Welp! Even if the series had turned out differently I guess I would have still used this silly movie reference. Actually, the movie was bad, sure, but it was FUN bad! Sort of like Sunday, when all you could do was laugh it off.
It wasn’t the easy series we had hoped for, but the Chicago Cubs are still really good, if you can believe that, and are still on track to coast into the playoffs. They are 78-45, giving them a nice cushion over both of their closest competition for the NL Central (the Cardinals, 12 games up) and homefield advantage in the NL playoffs (the Nationals, 5 games up, no thanks to Johnny Cueto for giving the AL home field in the World Series). So I feel like that’s good. And rather than dwelling on one of probably 15-20 more losses for the Cubs this season as they chug along, let’s look at some positives.
Like how about Kyle Hendricks? He’s taken over the official ERA leaderboards!
New MLB leader boards for pitchers. Notice anyone? pic.twitter.com/OC0WbqtiF3
— Rice Cube (@CubicSnarkonia) August 21, 2016
He’s also pretty smart, what with the Blues Brothers sneak back to home plate while nobody was looking.
He had a chance to win on Friday, but the bullpen was taxed and couldn’t oblige. Stuff happens. And what about the guys playing behind him, who are usually good at defense (yeah, Sunday sucked, but whatcha gonna do)? There’s Addison Russell going nuts with the power:
Give him 50 bonus points for getting it in the target!
The experiment with Mike Montgomery and Trevor Cahill piggybacking worked out well, and the Cubs used this otherwise forgettable series and their humongous lead to rest their bullpen, give Jason Heyward time to mentally (and hopefully production-wise) reset, and try out some new guys, including Rob Zastryzny:
Rob-Z came in after Jason Hammel (who’s also been good if not for the death trap that is Coors Field messing with normal baseball pitch physics) was shelled, and pitched admirably for a good stretch in mop up duty. His fellow call-up, Felix Pena, also looked really good, which should give the Cubs plenty of options to choose from in September as they work towards building a postseason roster.
The Cubs can now throw this game film in the trash because they know that they play better than this, but baseball weirdness sometimes happens and all you can do is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and forget about it. Move on.
Chicago Cubs @ San Diego Padres
Now that they’re done in Denver for the year (barring a miraculous comeback by the Rockies, who have not yet been mathematically eliminated), the Cubs will travel to sunny San Diego to take on the Padres before Thursday’s scheduled off day. The matchups have been set…
Cubs-Padres matchups: Jon Lester vs. Edwin Jackson; Jake Arrieta vs. Christian Friedrich; Kyle Hendricks vs. Paul Clemens
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) August 21, 2016
And now we see if the magic number can continue to shrink before the Cubs see the Dodgers for the final time before (potentially!) the postseason.