Game Fifty-Seven – Cubs 2, Phillies 3
WP – Jerad Eickhoff (3-8) LP – Kyle Hendricks (4-5) Save – Jeanmar Gomez (19)
Tuesday was one of those days for the Cubs. The offense was unable to string any hits together against Phillies’ starter Jerad Eickhoff. But the Cubs still had chances in the eighth and ninth innings. The Cubs loaded the bases in the eighth, managed only one run and had the tying run on third in the ninth when David Ross grounded out to short to end the game.
The Cubs could not get anything going offensively against Jerad Eickhoff. The Phillies’ starter kept the Cubs off balance with his excellent curveball. The Cubs made very little hard contact and had just two singles off Eickhoff in seven innings. The run the Cubs put on the board scored when Miguel Montero grounded into a double play.
Ben Zobrist (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked to start the fifth. Joe Maddon called for a hit and run and Tommy La Stella (2-for-4) singled to right. With runners on first and third with no outs, Montero grounded into a 4-3-6 double play. Zobrist scored but the inning ended when Addison Russell (1-for-3) grounded out to third base.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, trailing 3-1. Dexter Fowler (0-for-3 with a sac fly RBI) plated pinch-runner Matt Szczur in the eighth with a sac fly. With two on and one out, Jason Heyward (0-for-3 with a walk) rolled into an inning ending double play.
Tommy La Stella appeared to tie the game in the ninth when he ripped a 3-2 pitch into the gap in right center. Ben Zobrist was running with the pitch. Peter Bourjos has always stepped up his game when he plays the Cubs, cut the ball off and not only held La Stella to a long single but kept Zobrist from scoring. Ross followed and grounded out to short.
The Cubs managed two runs on six hits, all singles, with two walks and were 1-for-4 on the night with runners in scoring position while leaving five men on base. And the Cubs grounded into two very costly double plays.
Kyle Hendricks was not sharp Tuesday night. Hendricks was unable to find a rhythm and pitched from behind in the count. Hendricks appeared to be battling himself more than anything.
The Cubs as a team just seemed flat. That’s usually what happens when the offense cannot string together any hits. In this case, the defense gave the Phillies an extra out in the first inning and Hendricks wasn’t able to pitch around Kris Bryant misplaying a fly ball in left. Freddy Galvis ended up with a two out double and scored on a single to right off the bat of Maikel Franco.
Hendricks made only one real mistake. Ryan Howard can no longer get around on a fastball. Hendricks decided to start his at bat in the fourth inning with a breaking ball. Not only did Hendricks speed up his bat, but Hendricks hung the curveball and Howard deposited it in the stands in right center.
Hendricks had a good change of pace, just not the way he’s thrown the last several times out.
Kyle Hendricks left the game after five innings. Albert Almora Jr. made his big league debut pinch-hitting for Hendricks leading off the sixth. Hendricks was charged with two runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Hendricks made 81 pitches, 55 for strikes.
The Phillies were given a run in the seventh inning. Adam Warren completed the sixth and started the seventh with the Cubs trailing 2-1. Warren retired Cody Ashe on a grounder to second. Carlos Ruiz juiced a 1-0 pitch to left for a single. Jimmy Paredes stepped in to hit for Eickhoff. The Cubs totally ignored Ruiz and he took second base without a throw. A wild pitch on strike three to Parades allowed Ruiz to move to third base with two outs.
Maddon went to his pen for Clayton Richard. And the lefty got the groundball he needed … but it was in between La Stella and Russell. Ruiz scored on a single to left from Herrera, 3-1 Phillies. Richard had Herrera picked off from first base, but he lobbed the ball to Rizzo and Herrera took off for second. Zobrist made an excellent tag and it was a close play that Maddon had reviewed. Herrera was safe and Richard intentionally walked Hernandez.
Justin Grimm replaced Richard and got out of the jam when Freddy Galvis rolled out to short.
Trevor Cahill tossed a scoreless eighth and gave the offense a chance. But it was not meant to be Tuesday night in Philly.
Addison Russell made a sensational diving catch on a ball hit by Odubel Herrera leading off the first inning in shallow left.
Albert Almora Jr. (0-for-1) made his Major League debut Tuesday night. Almora Jr. pinch hit for Hendricks leading off the sixth and grounded out to third on a 1-0 pitch.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 40-17 on the season.
The Cubs complete the series and season-series with the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon (12:05pm CDT). John Lackey and Vince Velazquez are the scheduled starters.