There is no “well, you know, this game was actually … ” stuff tonight. I mean, there is, but I’m not going to type it all out. Not tonight. That one stung even more than all the ones that preceded it, and, hell, those were stinging me pretty damn good.
John Lackey was fantastic, and one bad pitch, for me, doesn’t change that. But, this being baseball, one bad pitch can be the difference between a great result and a terrible one.
That bad pitch came against pinch hitter Matt Adams, who, to his credit, didn’t miss it, tying the game in the 7th inning with a two-run homer. That was the Cardinals’ 9th – NINTH! – pinch hit homer already this year, one shy of the franchise record, and we’re not even to June yet. At least now we know where the voodoo magic migrated.
Everyone will be talking about how the Cubs’ top of the 9th ended, and I will, too, but I’ll need some more time and viewings to digest it (when I’m not all heated). With Dexter Fowler on third and Ben Zobrist at first, and one out, Anthony Rizzo hit a soft liner toward third. Fowler took off for home – he had a sizable lead – and was doubled off when Matt Carpenter dove and made the catch. If the ball drops, Fowler scores walking in; but the ball did not drop. So he had a split second to decide whether to go, or come back and have no chance to score if the ball drops. Tough moment there.
I’m a logical man, so I try to resist the intrusions of my brain that say we all knew the game was over right then and there, even though Randal Grichuk hadn’t hit his walk-off homer yet. But it sure felt like it.
And then, poof, it was over.