Former Cubs draft pick (yeah you can look it up) Tim Lincecum got himself yet another no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon, which was very fun to watch as it was the MLB.tv free game of the day. It has to be doubly embarrassing when the pitcher no-hitting you can get on base, too...
— MLB (@MLB) June 25, 2014
Anyway, the Cubs concluded their series against the Cincinnati Reds that same night, and will prepare to face the Washington Nationals right afterwards. Let's take a look at the games...
Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, Wrigley Field
Monday, June 23 - Reds 6, Cubs 1
I blogged about this at the mothership so you can check out Anno and Rice's night at Wrigley over yonder. Suffice it to say that Jeff Samardzija shut down a pretty dangerous lineup as trade rumors are ramping up, but again the Cubs couldn't take advantage of a few good scoring opportunities. Hector Rondon was the hard luck loser as he gave up a couple of BABIP hits before Devin Mesoraco hit a just-barely-in-the-basket grand slam. Not the best game, but always a good time at the ballpark.
Tuesday, June 24 - Reds 3, Cubs 7
See, Anno took me to the wrong game. Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but then ran out of gas. He still ended up with the win, but not before Cubs manager Rick Renteria went a little nuts in the eighth inning with reliever micromanaging. Pretty good return for Scott Feldman, that Arrieta kid is...
Wednesday, June 25 - Reds 4, Cubs 1
Edwin Jackson got the start and kept the Reds in check until the sixth inning, when he lost the strike zone and the hits started falling in. It always seems like he's okay for a bit and then one bad inning just brings the entire house down on him. Skip Schumaker, super-annoying non-Cub, drove in another run off James Russell on a suicide squeeze with a bunt that wasn't actually that great but still fell in and got the job done. Unlike Samardzija and Arrieta, Edwin just didn't have the stuff to shut down the Todd Frazier-Joey Votto-Devin Mesoraco machine three times in a row, and he also got beat by Jay Bruce's run-scoring double (Votto did him a favor by getting thrown out at home). All things considered, this wasn't a horrible Edwin start. Just not a good one, as is par for the course with him so far as a Cub.
It wasn't a complete loss though as Starlin Castro has been improving and has a good argument for the All-Star Game this year...
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro surpasses entire 2013 RBI output with RBI single in the fourth inning . Team leader with 45
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) June 26, 2014
I guess it helps to have an OBP-machine in Anthony Rizzo hitting in front of you, but really, Castro has been hitting very well all season and I love it. Trying to come all the way back against Aroldis Chapman was probably too much to ask, so the Cubs dropped yet another home series to the Reds.
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, Wrigley Field
The Cubs won't actually be playing baseball at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon as the annual Chicago Pride Parade is scheduled for that day. That does give the Cubs an extra travel day before their series in Boston against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. And you kind of figure that a large group of people celebrating their identity is a bigger deal than one ball game out of 162, so try to figure out something else to do that Sunday. Heck, go to the Pride Parade, it'll be fun.
The Cubs do have to cram four games in the span of three days so there will be a Saturday doubleheader.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 25, 2014
Let's take a look at the matchups then...
A couple more weeks to the All-Star Break, and the trade deadline soon afterwards. Hold on to your hats, folks.