for the Chicago Cubs, but the team actually managed to get off to a solid start. The Cubs weren’t exactly building up a lead in the division, but they were managing to stay on top.
This past week was not much fun for the Cubs as they went just 2-5 against the New York Mets and Florida Marlins. Chicago remained in first place in the NL Central, but they are going to have to start playing much better baseball.
The week began in New York, and the Cubs lost each of the first three games to the Mets. New York has a dominant starting rotation and the Cubs weren’t able to generate much offense.
Thankfully, Kyle Hendricks was slated to start on Thursday night, and he delivered a typical performance. He quieted the Mets bats for seven innings, and the Cubs were able to win the series finale by a score of 2-0.
The Cubs swept the Mets in a three-game series earlier this season, and they finished the season series with a 4-3 record against New York. That could come into play when it comes time for the postseason.
No Love at Wrigley
After a tough start to the week in New York, the Cubs headed home to face the Miami Marlins. The Cubs began the weekend with a 24-10 record at Wrigley Field, but things did not go very well in the first two games of the series.
Adam Duvall carried the Marlins on offense in the first two games of the series, hitting a pair of home runs in each game. The Marlins were also stealing bases and running all over the Cubs on Friday and Saturday.
Alec Mills got the win on Sunday, pitching five shutout innings, and his effort was badly needed. It was another rough day at the plate for the offense, but they scored just enough to get the job done.
Bats Are Being Cooled Off
Here we go again…. The Cubs offense appears to be broke again. It’s been the same old story every year since 2017, but the Cubs just seem to go in a massive slump at some point in the season.
In May, the Cubs were averaging nearly 5.5 runs per game, but that seems like it was months ago. Chicago managed to score just two runs in both of their victories this week, and that’s not going to get the job done.
Kris Bryant was playing at an MVP level through the first two months of the season, but he has really been struggling in June. His batting average is now under .280, and it appears that his power has left him again.
Injuries have certainly played a role in the lack of offense, but the Cubs are going to have to find a way to score more runs moving forward.
Hendricks, Bullpen Shines
As mentioned earlier, Hendricks just continues to carry the starting rotation, but he is going to need some help. He wasn’t even at his best on Thursday night, but he was good enough to stop the losing streak and pick up a win.
The back end of the bullpen continues to pitch well also, and that group factored in each of the Cubs wins this week. Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimbrel just continue to put zeros up on the board each time they take the mound.
There were some question marks in the bullpen before the season began, but Jed Hoyer should get plenty of praise for the group he has put together. Kimbrel is the only really big name out of that group, but several of the relievers have pitched well enough to be an All-Star this season.
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