Reds vs. Cubs: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs confronts pitcher Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs confronts pitcher Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Wisdom #16 of the Chicago Cubs lays on the field after being injured.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JUNE 30: Patrick Wisdom #16 of the Chicago Cubs lays on the field after being injured. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The summertime blues are alive and well in Chicago.

Following a sizzling May in which they went 19-8, the Cubs find themselves limping into July after concluding their June schedule with a 12-16 mark as summer officially arrived. What is more worrisome for fans of the North Siders is they were outscored by a resounding 131-97 margin for the month.

While there’s plenty of blame to go around for the club’s struggles over the past 30 days, the Chicago offense has been virtually nonexistent. The month of June saw Cubs’ hitters produce an anemic .188/.264/.366 slash line.

Through the first two months of the season, Kris Bryant’s name was tossed around as a potential MVP candidate. However, it’s safe to say the MVP chatter has cooled. Bryant was absolutely awful last month, slashing an embarrassing .114/.205./.241 in 79 at-bats.

Even though he wasn’t much better, Javier Baez was nearly equally terrible. The free-swinging shortstop compiled a .157/.231/.373 slash line while fanning an astounding 37 times in 83 at-bats. In addition, his 107 strikeouts on the season are the most in the National League.

Misery loves company and the Cubs starting rotation was more than willing to wallow in despair with the offense. Chicago starters posted a 5.19 ERA in June due in part to issuing 63 free passes in 131.2 innings.

Jake Arrieta may not enjoy Cincinnati, but opposing hitters loved facing him last month. It’s been a difficult second tour of duty in the Windy City for the right-hander. In six starts covering 21.2 frames, Arrieta was tattooed for 29 hits and 20 runs, including seven round-trippers. To make matters worse, he issued a staggering 14 walks.