Cubs

Observations: Phillies thump Cubs, win 4-game series

Cubs

The Cubs lost 8-0 to the Phillies Thursday, dropping to 43-45 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. The Cubs made Phillies starter Zach Eflin work in the first two innings but had nothing to show for it. Eflin threw 51 pitches total but escaped a pair of two-on, two-out jams.

2. Eflin’s early pitch count trouble proved to be, well, no trouble at all. He tossed six shutout innings on 96 pitches, allowing five hits and one walk.

3. J.T. Realmuto collided with Cubs catcher Robinson Chirinos at the plate in the second on a successful Phillies double steal. Chirinos, already the Cubs’ sixth backup catcher this season, stayed in the game after David Ross and a trainer checked on him.

4. The first home run Philadelphia outfielder Brad Miller hit was perfectly struck on a chilly night at Wrigley Field, with the wind blowing in. Miller’s next two long balls were straight up crushed.

5. Brad Miller, Cubs killer? He entered the day with a career .277/.404/.553 slash line in 20 games against the North Siders. He’s been even better in 12 games at Wrigley — .296/.441/.593.

6. Two of Miller’s blasts came off Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay, who's been bitten by the long ball against left-handed hitters this season. Of the 18 he’s surrendered, lefties have hit 15.

7. Home runs in general have hurt Alzolay in his last four starts. He’s given up two in each of those outings, taking the loss in all four. 

 

The home runs Thursday accounted for two of the five hits, and three of the four runs, Alzolay surrendered in five innings.

8. Philadelphia's home run barrage continued against Cory Abbott. Miller's third blast came against him, and Didi Gregorius took him deep two batters later.

9. Kris Bryant (hamstring), Javy Báez (thumb) and Willson Contreras (day off) all did not play Thursday.

10. The Cubs snapped their losing streak Wednesday, but their slide started before that skid. Since they reached 11 games over .500 on June 13, they’re 5-18.

On deck: The Cubs and Cardinals open a three-game series Friday at Wrigley. First pitch is 1:20 p.m. Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.83) and Wade LeBlanc (0-1, 4.24 ERA) are the probable starters.

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