Oh, the Chicago Cubs. My favorite team, my ever-so-delightfully shitty Cubs. How you annoyed yet amused me today. Thankfully I didn’t actually have to pay for this game, although I have to say that I was plenty entertained throughout. Suffice it to say that the Cubs lost yet another game, and this time they had every opportunity to make it much more competitive and actually win. At least we had fun, and fun divided by $0 means we technically got infinite satisfaction for the dollar. But only technically.
Despite the fact that the Cubs somehow managed to defeat the Reds last night (during a Chris Volstad start, no less), it was going to be difficult at best to make it two in a row against the National League Central division leaders. For one, nobody really knows what Justin Germano can do on a consistent basis. For another, the Reds are just better and last night, though really awesome and fun to follow, was more of a fluke than the norm. Given their position as the third-worst team in the majors and the fact that they were better off sucking now with almost no chance at making the postseason, I guess you could say I came in with very few expectations and just figured I’d relax at the ball park.
Fonzie and I were pretty happy that the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first off Homer Bailey. Alfonso Soriano was up, but the wind was pretty rough and blowing straight in so we were just hoping for a line drive somewhere (preferably not at a defender). The run expectancy for this situation over the past 60-odd years is about 2.3 runs. Of course the Cubs only scored one. It was still early but I felt like this was probably the turning point of the game. Feh. By the way, I hate those support beams. So eventually we moved down to the 400s. Even though there were plenty of fans of both teams in attendance there were still empty stretches of seats around so it wasn’t difficult to get a better view.
I’m pretty sure we said “What the hell” or some variation of the colloquialism at least 10 times in the game. There was the IBB to Devin Mesoraco in the top of the second that didn’t work because Justin Germano forgot to get the pitcher out. There was Anthony Rizzo‘s error that preceded Ryan Ludwick‘s homer. Like, seriously, the wind was blowing in, that was definitely a mistake pitch hahaha. Then there were the back to back WTF moments when Josh Vitters had a hiccup and Starlin Castro had his Leon Durham moment. Facepalms galore.
This error took the cake though.
We couldn’t do anything but laugh. Comedy of errors indeed.
There were TOOTBLANs too. The one by Soriano wasn’t too bad because Vitters’ grounder looked to be difficult to field, but Homer Bailey made an excellent play. This one by Castro was, for lack of a better word, stupid.
Josh Vitters singles on a line drive to right fielder Xavier Paul. Starlin Castro out at third on the throw, right fielder Xavier Paul to second baseman Brandon Phillips to third baseman Wilson Valdez.
Triple facepalms and expletives deleted. The wind, as mentioned before, was a big factor:
At one point, the wind almost got Brett Jackson and Castro killed. Thankfully everyone was okay, but that ended up extending the inning when it should have been a routine play.
Miraculously, the Cubs were able to get within 9-8 going into the last inning. We had made our way over to the 400s by then, and even got a set of front-row seats. Aroldis Chapman had just struck out Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the 8th because former Cubs legend Sean Marshall and new Red Jonathan Broxton forgot to do their jobs and get some outs. Of course Manuel Corpas decides to give up an insurance run while I was taking a potty break.
Naturally the Cubs wouldn’t be able to score the two runs they needed to at least force extras and so we got to see the “L” flag again. Bah.
The fact is that the Cubs probably need that top three pick to rebuild more quickly, but at the same time, as a Cubs fan, you want to see the team do well and win when you see them in person. That obviously did not happen today, but the Cubs had plenty of opportunities to steal victory and prevent defeat. Five errors (which among other things pissed off Dale Sveum) led to at least three runs that I can account for and it’s probably in the box score or play-by-play somewhere. Brett Jackson struck out a couple more times, but I was pleased overall with his at-bats because he made the pitchers throw truckloads of pitches to get him out, and even drew the walk that led to one of the comeback runs being scored. This loss wasn’t because the Cubs couldn’t score or didn’t get effective pitching, it was because they forgot how to play smart baseball.
But since we had fun and are gluttons for punishment, we’ll likely be back again. Probably when the tickets are once again cheap or free. Better luck next time, Cubs.