Never back a hungry beast into the corner. That’s how the Houston Astros beat the Chicago Cubs yesterday 2-1. With two teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum, one all ready in the playoffs and the other battling for a Wild Card position, the Cubs just couldn’t get it done with runner’s in scoring position.
“We need to move the baseball with runners in scoring position or just move it in general,” manager Joe Maddon said after the game. “The strikeout is something we’ve worked on to knock down. And we have.”
It could have been Maddon was resting players but then again, players like Jorge Soler has to come through in order to make it through October. Who knows? Perhaps Maddon doesn’t care about the end of September with the huge lead in the standings?
One thing that concerns me is the Cubs small ball. We know they can send rockets into the stands and that’s fine during the regular season, but the playoffs are different. Playing long ball will help a team get to the post season, but it’s small ball that wins series and gets your name on trophies.
“It doesn’t really matter if there is a man on base or if there isn’t a man on base, I’m going to try and attack the ball and try to get a hit no matter what,” Jorge Soler said through the team interpreter. “I’m not really thinking about that. I’m worried about caring about driving the ball and getting it out to the outfield.”
The good news about was the Cubs lost a one run game. It’s not the ideal way to lose but they kept it close. On the flip side, they should have won the game by getting runners in.
“We play that game often, man,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We had all those one-run games back at home in that last homestand. That’s the kind of game we play all the time, and I love it.”
I mean the Cubs went 0-10 with runners on base. With an offensive juggernaut like the Cubs, that’s going to prove unacceptable in the playoffs. They must get those runners in.
The Cubs are in a bit of a hitting slump. Three games in a row where they didn’t score more than two runs isn’t acceptable. Ah who am I kidding? Perhaps I’m expecting too much from the North Siders. It’s September, the players need a little rest before October and slumps happen.
“I believe that hitting is a little bit contagious,” Cubs designated hitter Miguel Montero said. “When we get a couple guys going, I think the whole offense is going to get going. Nothing to worry about. Guys seem to be putting good at-bats together. They just have to find holes, get in good counts, work the pitching.”
That’s always the most diplomatic thing to say when a team goes through slumps. All though it’s more representative of Casey At The Bat by Ernest Thayer
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
but there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.
Obviously, Jorge Soler hasn’t read the poem.