Friday, July 12, 2024

Jed Hoyer’s Cubs Blow Another Game


The only thing the Cubs have been good at in 2024 is making you believe it can’t possibly get worse only to see it get worse right after. After losing three of four to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs began a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays and guess what, the bullpen blow another lead.

Yet, as has been the case far too often this season, a lot of people deserve blame for Tuesday’s 5-2 loss in Tampa. The offense had 10 hits, which included a solo home run by Christopher Morel and finished the game going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Right-handed starting pitcher Jameson Taillon is the main guy who actually did his job, shutting out the Rays for six innings.

Before we get to Hector Neris choking in the ninth, let’s talk about Miguel Amaya and how he’s turned into a terrible catcher. He looked fine and sometimes pretty good behind the plate in 2023, but this year has been a nightmare. I thought he would secure the catcher job in 2024 and beyond, but I and so many Cubs fans have been wrong about that. His defense has been awful and on Tuesday night his field awareness cost the team a run in the seventh inning.

With runners at second and third with two outs and the Cubs leading 2-0, Hayden Wesneski threw a breaking ball in the dirt, which to his credit, Amaya did block…kinda. However, Amaya had no idea where the ball went, it was literally by his foot, and the catcher booted the baseball away, allowing the Rays to score their first run of the game.

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By the way, Mark Leiter Jr. began the seventh inning by surrendering a leadoff walk and then allowed a single before he was taken out, replaced by Wesneski.

Meanwhile, the Cubs offense was once again silent and besides the Morel home run in the fourth inning, the only other run came in the sixth, when David Bote had a pinch-hit, two-out RBI-single. Mike Tauchman and Seiya Suzuki combined to go 0-for-10, with 2 strikeouts at the top of the Cubs lineup. Ian Happ and Dansby Swanson went 1-for-8. Excellent.

OK, let’s get to how the Cubs don’t have a closer.

Hector Neris has been the luckiest pitcher in MLB during the 2024 season and it should never surprise anyone when he blows a game. That includes Craig Counsell and Jed Hoyer, both of whom feel content in leaving the veteran in that role. I know there aren’t many better options, but c’mon. Also, who’s fault is that, Jed?

Neris fell behind 2-0 to Richie Palacios, who then crushed a double to begin the bottom of the ninth for the Rays. Following a strikeout, Neris walked a batter and then Tampa tied the game with a single to center. The Cubs still had a chance to get to extra innings, but with two outs, Brandon Lowe gave Cubs fans a new low for the 2024 season.

It’s June and the Cubs still haven’t figured out the bullpen. The team has the worst catchers in baseball. The offense is broken and at the end of the day that’s on Jed. Your team really sucks right now, Jed, and you’re responsible.

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