In a best case scenario, we’ll get to see the Cubs’ season hanging on the edge of a knife for two straight games.
That’s the deal with a three-game series to open the playoffs when you lose game one. The Marlins hit a couple timely home runs on poorly-located pitches, the Cubs bats did mostly nothing, and that might be 50% of the Cubs playoff experience.
Some good defense on the day for the Cubs, and Kyle Hendricks ground his way through six successful innings despite not having much of anything working. But it fell apart in the 7th.
If you want a silver lining, it’s this: the last time the Cubs were in the postseason, they lost game one in the “Wild Card” round, and that was it. The 2018 Wild Card Game against the Rockies was a real kick in the nuts at the end of that schedule-assisted, Brewers-blazing-hot collapse. The Cubs had just one shot to win today, play tomorrow. They lost. And it was a taste that lingered for another disappointing year in 2019.
Now, the Cubs get another Wild Card Game of sorts. Win today against the Marlins, play again tomorrow. You can’t treat it like any other game, but you also can’t tighten up at the plate and get out of your approach. You can’t leave Yu Darvish to feel like he has to throw a shutout for the Cubs to have any chance to win. So I don’t know, man. Feel that urgency, but also … don’t feel that urgency. And also, don’t do what you’ve been doing for most of the season? Yes, I’m talking to the bats. Always the bats.
The Cubs did manage to win 34 games this year and they’ve got their ace on the mound, so, hey, it’s not like they can’t beat a meh Marlins team today. As we saw yesterday, though, having every on-paper advantage doesn’t mean the game is gonna break your way.
Let’s just hope things click sufficiently today to bring us a tomorrow. I don’t want another 2018 repeat, man.