I’m built to have some sort of reaction to walk-off homers against the Cubs in the dying throes of a season. But flashes of Victor Diaz aren’t running through my head. One, the Cubs are pretty comfortable here, even if today means clinching will take a little longer than we’d like. Two, the Cubs got their own coin-flips the past two nights.
That’s the thing. We’ve come to learn that winning one-run or even two-run games isn’t necessarily a “skill.” It’s a good thing if you can do it regularly, but it’s more attuned to luck. And when both teams have tired bullpens, it’s kind of even more of a dice-toss. Both of them cracked, it’s just that the Cubs’ cracked a little bigger. Or harder. Or whatever the next step of cracking would be. You fill in your own analogy. I can’t do everything for you.
This is where the short outings from Arrieta and Lackey hurt, though neither could really be helped I suppose. Edwards, Montgomery, Duensing, Rondon (though he did warm up) were all basically down for the day. The Cubs got the work they needed from Justin Wilson and Pedro Strop. Still, there was no way to know how Davis would come back two days after having only his second multi-inning appearance of the year, and the first where he got five outs. He admitted his arm was dragging a bit, and his stuff didn’t look quite as sharp in the 9th to begin with.
But who else was left to pitch the 10th? They warmed Rondon up, so I guess him, but he’s coming off an injury and that would be really dicey. I don’t ever want to see Felix Pena again. Koji Uehara died. This is just where you don’t want to be.
Honestly, while it would be nice if he can do it, I wouldn’t count on Davis going multi-innings in the playoffs more than here and there. He’s not Andrew Miller. What would be best is if Justin Wilson and Hector Rondon could build off impressive efforts the past two days in the last week here. That would give Maddon five or six options before even getting to Davis in CJ, Wilson, Rondon, Strop, Montgomery, and maybe Duensing. That should be more than enough you would hope. Then again, we’ve seen how quickly Maddon will discard options in the playoffs.
-Other than that, it was a third straight day the Cubs offense was pretty sputtering. And this wasn’t the top of the rotation they couldn’t get it done against. The whole game had a sleepy affair to it, after the tension of the past two nights and the early noon start today. But still, the Cubs are going to need more runs than this.
From here, they need innings from Q tomorrow, and maybe scoring a lot would help everyone. Let’s wrap this up sharpish.