First… a video…
I’m not sure what else to say about this one. The Cubs did not play well. They made four errors (though two came on one play but whatever). They were loose in the field and on the basepaths. They weren’t terribly good offensively, most of that to do with Max Scherzer and some of that to do with an iffy approach at times. Quintana was really good but had to make just a bit too many pitches to go really deep, though some of that is due to the defense behind him. Basically the Cubs spent at least seven innings saying to the Nationals, “Here Nats, have this. We don’t need it. We like a challenge.” And then the Nats wouldn’t take it, so the Cubs had to be, “Well fine then. We’ll take it but we’re not going to give it back.”
I don’t know what more this Cubs team has to do to prove to the unwashed that they are the counter to pretty much every Cub team that came before. They just don’t give a shit. If they don’t have a hit through five or six they just don’t give a shit. Their pitching will buckle down until they get just the right amount of hits they need. They’ll grind it out. They might look bad defensively but they’ll make the plays they absolutely have to to have when it matters most, and they’ll do it from fielders like Jay and Zobrist who are not good fielders. They don’t care. They’ve been there, and they just don’t give a shit. This team in three games has never looked like they don’t have it in control, even after Saturday’s 8th innings. They just don’t give a shit.
Let’s clean it up:
-Scherzer made some mistakes, but he was awfully good. Maybe not no-hitter good as he was through six but still, he’s Scherzer for a reason. His slider was filthy and he threw it at counts when hitters weren’t counting on it. Maybe the Cubs could have looked to go the opposite way a little more, but I’m not going to get on them too much. That’s the Cy Young winner out there. Except for Zobrist’s second AB because seriously… what the fuck? Shoved it up my ass though.
-Quintana was just as good. While he wasn’t quite as efficient, the only ball they hit hard was Werth’s single. When he’s getting his curve over, which he was featuring later in the game, he’s really good. He had both sides of the plate. He might have gotten into the 7th if not for the Schwarber error, but them’s the breaks. He seems to like it over here.
-So there was teeth-gnashing over Maddon’s pulling of Q. I didn’t mind. Third time around is the danger-zone, and Zimmerman has already put it up the Cubs against a lefty. This is where I might lament the loss of Hector Rondon, who usually has better control than Strop, but Strop’s been so effective this year that’s niggling. He just missed his spot. That keeps happening.
-Slim Reaper stepping up against Harper again and just saying, “Here hit this cutter.” And he couldn’t. That’s balls.
-I would toss Almora out there tomorrow no matter who starts simply because his confidence must be soaring. That’s a nails AB from AlJu.
-The Cubs got some BASEBALL! to win it. Rizzo found the one spot he could, and maybe if Jayson Werth hadn’t died a couple years ago he gets to that. Maybe Taylor should have laid out. But hey, this team needs a couple moments like that.
-They’re just going to find a way. I won’t ever doubt them. Someone has to take it from them. And if you don’t when it’s on offer, they’re going to get you.