Game 98: Just A Tad Off (Sox 5-4 Cubs)

Two four-run comebacks in two days should probably feel a little better than this. But then when you don’t win both, this is what you’re left with. The Cubs were just a tad off last night, and I suppose after spending four hours in the Milwaukee steam bath on Sunday didn’t take a little starch out. That’s the grind of the baseball season of course. But the Cubs were thrown out on the bases a couple times, didn’t quite make the pitches all the times and it all added up to a loss in the bottom of the 9th.

I got into a bit of a Twitter debate last night after Arrieta gave up that three-run shot to Todd Frazier (who will hit homers against the Cubs until he’s 70). Up until that point, the numbers looked good for Arrieta. He was only around 60 pitches for five innings, but it looked like he wasn’t coming close to his spots. The fact that he was getting out so clean felt like it was due more to the impatience and incompetence of the Sox lineup. That came crashing to a halt in the 6th of course. His stuff is just moving too much almost, and he can’t really corral it.

I wonder if the bulking of the pen is insurance against Arrieta not turning back into ARRIETA the rest of the season. Maybe the front office thinks that they might not get more than five or six innings from any starter (Lester certainly has looked off too) in October and they’re just going to have to Royals this through three rounds. They certainly can now, where if they get five innings they can just go Grimm-Strop-Rondo-Chapman or some combination thereof. It’s not that they’d refuse Arrieta turning back into the monster we came to love, but now maybe they don’t need it as much.

As for Bryant’s two base-running goofs, the first one was the only egregious one. The one in the 9th, it took a perfect throw from Cabrera, who isn’t really a good defender despite looking like he belonged on Mt. Olympus last night. But the one earlier that ball was hit too hard for Javy to score and even though the throw went all the way through to home, that’s just kind of unawareness. It happens, and hopefully he isn’t dizzy tonight from crashing into Furry Freak Brother Tyler Saladino.

-Hand Rizzo the MVP trophy now. Don’t care what the WAR difference is between him and Bryant. I want to see the Bear Dance with the trophy.

Whatever, throwing the ace out there tonight, right?

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