Normally I really despise off-days following a tough loss (especially one against the Cardinals), but tomorrow’s day off can’t come soon enough.
Not only do I need a break after that extra-inning, series-clinching loss to the Cardinals at Wrigley Field (which featured the displeasure of (1) a frustrating national broadcast, (2) audible “Yadi! Yadi!” chants multiple times throughout the night, and (3) way more Harrison Bader than I ever care to see again), but also the Cubs must be EXHAUSTED.
Chicago just wrapped up a stretch of 11 games in 9 days, four of which went into extra innings. And frankly, that was the difference maker tonight. By the end of the game, the Cubs were out of position players and effectively out of relievers. So even though Justin Steele was awesome, and PJ Higgins put the Cubs on top with two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Rowan Wick blew the save in the 9th and Daniel Norris gave up the game-winning runs in 11th.
Maybe David Ross could’ve stuck with Scott Effross, who breezed through the top of the 8th, for the save spot, but he pitched yesterday, so Rowan Wick came in instead. Unfortunately, Wick, who threw 38(!) pitches yesterday, blew the save, and the Cubs failed to score again the rest of the way.
Worse, this actually felt like a game the Cubs should have won much earlier (and possibly again in the 10th). They were hitting Adam Wainwright hard all night long, but the Cardinals defense (and, let’s be honest, some bad luck) made it very difficult to get anything going. Plus, the Cubs defense was shaky throughout the game and they were thrown out on the bases twice. That matters, too.
I’m not going to spoil the positive conversation about Justin Steele’s big night in a bad box score chat like this, so we’ll just save that conversation for tomorrow. Long story short, he was very good against MLB’s best offense vs. LHP this season.
The Cubs end this stretch at 5-6, and tomorrow, they’ll get some rest.