With the Cubs up 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning, I was thinking; “damn, I wonder what the odds were on a Cubs sweep.” I had bet on the Tigers to sweep the A’s back in the day, and it paid pretty nicely in Vegas. I do admit, I thought this one was in the bag. I wasn’t worried. Then it happened.
I love how some people right away want to compare this to another Cubs loss 14 years ago sitting 5 outs away from a playoff win. I’ll have to explain this again: it’s a new world out there. These Cubs aren’t your parents or grandparents Cubs. Although this doesn’t mean they will never lose, like I thought after Game 1’s win and for 7.5 innings of Game 2, it does mean that we’re not worrying about history here. We took one on the chin. We didn’t choke. We lost the game, against who some people think is the better team. We know that’s not true, but you do have to respect these guys.
Harper has been slow coming back off his injury, but that may have all been erased with the 2 run bomb that tied this game. Is it time to NOT let him beat us? Personally, I wondered why Edwards was left in to face him; I know I’m not the only one. I was OK with him to start the inning. He was lights out in the first game. However, when he allowed a base runner which meant Bryce represented the tying run, I would have pulled him. I know his numbers against righties are better than Montgomery, but I saw Lester pitch him well; I saw Hendricks make him look off balance. I guess that’s why Edwards went with the off speed stuff to try to get him. If there were 2 outs with nobody on, fine; but it thought this was a no brainer. Let the second guessing begin.
Trust in Joe is our motto. After all, it is the players that have to execute. Monty didn’t do that great either, as Zimmerman launched the game winner. The best part about this was that I didn’t see it on the TV. Yes, I still heard it, as Hughes painfully described this 8th inning, but it didn’t feel as bad. I guess in general, I don’t feel as bad about this loss.
The Nationals needed it, or it would have been that sweep I was talking about. As it is, with Scherzer going in Game 3 against first timer Quintana, they have to like their chances; I still like ours. Remember, Max is not 100%. Oh yeah, and we’re back in Wrigley, where there will be no stupid rule about bringing W flags into the park. How stupid was that?
But that’s what inferior teams do to try to get an edge. Nashville tried it many times against the Hawks. Yes, I know it finally paid off, but they were our bitches for a while. So if the Nationals can keep it up, maybe they’ll get us in a few years.
Until then, and back to this series, the confidence was shaken, not lost; in fact, maybe it was just stirred. If I have to worry about something, I do worry about the bullpen. They let us down on this night; they’ll get a chance to redeem themselves I’m sure. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll just kick the crap out of them. Still excited. Still ready to rock. See you Monday. Go Cubs!