A loss? Expected
But the way this loss happened?
Did we really expect a sweep? Well, okay, maybe we did. But the prospect of facing Madison Bumgarner in game 3 of the NLDS made Cubs fans nervous. Perhaps even willing to accept that there was going to be a loss in this series and it was going to come against the Giants ace.
In the beginning, it seemed like the Cubs were going to get past Bumgarner and the Giants, in the process letting their Jewish fans get away without having to make a difficult decision on Tuesday night.
A second inning 3-run homer by Jake Arrieta seemed like a great start. But that accounted for all the runs the Cubs scored off MadBum, and the Giants fought back to make it 3-2 by the time their starter was pulled for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 5th.
But the offense blew too many opportunities, leaving 10 runners on base and going only 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. And maybe Joe Maddon over thought things during what would have been the late innings of a 9 inning game.
Things started out well when Travis Wood replaced Pedro Strop and needed just one pitch to get the third out in the 7th. But Wood gave up a single to start the 8th and was replaced by Hector Rondon. Rondon walked the first batter he faced and it was time - maybe too early - for closer Aroldis Chapman.
The trade-deadline acquisition had the you-knew-it-was-coming (although still unexpected) awful appearance. By the time Justin Grimm was brought in to clean up the mess, Chapman had given up a triple and single. Suddenly the Giants had a 5-3 lead and the Cubs only had 3 outs left.
The 9th began with a Dexter Fowler walk and a Kris Bryant home run to tie the game, and our late, late night began to unfold. After 3 and a half scoreless innings Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery - who was probably stretched a bit too far - gave up back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the 13th. Suddenly it was over, the Cubs had lost 6-5 Cubs loss. It was time to go to bed and get ready for Tuesday night's game.
It was disappointing, but the 9th inning game-tying home run from Bryant kept hopes alive, and I wasn't as depressed as I thought I'd be when it ended.
Thought it would hurt more / But these #Cubs never gave up / I can handle this
— Ed Nickow (@TheCubsInHaiku) October 11, 2016
My next post might be about how I managed to wait until the end of Yom Kippur services tonight before finding out how the Cubs finished off the Giants. Or it might be about something else. Either way, you can make sure you don't miss it by getting on the list. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.