OSS: Not with a bang but a whimper.
- The Cubs pitching staff came to play today. Jon Lester got the start and stepped up by allowing just one run in six innings, striking out nine. Joe pinch hit for him in the bottom of the sixth, which was easily the right move, but the Cubs blew their chance in that frame.
- Cole Hamels graded out as the highest WPA pitcher on the day, pitching two shutout innings in extras. Pedro Strop also managed to look like his old self in his return from injury, so extra bummer to see the offense fritter this away.
- Javy Baez was the only hitter who had anything cooking today, hitting a game-tying double in the eighth and actually managing to draw a walk in the eleventh.
- Once again the offense was ice cold. Does Chili Davis lose his job? Only the Orioles had more zero or one run games on offense this year, and I think the Cubs would tie them if they included this game. Unlike Hickey, who should also probably be on on the wobbly chair, he isn’t old buddies with Maddon.
- Ben Zobrist was seemingly hitting weak grounders to 2b every inning, and I was shocked to see that he actually managed a hit at some point. He was the Cubs WPA trailer in this one.
- I assumed said WPA trailer would be Rizzo, who GIDP in the Cubs best rally of the day, but he was actually third behind Zobrist and Murphy. It truly was a team effort to score this few runs.
Next up: It should be an interesting offseason – the Cubs should certainly target more pitching. And even if the offense hadn’t shat the bed, the importance of the bullpen in the postseason has only become more apparent. This team still won 95 games, despite everything that fell apart this season.