Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (6/24/24): Giants 5, Cubs 4 – Bullpen Blows Another

The Cubs season continues to tumble downhill with another game squandered by the bullpen Monday night in San Francisco. Missed opportunities to expand on a 4-0 lead set Chicago up for yet another 9th inning meltdown, with a walk-off walk dealing the final blow in a 5-4 defeat.

The Cubs scored all of their runs in the 3rd and the 4th innings as the Giants went with a bullpen game. Run-scoring singles by Cody Bellinger and Michael Busch were followed by a run-scoring double by Dansby Swanson to key the rallies. Unfortunately, golden chances over the next two frames were wasted and the offense shut down after that.

Justin Steele pitched great on Monday, giving up just a pair of solo home runs to Matt Chapman and Nick Ahmed. Steele lasted all the way until the 8th inning, departing with a 4-2 lead and men on second and third with one out.

Tyson Miller escaped that jam but the lousy bullpen couldn’t survive the 9th. Colten Brewer gave up a bloop double, a bunt single, and a sacrifice fly to cut the margin to 4-3. Drew Smyly relieved him and allowed a single, a walk, and another sac fly that tied the score. With first base open, an intentional walk reloaded the bases and Smyly forced in the winner with an unintentional free pass. (Box score)

Key Moment

The Cubs left 12 men on base Monday night and it came back to hurt them in a big way. A perfect encapsulation of the issues they have had all season came when Pete Crow-Armstrong tripled to begin the 6th inning. After an infield single put runners on the corners with nobody out, a pop-up and two strikeouts kept the North Siders from scoring.

Why the Cubs Lost

The hitters need to do more but honestly, it still might not be enough for this truly horrible bullpen. No lead is safe from the relief corps right now.

Stats That Matter

  • Steele has been getting absolutely no help from his teammates all year long. The Cubs being consistently unable to win games started by their ace is a huge red flag: 7.1 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 9 K, and 1 BB.
  • Swanson had two hits and two walks on Monday.

Bottom Line

It’s about time to stop pretending this team has any shot to be good or make the postseason. The offense isn’t good enough, the defense isn’t good enough, and the relief pitching isn’t good enough for the Pacific Coast League. Whatever talent this front office had for spinning bullpen straw into gold has abandoned them. With the season going down in flames, there is no reason not to try some of the young arms in Iowa like Ethan Roberts or Hunter Bigge, since they can’t be any worse than this current collection of scrubs.

On Deck

Game two of the series is Tuesday at 8:45pm CT. The Cubs are going to start Kyle Hendricks and the Giants will go with another bullpen game in a contest airing on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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