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Chicago Cubs Weekly Recap: More Pain and Suffering

Another week of Cubs baseball, another week of misery. It was saddening to see some decent performances last week all turned to crap, mainly from a terrible week by the offense. In the last week of Cubs baseball, the lineup would only put up 14 total runs and have a total slash line of .201/.276/.273, yeah, that's right, the Cubs as a team almost it below .200 last week. Oh, but there's more: with RISP this season, the Cubs are hitting .212, and with RISP and two outs, the Cubs are hitting .175.

The team is just flat-out not hitting, whether that's with RISP or nobody on. The offense has spoiled many good starts by Cubs pitching that it's become embarrassing to watch, on top of the "blowing up games' by Cubs relievers. Changes need to come fast; I am sick and tired of hearing the excuse from Counsell, "We just didn't do enough to score runs," well damn, figure it out. This team can't hit, has no prominent bullpen, and is struggling to stay alive in the NL Central. Jed Hoyer, start counting your days. 

6/11-6/13 @ Tampa Bay

Game 1: Loss, 5-2

Game 2: Win, 4-3

Game 3: Loss 3-2

It was another rough series that the Cubs easily could've won but blown saves and poor offense sadly defined the series. Game one was highlighted by a Christopher Morel long ball and six shutout innings from Jameson Taillon, but both were sadly spoiled by a blown save from Hector Neris, who gave up four earned runs in the ninth. Games two runs came in the form of home runs, a solo shot from Seiya Suzuki, and a three-run blast by Cody Bellinger. But the win came with some drama, as Neris almost blew another game. Game three was just a recipe for disaster. Aside from the six innings of shutout baseball from Justin Steele, Mark Leiter Jr. spoiled the start of the Cubs' ace by giving up three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. However, the offense couldn't muster much of anything, with only two runs on three hits; Yan Gomes picked up the only RBI. Overall, it wasn't a competitive series; the offense left a lot of runners in scoring position, and the bullpen would wreck a strong performance from the starting pitcher.

6/14-6/16 vs. St Louis

Game 1: Loss, 3-0

Game 2: Win, 5-1

Game 3: Loss, 2-1

Traving to Wrigley Field for the weekend series against the Redbirds, the Cubs would drop the series by scoring only six runs. Other than the season debut of the City Connect uniforms, game one would come with much disappointment. Jordan Wicks would leave the game in the second inning with what to be known as an "oblique injury" and went on the IL a day after. Perhaps the most positive thing to come out of game one was Kyle Hendricks coming in to pitch 4.1 innings of shutout baseball after Wicks left with an injury. The offense would score no runs on three hits. Like the series against the Rays, game two would show some life. Shota Imanaga (or Mike Imanga ll) would go for seven innings of one-run ball and striking out six, and Tyson Miller would pitch two innings of shutout baseball to help lead the Cubs to victory.

Offensively, the Cubs would score five runs on nine hits, three of them coming on an Ian Happ three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. Finally, game three would put a steak through many Cubs fans' hearts as another "fake rally" occurred in the bottom of the ninth. Jameson Taillon pitched well, with six innings and only giving up two runs, and the bullpen would give up zero runs after his exit. But, once again, the lineup would display another feeble performance of one run on five hits. 

Hitter of the Week: Cody Bellinger

It makes it tough to decide on a hitter of the week when the lineup can only muster up 14 runs in a week's worth of baseball, but Cody Bellinger put up a decent week of numbers. The week's Cubs OF/1B slash line was .292/.320/.458 with a home run and three RBIs. Bellinger hasn't done too much for the Cubs this year, at least in terms of how he was doing last year for the Cubbies. There hasn't been much production with only 32 RBIs, I do believe "Belli" will have a bit of a power surge once it starts to warm up on the "North Side" maybe not as much as he had last July, but hopefully he'll impact this struggling Cubs lineup. 

Pitcher of the Week: Shota Imanaga

This was a tough one between Taillon and Steele and the relief appearances of Smyly, Miller, and Hendricks throughout the week, as there were many deserving candidates for "pitcher of the week." However, I think the most impactful start was that of Imanaga's. It was the Japanesse-natve's first time going against the Cub's biggest rivals, and he let his presence be known as his final line would be 7.0IP, 4H, 1ER, 0BB, 6K. Imanga counties will be the MVP of this ball club, which gives Jed Hoyer and the company much more credit than they deserve. Mike Imanaga ll has only given up more than two earned runs once this season (that disaster in Milwaukee); Imanaga has proven his case for early rookie of the year and maybe a possible Cy Young. 

Other Highlights

Series To Come 

6/17: Giants vs. Cubs (J. Hicks vs. J. Assad)

6/18: Giants vs. Cubs (L. Webb vs. J. Steele)

6/19: Giants vs. Cubs  (Undecided vs. K. Hendricks )

6/21: Mets vs. Cubs (J. Quintana vs. S. Imanaga)

6/22: Mets vs. Cubs (T. Megil vs. J. Taillon)

6/23: Mets vs. Cubs (D. Peterson vs. J. Assad)



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