Sunday was just another rough day in a long line of them for the Cubs.
Seeing right-hander Dylan Cease and left fielder Eloy Jimenez do what they did in the White Sox’ 13-1 rout certainly didn’t make it any better.
Cease struck out 11 in six innings for his second double-digit-strikeout game of the season against the Cubs. Jimenez only had one hit, but it was a three-run homer against right-hander Kyle Hendricks that made it 8-1 and came in the middle of a seven-run fifth inning in which Hendricks lost command.
‘‘In the fifth there, I just kind of got out of rhythm and just made a lot of bad pitches,’’ Hendricks said.
Cubs manager David Ross echoed that.
‘‘Usually with him, when you have the stuff he has, the command’s got to be really good,’’ Ross said. ‘‘If I had to guess, going back and looking at it, just command issues.’’
Hendricks aside, the performances from Cease and Jimenez only will add salt to the wounds of Cubs fans, who saw Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo dealt last month as part of a franchise-altering purge that has led to a spate of losses.
Back when the Cubs were contending in 2017, they sent Cease and Jimenez to the Sox for left-hander Jose Quintana in a trade meant to bolster their hopes at a second World Series title that never came. Quintana never quite pitched like the Cubs wanted, while Cease and Jimenez are now key parts of a Sox team staring at a wide-open championship window.
The Cubs, meanwhile, are left to hope that some of the players they acquired in their trades this summer blossom enough to help their next contender.
On Sunday, the Cubs didn’t put up much resistance and lost to the Sox for the fifth time in six games this season. Hendricks allowed homers to Luis Robert, Brian Goodwin and Jimenez to run his career-high total to 28.
Hendricks (14-6) allowed eight runs in 4 2/3 innings and finished 1-2 with a 7.81 ERA in August. That followed a strong May, June and July, during which Hendricks went 12-1 with a 2.89 ERA.
‘‘Just getting hurt on bad pitches, just not executing as well as I’d like to,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘I went through a good stretch where I was executing a lot of pitches one after another, changing speeds well. Then I just had a few starts this month where [I] just made way too many bad pitches. Focus on getting back to execution in my work and try and translate that to the game.’’
The pitch to Goodwin wasn’t bad, but he took advantage of a lively Guaranteed Rate Field and deposited an 88 mph fastball just off the outside corner into the Sox’ bullpen in left to give them a 3-0 lead in the second inning. The pitches to Robert and Jimenez, however, were not of the same caliber.
Hendricks said he let a fastball get away from him to the arm side on Robert’s homer, then pulled a fastball to Jimenez that he was trying to go inside with.
‘‘You just can’t do that to hitters like that,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘Just got to get back to executing.’’
One of those hitters — and the starting pitcher he supported Sunday — were once on a path to Wrigley Field. And the Cubs could use them now.