Compared to their debacle over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, last night’s 4-1 loss to the much better Washington Nationals proved that this week is going to test the Chicago Cubs on their way to October.
Max Scherzer controlled the game, striking out 11. It could very well come down to these two teams in the National League in October, they’re that good.
“That’s what you’ll see when you get two really good baseball teams is you’ll see a lot of that close action and it’s a battle of inches that permits you to win or lose those games and they won the battle of the inches tonight,” Maddon said.
This week will be tough because after the Nationals, the Cubs will face the Pirates and the Cardinals. See what I mean? This week will show what kind of team the Cubs are.
“You’ve got to beat the good pitchers,” Maddon said. “In order to win in the playoffs, you have to beat good pitchers. [Scherzer] is one of them. We beat him one time, he beat us this time. In the playoffs, you see good pitching. That’s why teams get to the playoffs is they have good pitching. Bottom line, you have to compete against the good ones.”
Not only good pitching but an all around great team in the Nationals. It’s really good that the loss came at this time of the year. It’ll expose what the Cubs need to improve on going forward in the season.
“You’re dealing with arguably the best team in baseball right there,” Addison Russell said praising the Nationals. “Guys that come in every day wanting to win and they have the bats and arms to prove it.”
The fact that the Cubs were 43-18 heading into last night’s matchup and was their best start since 1918 was an exciting momentum builder. It kind of felt like a playoff game.
“I don’t know about that,” Kyle Hendricks said. “It’s still June. We have a ways to go. We faced them at home. It’s just two good teams facing off at this point. It’s good competition, really good baseball. We’ll enjoy these next two games.”