That was a wild one with an incredibly crap ending. The Cubs lose it in extras – by a lot – after coming back to tie it in the later innings. I guess I just have to remind myself that the final outcome of the game was less important than some of the things that happened in it.
About the outcome, though …
The Cubs had the winning run on second in the bottom of the 9th, but Patrick Wisdom struck out to end that inning. Worse, they couldn’t take advantage of a monster Cardinals mistake in the 9th. The Cardinals could’ve won the game in regulation if Edmundo Sosa realized you’re supposed to touch third base, too:
Edmundo Sosa would have scored to give the Cardinals the lead in the 9th, but he missed third base!!! pic.twitter.com/HnUinYMMZW
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 5, 2022
In any case, it didn’t matter, because the Cardinals took advantage of a wild Michael Rucker in the 10th (he’d originally gotten warm an hour and a half earlier, and then was up and down in the bullpen multiple times – that, uh, rarely winds up going well for a guy who doesn’t enter the game until much later). Really, really bad night for Rucker, but also pretty rough circumstances to put him into.
The Cubs also generally failed repeatedly with runners in scoring position all night. Example that summed up the frustration? With one out and the bases loaded in the middle innings, this is what it looked like in EXTREMELY QUICK SUCCESSION:
Literally first pitch grounds into a routine double-play to end the inning. You cannot make this shit up.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) June 5, 2022
Just constant failings at the plate tonight; it happens, but it happened a lot in this one. It stings when it’s a 3-3 game that goes to extras.
It became easy to forget the most important long-term story of the night for the Cubs: Caleb Kilian’s big league debut.
Through his first three (perfect) innings, Kilian looked as good as a pitcher can look. Not a rookie pitcher making his debut; any pitcher. He was pretty much just executing everything where he wanted, and there were multiple EYES BULGING WHOA moments. But when he came out for the 4th, he completely lost his release point on a four-pitch walk, and the pitches were going everywhere but the strike zone. From there, the stuff seemed to tick down (trying to place pitches?), and the location didn’t return in time to avoid a mess of baserunners and runs.
In other words, for three innings he looked like a superstar. His fourth inning, he looked like a rookie. To my surprise, the Cubs let Kilian come back out for the 5th inning, but I liked it – an opportunity to see what it’s like to try to reset after a crap inning, and finish strong. He was great that inning, and that was a wrap on a successful debut overall.
I will leave this outing nothing but encouraged about Kilian: (1) He showed he has premium big league stuff; and (2) He is going to get some info that he can take back to Iowa to work on – how to hold your stuff longer, how to adjust when you lose a pitch or two, how quickly big leaguers see you that second time through the order, etc.
Annoying outcome to the game, though. No question about that part.