Trailing 5-2 in the 9th inning in San Francisco, and trying to mount a comeback? Sound familiar?
The Cubs actually entered the 9th trailing 5-1 in this case (but they did, at one point, also trail 5-2!), scoring three times and coming up just short of what they pulled off six years ago in Game 4 of the NLDS. That game was just a little more important than this one.
I didn’t see the point in letting Drew Smyly start this game, and the cosmos responded with a lotta loud contact by the Giants and five runs allowed. The chances that Smyly could alter his trade trajectory positively with a great start were more or less zero, the chances he could get hurt were non-zero, and the chances he could negatively alter his trade trajectory were probably also non-zero. Which means there was no upside in having him start, but a very small chance of downside. I’m not sure if this was bad enough to activate that downside, but that doesn’t change my point: it was unnecessary. Mark Leiter Jr. had just been called up. He could have started. There was no point in having Smyly start.
The Cubs left a whopping nine runners on base in this one, and went just 2-13 with runners in scoring position. That includes the failed comeback in the 9th, which featured three runs, but all three scored on fielder’s choices.