The Chicago Cubs took on the San Diego Padres in a three game series at Wrigley Field. They took one game out of the three, winning 7-8, and losing 7-4 and 1-0 in a double-header. The Cubs seemed to take a slight step back this series after being on a roll for about a month. While this is definitely no time to panic, as it is just one series in a long season, this might be a good time to do a Cubs analysis and look at what went well and what they struggled with during this series.
Series Review: Padres vs. Cubs Analysis
Ben Zobrist keeps rolling
Ben Zobrist has exceeded the “hot” label recently, and this series was no different. In game one, Zobrist drove in two of the eight runs en route to a perfect 4-4 night, with all hits coming as singles. In game one of the doubleheader (game two of the series), he went 2-for-3 with two walks and drove in a run. He would strike out in a pinch-hit appearance in the final game of the series.
In his last seven games, he is hitting an astonishing .520, with an OBP of .625. In that span, he has driven in fifteen of the Cubs forty-six runs scored. In a post-game interview earlier in the week by Carrie Muskat, Zobrist said, “It takes me awhile, being a switch-hitter, to get the feel. Sometimes driving it takes a while to find that stroke.” The rest of that article can be found here. It seems that the Cubs second baseman is definitely locked in and will hopefully continue to contribute at a high level.
Cubs pitchers falter slightly
Up to this point in the season, the Cubs starters had been the best rotation in baseball, while the bullpen ranked toward the top as well. They didn’t pitched up to those standards in this series. Lester pitched in game one and gave up three runs in six innings. He only gave up four hits, so his performance wasn’t terrible, but the bullpen behind him struggled. Justin Grimm and Adam Warren combined to pitch the eighth. Both would struggle, giving up four runs on a grand slam. The three runners on base were credited to Grimm, while the batter was Warren’s.
Hendricks was the starter in game one of the doubleheader. He would give up two runs early, but get stronger as the game went on. Again, the bullpen would underperform late. Pedro Strop came into the game during the seventh inning. He surrendered three runs on three hits and two walks, and failed to record an out. He was credited with the blown save. Neil Ramirez gave up a run himself an inning later.
The pitching was much better in the third and final game of the series, as Lackey worked through eight innings. He surrendered only one run, a towering home run in the fifth. The offense failed to provide Lackey any run support, however, as the Cubs were shut out.
The Cubs lost two games in a row for first time all year, and are the last team to do so. They are still currently the best team in baseball, and have no reason to be concerned at this point in the long season. After a look at the Cubs analysis, they should have no problem turning around this small step backwards. The bats will heat up again and the pitching will fall back into place. This is a good ball club, and they definitely know how to show it. The Cubs take on the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend in a three game series at home.