Entering Friday, Cubs starter Jon Lester had allowed seven earned runs in four starts (23 innings).
He topped that in 3 2/3 innings on Friday against the White Sox.
The Sox bats made the trip up from the South Side, crushing the Cubs 10-1 in Friday’s opener of the Crosstown Classic. Lester gave up eight of the tallies, all on home runs.
Quick takes from the loss:
Lefty Lefty Lefty
The White Sox entered Friday No. 1 in baseball in home runs (15), OPS (.943) and wRC+ (155) and fifth in average (.291) against left-handed pitching. They lived up to the billing against Lester, slugging four homers and a twilight-aided double off the veteran southpaw.
Conversely, the Cubs have been better against righties than lefties this season and didn't produce much against White Sox southpaw Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel tossed eight innings of one-run ball, allowing six hits and one walk.
The Cubs had two strong scoring threats Friday, one when they loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth and came up empty. They got on the board via a Victor Caratini double and Nico Hoerner single in the eighth but that was it.
Over the last week, they’ve struggled with runners in scoring position, going 14-for-57 (.246) dating back to Friday’s loss against Milwaukee. They’ve left 60 men on base over that span.
Insult to injury
It appears Eloy Jiménez loves hitting at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs former farmhand, dealt to the South Side for José Quintana three years ago, went 2-for-4 with a long home run on Friday. If you recall, he drilled a game-winning homer against the Cubs at Wrigley last season.
In four career games at the Confines, Jiménez is 4-for-10 with two long balls.
“Jonny’s got his work cut out for him today, for sure. That’s a good team. They’ve done well against left-handed pitching, there’s no secret about that. – David Ross on the White Sox entering Friday with the best OPS in baseball against LHP.
The Cubs and White Sox are back at it with a matinee on Saturday at Wrigley. Kyle Hendricks is the Cubs probable starter and the White Sox have yet to announce one. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15.