Oh well if it's a wholly depressing Cubs game then I obviously have to come clean it up. There's a point in every season where everything goes wrong and the team looks terrible and even the most optimistic (or realistic) wonder if something isn't structurally wrong. It's usually about this time the Cubs do it too. And throw in the strangeness of the GABP, where things can so of the rails so quickly, and you get a weekend we'd all like to chuck.
It felt right, too. Even losing three of four was puke-worthy, but the Cubs offense finally acted like it was playing in Cincinnati and exploded for five runs in the fifth, all with two out. There was a big hit from Jason Heyward, which is becoming a habit. Rizzo added what felt like it should have been the coup de grace with a two-run shot.
The warning shot should have been Michael Lorenzen's pinch-hit homer, because that's not supposed to happen. We should have known it would get weird and awful, no matter the score. Almora seemingly wiped it out with a homer of his own, and Mike Montgomery got his customary six innings with one run allowed.
And then...and then....once again, it all goes wrong in one inning.
Montgomery let the first three on, though only one ball was hit all that hard. Pedro Strop threw one pitch before it was a game again, thanks to Jesse Winker being able to ride whatever jetstream goes out to left in that godforsaken place. I wish one day we could see the Billy Hamilton every other team sees, instead of the Willie Wilson '84 retro act the Cubs get. He singles, and Strop was clearly distracted by him, losing Schebler after having him 0-2. You just knew where it was going from there. And it kept going, thanks to Barnhart, Votto, and a bases loaded walk to Peralta. When it rains the roof caves in.
The Cubs were only going to be able to buttress the place without their two best relievers for so long. Strop has been so good all year, and just picked the worst time for his worst outing of the season. You could understand Maddon trying to extend Montgomery as long as possible, given the state of the pen and what's coming with a spot starter needed tomorrow. It just went sideways. Everything went sideways this weekend.
Sometimes you run into a hot team, whatever their record is. Sometimes you just play your worst at the same time, and you get this nonsense. Too many people are going to go over the top on this one, but it's just a really bad weekend. It's probably going to be the worst weekend of the season. Sometimes the things you've been dealing with successfully for a while boil over. There have been injuries and and wonky performances, and they combined for these four games.
Filed under: Uncategorized