If you’re a fan of baseball… then the NLCS has been great if you’re a Dodgers fan or just hate the Cubs. The Dodgers bullpen has been pristine and their lineup has been dynamite.
But here’s the thing about this series: the Cubs aren’t hitting. And I don’t mean just a few players in the lineup. I’m talking the entire lineup. Now what do I mean by this? I mean in three games, the Cubs have scored a combined 4 runs to the Dodgers 15. Yes. Cubbies have been outscored 15-4. Another thing to consider: Jose Quintana has the second highest batting average on the team. The man is a pitcher. I’m all for #pitcherswhorake but that’s not what you want during the NLCS.
Here’s another example you know the batting situation is bad for the Cubs. When with the bases loaded, Yu Darvish was allowed to bat. The Dodgers had a 2 run lead and were confident enough that the Cubs wouldn’t produce another run the rest of the night, so they let their pitcher bat.
Then, the other issue with the Cubs in this postseason has reared its ugly head: the bullpen. I really can’t wrap my head around it. Carl Edwards Jr, who appeared 73 times during the regular season for the Cubs.. has been less than stellar in this postseason. And that’s putting it mildly. The most recent debacle to add to Cubs’ fans list of grievances is when he walked Darvish with the bases loaded. To illustrate how off the mark he’s gotten, his 2017 postseason ERA is 11.97.
The Dodgers bullpen as a whole against the Cubs? They haven’t allowed a run and have only allowed 2 hits. And they’ve struck out 13.
Some may ask, but the Cubs have almost the same team as last years. While correct, the pitching is not as dominant as it was last year. And the Dodgers are not the same team they were in 2016’s NLCS. Gone are the bullpen woes and the spotty hitting. Instead, you have a team that lives and breathes each other. Kind of like what the Cubs had last year.
Do I think the Cubs are done for? The Dodgers are up 3-0. It doesn’t seem like their pitching or bats are going to let up. Alex Wood is a good pitcher. I will point out that after the All Star break he posted a 3.89 ERA with 13 home runs allowed in 12 starts. But his last three starts in the regular season, he allowed 4 runs over 18 innings, striking out 15 and walking 2.
But its October. That’s the magic of postseason baseball. Jake Arrieta is on the mound for what could be his last start in a Cubs uniform (he’s a free agent at the end of this year.) The Cubs are hanging on by their last straw. It’s about to strike midnight. The defending champs need to either find more magic or Cinderella will turn back into a pumpkin. I would recommend someone’s bats getting hot. Or this is the last game at Wrigley til 2018.