Cubs Implode, Royals Offense Explodes - Royals 9, Cubs 0

Hello and welcome to Cubs Den! Please pause ten seconds as I try to stop rolling my eyes at the Cubs so I can actually formulate sentences and write a recap.

Okay, I’m done. Now we can talk about the absolute IMPLOSION of a game we all just watched. If you missed it, consider yourself lucky! The Cubs dropped this game to the Royals 9-0, which allowed the Royals to salvage the series and snap a six-game skid.

Jose Quintana started for the Cubs and gave up five runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out four. The first of his troubles came in the bottom of the 2nd where the Royals got two runs on a double by Drew Butera. Quintana issues both of his walks in that inning and both of them came back to bite him and the Cubs.

Source: FanGraphs

The 7th inning was where Quintana ran into big trouble and knocked himself out of the game. Jorge Bonifacio singled to leadoff the inning, Brett Phillips followed with a single of his own, and Adalberto Mondesi homered to bring both men home, and put the Royals up 5-0. Quintana stayed in to get one out, a strikeout of Drew Butera before being replaced by Tyler Chatwood. As everyone knows, Chatwood started the season as a starter but with little success and the acquisition of Cole Hamels, the Cubs elected to move him to the pen. Chatwood retired all three batters he faced in the 7th inning, but his 8th inning was not as pretty.

In the bottom of the 8th, Hunter Dozier led off with a walk. Lucas Duda followed with a single, and the Royals were in business with two men on and nobody out. Next up Jorge Bonifacio doubled, and ended up on third on an error by Addison Russell. That hit by Bonifacio was his second of the night and made it a 7-0 ball game. The inning got worse as Brett Phillips also got his second hit, a triple, scoring the man from third, and putting the Royals up 8-0. The final run of the inning and game came on a sacrifice fly by Drew Butera. At the end of eight innings, the Royals led 9-0.

The Cubs managed only three hits - a leadoff single by the birthday boy, and best leadoff hitter of all time, Anthony Rizzo in the 1st inning, and consecutive singles in the 7th by David Bote and Tommy La Stella. That was it. Quintana got no run support and his record is now 10-8 on the season. There’s no way around it, the Cubs had a terrible game, but at least got the series win.

The silver lining is that despite the Cubs losing and the Brewers winning tonight, we still hold a 1.5 game division lead. The Cubs have a much needed off day tomorrow, and will face the third place Washington Nationals at Wrigley for a three-game set starting Friday afternoon. That’ll be a 1:20 on NBC Sports Chicago where the Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound. The starter for the Nationals has yet to be announced. Let’s hope that the Cubs get some relaxation in tomorrow and come back swinging against Bryce Harper and the Nationals!

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  • Glad I missed it. Got in my car right before Mondesi hit the dinger. Turned the radio right off. Looking forward to the next game.... go Cubs.

  • Luckily we won't be facing guys like Fillmyer, Bonifacio, and Butera in the postseason.

  • Yea Hvhora, after the Brewers went back to back to back in the 1st inning and we were still down 2 zip with no hitting I went to bed by the middle of the game thinking this one isn’t going to end didn’t....
    4 out of 7 against the low hanging fruit is not what I wanted (or expected either) but 4 out of 7 is still the number we always need against everybody and guess we just have to take it.....
    Quintana gave us a decent 6 but not more and then Chatwood just did a Chatwood.
    A needed day off then let’s just get another series....

  • Not an easy one to write up. Back to back games were a good example of the consistency the Cubs haven't quite nailed down this year. It's another series win and I'll take it, even if it wasn't what I was hoping for against the lowly Royals.

  • Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson (2.87 ERA), Brett Anderson (2.96), and Trevor Cahill (3.76) have combined to give Oakland over 100 innings since June 19th, a big part of the reason they've gained 13 games on Seattle in that stretch. Compare to Lester, Q, and Chatwood if you have the intestinal fortitude to look it up.

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    In reply to charactercounts:

    Thats ugly, and pretty embarrassing, but I will take Lester/Q/Hendricks against any of those 2 of those retreads and Sean Manaea in a 5 game or 7 game series 100 times out of 100 times. I don't care how much they are out pitching their peripherals. We seen the Edwin Jackson experiment, I am in no hurry ( nor did I miss it) to experience it again.

    Brett Anderson will be on the DL before you know it.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Unfortunately, it would more likely be against Sale, Porcello, etc. or Verlander, Cole, you get the idea, which is why I doubt there will be a parade into Grant Park in November, even if we stave off the Brewers. AC000202.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    That's hilarious, weren't all three of those guys washed up when they were Cubs? At least I think the Cubs gave Anderson a brief shot, didn't they?

