I’m at least gonna try to do a game-by-game wrap. God help us if I get there.
Sometimes baseball is easy. Tonight, it basically came down to the Cubs having Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, and the Nationals didn’t. Others, on the outside, will point to Kyle Hendricks. Here’s the thing though. If you’ve watched Karl for any length of time, it really isn’t a shock that he could stare down the Nats and Stasburg and say, “I got this.” It’s actually pretty upsetting that the national media didn’t bother to notice that Hendricks stared down Kershaw twice last year (yeah, Game 2 was also pretty damn good) and lost 1-0 in his first WS start before Maddon lost his nut in Game 7. Call it what it is. Hendricks is a playoff stud.
Watching Karl can be a weird experience, obviously. Because it’s not obvious from the first pitch if he’s on or not. With Strasburg you obviously get that. From the 1st inning, you can clearly see he’s pumping fastballs in the zone where he wants and dropping his curve wherever he wants and enticing anyone he wants with his change. With Hendricks, you tell yourself he has to hit his spots exactly so even when he misses by inches you’re chewing your nails. But then after a few hitters, your nerves relax and you realize he’s got this.
So Strasburg’s scalp is one Karl can add to Kershaw’s. That’s awesome.
-The other story tonight is that the Cubs had Bryant and Rizzo and the Nationals didn’t. While the Cubs looked utterly helpless against Strasburg for the first five innings. give them an opening in the playoffs and they’re going to barge the door down. It’s not that there isn’t the same talent on the Bats. There is. But it hasn’t busted through when it matters most. The Cubs’ has. Give Bryant a big opportunity, even down 0-2 with two outs against one of the best pitchers around, he’ll find a way. So will Rizzo. Harper, Rendon, Zimmerman, Murphy.. they didn’t. There’s your ballgame.
-Edwards’s inning was something we’ve been dreaming about since April. Just one of those relief you’re-not-doing-shit-against-this innings. Long may it continue.
-If Leonys Martin can be pulled that easily as a defensive replacement, why is he even on the roster? I hope this is a question that won’t matter at all.
-Javy has a big game tomorrow. I feel it.