It was an ugly game last night as the Chicago Cubs were stopped by the Cincinnati Reds 13-5. Despite strong efforts from Dexter Fowler who got on base at will and a home run by Addison Russell, the Cubs had a rough time against their division rivals.
“Give them credit,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the Reds. “They hit the ball really well tonight. They beat us. … We did leave a lot of people on base, but we did hit some balls well in those moments. The quality of at-bats and the pitches we forced them to throw up and down the lineup, I’m all about it. I thought it was great. With that kind of offensive output, we’re normally in the game. They just got us tonight.”
Baseball is filled with luck as much as there’s skill. I’m not saying the “Big Red Machine” got lucky against our heroic North Siders, but John Lackey had another great outing and if they say a great defence is the key to a great offence, or something like that, Lackey pitched pretty darn well for 5 innings.
“I felt really good,” Lackey said. “I had pretty good stuff for the most part. That inning they scored a couple runs in the fourth, little things added up on me. The last one, three-run homer first pitch action got me.”
The loss was bound to happen. The good news that’ll come out of this is the Cubs will be sharper today when they play the finale. It just seemed that the Reds were able to hit anything and everything the pitchers threw at them. It didn’t matter if it were Lackey or Reliever Neil Ramirez, the Reds had their number.
“I tell myself, let the game dictate to you what it wants you to do,” Joe Maddon said. “Right now, we’re in a good run with the starting pitchers. Hopefully, that lasts a long time. It probably won’t, so just be prepared for that particular moment.”
Does this loss indicate the holes in the Cubs armour or was it just a case of the better team showing up last night?
I don’t know.
If it’s vindication, the Cubs have the highest run differential in the league by outscoring opponents by 67 runs. This could have been the game that keeps the Cubs in check and in sight of the prize.
Today, the Cubs can get a chance at a do over when they play an afternoon game. Jason Hammel takes to the mound.
“Crazy game. They got us tonight,” Joe Maddon said.