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    It has to be coincidental, but it really makes me question the coaching. All three obviously have ability, but why do they put it together in some situations and fall apart in others? What's different in Oakland?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Just timing probably. Sometimes players finally get it figured out. The game slows down and their confidence builds. They play with a relaxed intensity thinking 'I can do this'. Talent takes its destiny.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It is a small sample size you are basing your evaluation on, Over a long period of time they will regress to their career numbers.

  • Well. It's just counts as one loss. I thought the turning point was in the second when Q walked the first two. The Cubs just didn't show up last night. That pitcher had the edge on our bats. It's as if the boys celebrated Anthony and Jason's birthdays a little too hard over a KC rack and ribs and a few cold to wash them down.

  • I know the offense was awful last night but frustrating start by Q. He basically dominated the Royals all game and still gave up 5 runs. And I'll tell you I can't think of many times during his white sox tenure where he'd all of a sudden lose his control during one bad inning as he's done frequently with the cubs. I've been saying give Q a chance all year but I think he's officially getting to the point where he shouldn't be guaranteed a playoff rotation spot if and when Darvish returns and if he shows good form. There's a lot of IF's in that statement and Darvish has a long way to go to showing he's in the type of form that's necessary to start a playoff game but Q has just shown me inconsistency with his command all season long there's never been one stretch this season where I felt he's been locked in. I felt he was locked in last September in particular it's the only month in Quintana's cubs tenure where I've felt that he's pitching to his capabilities and hopefully he can lock in at the end of the year this season as well. At this point I don't know if it's a pitching coach or organizational pitching issue but it just doesn't feel like we get as much out of our pitching talent as many other organizations for whatever reason. It's strange because we have 2 great minds in Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon leading this organization but for whatever reason it hasn't worked out for a number of big name acquisitions. I don't want to point fingers but I haven't been very impressed with Jim Hickey either pretty much everyone in our rotation is seeing increased walk rates this year and it's just baffling to me. Even Darvish's fastball command looked just awful early in the season and he's never really been a guy that's had to deal with control issues and neither has Quintana. You look at Oakland and Milwaukee and they're getting solid pitching from nobody #5 starters like Junior Guerra, Jhoulys Chacin, Brett Anderson, Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill, etc. these guys are far inferior pitchers then what we have yet we're not seeing better results at all from our more talented staff then what these guys are providing for the most part. I'm not gonna point fingers because I just don't have the information or context into what's going on but I think Theo needs to really take an in depth look at the organizational pitching infrastructure because it's hard not to infer that there maybe some issue there. We haven't seen much success with our pitching in the minors either and I know we just hired Jim Benedict so I doubt that's changing but let's just say I've been about as unimpressed with Jim Hickey as I can be. In some ways I feel like Chris Bosio was better than him but we let Bosio go because he was a difficult person to work with not because he wasn't qualified for the job. I sometimes wonder if Kyle Hendricks in particular doesn't have the same chemistry with Hickey as he did with Bosio. And this isn't to let the offense off the hook but remember we're without Kris Bryant and Zobrist who I look at as 2 of our 3 best hitters this season. We didn't help our staff last night but I still would've liked to have seen a better effort against this AAA royals squad that I consider to be the worst team and offense in baseball.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    We won two of three.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Respectfully 44 I look at 4-3 vs the padres and royals as a win for Milwaukee not us especially if Milwaukee wins today they're only a game behind us. I'm not saying the sky is falling regardless of what happens this next week but I do think that was a great opportunity with a short handed lineup with no Zobrist and KB to pick up some ground on Milwaukee heading into a tougher stretch and we failed to do that we were huge 2.5 to 1 favorites over the royals last night according to Las Vegas that type of loss hurts. The cubs are my pick to win the division until someone dethrones them but I don't believe that we're as safe as some fans say given the injuries to our team which now include Ben Zobrist who has been to me one of our best 2-3 hitters. We're heading into a difficult stretch against the Nats, brewers and pirates with what's going to be short handed lineup and then we have 23 straight games that we have to play with no off days at the end of August through September due to the many rain delays that we had earlier this season. The brewers don't have any stretches that are similar to that due to playing in a stadium with a retractable roof. I believe that if our 3 injured players come back successfully by the end of the month then we should be in good position for the stretch run but our current lineup with no Zobrist or Bryant hasn't inspired much confidence lately. Contreras and our OF are collectively in major slumps since the break and our starting pitching hasn't been good besides Hamels really. I think that likely means that we should see better days ahead but I don't think there's any question that our lineup is much easier to pitch too without Zobrist and KB that's 2 hitters that work about as good of an AB as anyone on our roster.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I agree I guess. I would have liked to have a little better record since the break as well. To repeat a line I used earlier tho, it's not terrible. I have not been in the frame of mind to be critical. KC was due to explode and the Friars have been tough to beat of late. I like this organization and the coaches and players, and Joe has finished strong here so far. It won't be easy, but I like our chances.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree and you know I'm not just looking to criticize just to criticize 44 there's no one really that I'd rather have leading my organization that Epstein and I look at Maddon as one of the best managers of this generation and I realize that a 4-3 stretch vs. a 5-2 stretch isn't likely going to make or break our season. My main thing is I want to see our guys show championship form heading down the stretch as they've done every year since Maddon has taken over in the 2nd half and it's sometimes disappointing to watch our starters not pitch to their potential. I've seen Q for many years on the south side and I can't recall many times that he's hurt himself with walks as much as he has this year and I can say that same thing towards Chatwood and Darvish as well during his 8 starts. I like our chances too 44 but I just hope that we're able to compete with a healthy roster this is just one of those times of the year where we're exposed not having Zobrist and Bryant with a number of struggling hitters and I've been nervous about that stretch of 23 straight games all season long I think most teams struggle to come out of those types of stretches with on a hot streak. You're absolutely right though we're still in a pretty good spot especially compared to last year and our fate is still in our hands which is all you can ask for

