Improved chest points: Citizens 4, Cubs 1

The end result wasn’t “one match,” but it sure had that feeling. I’d call this another close loss for the Cubs, and a frustrating one at that.

For the second straight round, Keegan Thompson didn’t have it (and the problems arguably go back further than that). This time, it wasn’t the fairways, but the fat pitches that were smoked up. As is often the case with relievers who have their ups and downs, I imagine all of this can be addressed, but I’m not sure the Cubs can afford to process them into meaningful roles at this point. Whether that means Thompson has to go back to Iowa to make sense of everything that’s going on, or whether he’ll become the latest reliever to be buried in low sway, I don’t know.

Not that Thompson was the only culprit tonight, because the Cubs’ bats didn’t do anything of note. Old friend Trevor Williams wasn’t so friendly, owning the Cubs through five innings.

The Cubs were finally threatened in just the sixth, when Williams left and another old friend Carl Edwards Jr. entered. But with the bases loaded and one out, Trey Mancini came out as a pinch hitter (for Edwin Rios, still on the list but deemed unworthy to take the bat), and Eric Hosmer appeared on the pitch. We all screamed Matt Mervis in our heads. or out loud. very loud.

The Cubs got two more chances from there, but again, they fell short. These are four out of five games in which the Cubs haven’t gotten the big hits when they need them. It’s exacerbating, but it’s not always predictive.

As for starters, Hayden Wesneski got good results despite a lot of contact, especially early on. It got better as the night went on – we’ve seen that many times before – but it was one of those starts where a better line-up might have caused him his problems. Not that you won’t be happy taking the results tonight.

He wasn’t getting much fluff, though, against a really bad lineup. The truth is, no matter how bad a slider is individually, Wisinski won’t get a lot of puffs if he doesn’t have his fastball command—everyone will just sit on the slider, because he doesn’t have to worry about the well-located fastball. It makes the slider much less effective, and I’ve seen Nationals hitters easily lay off a great cutter from the plate because they were specifically looking for the slider.

All in all, a solid outing for Wesneski, but maybe not as good as the streak score seems.

Fund total points.

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