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When the Long and Crazy Game Doesn’t Go Your Way and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

It is considerably easier to get into the day after a game like that when the Cubs won. But, alas, they did not win that one.


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In fact, not only did they lose, but they also saw an already-beleaguered bullpen ground to a pulp, they saw Javy Baez hobbling around all game after taking a foul off his foot, they saw Anthony Rizzo clutching his forearm after taking an Aroldis Chapman fastball for the team (X-rays negative), they saw a series sweep and seventh loss in eleven games, and they see a good Rockies team looming out west after a late-night flight.

I won’t sugarcoat things, my friends: this is a bad time. More on that later.

  • For now, is there any part of you that can appreciate a crazy game for a crazy game’s sake? … eh, no, not really. But there were interesting things: the combined 48 strikeouts is a new baseball record (by five), and the 18-inning game is the longest of the year, and also the longest in interleague history (Cubs.com). There were 583 pitches in the game, 42 players made an appearance, and the game lasted 6 hours and 5 minutes. I keep thinking about these things, and how interesting the game would have been if only the Cubs had won. But since they lost, when I think about how long and crazy it was, I can think only one thing: I feel a little sick.
  • One of the old bugaboos bit the Cubs: the team went just 2-15 with runners in scoring position, and left 18 on base.

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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • With things the way they are, you can understand and forgive Joe Maddon for suggesting the Cubs would be more than open to a rainout tonight against the Rockies (The Athletic). There is currently a 90% chance of evening thunderstorms in Denver, and the teams are due to square off at 7:40pm CT.
  • The Cubs’ starting pitchers are ready to start going deeper into games, or so they tell ESPN. That’d be a very welcome thing, given the state of the bullpen, but it’s obviously going to require strong, efficient performances – which won’t be easy this week in Colorado.
  • I kinda hate that folks will mostly not remember this crazy Kyle Schwarber catch thanks to the rest of the game:

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  • A dumb earned run thing: Pedro Strop was charged with an earned run at the end of the game, even though Aaron Hicks scored with the benefit of a Willson Contreras throwing error. Why? Well, firstly, Hicks was credited with a bunt single to open the inning, so he’s deemed to have “earned” being on base. Then, after a sac bunt and Starlin Castro’s RBI groundout, there was a single. So the scorer determines that Hicks would have scored eventually in the inning even if he hadn’t gotten a free second base on the throwing error. Which is just madness to me, because not only does it require that we assume the Yankees still bunt and succeed in getting the runner over, we also have to assume that runner definitely would have scored from second base on a single to center field. I know it’s a unique situation, and you’ve gotta make the best determination you can, but it’s yet another reminder that “earned runs” are not always a great indicator of performance.
  • There is no update on Jason Heyward’s knuckle, which kept him out of the last two games after his diving plays on Friday in the outfield. Given that the Cubs wouldn’t even send him up to the plate last night to fake it and just take pitches, I’m pretty concerned about his availability in the near term.

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  • The Yankees, having swept the Cubs, are now 20-9, which is the best record in baseball. At least the Cubs didn’t just get swept by a train wreck of a team.
  • If you missed anything this weekend – including the fact that the site was re-designed (full details on that here) – catch yourself up. Also: X-rays on Anthony Rizzo’s forearm were negative.
  • The Amazon Echo is on sale today if you want to check it out. We have an Echo Dot, and the kids are obsessed with asking Alexa to play various songs. Actually, now that I peruse a bit more, I see that various Fire tablets and Kindle stuff are on sale, too. Must be an all-out Amazon device sale.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.