The Good For Cubs fans on the west coast, day games usually start just after 11am. That’s great on days when I can close the door to my office and actually enjoy the game. Wednesday was not one of those days, and it seemed like the Cubs were only able to produce when I was away from my desk. If I were superstitious, I definitely would have spent half the day in the break room. Instead I got sucked into the false hope of a two-run lead, and had a great seat for the ensuing collapse. The Cubs don’t get a lot of clutch hitting, but in the early going, it looked like they might have enough for the win. In the first, Luis Valbuena scored on a Anthony Rizzo double, with an assist from a Carlos Beltran error. In the fourth, Nate Schierholtz doubled in Valbuena and Rizzo, and then scored on a productive Dioner Navarro ground out. This lineup won’t overpower many pitching staffs–if any–but if we can hit with guys on base, we ought to have a shot against most anyone.
The Bad Another small late-inning lead, another bullpen collapse. Wednesday it was James Russell and Michael Bowden who jogged out to take a dump on the mound. Elsewhere, Kevin Gregg continues to be the lone bright spot in the pen. Prepare yourselves for the coming apocalypse.
The Ugly The Cubs hitters didn’t help anything in the late innings, going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position Wednesday. That includes hitting into double plays in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Brace yourselves–the Cubs are currently hitting a league low .183 with RISP. Somehow that all hurts worse when it happens against the Cardinals, but that’s tremendously bad no matter who you’re playing.