That sucked. We haven’t seen the Cubs win a playoff game in a few years now, and we’ve seen three straight playoff game losses.
The really short version is something you’d expect: the bats were virtually non-existent, and the Marlins hit a couple homers. That’s it. Game over.
For most of the game, Kyle Hendricks had nothing working but his fastballs. He was able to make it work by keeping the ball on the ground and with some solid defense behind him. He started to get the changeup and curveball working a little bit in the 5th and 6th, but hard contact in the 7th – when he was over 100 pitches – bit him. Hard single, hard single, three-run homer in rapid succession. David Ross is gonna get ripped for the decision to leave Hendricks in that long, but it was at least a close call. My comment was to let Hendricks face the righties in the 7th, but have someone up. When things got to Dickerson, the lefty, that’s when pulling the trigger would’ve made sense (and not just because, well, he homered – it was Hendricks’ fourth time seeing Dickerson on the day). Maybe Andrew Chafin should’ve been up in anticipation of that moment? Alas.
Jeremy Jeffress took over for Hendricks, and promptly gave up a single and a homer of his own. Who knows what would’ve happened if he’d been in a batter earlier – different guy and all – but it’s not like he came in and was nails.
Offensively, the Cubs really struggled with Sandy Alcantara, who was wild early on, but battled well in deep counts, and got a lot better as the game went on. It just kinda wound up looking like so, so many games we saw this year.
But this one mattered a lot more. Good luck, Yu Darvish. Might have to shut the Marlins out tomorrow.