What a tense, frustrating loss. The Cubs blew it there at the end, to be sure, but they also blew it periodically throughout the game by failing to cash in with runners on base. I know – you’ve heard it before.
The worst was probably the 8th inning, when the Cubs just missed a two-run homer by Kris Bryant (it came up a couple feet short for a double), wound up loading the bases with one out, and then Albert Almora popped out for the critical second out. Then Anthony Rizzo ripped one to the wall in right, but it was caught to end the threat. At the time, it was a wasted opportunity for insurance runs
The Cubs benefited from a generous strike zone all day, as Tyler Chatwood was his typically wild, typically nasty-stuff self. What could have been even more than five walks frequently turned into strikeouts, and he managed five innings of one-run ball.
The Cubs bullpen got things done into the 9th inning, but they sure made a tightrope walk of it by putting the lead runner on via a free pass in seemingly every inning.
And it was in that 9th inning when it burned them. But it wasn’t Brandon Morrow issuing the leadoff walk.
In the 9th, with a one-run lead, Joe Maddon opted to go with Justin Wilson against the Dodgers’ top of the order, which could have been based on matchups, could have been based on saving Morrow for Game Two, or could have been based on Morrow being unavailable for health reasons. We really don’t know at this point, but it felt off in the moment, and obviously it didn’t pay off.
I am a mix of angry and concerned at the moment. What do you even root for in this moment? I guess you hope it was just a colossal strategic mistake and not an injury.