By the time his second round of screaming woke me to the point that I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep, I’d been in bed for almost four hours, so I consider myself rather fortunate, all things considered, and I consider The Wife a saint for helping get me those four hours.
The Little Boy couldn’t and didn’t know it, but his screaming fit was an appropriate alarm clock after long, disappointing West Coast playoff game, which saw the Cubs lose a lead late, tie the game late, and ultimately get walked off on in the 13th inning. I didn’t have the energy to do it myself at 3 am this morning, but the frustration simmering below my crashing surface probably looked the same as his when he chucked his Batman at the wall.
On the one hand, we knew that the game was going to be one that the Cubs could lose. After all, Madison Bumgarner is a playoff demigod, and Jake Arrieta has been up and down in the second half. Furthermore, the Cubs had a 2-0, just went on the road for the first time in the series, and wouldn’t have their NLCS hopes dashed by a single loss.
And yet, the Cubs got to Bumgarner (thanks mostly to Arrieta himself). They were in a position to close down the win with a few solid innings from the well-rested bullpen, which has been nails. I don’t buy the even year magic, but I do know that enough naturally-occurring BASEBALL can happen in a short series that when you have a chance to close it out, you better take it. That’s probably why I got so damn excited when Kris Bryant hit his game-tying homer or Albert Almora Jr. made his game-saving catch. This was going to be a tremendous win, plucked from the clutches of an eighth inning fiasco.
So, then, it was going to be an understandable and acceptable loss that twice morphed into maddening and frustrating one … by virtue of the Cubs being good?
That can’t be right, can it? If the Cubs played worse last night and lost 8-0, I’d somehow have felt better?
Hopefully Cubs players are more rational than Cubs fans.
We can and will discuss the mechanics of the game in greater detail later today, and the now-necessary Game Four that graciously starts an hour earlier tonight.
Here, though, I just wanted to linger for a moment on the feelings rattling around my sleep-deprived chassis, if only to put them down so I can move on. The loss sucked because all losses of consequence suck. It sucked double because it was looking like an unexpected win, and it sucked triple because of the way it played out.
But the Cubs still have two chances to close this series out, and it’s not as if the Giants wouldn’t gleefully trade positions. Through three games in the series, this is still very much a “so far, so good” situation.
The Cubs will move on to the next game, and I will move on to my next coffee.