Bad teams will often give you extras. Extra baserunners. Extra outs. Extra pitches. The Pirates, likely a bad team, certainly did that today.
Good teams will often take advantage of those extras. The Cubs, today, did not. Draw your own conclusions.
The Cubs lost today’s series finale to the Pirates – and the four-game series with it – but not for a lack of opportunities. The Cubs could’ve done much more damage in the first inning. The Cubs had multiple golden – frequently gifted – chances with runners on base thereafter, but all they could muster was an Ian Happ solo homer. That includes runners on first and third with nobody out in the 7th, and then second and third with one out in the 9th.
After watching yesterday, today was particularly exasperating. I’m grinding my teeth as I type this.
(Also: Alfonso Rivas should’ve started that effing game, but whatever.)
Justin Steele was uncomfortably wild today, and that’ll bear more digging into tomorrow. He arguably didn’t deserve his line – his defense was rough, particularly at short … – but his pitch plot today looked like a Jackson Pollock painting. Just all over the place, thus all the walks and thus the 79 pitches over just three innings.
The bullpen was really quite great again today, for what that’s worth. Like the Pirates, the Cubs bullpen gave the bats plenty of chances to come back. No dice.
Time for stupid jokes to try to trick myself into feeling less crappy.