Cubs fan: how you livin’ today. I’m guessing not nearly as well as you were 24 hours ago. You just got shut out. Again. And now, you’re down 2 games to 1, with Game 4 tonight here in L.A. against another lefty, in Julio Urias.
I’m not saying you should smash the panic button just yet. But you better know where the hell it is. And if you don’t get right, right away, offensively, then you’re down 3-1, and you can hit that panic button with a sledge hammer because Dave Roberts will almost assuredly bring back Clayton Kershaw to finish you in Game 5.
And the reason you’re in this position is that your team, the entire team, except for Kris Bryant, just stopped hitting at the exact same time. At the worst possible time.
Question is, why? And if they all went into the tank at the same time, is there any chance they all come out of it at the same time? They’re going to have to in order to advance.
So why now? What happened? Obviously, start by crediting the Dodgers’ arms; they’ve been dominant. Clayton Kershaw has obviously choked out that narrative that he can’t get it done in the postseason. And Kenley Jansen has been untouchable out of the bullpen. And how many of you Cub fans had Rich Hill outpitching Jake Arrieta last night? Yeah. Neither did I but he did, getting all funky and wacky with it, and straight up humiliating the Cubs.
So if you want to know why these guys all stopped hitting at the exact time, start right there. By crediting the Dodgers pitching. And possibly, in part because the Cubs didn’t see any of L.A.’s top three starters during the regular season.
So, maybe it’s just a case of good pitching beating good hitting. Or maybe… maybe… and this is a small thing. A small possibility. And that’s, that it’s pretty freaking hard to swing the bat when you have both hands around your throat! They’re pressing. Looks like everyone in that lineup, not named Kris Bryant, is in the batter’s box, trying to turn their bats into sawdust. You never know how or when a player falls into a slump. But how do you explain it happening to the entire team, at the same time, at the worst possible time it could happen? A team that won 103 games during the regular season and was the runaway favorite to win it all? Obviously they’re pressing. Especially against lefties, and they’re getting another one tonight in Julio Urias.
Look…it’s just 2 games to one. You’re far from dead. Unless, you implode again offensively tonight, and then we’re looking at one of your biggest meltdowns to date.
The other thing that would concern me, Cubs fan, unlike the Dodgers, who had to overcome all sorts of obstacles and adversity to get here, you really haven’t been tested. It’s really been pretty easy for the Cubs this season. They boat-raced the entire National League, clinching early and have not had to overcome anything significant to get here. And now they do, and so far they’re not reacting well to it all.
You better hope your bats show up tonight, because this one is a must win game. Lose tonight and Kershaw has a chance to drive a stake through your heart and wreck many of your otherwise meaningless lives.