It is officially fall, which means summer is officially over, which means baseball season is over, and anything else that happens doesn’t count and no one notices or cares because pumpkin spice szn and such.
- The Cubs lost their fifth straight game by just one run, something they haven’t done in over 100 years. Also, this:
FROM ELIAS: The Cubs are the 2nd team in MLB history to be swept in a 4-game series at home, losing each game by 1 run. The previous instance was 100 years ago, when the Red Sox were swept in 4 straight games at Fenway Park by the Indians.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 22, 2019
- To be very sure, when you pull off feats like that, there is *SOME* flukiness to it. Baseball is a sport where a single run can decide a game, but you can’t always (or even often?) truly control the outcome of a one-run game. Sometimes they are just coin flips that go one way or the other.
- That said, when you consider that the Cubs lost those games by way of a combination of failings that look all too familiar, you start to question just how much of the losing was flukey. This weekend, we saw: mistakes in the field, mistakes on the bases, failing to hit with runners on base, bullpen misuse, bullpen flops. How much of that is really outside of the Cubs’ control at an organizational level? In other words, I’m not terribly interested in reading suggestions about this string of losing being a fluke so much as I’m interested in reading suggestions about this string of losing only further confirming that significant change is needed at all levels of the org.
- We’ll have much more on those broader issues in the weeks to come – we’ll have plenty of free time … – but two write-ups I want to share this morning, because I think they do a good job capturing the no-but-seriously-there-are-problems sentiment we should all be feeling:
My take as the run comes to an end: Weekend wipeout sweeps away last shreds of Cubs' championship legacy https://t.co/DEeKy8ThFb
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 23, 2019
It was a critical 10-game home stand that started with 4 straight blowout victories and ended with 6 crushing losses, the last 5 by one run. @PJ_Mooney, @jon_greenberg and I chronicled what we saw over 10 days that culminated in a devastating Cubs collapse https://t.co/GVwURfUNxo
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) September 23, 2019
- Joe Maddon’s take on the series sweep, which ended the Cubs’ realistic playoff hopes, was just so Maddon (The Athletic): “Listen, man, it is what it is. You don’t cry. You don’t sulk. You don’t do anything. You come back and play the next game. I have no issues with our ball club. We played hard, and overall we played pretty well. It’s really difficult, when you look at it: How did that all happen? How did we lose all those four games? They were just one run better, obviously, than us every night. They were really evenly-matched, and that’s all I will concede.”
- What else is he supposed to say? Well, I guess that’s not quite right – he could acknowledge that long-simmering issues, together with some flukes, combined to cost the Cubs several very winnable, very critical games. I guess what I mean is, what would you expect him to say? Not sure what good that would do him or the Cubs to make those acknowledgements, even as it would be very satisfying to fans and observers who can all see it now so clearly. Maddon is invested in this club, these protocols, these players. There’s no changing the 2019 season now.
- Dude is taking it in, maybe one last time:
- Coffee, chargers, and luggage are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
- I understand that it makes you sick to think about, but the reality is, what the Brewers have done is absurdly impressive:
Brewers inching closer to the playoffs — even without the reigning National League MVP. https://t.co/IlfzKSup1A
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) September 23, 2019