What You Need To Know:
Next Level: There’s no question the MLB handled last night’s… what-have-ya in the most balloon-handed fashion possible. The game should have never started. They should have started again when they could have late. More the former than the latter. And it’s easy to shout at the rain that MLB cost the Cubs this one, as they lost having Lester on the mound, faced a surprise doubleheader, and basically were forced to put their hand in the jar marked “Palookas” to find a starter and relievers to get through it while having anything for Game 2.
I won’t say the Cubs deliberately chucked it, because no team ever does that. But we know a part of managing is knowing how to lose a game, and the Cubs maybe did that on this one before it started. Look, they’ve seen Scherzer, Syndergaard, deGrom, and Nola in the past couple weeks and they won all of those, somehow. So maybe Joe Maddon figures you’re already on the house’s money, and if you get this one, great, but if you don’t you still can take three of four in this series. Even a split would be a 6-5 road trip that looked pretty nasty before it started. Especially when it’s in the middle of a 23-in-23 stretch.
Again, I don’t think it’s a tank, like you would see in tennis. It’s just not chucking your resources at every opportunity. They are limited, of course. Other than maybe Brandon Kintzler, the Cubs didn’t use any reliever who is going to matter. Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Justin Wilson, and Jesse Chavez are all available for game two. That’s what matters.
I saw some calls for bringing in Tyler Chatwood in the second or third, and I get it. If by some miracle he could find the plate consistently, he could throw six or seven, no matter how it goes, and save everyone in the ‘pen.
But watching Chatwood now is kind of heartbreaking. It’s clearly gotten to him, and it’s not longer a mechanical issue. I don’t know if it’s “The Thing” yet, but you can see when he misses wildly it’s killing him on the mound. And it also looks like he’s out of answers, that there isn’t anything left to change or try and now it’s just believing. I hope he gets there. Maybe not this year, but maybe next season the Cubs will need him to figure it out. Plus, you don’t want to see someone lose their life’s work, something that’s come so simple to them for so long that they’ve gotten here.
There isn’t much else to add to this one. It’s over, it’s better that way, let’s move on.
Top WPA Play: There wasn’t one. I mean there was, but who cares?
Bottom WPA Play: The cancellation last night. Yeah, I’m a little bitter, because I wasted an afternoon on this one.
Lead photo courtesy Tommy Gilligan—USA Today Sports