Even before Alfonso Soriano was traded to the Yankees, we’d seen some less-than-stellar output from the 2013 Cubs offense. Since that trade, things have only gotten more frustrating. In August, the Cubs have played 11 games and scored 33 runs. In contrast, the Cardinals have played 11 games and scored 69 runs. Somehow the Cubs managed to win two out of three in St. Louis over the weekend. Monday night, they ran into Mat Latos.
Travis Wood notched his 20th quality start Monday night, but he was muttering to himself after the game because he couldn’t come through at the plate.
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer with one out in the seventh to back Mat Latos, who threw eight shutout innings, and lift the Reds to a 2-0 victory over the Cubs on Monday night.
The Cubs now have been shut out nine times this season, and blanked in their last three home games for the first time since Aug. 20-21, 1924.
Of all the horrible Cubs teams we’ve seen in our lifetimes, this is the first time they’ve been shutout three consecutive times at home since 1924. That’s impressive in an “I want to curl up and cry” type of way. Travis Wood pitched well, but wasn’t happy about his at bats.
“I’m still upset about my at-bats — it’s a touchy subject,” said Wood, who leads Cubs pitchers with three home runs.
And Darwin Barney feels super bad for saddling Wood with another loss in his 20th quality start this season.
“Usually when you give up two runs through seven, you’re feeling really good about yourself,” Barney said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t give [Wood] that cushion. If it’s 4-2, he feels like he did his job tonight, but unfortunately, he’s going to go home feeling like he didn’t do a good job.”
Make sure you give him plenty of hugs.
Monday night was the first night we’ve seen Junior Lake in center field since David DeJesus returned from the DL. Dale Sveum says they want to get a good look at whether or not Lake can handle the rigors of center.
“We don’t want to waste time developing something when in two years (Albert) Almora might be here playing centerfield,” Sveum said after the Cubs 2-0 loss to the Reds Monday night. “That’s up to the organization. We have to get together and talk but there is no reason to talk about it now. I want to see him (Lake) enough in centerfield before the season is over.”
Since Dale mentioned Almora, now might be a good time to mention that Kris Bryant and Daniel Vogelbach have been promoted to Daytona. For Bryant, that means he completely skipped Kane County.
‘‘We felt Daytona was a place Kris would be able to go and compete in his draft summer once he got enough at-bats under his belt,’’ Cubs player-development director Jason McLeod said. ‘‘With Daytona being in the playoffs, Kris will get three-plus weeks down there, which will be nice.’’
It sounds like his development must be going well if they’re willing to have him skip an entire level. So that’s good news.