You see, no matter how badly a team can do in a season, when it comes to bitter rivalries, there’s few that can match the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. Where else can a team dominate the game and watch a lead evaporate right before their eyes like what happened in the Cubs 8-4 loss to the Cardinals yesterday?
The loss had nothing to do with the outstanding pitching of crafty right hander Kyle Hendricks. Nor was the loss attributed to the great home run from Addison Russell. The Cubs did their job but in the end it came down to a depleted bullpen caused from injuries to Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon. The game was tied when Carl Edwards Jr. got lit up in the late innings. Welcome to the rivalry Carl, it’s not your fault.
“That’s an example of what the team looks like without Strop and Rondon,” Maddon said. “I felt really good about C.J. in that moment. He’s been outstanding.”
He has been outstanding but this is the Cubs, right? Where else can a guy like Hendricks tie his career strikeouts in a game and still come up with no decision? Wrigley Field, that’s where. Those ghosts from Chicago Cubs past can rear their ugly head sometimes to ruin a guy’s day.
“He’s throwing the ball exactly where he wants to,” Maddon said of Hendricks. “He was executing outstanding. The heavy strikeouts were a surprise, because [the Cardinals] will move the baseball. That tells you how much [Hendricks’] stuff was on today. There were two elevated changeups to Moss and to Gyorko that caused the home runs. That’s a pitch he normally never throws up there.”
Sure, the Cardinals snapped the Cubs 11 game win streak but in the end it gave the Cubs a dose of reality. What if they continued their winning ways to the end of the season? Imagine a 20 game win streak and then get destroyed in the playoffs. I’m glad the Cubs are just that good but not too good to breach that reality barrier. For a young team, these kind of losses are good. It can give them a strong foundation in October.
“You’re going to lose some ballgames in baseball. It happens. The best thing about it is there’s one tomorrow. We had a good stretch there. We have to try to pick it back up tomorrow.”said Hendricks.