I love sports (breaking news, I know), I love baseball, and I love baseball fans. Sports fans are passionate beyond just about any other group of people in the world. When they are upset, they will let you know in as many words as they feel are needed, and tend to go on endless rants about anything that upsets or excites them. Fans of the Chicago Cubs are no different, they have emotional outbursts like any other fan, and last night is a perfect example.
In the eighth inning of last nights Cubs and Cardinals game, the Cubs were leading 2-1. Jake Arrieta had pitched some amazing ball as he always does against the Cardinals and basically everyone else since coming to the Cub. He was over 100 pitches though, and Joe Maddon turned to his bullpen, bringing in Pedro Strop. Unfortunately the first batter Strop faced, Greg Garcia his first first Major League homer to tie the game. Strop followed by issuing a walk and basically not looking sharp at all.
You know where I am heading. This set off Cubs fans in an emotional rollercoaster. Fans saying that Strop sucks, that he is garbage and needs to be sent packing from the team. Overreactions all over the place. Overreactions because Strop has been a very good pitcher this season. But that still did not stop from some fans saying that he sucked.
Right. A 2.73 ERA and 0.90 WHIP blows. https://t.co/t1fnFeqzu4
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) June 27, 2015
Whats more, Strop had been on a pretty impressive streak going into the game.
A classic example of fans not letting statistics get in their way when they are upset.
When Justin Grimm lost the game in the tenth inning, once again fans started overreacting about the bullpen. Just like in the beginning of the season when the bullpen could not seem to get anyone out, fans targeted their full wrath on the bullpen calling them garbage. What they forget is how good the Cubs bullpen has been pretty damn impressive.
#Cubs bullpen has a 1.45 ERA since May 23, lowest mark in MLB in that span
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 25, 2015
While the Cubs bullpen will always have a large target on their backs, they have been a big part of why the Cubs have been so impressive the past month winning all those games. But a hiccup in a game against the Cardinals, and the fans erupt.
This is not limited to the bullpen though. Mike Baxter also found himself the target of the fans wrath. Baxter had a damn good game, until the 10th inning where he had a bad throw to the plate which allowed the winning run to score. He had a three hit game, including an RBI which is part of the reason why the Cubs were in position to win, but that one mistake had fans turning on him quick. That would have been a tough through for any infielder to make, let alone an outfielder pretending to be an infielder. Baxter is not long for this team any way. He is not much of a Major Leaguer, In fact, once Jorge Soler is ready, that might be the last we see of Baxter for a while.
As the Cubs get set to once again play the Cardinals tonight, I fully expect for overreactions no matter what happens. Someone will play the goat, and get more heat than he deserves, or someone will play the hero and be elevation to a “Cubs Legend”. The only question is who.
Perhaps Donn Roach, since he will be making his Cubs debut tonight. He is a good pick for either outcome. Poor kid has no idea what he is walking in to.