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Our team ERA is 8th in all of baseball. All of the other pitching statistics are equally good. The one huge weakness is walks. We are #2 in most walks issued, just behind the White Sox. We issue almost 2 more walks per game than the most stingy walk team, Cleveland. We have 3 pitchers in Top 10 in most walks issued (Chatwood, Quintana and Lester). If we fix walks, I believe that will go a long way in getting the pitching staff to be more solid.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    I think higher walk rates are unquestionably one of the biggest concerns for our starting rotation but I think it goes beyond walks and extends into fastball command even within the strike zone all of our starters except Lester and Hamels so far. For me Darvish when he was pitching, Hendricks, and Quintana are all pitchers that have above average to elite command of their pitches and multiple athletic writers have done articles discussing just how many more pitches these pitchers are leaving over the middle of the plate as opposed to their previous stronger seasons when you analyze their spray charts and other analytical stuff. To me it all starts with fastball command and higher walk rates are a symptom of poor fastball command so if we can resolve this fastball command issue with our pitching staff then in theory we should improve. My concern is that this is becoming a recurring issue going back to last season and I'm starting to wonder if these issues go beyond individuals simply not executing. I'm not gonna speculate on whether it's the pitching coach or the organizations fault because I don't have enough information to make that judgment but I think the fact that this is becoming a recurring issue is what concerns me. I'm hoping that playing higher intensity games helps some of our guys get locked in I think we can all agree that our starting pitching is definitely capable of getting better results. I'm still optimistic but we're gonna need better starting pitching along with better health in order to get to where we want. We at least have the talent where guys are capable of a turn around

  • I’m sorry peeps but looking at our schedule, do we really have a good enough team to weather this. Right now, Cole Hamels is our best starter, we have an outfield with pretty much no power and every 2 or 3 days our offense disappears. If we fall out of first there are five or six teams that we will be playing head to head just to get a wild card. Add to that, no Bryant, no Morrow and no Darvish for the foreseeable future.
    I hope this team can rise to the occasion because I don’t want the Cardinals knocking us out of the playoffs the last weekend of the season and have to listen to their fans all winter..Please Don’t Let That Happen, guess I’m on the ledge.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    The outfield has no power? Happ and Schwarber have power IMO.
    Get off the ledge, things will be fine.

  • In reply to John57:

    39 home runs for Happ, Schwarber and Heyward not exactly ripping the cover off the ball. And when you take Happ out and add Almora it’s worse. I know there are other stats but our outfield not exactly producing
    a lot of offense lately.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    With all due respect, Zobrist (44), Heyward (46), Almora (58) and Rizzo (58) have the least strikeouts on the team. In addition, they are all 4 in the top 6 in hits and Heyward, Zobrist and Almora are 2, 3, and 4 in runs scored behind Baez. That, to me is much more important than home runs. Our outfield is just fine especially if Happ and Schwarber would break out of their slumps.

  • OT, off subject, probably off my rocker, but it's an off-day. I just wanted to share this incredible story with the music fans here who may not have heard. I'll keep it brief.

