There’s no way around it: that’s two ugly, ugly losses in a row this weekend for the Cubs. Yesterday, because tire fire. Today, because winnable. The fact that it came at home to a beatable Brewers team makes it all the worse.
No, I didn’t like the idea of having Pedro Strop intentionally walk Adam Lind to face Aramis Ramirez with the bases loaded and the game, essentially, on the line, but Ramirez’s subsequent hit (yet another fluke blooper in a series full of ’em) is not why I’ll be stewing about this game.
Instead, it’s the first four innings or so when Jimmy Nelson’s command was terrible – up in the zone consistently – and the Cubs couldn’t take advantage. On a day with the wind blowing out, and with runners reaching base, you’ve just got to make a guy pay for his mistakes. The Cubs didn’t, Nelson settled, and if it weren’t for a couple not-technically-errors by the Brewers’ defense, it would have been the fourth straight day with just one run for the Cubs.
Not that I’m angry with anyone. This is that “young offense” stuff folks have been talking about since last October. They are capable of great things, but guys like Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant will go through phases of trouble (sometimes deep trouble, like now) because the league will adjust. Soler and Bryant are extremely dangerous and extremely well-scouted. These periods are expected, part of the process, and frustrating to watch. Try not to let yourself get too freaked out. The season is long, and young hitters have trouble with big league pitching at times.
As for the game, the Cubs almost got something started in the 9th. Chris Denorfia singled to start the inning, and Addison Russell ripped one down the line for what would have been a double – and serious trouble for the Brewers. But, naturally, the hero of the day, Aramis Ramirez caught it. Then, for the final out of the game, Jorge Soler lined one … yes, to Aramis Ramirez.