Saturday, 15 July:
OK, so the Cubs won last night. Barely.
The league is now STILL 89-0 when leading 8-0, and the Cub’s fifth home run, a solo shot by Addison Russell in the 8th, broke an 8-all tie to give the team a much needed victory. However, had they lost this it would have been catastrophic.
The same problems that has plagued them all season were on display last night; weak starting pitching once more from Mike Montgomery, who is pitching himself back into the bullpen, and the Cub ‘all or nothing’ offensive approach.
They have proven they can light up 97 mph fastballs as long as they are rope straight and right down Broadway, like starter Kevin Gausman’s offerings. He had the worst start of his career, allowing 8 runs on 4 homers.
The Cubs lead 8-0 after 3 innings, and Gausman’s night was over. But the Oriole bullpen tossed 6 innings of 3 hit ball against them, striking out 11 Cubs in all while only walking a pair, and the sole mistake the gopher ball to Russell by Brad Brach(L, 2-2).
Koiji Uehara, who had given up the game tying 2 run jack to Mike Trumbo in the 8th for a blown save got the win, his 3rd against 4 losses. Better sometimes to be lucky than good.
The game had it’s entertaining aspects; but announcer Jim Deshaies put it best when he commented late that the game had ‘the feel of a summer league’ ball game, where whoever could put the most balls over the fence won.
It was not a good baseball game. Once again it displayed terrible plate discipline, batters trying to hit balls up and in, taking huge swings at pitcher’s pitches, and, well, the type of play that has the team at a game under .500.
They won. But they easily could have lost this; Baltimore (42-47) isn’t a very good team, either. They had a stretch of 20 straight games where the starters gave up 5 or more runs, and have the worst ERA of all starting staffs in the majors.
Last night’s effort didn’t help much. Gausman pitched BP, basically.
The Cubs are not a good baseball club and will not go into the postseason with this bunch; it will take more than the (welcome) addition of Jose Quintana. Theo Epstein seems to know this; he admitted as much when he said ‘we’ll see (if they get hot) over the next two weeks or so’ to determine whether to go for it, or play for next year.
They need to thank their lucky stars for Wade Davis, can you imagine where they’d be without him?
They- the management- knows. The smarter Cubs fans should, too…
Jake Arrieta will try to keep the ball in the yard against Wade Miley; 6:05 start, WLS, 670 The Score