As you might have seen on Twitter, the first three innings of this game were not exactly easy on my soul. The Cubs put runners on base in every one of them, and contrived every way they could to not actually score. Double play, weak ABs, and then a silly send with Zobrist with a pitcher who was just waiting to walk more hitters. Now normally, when facing a sad outfit like the Mets you’d think it was just a matter of time, and they were never going to put up enough runs to be out of sight. But obviously the last weekend broke me, at least a little bit. And I probably wasn’t the only one who thought he was staring down the dark tunnel again.
But Robert Gsellman, between asking the entire Mets bench to just listen to this Phish album once, wouldn’t be denied. Another walk to Schwarber. For some reason, the Mets thought they wouldn’t put anyone at a normal second base positions with Heyward up, despite him grounding approximately 10,974 balls to that spot the past two seasons. Quintana got down the Cubs special, the safety squeeze. And then the one mistake the Cubs have been missing the past three games, a hanging change that Galactus deposited into the left field bleachers. With four runs, you kind of figured this scarecrow-filled Mets lineup wasn’t going to catch them, and they piled on a few more on the whosits-train out of the New York pen. And we can breathe again. Even though both the Brewers and Cardinals won, another day off the calendar with the same lead is all that really matters at this point.
-Quintana didn’t have to do much against this lineup, that really doesn’t contain a power threat anywhere. He’s actually gone less inside than Jim Deshaies was saying on the broadcast, at least in his last two starts. It might just be the Pirates and Mets, but that’s three quality starts in a row, and more importantly only two walks in those three starts. For me that’s the indicator, because when Q gets too nibble-y that’s when he gets into trouble. Almost half his pitches were curves tonight, which is the most he’s thrown in a game since his third start with the Cubs. Whatever works.
-Schwarber’s first AB saw him line a single to left field, with the kind of quite-yet-confident stroke the Cubs have probably been looking for. Lately it feels like Schwarbs hasn’t been able to build on a good night like tonight’s 3-for-3. Clearly it’s been a struggle for him this year, but he still has the most potential of all those who are rotating in and out of the lineup. If I see Heyward starting over him more than one or two times from here on out, I’m going to spit up a color I’m not comfortable with.