Don’t take it out on each other, eh?
For the second straight night – and, really, the fourth straight game – the Cubs lose a frustrating one. I don’t know that they need to “right the ship” or anything like that, but I do know that some fans need to see a win so they don’t rip each others’ heads off.
I like Kyle Hendricks as a back-of-the-rotation arm in the big leagues. I think he can be a very good one. But he can’t do it without impeccable command of all of his pitches, and, frankly, tonight I’m not sure he had command of any of them. To my eye, the four runs the Cardinals scored in five innings actually belies just how poorly Hendricks pitched in this one – consistently missing spots, not able to effectively mix pitches, offering up some meatballs, etc.
Again: I like Kyle Hendricks, and I think he can be a quality starter. But it’s only right to point out a clunker when you see it, and this was a clunker.
So, to that end, rather than rue the three-run homer Matt Carpenter hit to tie up the game just moments after the Cubs had taken a 4-1 lead, I was pretty much grateful at that moment that Hendricks didn’t give up more … and that the Cubs had scored a few the previous inning.
Speaking of which: Kris Bryant has himself a high baseball IQ. With the bases loaded and one out, Starlin Castro grounded weakly to shortstop (an ongoing problem for him). Bryant was at second, and rather than pulling into third and seeing what happened, he simply turned the corner and kept on running, knowing that the Cards were going to try and turn two. If they failed, Bryant also knew there was no way they could get him at plate. A bat throw from second on the turn and Castro was safe at first, and Bryant was safe at home. Two runs scored on a fielders choice to shortstop.
That was it for the Cubs’ scoring, though. They had other opportunities – and they can play with this Cardinals team – but they just couldn’t bust out that perfect moment.
Edwin Jackson once again struggled in an appearance that was anything except the lowest of low leverage, which is awfully frustrating.
On the other side, the Cardinals once again had to lean heavily on their already-taxed bullpen … and the Cubs couldn’t do a thing with it.
Words are unnecessary …
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