The fact that the Cubs had won five in a row softened things a little bit, but you still hate to see the Cubs blow a game they were leading in the 8th inning.
After getting two outs to start the horrible, horrible frame that always burns the Cubs, Pedro Strop gave up a couple hits, an intentional-ish walk, and then a two-run double to turn the 2-1 Cubs lead into a 3-2 Cubs deficit. The double was one that *maybe* Albert Almora catches if he’s out there in center, but instead it was Ian Happ (who’d homered earlier in the game, so no hate here for him; the debate will be about whether there should have been a late switch).
Strop then uncorked a wild one, adding an insurance run for the Reds. The lack of a consistent handful of setup men in the Cubs’ bullpen is a terrifying problem as the end of the regular season draws near. At some point, the Cubs will have to dance with the ones that brung ’em, but blowing a late game like this in October is the kind of thing that can linger in our psyche for months or more.
As for tonight, it was all a shame, because the game was otherwise a tightly-contest, would-have-been-a-good-win behind a fantastic (albeit brief) Jake Arrieta start. The Cubs couldn’t quite get much going on offense, though, and that’s to be expected after a stretch of great offensive performances.
In sum: that ending sucked. I’ll get over it for *this* particular game … but probably not until I unpack it a bit more tomorrow morning, and continue to fret a bit about how this kinda thing looks in a month.