Game 130: Because We Can (Cubs 8-7 Pirates)

I like to think I’m a pretty talented writer. But this team has surged so far beyond anything I can describe at this point it’s kind of startling.

We find ourselves where we did on Friday. This game didn’t really mean much to the Cubs. It means everything to the Pirates, who are running out of day where they can lose games they should win. And yet the Cubs find a way, and it almost feels like they do it just to entertain themselves.

Certainly, depth wins out. The Pirates didn’t really have anyone to turn to other than Jeff Locke, who pitched his heart out. The Cubs could try and tip two around the meat of the pan, at least as currently constituted, and yet come away with a win. At least that seemed like the plan. The Pirates eventually just couldn’t outlast.

Depth in the lineup is another thing. The Pirates noise came from the top of their lineup. The Cubs got a lot of noise from 7 and 8 in their lineup, and even Soler hitting fifth which isn’t where you’d normally find him. 2-3-4 for the Cubs tonight went 2-for-14. Doesn’t matter.

Maybe it’s not indicative of what’s to come, but man it sure is fun isn’t it?

-I think it’s a testament to how stout the middle of the Pirates lineup is that Arrieta really wasn’t far off from his top form and yet they still got six runs off of him. He cruised through five innings, but then starting missing spots in the 6th. Not by much, but enough. A single, a walk, and a missed fastball to Polanco and suddenly the Cubs are trailing.

Follow that up in the 7th when Arrieta should have had a strike out-throw out double play to pretty much end the threat. Or he should have thrown to second instead of third. An offense like the Pirates won’t let you get through these kinds of cracks. While the line is bad, I’m not really worried about the effort.

-Would you say the Cubs pen “scattered” eight hits?

-I had been worried about Baez and Soler after the trip. One game shouldn’t make me un-worried, but…

-Oh, the Cubs pen did all that without two of their three most important relievers.

-Nice for Miggy to get a moment, because y’know, he might not get another AB the rest of the season.

-Josh Bell looks like he will hit the ball 500 feet every time he comes to the plate. I’m not looking forward to seeing that for the next 5-7 years, before he wants real money of course.

-Really no problem with the send on Marte. Yes, he’s the best LF in the game defensively but there’s still a pretty good chance you score. It takes perfect execution on both ends to get Baez out and they did.

-I saw so many people bitching about Josh Harrison tonight and I get it. But I love him, the game needs more heels, and it feels extra good when he comes out on the losing end. He makes the game colorful, and we need that.

Onwards…

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