View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

18

October 2017

36

COMMENTS

Still Baseball to be Played

Written by , Posted in General

Well, that one stunk.

The night started like we all wanted: early lead, and a loud one at that with first three hitters putting the ball in play over 100 mph off the bat. Still, not all that glitters is gold, and the Cubs get two on but add no more. Hindsight makes that inning more annoying than it was at the time. I don’t know about you, but headed to the second with a 1-0 lead after that many hard hit balls, and Kyle Hendricks on the mound SHOULD having you feeling good. They call it momentum, but does that even exist in baseball? If it does, it lasted a whole two pitches into the top of the second inning, when Andre Ethier took a Kyle Hendricks sinker deep to right field. At the time, I didn’t even know who hit it. It wasn’t until his next at bat that I looked at the video board and said “Andre Ethier is still alive?” and then noticed the “HR” in the box score under his name. Cool.

The rest of the game was as frustrating as this entire postseason has been. The first inning had a lot of energy, fizzled to nothing, and in the end Yu Darvish only had to throw 16 pitches. The Dodgers took the lead in the third on a Chris “Create-a-player” Taylor homerun into the bushes in center, and Yu was officially settled in after retiring the top of the order with nothing but a Kris Bryant bloop single to show for it. Is it just me, or have tie ballgames this postseason felt like a two run deficit? If you are in that boat with me, then Taylor’s (or should I say Mike Trout Jr’s) 5th inning RBI triple to put them down by two actual runs felt like the game was essentially over. While you’d be right in the sense that the chances of a Cubs comeback were slim, you’d have been wrong to think they were done showing us who the better team in this series is.

Before you jump on him like the kind folks of twitter dot com have, I’m not really even talking about Carl Edward’s outing. If you told me he would enter with two on and no out, and only let up one run, I’m taking that all day. The walk to Austin Barnes, while certainly frustrating, was not the worst thing he could have done in the situation. With runners on second and third, the walk set him back up for an inning ending double play, which is why you bring him into that spot in the first place. Instead, he gets Joc Pederson to fly out to right field and brings the pitcher to the plate with two outs. Any momentum that was building from this inning ending Houdini act fell to the wayside, and not because he walked the pitcher on four pitches to put the Dodger lead at three. Carl came back to strike out Chris Taylor, on three pitches, and instead of rally towels and pumping fists, he was booed by his home crowd. The Wrigley crowd had a chance to rally the troops and show their love and support and maybe get some kind of weird baseball mojo thing cooking with 4-5-6 coming up, and they chose to belittle their own. Be better than that.

(No, I’m not trying to rationalize walking the freaking pitcher, I’m simply giving you some perspective. If you booed/scapegoated Carl last night, whether from the stands or from your couch, maybe sit this one out tonight and come back for game 5 on Thursday).

When it comes time for the playoffs, you’ll need to be one of two things: Either you’re the best team in baseball (that’s the Dodgers) or you’re hot at the right time (that’s the Yankees), and no matter who you are, you’re going to need a whole bunch of luck to go along with it. Last season, it seemed as if the Cubs had all three of those going for them, and they rode it all the way to a World Series game seven victory, in 10 damn innings nonetheless. None of that is there for this team right now. They sputtered passed the Nationals, and have been smacked down after any advances they have made against the Dodgers. Early leads in ALL THREE of these would be losses is the frustrating part of it all. You can choose your scapegoat, there are plenty of radio callers and twitter uprisings calling for the bullpen’s, or Joe Maddon’s, or *pick a slumping hitter’s* heads. Whatever helps you rationalize your frustration is your right as a fan, but don’t let that distract from the most important factor in this series: The 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers are very good at baseball.

Here’s where I’m at today: we get to watch a Chicago Cubs baseball game. There are 26 fan bases out there wishing they could be down 3-0 in the League Championship Series, don’t let the ridicule from your local Whitesox or Cardinal fan tell you otherwise. It looks grim, I know, but this is baseball and crazy things happen in this stupid game all the time. There’s no better time for a four game win streak than right freaking now, but how about we start with a one game winning streak? Dear Jake Arrieta, I hear you want to make 16 Quazzy-jilion dollars a year on your upcoming free agent contract, that’s dope. Earn it today.

“You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all” (Earl Weaver).

  • Seymour Butts

    Thanks for the recap effort, but reliving that santorum of a game ( google it at your own risk) was almost as tough as watching it.
    Here’s hopeing for a merciful end. Perhaps not going on a world series champ tour will lead to a better 2018.
    Sherm, can your sources come up with a ” try harder not to suck” t shirt. I’m not sure maddon eill do it himself.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Thank god I already ate before looking that up. Next time give a warning if we should be eating or not

      • Michael S.

        At your own risk is…pretty much a catchall–don’t do it at work, if squeamish, if eating, if easily offended, if you’re a child, so on and so forth.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Fair enough

    • Brad Lyerla

      Wasn’t Santorum a republican senator from pennsylvania?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        He was a good Senator from Pennsylvania.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Jerry, not from what I remember. But let’s leave the politics for another time and place. It was wrong of me to bring him up.

