In fairness, when was the last time you suffered through the Cubs blowing one really late like that?
And since they did it twice in a single game, I think that means they won’t do it again for a while. They used up two of their blown lead cards, and maximized efficiency by using both today. Very crafty.
What a weird, bummer of a game. Ben Zobrist led it off with a homer, and then Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a one-run lead in the top of the 9th with a homer of his own.
That came after Pedro Strop had given up a solo homer in the 8th, and then Hector Rondon gave up a run in the 9th to let the Nationals tie the game. It happens, which doesn’t make it any more enjoyable, of course. But it happens. These guys have been so good, and the Cubs have blown so few late leads, that I just can’t get too riled up right now.
Then, the Cubs managed to take the lead again in the 12th inning when Albert Almora and Addison Russell teamed up once again for a clutch run (in the reverse order this time) … but then the Nationals scored two in the bottom of the inning to walk it off.
Two blown leads in the bottom of a decisive inning in the same game. Oof.
On the bright side, although Jason Hammel dealt with a little control erraticism early, as he sometimes does, he then settled into a beautiful groove, as he often does. Over his seven innings of work, he allowed just five hits and no walks, striking out four. He had some nice defensive help behind him, to be sure, but he also looked good. That was nice.
I also can’t get too riled up because, as excellent as Hammel and Kyle Hendricks have been this year, they were matched up against Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg on the road against a very good Nationals team. If you’d asked me before the series what my minimum realistic hope was, it would be that the Cubs drop the bookends while winning the John Lackey/Gio Gonzalez game. My maximum realistic hope, of course, was for much more than that. But this was not a terrible series outcome, all things considered.