How Could You, Dex? Losing Streak, Offense Pressing, and Other Bullets

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How Could You, Dex? Losing Streak, Offense Pressing, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I got three and a half hours sleep last night, which would be bad enough if the Cubs had won the dang game. On a personal level, I can hack it just fine with one night of no sleep, but if it goes back-to-back on me – like, if tonight’s Cubs game goes really late – I’ll be a total mess on Tuesday. Tired, sick, crabby, all that good stuff. And I *just* got over a sinus infection. Win it quickly tonight, Cubs. Do it for Bert.

  • Last night’s/this morning’s walk-off homer was the first of Dexter Fowler’s career. Good for you, Dex. But I still hate you now. And I hate you for making me hate you. So I guess I don’t hate you. But also, I hate you.
  • The Cubs were just so darn close in that game. If Jason Heyward doesn’t lose a ball in the lights, the Cubs win. If Javy Baez completes that almost-amazing play in the bottom of the 14th, the Cubs win. If Fowler’s fly ball is caught – which it is 55% of the time, according to Statcast – the Cubs win. Two strikes, two outs, walk-off fly ball that barely gets over Heyward’s glove. Oof. It was all just so close.
  • … which is not to say that the Cubs didn’t earn the loss, having don’t nothing at the plate once again. The Cubs managed just 9 hits in 14 innings, just three of which went for extra-bases. They walked just four times, and went 0-9 with runners in scoring position. It was just the latest awful showing for an offense that I still believe is much better than it is showing right now. But, as things stand, they look like one of the most ineffectual offenses in the game.
  • Speaking of which, Joe Maddon sees the same things we see: everybody’s pressing, nobody’s making hard contact. ( He says of these kinds of stretches, “You’ve got to ride them out.” I suppose so, though I hope there are some helpful, thoughtful words being exchanged behind the scenes. It feels like things are getting away from the Cubs a bit after nearly two weeks of no offense, and now a five-game losing streak. This is where Joe Maddon earns his dough – by saying the right thing, or doing the right thing, or, well, not doing anything at all when all the outside forces in the world are screaming JUST DO SOMETHING.

  • I actually don’t have a huge beef with riding Luke Farrell at the end there last night – he struck out two, then gave up an infield hit and a fly ball that’s an out most of the time – but I was surprised that Pedro Strop was essentially unavailable after throwing only 22 pitches (albeit spread over two innings) the day before. And that was his only appearance in the last five days.
  • Speaking of Farrell, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him optioned down for another arm today. Not solely because of the back-to-back walk-off losses (oof, good luck with the mental component of getting past that one), but because he’s got options and the Cubs need a fresh arm.
  • Talk about a picture saying a thousand words:
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
  • Carl is all of us:

  • Another thing that really sucks about the loss last night? It sapped the Cubs right before they have to travel and now come home to face a team that SHOULD offer some very winnable games … but the Marlins will be well-rested, are coming off four straight series wins, and will be throwing the league’s ERA leader out there tonight.
  • I want to say things like “yeah, it’s another loss and a five-game losing streak, but four of those losses were coinflips that could have gone the other way!”, but I just can’t do it knowing that the five-game winning streak that preceded the losing streak was totally the same way. Based on what we’ve seen, it actually feels like the Cubs are fortunate to have gone 5-5.
  • The Cardinals huddled up with their fallen leader:

  • Let’s just keep the good times rolling:

  • Things that were fun while they lasted:

  • You no doubt noticed – if you were still up – that Baez was working out something in his back there at the end of the game, but he says there’s no issue:

Author: Brett Taylor

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