There were about 20 different crazy permutations for tonight’s game that I could have reasonably imagined. A 1-0 Cubs loss was not one of them.
The Cubs had a little bit of hard contact at times early in the game, but not enough, and none late. Despite getting the leadoff batter on in several innings, including the 9th, the Cubs couldn’t get anything going. In that 9th inning, the Cubs did manage to get the tying run to third and the winning run at second with two outs (thanks to an Indians error), but Javy Baez struck out to end the game.
Josh Tomlin pounded the zone, Andrew Miller was Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw gave up nothing, and Cody Allen came in to finish things off. I don’t know if some of the Cubs were over-eager because of the wind, but it was not a pretty night at the plate for a team that usually puts together good at bats, if nothing else.
Kyle Hendricks had a mixed night, with some very good stuff working, but he found himself in trouble almost at all times. Some of that was his own doing, and some of it was a matter of a base hit falling in.
Hendricks departed after loading the bases on a hit by pitch in the 5th inning, with Francisco Lindor coming to the plate. Justin Grimm was summoned to enter the toughest of situations, and after a tense 0-2 to 3-2 at bat, Lindor hit a ground ball to second base with enough pace that a very swift turn by Javy Baez and Addison Russell ended the inning with no damage done.
The Indians took the lead in the 7th inning after a single to right with a runner on third base – a runner who was very nearly picked off by Willson Contreras on a replay-challenged play that, to me, looked like an out (if analyzed more closely than the replay officials gave it – to my eye, Kris Bryant’s glove bent ever so slightly on the runner’s jersey as his hand reached Bryant’s shoe, but not yet the base). I could be wrong. I’ll take another look at the stills if I have a chance tomorrow morning and we’ll see.
In the process of taking that lead, the Indians removed Andrew Miller from the game, but the Cubs couldn’t take advantage in the later innings.
Like I said, just nothing came together offensively for the Cubs, despite the favorable matchup and the wind howling out. That’s probably an all-time frustrating loss right there.