Out, vile jelly.
According to Carrie Muskat, before tonight’s contest, Hector Rondon “gave [Carl Edwards Jr.] a pep talk after Saturday’s game. ‘I told him, “Hey, it happens to everybody…Learn from that.”’
Unfortunately, Twitter’s 140 character limit prevented Muskat from posting the full Rondon quote which apparently ended with “Here, I’ll show you…”
This is the kind of game from which a thousand HOT SPORTS TAEKS are born. It’s perfectly reasonable to work off some steam from this one. Crank the volume on some Nine Inch Nails. Do an impression of John Lackey after his fielders are unable to complete an amazing double play letting in the first run. (Really, John? If Lackey had been pitching when Willie Mays made The Catch, he’d curse him out for not doubling the runner off first.)
But for God’s sake don’t suggest that this one game means the Cubs want no part of the Cardinals in October. Unless you want FS1 to give you millions of dollars to scream nonsense at Colin Cowherd.
Am I posting a bunch of random references and non-sequiturs because I’d really rather not talk about this game? You’re damn right I am!
Top Play (WPA): The Cubs could not have started this game any better without time traveling back to 1953 to infuse the St. Louis Browns with cash in order to force the Cardinals to move to Branson. Dexter Fowler worked a beautiful leadoff AB against control artist Mike Leake, going from 0-2 to a well earned walk. Kris Bryant followed by dunking a single to right on the first pitch and Anthony Rizzo snuck a grounder past unbaked bread dough statue Jedd Gyorko for the Cubs’ first run (+.121). Things were looking good.
Then they played the rest of the game. Which was really a bad decision all around.
Bottom Play (WPA): BP Wrigleyville would like to congratulate the Cardinals on winning the 2016 World Series. It seems kind of odd that they were able to do it in a game in August against a National League opponent. But based on Stephen Piscotty’s reaction to his three-run homer in the eighth inning to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead, I guess that’s what happened (-.456).
As baseball fans, we’ve reached a more enlightened point where we don’t grumble about players showing joy and emotion on the field. That’s left to crusty old men from a bygone era to grumble and spit curses about “Respecting the game” and “Acting like you’ve been there before.”
But as we saw tonight, that sometimes results in the Cardinals being happy. Screw that. Team Goose Gossage 4 Lyfe.
Or at least until Tuesday.
Key Moment: This series has been marked by leaving the bases loaded. In Thursday’s infinitely preferable game, Mike Montgomery stranded three Cardinals in the top of the eleventh. And it looked like the Cubs were about to do the same in the bottom of the inning before Anthony Rizzo took the strikiest looking Ball Four to win it.
Tonight, unfortunately, the Cubs outdid all of that in the seventh inning, loading the bases with nobody out and scoring nothing. Matt Szczur flew to shallow center, Dexter Fowler took a nasty called third strike placed perfectly at the bottom of the zone, and Kris Bryant flew to shallow right. But hey, the Cubs were still up 3-1 going into the eighth and they had their best bullpen guys rested and ready to go and…
Trend to Watch: …*Gunshot*
Tonight was Rondon’s first game since August 2. His speed appeared to be there as he was sitting 94 on the radar gun and touched 96. But he had no command at all as Piscotty and Brandon Moss abused pitches right down the heart of the plate.
Once he gets his ability to hit his spots back, that stuff should play. But in the meantime, the Cardinals were spitting on his sliders the way the people from @BestFansStL spit on basic human rights.
Up Next: Tomorrow’s a day off. I’d advise using it to do anything but check the Cubs’ Twitter mentions.
Tuesday’s a double header against the Brewers. In the first game, the Cubs will look to stop their two game losing streak by handing the ball to Trevor Cahill. That’s a real sentence I just typed. He’ll be opposed by Matt Garza whose emotional state should provide a good metaphor for half the fanbase. Jason Hammel and Chase Anderson will take the nightcap.
Now let’s forget everything about tonight ever happened. Except for the fact that the Cubs are leading the division by twelve (12) games. (Editor’s Note: This is actually correct, I checked.)
Lead photo courtesy Caylor Arnold—USA Today Sports