The Cubs In Haiku: A Saturday of "If Only"s

The Cubs In Haiku: A Saturday of "If Only"s

If only Rizzo
Made that play in the seventh
The Cubs might have won

Saturday night was frustrating. The Cubs won a double header on Friday, and the Cardinals lost two (including a suspended game) earlier on Saturday. So when Travis Wood took the mound for his first start since May the Cubs were only 5 games behind the division leader and suddenly the wild card wasn't the only way the Cubs might reach the post season.

It began as a pitcher's duel, with the Cubs holding a slim 1-0 lead thanks to another first-pitch home run from Kyle Schwarber in the third. It was the only hit the Cubs managed until a couple of singles in the sixth. And the Cubs bullpen, pitching the entire game because inclement weather threatened to create a delay, held the Phillies scoreless on three hits through the sixth.

Then, that seventh inning. After an Anthony Rizzo error on what would have been the third out , Phillies bats came alive to score 5 unearned runs for what seemed like a commanding lead.

But, as we've learned to expect this summer, the Cubs weren't done.

If only the Cubs
Hadn't gotten our hopes up
With a four run eighth

The first out in the top of the eighth was Miggy Montero's deep sacrifice fly to center, scoring Rizzo from third to tie the game. Kris Bryant tried to score on a Javy Baez ground ball up the middle but was thrown out. Joe Maddon thought Phillies catcher Erik Kratz had violated the "blocking" rule, but the out call was upheld on review and Addison Russell struck out to end the rally.

Then, after Hector Rondon got the first two outs in the ninth on just 5 pitches, he walked Kratz, gave up a first-pitch, two-run, walk-off homer to pinch hitter Cody Asche, and the game was over.

If only Rondon
Hadn't thrown a home run ball
The Cubs might have won

A disappointing end to a day that held the promise of being a late season turning point in the Cubs' chance for a division title. But before we get too disappointed, let's remember this:

If only the Cubs
Weren't pushing for the playoffs
Then, we wouldn't care

As Paul Sullivan wrote in the Tribune, Saturday's loss is just a bump in the road to the post-season:

Only the most optimistic of fans would have predicted the Cubs would be this good, and in the back of their minds they knew they were going out on a limb.

Even after the Phillies' Cody Asche hit a two-run walk-off home run Saturday night to hand the Cubs a 7-5 loss, the Cubs have a .582 winning percentage.

Over the last 75 years, only three other Cubs teams finished with a better percentage: 1945 (.636), 2008 (.602) and 1984 (.596).

You may be familiar with the old joke about optimists, pessimists and Cubs fans. Despite Saturday's heartbreaking loss, we're all optimists now.

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