What You Need to Know: Well, it was a stinker. Well, at least it was a quick 2.5-hour contest. It’s better to die a quick, relatively painless death than to suffer for months, isn’t it?
The Cubs failed to score against Jose Urena and three fellow Marlins relievers, scattering just six hits. Only one Cubs base runner, Kris Bryant, who drew a two-out walk in the fifth, even reached third.
On the other hand, the Cubs pitching did a fine job, holding Miami to two runs on three hits and a pair of walks over eight innings. Alas, you can’t win with zero runs.
The Next Level: In my last recap, I noted that the Cubs had grounded into three double plays in consecutive games. Well, they hit into three twin-killers again tonight, making it a total of 22 ground-ball double plays in their last 15 games, dating back to June 8th. Over that span, no one else have grounded into more double plays than the Cubs. Additionally their seven three-GIDP games this season are tied with the Astros for second-most in baseball. Obviously, this ominous trend is likely to slow down, but they haven’t done a good job extending rallies.
Top Play (WPA): Bryant walked to lead off the eighth to start a late-inning rally (.066), only to…
Bottom Play (WPA): …be immediately eliminated in a double play (shocker, I know) hit by Ian Happ, the following batter (-.126). This sequence sums up how the game went for the Cubs. Giancarlo Stanton’s third-inning home run reduced the North Siders’ win probability as much as the Happ double play did.
Lead photo courtesy Steve Mitchell—USA Today Sports