    There is a teenaged girl in Cleveland who's favorite band is Weezer. She was watching a Netflix show that used Toto's 1982 hit "Africa" and fell in love with the song. She created a tongue-in-cheek twitter account to implore her favorite band to cover the song. After months of trying, Weezer caught wind of her efforts and finally did. The live version is an international hit. Toto reciprocated by performing a cover of Weezer's "Hash Pipe" live in concert. Both are amazing.

    I repeat: a teenaged girl started a mock twitter account, created an international sensation, and because of her efforts I just watched Toto perform "Hash Pipe" live in concert.

    God bless America!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    It shows how 1 person can make a difference with enough energy and drive. A lesson for all of us.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    BP..........Coincidental my snow angel friend?..........the other day, "Africa" was being played by my kids. I walked in and started singing. they looked at me and said, how do you know that song? I told them it was a band from my younger days. They told me it was a new song by Weezer. They thought I was nuts when I told them it was a cover. Now, I have to show them your post and I've got to listen to the Hash Pipe cover.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    That's funny. Both live covers are on YouTube, and I'm still trying to grasp the fact that, in 2018, I actually said "I just watched Toto perform "Hash Pipe" live in concert". :)

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That's pretty darn cool... Thanks for sharing BP!

  • The brewers just had an epic 9th inning collapse.Allowed 6 runs in the top of the 9th, now trailing the padres 8-4

  • In reply to bolla:

    Knock on wood that the pads finish this one off but I think this could be a huge loss for the brewers with a chance at getting within one game of our cubs and with the cubs entering a tough stretch schedule wise with a number of our best hitters out or banged up. It's funny because Corey Knebel came into this year expected to be their best relief pitcher but he's struggled since his early season injury although the stuff is still there. Josh Hader is overworked and fatigued right now and all of a sudden the brewers bullpen showing some vulnerability after a heavy workload all season. It's only a blip with plenty of season to go but big missed opportunity for milwaukee if SD closes this one out.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Padres won it's over

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    It helps put the Cubs series with the Padres in perspective for me, anyway. If they took 2/3 from the Brewers, it's easier to accept a 2/4 split with the Cubs.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Exactly Cliff. I don't even mind that we only took 2 of 3 from the Royals. Sure a sweep would be better, but each opponent we play is still a professional MLB team.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The Brewers bullpen is falling apart like I knew they would, as I mentioned almost 2 months ago how much more overworked their bullpen is compared to the Cubs. And it's only getting worse for them as their lame GM didn't do a thing to bolster their pen or starting rotation which was sorely needed. Yet he added more redundancy to their infield. I'm sorry, and I'm not trying to be rude, but I don't get how you continue to point out the obvious Cubs weaknesses, but fail to see all the same and more in the Brewers. Sure we should be a little concerned about the Brewers, but I'm not gonna lose any sleep. Their meltdowns the last two games just further proves that point. They don't have nearly the talent that the Cubs have, so yes, that keeps the pressure squarely on the Cubs, but the BrewCrew hasn't learned how to handle pressure. The head to head matchups between the two teams is great proof of that. I've seen the Brewers take advantage of terrible plays in the same way the Cubs have against the Brewers, but I don't see the Brewers forcing the pressure on other teams, like the Cubs tend to do when things are going right.

    And just a note about pitching staffs (rotation and bullpens combined) in general, I believe the Cubs actually lead the league in shutting out opponents with 12 shutouts. While it's not complete game shutouts by starters (those are very much a thing of the past/very few of them this year) and even with our poor rotation and overworked bullpen, they are getting that job done more than all the other teams. It's definitely not pretty at times with all the walks, but our players battle through it better than most.

    A note about the Cubs split against the Padres. The Padres are starting to remind me of the Cubs 2nd half of 2014 where they started to show some life, like they were turning the corner. The Padres are gaining some confidence and they're having fun playing their game. That showed again against the Brewers. I won't quite expect consistency from the Padres moving forward, but I expect them to all of a sudden surprise more teams and show that they're not to be taken for granted anymore. The Dodgers, D-backs, and the Rockies will have to deal with that as they close out their season and try to take that division or a wild card spot. So all of a sudden, I'm totally ok with the 4-3 series against the bad teams. The last game of the KC series was just one of the 60 losses we have to accept was bound to happen. I'd rather lose that one 9-0 than 9-8 anyway.

    Final note about the Cubs tough August schedule. 23 games in a row. Wont' be surprised if one is rained out somewhere. It's a good thing we have 9 position players who can start, but only 8 positions, and that's not counting KB on the DL. My thought is he will sit out almost, if not all, of August. They need his shoulder better!!! But that means every game we play in August, one of our starters will get a day off. Look for Javy and Rizzo to get the least amounts of days off, but I'd bet that even Rizzo gets a day or two with Caratini playing first. All other players will be well rested, as they've been all year. I still expect our Cubbies to put it into a higher gear.


