Cubs' offensive woes continue in 3-0 loss to Cardinals

Third baseman Patrick Wisdom’s eighth-inning flyout had an exit velocity of 111 mph and would have been a homer in 20 MLB ballparks, according to Baseball Savant.

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Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom was speechless after his eighth-inning hit didn’t result in a homer

David Banks/AP Photos

The at-bat produced all the makings of a home run. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom connected on a sinker in the heart of the zone, and the ball flew to left field in the eighth inning. Cubs fans at Wrigley Field rose to their feet, expecting to celebrate a go-ahead two-run homer.

But the ball stayed in the park, knocked down by an inbound wind, and found the glove of left fielder Brendan Donovan in Friday’s 3-0 loss to the Cardinals. Wisdom’s flyout had an exit velocity of 111 mph and would have been a homer in 20 MLB ballparks, according to Baseball Savant.

“Wow,” Wisdom said. “I don’t know what to say. Just wow.

“Do everything right, hit the ball on the nose and don’t get results, but that happens sometimes. It’s a tough one to swallow, given the situation.”

The Cubs had four of the hardest-hit balls in the game and zero runs to show for it. The team continues looking for a spark offensively. Wisdom said it’s easier to stomach the frustration knowing it’s a pitch he usually does damage on, but given that the Cubs could have used the runs, it’s hard to swallow.

Manager Craig Counsell echoed Wisdom’s sentiments, saying the third baseman “did what he was supposed to do, swung at the right pitch and put a great swing on it.” But the overall state of the offense has become alarming amid the losing it’s causing.

“When you’re losing, it looks like you’re doing nothing right,” Counsell said. “We’re doing more right than you think, and that’s why you continue to stay positive about it.”

Suzuki heating up?

The Cubs’ offense has been anemic. The team entered Friday averaging 4.23 runs per game, which was below the MLB average (4.33) and 19th in the majors. It also was 23rd in slugging percentage (.370) and hard-hit percentage (29.4%).

While the bullpen has blown many games, the offense deserves the bulk of the blame. However, the last week has shown some improvements for the heart of the lineup.

Right fielder Seiya Suzuki has slashed .289/.372/.632 in June. He has more home runs (three) in 38 at-bats in June than he had in his 73 May at-bats. The Cubs need Suzuki to continue his surge at the plate and provide some power.

“The big thing is just health and getting back into it every single day,” Counsell said. “He was in a great spot prior to the oblique injury, and then it took him a couple of weeks to get back going again. He’s in a pretty good spot right now, so definitely this version of Seiya is something we need.”

‘It’s just a weird situation’

The Cubs have lived in the middle after an 18-12 record in March/April. They haven’t won or lost more than five consecutive games.

“It’s about building momentum, which I feel like we haven’t had the opportunity or chances to do so and get that ball rolling,” Wisdom said. “We’ll crush a team, and then the next day it’s a close game. It’s just a weird situation we’re in right now.”

The Cubs have a 13-15 record in an MLB-leading 28 one-run games. With July on the horizon, time is running out for them to string together a winning stretch and salvage their postseason aspirations. V

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