Although I won’t go so far as to say it was a perfect metaphor for the series thus far, there was something appropriate about two plays in right field last night. With the Cubs down 3-0 early, Chris Coghlan sent one deep to right, and it looked ticketed to go just over the wall:
Curtis Granderson was having none of it. He made a really great catch, and you just have to tip your hat to a moment that probably deflated the Cubs a bit. Would it have made up the difference in the final score? Probably not – it would have been a solo shot, and the Cubs lost by three – but who knows how things change if the Cubs have that run on the board early.
It was yet another well-struck ball by the Cubs that went down as an out in the box score.
For the Cubs’ part, later in the game, Coghlan made an impressive catch of his own in right field:
That shot from Cespedes would not have been a homer, and wouldn’t have shifted the game too much in one direction or the other. Neither did Coghlan’s catch. It was just a really nice play.
And that’s how it’s been for the Cubs through two games: hard contact becoming outs, and nice plays from time-to-time that don’t really change the ultimate outcome of the game. The Cubs have played like the Coghlan catch, but the Mets have had the opportunity to be just a bit more impressive and have acquitted themselves well.
It’s just two games, though. Had these two happened in the regular season, it would barely register as more than a “huh, Cubs lost a couple close-ish ones in New York, eh?” But, since it’s the playoffs, everything is magnified, and the Cubs are now in a huge hole.