Cubs Split Series in San Diego
The Chicago Cubs lost 4-3 to the Padres on Sunday forcing them to split the series. Certainly splitting is much better than losing, however the Cubbies have failed to win a series on the road since September of 2013.
Despite offensive efforts by Junior Lake, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead after a homer in the sixth frame, it was the defense that couldn’t pull through.
Lately, pitching has proven to be a strength for the Cubs and Jason Hammel reinforced that by allowing no hits through the first four innings.
“Everything was working,” Hammel told MLB.com of the first five innings. “I was going for a complete game shutout. I was pretty much in complete command.”
Then the bottom of the sixth came, and Hammel fell apart because of fatigue after taking a hit to his pitching hand in his previous start against the Yankees. Two relievers and Hammel combined to allow a 4-run inning for the Padres.
It was a decisive play with Emilio Bonifacio bobbling the ball at third that turned out to be the winning run. Still, the Cubs must remain consistent in their strong areas to have any chance of improving their record. Pitching is key. Prior to Sunday’s game, the Cubs have a 1.89 ERA in the past 25 starts with the bullpen holding a 1.93 ERA in the past 10 games with 35 strikeouts and only 13 walks allowed.
Moving into another series on the road in San Francisco, the Cubs need consistency and strength on the mound to improve their 8-17 road record for this season. And with Jeff Samardzija, who has the lowest ERA in baseball but remains winless this season, starting on the mound, a W is long overdue.