Let me just start by saying it is the most typical 2019 Chicago Cubs thing imaginable to score 55 runs in four games from from Friday to Monday and then 4 runs combined in their next two games (one of which was 10 innings long). Maybe it’s also the most September-2018-Cubs thing, too. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a Cubs thing. Period.
Indeed, the offense was almost entirely absent tonight, minus a run that Nicholas Castellanos straight up willed into existence (El Mago style) and a Willson Contreras blast (he has FIVE since returning from the IL) in the seventh.
And honestly, that’s the end of this one for me. I don’t really care about Joe Maddon’s decision to pitch Pedro Strop (who didn’t get the job done, but otherwise allowed only two seeing-eye grounders) or to keep James Norwood in (who walked two and gave up two hits), because a team that wants to contend for the World Series has to be able to put up more than 1 hit on Tyler freakin’ Mahle over 6.0 innings – let alone score more than 2 runs over 10.0 innings against an eliminated Reds team in September. Like give me a break.
Joe Maddon is largely bad at managing bullpens (most managers are) and he may well be done in Chicago after this season, but tonight was the fault of the offense.
Jon Lester and Tyler Chatwood were good. End of enhanced box score.
P.S. The Cardinals won tonight, by the way, so the Cubs are now a frustrating 3.0 games back before their big four-game series.
P.P.S. The Cubs went 8-11 against the Reds this season. Think about that.