It is not what we imagined. Though perhaps we should have. God knows we’ve seen enough days where the wind is howling out and it ends up 1-0 and 2-1 because the pitchers are hyper conscious/good enough to avoid it. We just didn’t see it tonight. Honestly, I thought Hendricks would give up a homer or two, if only because I thought Cleveland’s hot hitters would find a good pitch or two and get it up into the breeze. But I also thought the Cubs would find more. Neither was true.
I’ve seen on Twitter a lot of people trying to find culprits. So let’s clear some of them up. Solar would have never scored if he had a jet engine up his ass. He also has been busting hamstrings since he came to the organization, so he’s never gone full out and one one’s complained before. And also, the ball he hit would land in the stand at least eight out of 10 times. That’s not the problem.
You want a problem? And this is going to kill me, because I lit candles last year to keep the Cubs from trading Javy Baez. But second inning, Zobrist on 2nd with two outs. Here’s the pitch Baez swung at on 2-0…
Check out three there. That’s not what you want at 2-0.
Baez came up in the 5th with Soler having led off with a single. He went down 0-2 and then swung at a pitch at his ankles. He grounded up softly to Tomlin. Russell couldn’t make up for it.
We move to the 7th. Solar on third after tripling with two out. Baez once again gets to 2-0. Here’s what he offers at:
Not even a terrible pitch to swing at, but it’s what Shaw wanted. Actually, according to BrooksBaseball.net that’s where Baez hits his best. It just went straight to Lindor. I guess that just happens. We won’t go over his AB in the 9th. It fucking kills me to do this, and some of it is that Baez is unlucky. But goddammit he was right there tonight and it didn’t happen.
He will soon.
Ok. let’s clean this up.
-So everyone wants to get on Soler’s case, but he’s the only Cub with two hits and he never would have scored. Secondly, it’s highly doubtful that Heyward, had he been in right, would have gotten to Crisp’s hit. If he could have, he likely would have dived and the runner scores anyway.
-I feel like Joe played this pretty much as you wanted. Hendricks wasn’t perfect, a third trip through the lineup wouldn’t be smooth, and when it came to facing Lindor there was no platoon advantage. Grimm is a righty whose best against lefties, and he got the double play. That was executed perfectly.
-So the whole discussion will be about the 7th. Hey, Perez gets a hit. Happens. Naquin lays down a good bunt. Fair play. With Rajai Davis up, I totally trust Edwards because Davis fucking sucks. The problem is in execution. When it’s Rajai Davis you throw it over the plate and see what he can do with it, which is almost certainly nothing.
-That said, Crisp didn’t exactly line it out to right, you have to score to win anyway, and Soler made a controlled and excellent throw to nail Davis at third. That should have been enough.
-Bottom line is you can’t let a Cleveland starter not named Kluber to go far enough that Miller, Shaw, and Allen can carry it to the end. Tomlin was more accurate than Bauer was and the Cubs couldn’t work him in the same way, but it feels like they could have done better.
-So it feels shitty. It definitely stings. But come on, this is far from over. I dreamed of a clinch at home after three straight too. But for the Indians to win this, Kluber has to shut down the Cubs twice tomorrow,, which Kershaw couldn’t do on normal rest. Even if he manages that, Bauer has to come up with a good start on short rest after getting punked in Game 2. Then Tomlin would have to do it again on short rest. And failing that, Kluber would have to do it for a third time.
Honestly guys, not seeing it.