  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Fair points cubber and keep in mind I'm not ignoring the brewers flaws while pointing out ours I'm just giving a counter-perspective to all of the biased analysis and overall lack of respect that I see for this brewer team. 2 months ago and going back to April when we had this talk remember I was saying that I see the brewers as our main threat within the division based on what I saw on MLB TV and keep in mind the majority of replies that I got back looked at the cardinals as our main threat back in April/May. I said then that I think that our fanbase is overlooking the brewers based on their bullpen, hitting, and strength with fundamentals such as their team baserunning/defense/lack of fundamental mistakes. I think that cards vs. brewers debate has obviously cleared itself up now as the brewers are our clear main rival for the division and while I'm encouraged they lost yesterday I'm still not gonna overreact to one game or series although I most definitely agree with you that the brewers loss yesterday easily makes the cubs 4-3 stretch look a lot better in retrospect no question. Keep one thing in mind though yes I've advocated that the brewers are better than some people have been acting like (which they have been) and you know I've been saying this since April but I don't feel like I'm constantly picking on our cubs. I'm an opinionated individual that posts a lot of comments on this site so yes I have criticized the cubs before but most of my comments aren't negative bantering I'd like to think. In addition, I'm moreso trying to advocate that I think cubs fans are underrating this brewer team I've never once said that I don't see the cubs as the obvious favorites for the division. I can go all day talking about why I think the cubs have a superior roster to the brewers but I don't really think that I need to make a case for why the cubs have a better team as I think that clearly is reflected in the beliefs of our fanbase given the cubs recent success. I still expect the cubs to win the division but I by no means think they won already based on one bad series for Milwaukee. Keep in mind their bullpen isn't necessarily so fatigued right now Josh Hader individually is the one that's fatigued and that's why he was made unavailable for games 2-3 of that padres series which played a part in the brewers losing that final game. Once again let me reiterate that I hope and expect the cubs to win the division but my point this whole season is that I don't expect the brewers to go away due to bullpen fatigue or whatever I think they're still going to win plenty of games by the end of the year and we're gonna need to play good baseball down the stretch to hold them off was my main point because I think that the brewers win 90+. Hopefully our injured guys come back but if Kris Bryant isn't himself then I'm interested to see how our guys respond. I know Bote is playing great but I don't believe that he can replace Kris Bryant over the long run even though he's clearly in the good graces of our fanbase right now. Once again though I mostly agree with you that I expect the cubs to put things into higher gear like they always have and I expect some of our injured stars to return but I disagree that the brewers bullpen is so fatigued that this series loss to the pads is a sign of impending doom for them. I think the cubs will win the division because they're talent is going to win out not because this brewers team is overrated and we hope they collapse.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I also really hope that we see some rainouts during and not before that stretch cubber that's likely realistic and we're gonna need the days off. I'm actually a little irritated that MLB allows that many games in a row especially down the stretch run I'm not trying to cry or make excuses but how can that not be looked at as a pretty favorable advantage for Milwaukee given they play in a retractable roof. I don't know if they need to extend the season by 2 days to account for makeup games but to me it's a little unfair to us the cubs have struggled over some of these long stretches in the past and who can blame them your body isn't supposed to play in competitive contests 23 days straight. I trust the character and talent in our locker room but this whole stretch irks me a little bit this shouldn't happen during the stretch run.

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    6 runs in the 9th. Maybe Milw is coming back to the pack, or rather falling back farther back from the Cubs. If the Brewers have a Brew Crew den it must be imploding right now!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, that would be 1 funny blog right now... Ha Ha!

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    If you want humor from a distraught Brewers fan, read Kato Kaelin's tweets.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    It is. Check out the game thread on brewcrewball.

  • In reply to Lildude:

    They all want Knebel launched & mad at CC ha ha!

  • Much needed day off? These days off are what is going to kill the Cubs. They are now 4 games played behind the Brewers with a month and 2/3 left to play. They already seem tired and writers are talking about a much needed day off. What happens the rest of the season? Big trouble "brewing".

  • In reply to veteran:

    You do know playing 4 less games & still being 2 games ahead in the standings, tied in the win colum actually is to the Cubs advantage, right? Especially with rosters expanding just around the corner... & possibly getting some injured players back.

  • WAKE UP ! The third game vs. the Royals, the strike zone in the bottom of the second was completely different from the zone in the top of the seventh.
    MLB, is this acceptable ?

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