So I know what you’re thinking. Bottom of the ninth, down a run after the Chicago Cubs bullpen had blown yet another save against a subpar-on-paper team. The Cubs, in fact, were down to their last out in the game. But before we get into that, let’s talk about a pregame quote:
."It's every fan's right to panic, but we can't."
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) July 27, 2015
Despite anything that seems to happen on the field this year, in the midst of a pennant chase, Joe Maddon doesn’t panic. He even has fun like the other day as the Cubs were being swept by the worst team in the majors, and Monday night with some mind games:
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been pretty candid about wanting to try to improve the team, but not at the expense of making crazy trades and torpedoing the farm system. They’re not panicking.
So yeah, about that ninth inning. Jason Motte didn’t really do so hot, since he only throws one pitch (a fastball that batters can eventually time), so Maddon didn’t panic and just replaced him with Rafael Soriano. Soriano, of course, gave up a go-ahead homer to Carlos Gonzalez, but got out of the inning. Fast forward to the Cubs’ half, and there are two outs with Dexter Fowler on base and Kris Bryant up. I may be in the minority, but I always believe there’s a chance as long as there are outs left to play.
See, in a long baseball season, things happen that you can’t really predict. Baseball is like that, because you never know when a pop up will find a place in no-man’s land to become a bloop double, or if a routine ground ball will suddenly find that right pebble in the infield dirt that kicks it several feet in the air. And that’s why, unfortunately, some victories on paper turn into losses. So it is with the Cubs, who entered Monday’s series opener just five games over .500, having come off that sweep. I said it then, and back in May after they were at .500, but there’s no reason to panic. Of course, I was just following the game on GameDay while watching Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and National Lampoon’s Vacation with the family. You know, priorities.
Getting back to that quote, Joe Maddon was right. They’re a professional ball team, and they can’t panic. Kris Bryant didn’t panic and did this:
…so that we could do this:
— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) July 28, 2015
Breathe, guys, breathe. Cubs are now 52-46 with 64 games left to play and very much in the hunt, with a front office, a manager, and a young team that won’t panic. Enjoy it.