The Cubs had to win one game in October to get to play at least three more. The starting pitching was good as it had been down the stretch. The bullpen was good enough, but the Cubs scored just one run or fewer the same number of times the Baltimore Orioles did this year with the final game of the year ended with the Cubs managing only a run.
Playoff Jon Lester took a few batters to show up. Charlie Blackmon walked to start the game, and DJ LaMahieu smoked a ball into the base of the fence. Kris Bryant alertly threw up his hands and that meant Blackmon had to stay at third base for another batter. Nolan Arenado hit a flyball deep enough to move the two Rockies 90 feet. The Cubs were down what felt like an insurmountable one run deficit. Lester struck out Trevor Story and Matt Holliday to end the inning with just a single run yielded.
Kyle Freeland dominated the Cubs hitters. Freeland scattered three singles over the first five innings. The Cubs weren't able to get past first base in those five innings, and the script seemed to be written for a frustrating loss.
Lester continued to get stronger as the game wore on. He pitched through six innings allowing only the single run. Lester struck out nine in his quality start. The Rockies threatened with a couple of doubles in the middle innings, but the Rockies were still stuck at one heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Ian Happ led off the sixth inning as a pinch hitter, and he drew the Cubs first walk to start the inning. Ben Zobrist struck out swinging, and it seemed like an easy inning for the Rockies as Bryant hit a weak popfly into shallow right. But the ball dropped in front of David Dahl, and the Cubs had a runner in scoring position with just one out. The next pitch Anthony Rizzo hit right to LaMahieu to start the inning ending double play.
Jesse Chavez was the first Cubs reliever and he was greeted rudely with a solid single up the middle from Ian Desmond. He must have felt bad because Desmond tested Kris Bryant's arm on the next play. It resulted in a double play to kill the rally. The Cubs best chance to tie the game came in the seventh inning. Albert Almora Jr. reached on a one out single. Daniel Murphy lined out for the final out recorded by Freeland. Adam Ottavino walked Willson Contreras and then Tommy La Stella reached in the most Tommy La Stella way with a catcher's interference. Jason Heyward swung over ball 4 to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Randy Rosario walked Drew Butera to start the inning. Blackmon flew out and that meant it was time for Steve Cishek's contractual obligated appearance. LaMahieu hit into an inning ending double play. Ottavino retired the first Cubs he faced, but Rizzo singled to keep the inning alive. Terrance Gore entered the game and stole second on the very next pitch. He stayed on second for a couple of pitches for some reason, but it didn't matter as Javier Báez flipped a run scoring single into left center. Wade Davis struck out Almora to end the threat with Báez stealing third.
Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Cubs one of many chances to win this game, but the lineup wasn't up to the task as so frequently was the case this season. The Cubs reached base just one time in innings nine, ten, twelve and thirteen. The Cubs had a chance in the eleventh inning. Javier Báez drew a walk to start the inning, and was moved into scoring position on Almora's sacrifice. Daniel Murphy was put on base intentionally, but Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini couldn't deliver the season saving hit.
Instead, it was nobodies for the Rockies delivering the key hits in the thirteenth inning against the Professor. Hendricks retired DJ LaMahieu and Nolan Arenado to start the frame. Trevor Story then bounced a single past a sliding Báez. He reached third as Gerardo Parra golfed a ball over Zobrist's head, and then Tony Wolters bounced an 0-2 pitch back up the middle for the go ahead run.
The Cubs couldn't muster a tease rally as the 2018 campaign came to a merciful end. It wasn't meant to be, and a lot of work lays ahead of this front office. Tonight is for venting though.
There isn't much else to be said besides this.