  • Adam Peters

    I have to agree on the crowd booing CEJ. That’s just pitiful. Have we really become *that* fanbase? Two years ago that never would have happened. And now Wrigley is full of raging tools like Yankee stadium? WTF?!?!

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I agree the Dodgers are an excellent team, but this Cubs team is just as good. They just need to play the way the Dodgers are playing. In other words the pitchers need to throw strikes and the batters need to lay off the pitches that are no where near the strike zone. If they were playing as well as they were last year, this would have been a much better series. That is what makes this frustrating.

    • Doc Raker

      No, the Cubs aren’t as good as the Dodgers. I just can’t agree. I wished they were and hoped they were but they have been outplayed in every game as they were when they played the Rockies and Diamondbacks during the season. The Cubs are flawed and we are lucky to have gone this far.

      • Yep. I’m sorry Jerry but they just aren’t as good. They have the potential to be just as good. Maybe even better. But they aren’t. (Unless you’re watching them play the Reds. Then they’re FABULOUS! There’s a reason there are no Reds in the playoffs.)

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Last night the Cubs were closer to the team that played the well against the Cardinals and Brewers to clinch the division and they beat the Dodgers. The pitchers need to control the strike zone a little more and the hitters need to stop swinging at awful pitches and they could still pull this out, but they will need some bounces to go their way to do it.

      • Doc Raker

        We will also need some base runners. 3 runs 3 solo home runs.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Yes, I agree some walks would be nice to go along with some base hits, and homers

    • Adam Peters

      Saying the Cubs are just as good as the Dodgers right now is like saying Glenallen Hill was just as good a hitter as Ken Griffey, Jr. because he was capable of hitting the ball just as far. He wasn’t and the Cubs aren’t either.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I was saying the Cubs have the ability and during the two weeks where they were playing the Cardinals and Brewers they showed that ability. During the playoffs the bullpen and the hitters look like they did in the first half of the season, putrid.

  • Doc Raker

    Big game tonight, Blackhawks and Blues.

  • CubbieBlue023

    I went to bed after the CJ walk. Am I still a fan?

    • Doc Raker

      A fan with reason and common sense

      • CubbieBlue023

        Obviously they didn’t read my keys to victory the past two days…so obviously I’m not going to watch.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I also went to bed after this

    • Michael S.

      That walk was…worse than ridiculous.

      You have a pitcher. Who isn’t going to swing. Who probably isn’t even going to actually try to bunt. With two outs. AND YOU WALK HIM ON FOUR PITCHES.

      But what’s even worse than that? The next batter–the leadoff hitter, the on-base guy, one of the guys you DON’T WANT with the bases loaded–you strike out with 3 pitches.

  • Bartz

    I agree that the Dodgers are ‘very good at baseball’, but so is every team that makes the playoffs. The most important factor is that the team is not hitting. Four runs in three games says everything.

    • cap’n realist

      Which makes the point I’ve been making for months in this space. They can’t handle solid pitching. These past 8 games have exposed these Cub hitters for their youth and foolishness. Terrible approaches all around. Rizzo and Schwarber still trying to hammer through 5 defenders on the right side. Baez still trying for that 11 run homerun. Jay looks like, well, the Jay I figured we’d be getting when we got him. Heyward is embarrassing. Almora has to be dreaming of a trade to anywhere where he can be utilized correctly. Schwarber hoofing it around the left field corner turning doubles into triples. Darvish plays the HS freshman trick on Edwards and it WORKS. This is easily the worst team I’ve ever seen in an NLCS, and at this point, I’m actually liking the sweep, so Thed can address some of this garbage. Wild pitches and dumb double switches. Sherm should write a song with that title.

      • Seymour Butts

        …add in warm woolen mittens.

      • Michael S.

        “…these are a few of my least favorite things…”

      • Seymour Butts

        Bad catcher cross-ups resulting in stitches,
        Distracted hurlers unleashing wild pitches.
        Light hitting sluggers making millions of bucks,
        These are the reasons a Cub fan’s life sucks.

        Javier Baez relives Soriano,
        Next pitch in the dirt means take your good-bye-o.
        How does our reigning MVP not hit a thing,
        This is what makes my twisted head ring.

        Removing the starter when he hits the fourth inning,
        Dumb double switches that have my head spinning.
        To stupid to bunt with an open infield,
        This is the reason my brain is congealed.

        When the Cubs score…
        Only 1 run…
        and I’m feelin’ sad.
        I simply remember I don’t follow the Cards, and then I don’t feel…so bad.

      • Film yourself singing that Butts.. seriously will go viral

      • Absolutely!!!!!

  • Eddie Von White

    I don’t want to talk about it.

    • cap’n realist

      Eddie von Rod Stewart

    • Neither do I EVW.. not much else to say.. just disappointed.

  • Karen Hirsh

    Glad the season is still alive but if you think the Cubbies can win 3 more games then you are on drugs.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Glad to see the white sox fan showed up again

    • Seymour Butts

      Drugs Are Really Exciting…just ask a cop.