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Cubs News

The gut punches keep coming for the Cubs

1 month agoTony Andracki

“Uncle.”

That was how Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Jim Deshaies wrapped up Thursday night’s broadcast on Marquee Sports Network. It summed up the evening – and the last few weeks – perfectly for Cubs fans

This has certainly been a tough stretch for the Cubs.

Thursday marked another gut punch for Craig Counsell’s squad as the Cubs dropped a heart-breaker 3-2 to the Rays in Tampa Bay.

Counsell pulled the right strings in the 5th inning to jumpstart a slumping offense, as 3 straight bunts pushed across a pair of Cubs runs.

Justin Steele made that slim lead hold up with another stellar outing – 6 shutout innings.

But things fell apart in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Mark Leiter Jr. relieved Steele and Patrick Wisdom couldn’t make a tough play to begin the inning. Cody Bellinger wasn’t able to scoop Wisdom’s throw and the Rays kicked off the inning with a guy on second base.

A walk and a strikeout followed before Josh Lowe singled home a run. A groundout to second plated the tying run before a Yandy Diaz single gave the Rays a 3-2 lead.

“I let the team down,” Leiter said. “I didn’t make enough pitches. That’s it. We played a good enough game to win and I put us in a bad spot. I didn’t make pitches, I didn’t put them away. I didn’t execute when I had chances to put them away.”

That’s the way the game finished, though the Cubs had one more gut-punch awaiting them in the top of the 9th.

After Michael Busch walked, Nico Hoerner laced a hard ground ball up the middle but Rays shortstop Taylor Walls made an absolutely incredible play to rob Hoerner of a hit and turn it into a game-ending double play:

It was just another example of the bounces not going the Cubs’ way right now.

Steele has a 0.72 ERA over his last 4 outings.

“He pitched outstanding and deserved better,” Leiter said. “I let him down.”

The Cubs are now 5-6 in June after a 10-18 month of May. They haven’t won a series of 3 or 4 games in over a month – since they took 2 of 3 in Pittsburgh from May 10-12. (The Cubs did sweep the White Sox in a 2-game series last week.)

The Cubs have the 2nd-most blown saves in baseball (15), behind only the White Sox (19).

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