WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Heading into the game, I did some online shopping for some pitchforks, lanterns, and clubs in case the Cubs lost. Not surprisingly, Amazon.com had the best deals. I thought $35 was pretty reasonable for a pitchfork. The problem soon became that Amazon did not have same day shipping for what I might need should the Cubs go down against the Rockies. Luckily, I would not need those items today.
This has been a disappointing season. No one was expecting perfection all year, but the past three days have been very hard to watch. Just when it seemed the Cubs were putting it together against the Cardinals, they lose four in a row at home. There were a lot of missed opportunities in this series against the Rockies—from the offense, to the defense, to the pitching, there is not one area you can point a finger at and say, “That is the problem.” It’s a collective problem. That’s frustrating to watch and to try and fix. Today’s game was still a microcosm of that frustration, but at the same time, there was some hope in the victory.
Jake Arrieta only threw 14 pitches in the first inning. I thought that was a good harbinger of things to come. And it was. Ben Zobrist’s three-run homer in the bottom of the inning confirmed it. Over the next three innings, the Cubs were on cruise control holding onto a 4-0 lead.
And then there was the fifth…the Murphy’s Law Inning (or the Coomer Inning) in which everything that could go wrong did. The Rockies climbed back to tie the game as Arrieta threw 25+ pitches and only got one out before he was lifted. After Cub killer DJ LeMahieu singled, the game was knotted at four.
Help came an inning later in the bottom of the sixth when Addison Russell tagged a ball for a home run to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead. Kyle Schwarber then pinch-hit for Carl Edwards, Jr., and promptly followed suit for some breathing room. Each team would add one more run for a final score of 7-5.
It was not pretty, but it evened the Cubs record at 31-31.
TOP WPA PLAY:
Addison Russell’s dinger. (+.190)
BOTTOM WPA PLAY:
Carlos Gonzalez struck out in the bottom of the fifth with two men on to end the inning. (-0.84)
The Cubs travel to New York City to play the Mets. John Lackey, teeth and all, will go for the Cubs Monday night, while the Mets have not yet announced a starter.
Who knows, maybe the Mets could be just what the doctor ordered to wash away the taste of the Rockies series. There’s still 100 games left. That’s a lot of baseball left to play. They are only two games back. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Then again, why I am watching the standings in the middle of June?
Forward, together forward.
Lead photo courtesy David Banks—USA Today Sports