For the third game in a row, the Cubs led in the 7th inning or later … and lost.
THREE GAMES IN A ROW DOING THAT.
When you combine it with an overall stretch that has seen them lose 7 of 8, and a whopping 14 of 19, to say this has been a miserable experience for the Cubs – and Cubs fans – does not do it justice. This is the kind of stretch you’d expect to see from a team gunning for a top draft pick, not a team that was on a historic win pace a month ago.
And that’s, of course, a big part of the reason this is SO FRUSTRATING right now. Worse, this isn’t an entirely flukey stretch of losing. Very real problems with the roster and player performance are manifesting themselves at the worst possible times, leading to these losses. There is no light switch fix, and the process of uncoiling the awful might take weeks. But the Cubs are going to have to figure out how to set things right, at a minimum before August 1 rolls around, because fixing anything thereafter becomes almost impossible.
As for the game, you know the drill. The Cubs went down early, failed repeatedly with runners on base (hit into three double-plays in the process), managed to come back in spite of that, and then the bullpen threw the game away. Rinse, repeat, it’s become a recent anthem. I honestly don’t know how ballplayers don’t get completely out of sorts mentally in these stretches. I could not handle it.
I thought Jake Arrieta actually looked encouragingly good at times, despite the final line. It was one of those starts where, if he were in the middle of a great stretch instead of an ugly one, I’d probably say something like, “I thought Arrieta looked pretty good tonight, but he did make a few mistakes up in the zone that weren’t missed. All in all, nothing that would necessarily worry you.”
But, since he is in an ugly stretch, you’d hope to see even more than that. Maybe after the break.
Maybe everything will be better after the break. Or maybe it will be the same. The break isn’t made of magic, yaknow. Happy Friday!