CHICAGO – If only the beauty of the surroundings could have match the play on the home field, it would have been the perfect day. Typically, that happens when the Cubs when they take the field at the Friendly Confines in 2019.
Yet the last two games have been a bit of an exception. The starting pitching hasn’t been as great, nor has the fielding, while the hitting has struggled outside of one player.
It added up to a 9-3 loss to the Nationals on Friday and led to another long afternoon on Saturday. The Cubs fell behind 5-0 and never recovered in a 7-2 loss to Washington, their first back-to-back losses at home since June 25 and 26.
Jose Quintana, who has enjoyed a string strong performances of late, was hurt by a pair of errors and some bad luck on light hits in his four innings. He was charged with five runs, four earned while walking three batters while striking out three.
A bad third inning would sink him as the Nationals got four hits and a walk to add four runs to make it 5-0.
The Cubs offense, which has struggled the past three home games with just four runs on Thursday and Friday, had their chances to respond but couldn’t. Nick Castellanos got one back run in the bottom of the third with an RBI single, but two potential runs were left on when Kris Bryant flew out to end the inning.
The Cubs got two runners in scoring position to start the fourth but came up with nothing. Ian Happ watched a controversial strike three get called against him with the bases loaded to end the inning, and the outfielder was thrown out for arguing the call.
Bryant might have scored on a Jonathan Lucroy hit to left that brought home one run, but it bounced up over the basket, sending the third baseman back to first on the ground rule double. Javier Baez struck out after him and Kyle Schwarber flied out to end the threat.
It was all around another bad day for the Cubs at a place they’re typically good in 2019. At least the fans had the weather to feel good about.