I thought I’d done a better job of numbing myself to the Cubs’ results against the Cardinals after the sweep last weekend. Did I want to see the Cubs win this week? Sure. But would I be as emotionally invested in the outcome as I usually am? Nope, I told myself. It’s just a thing right now – the Cardinals. They’re going to keep winning, for whatever mix of reasons. It doesn’t say much about the Cubs.
But I kid myself. Because I am once again screaming (into a pillow this time, because I’ve got sleeping children in the house) at every Cubs mistake, at every great Cardinals play.
Jon Lester took a no-hitter through six innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Cubs put runners on first and third with nobody out. Miguel Montero couldn’t put the ball in play. Struck out. Then Starlin Castro rips one the other way – hooray! he went with the pitch and hit it hard! – and Kolten Wong makes an incredible diving play, and then an incredible move to turn the double play. Inning over.
The very next inning, Jhonny Peralta rips one to third to break up the no-hitter, then Kris Bryant throws a ball away, and then Yadier Molina – who else? – puts the ball in play, scoring the Cardinals’ first run with a sac fly. For good measure, Wong followed with a run-scoring single of his own.
This stuff. This is the stuff. I don’t want to turn the bits and pieces of the 162-game process into cheap stories and easy narratives. I swear to you I don’t.
But it. Keeps. Happening.
The Cubs don’t just lose to the Cardinals, they lose to the Cardinals in ways that seem to be designed by an algorithm to inflict the most pain and frustration on Cubs fans.
The rain delay that followed proved to be the best thing for me, personally. I stepped back. Took a shower. Cleared my rage-filled head.
The Edwin Jackson implosion thereafter made things even better. No, not because I was rooting for Jackson to fail – I never am (the Cubs can release him at any time they want; it’s better if he preserves some value). Instead, it made things better because then I could really just throw up my hands and say, “Whateves.”