CHICAGO – Fortunes turned exactly 180 degrees for the Cubs from their win on Saturday to their Sunday evening match-up with the Braves.
After a 13-4 win the day before, the Cubs had a nightmare of a performance in front of a national audience at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs lost by the same score they won with against the Braves on Sunday – 13-4 – and it was a forgettable evening right from the start against Atlanta.
Staff ace Kyle Hendricks struggled as much as he ever has in a Cubs’ uniform, allowing six earned runs in the first inning on four home runs.
According to Sarah Langs of ESPN.com, he became the first Cubs’ pitcher to do so in team history and just the ninth ever to have that happen. Hendricks would end up working into the fourth inning and allowing seven runs, adding to a rough start to the year as he now has a 6.92 ERA with 12 strikeouts compared to seven walks.
The bullpen didn’t fare much better and in the sixth inning the game turned into a rout. Alec Mills and Ryan Tepera surrendered six more runs to bring Atlanta’s total to 13. It’s the most allowed by Cubs’ pitching since August 6, 2020 when they gave up the same amount to the Royals in Kansas City.
Anthony Rizzo was the lone bright spot for the team as he hit a pair of homers for the 19th time in his career. But it’s the first time since September of 2016 that the Cubs lost a game in which he had a pair of homers.
Rizzo also had a memorable mic’d up moment with the Braves’ Freddie Freeman when discussing a rundown earlier in the game.
Other than that, it was a lost night in front of a national audience for the Cubs, who have the day off to get ready for a three-game series with the Mets at Wrigley Field starting Tuesday.