A Tip of the Recap – October 21st
The Cubs fell in game 4 to the Mets tonight by a score of 8-3 and were swept in the NLCS to end their outstanding season.
It was a great season and accumulating 97 wins and making it to the NLCS are things to really be proud of. With that said though, I guarantee no one in the Cubs’ organization feels much like talking about moral victories. This series was hard to watch and it is unfortunate that the Cubs couldn’t get more done with the bats.
Tonight’s game was more of the same; tough pitching and timely hitting from the Mets. The Cubs managed just 6 hits and 3 runs tonight and couldn’t come up with the big hit with men on base to cut into the large lead the Mets came up with in the 1st inning.
Jorge Soler was big at the plate tonight, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a single to bring his NLCS AVG up to .417. He really showed up for the playoffs and should have a big role on the team going into 2016. The big question mark with him remains whether he can stay healthy for a whole season.
Kris Bryant had a couple chances early to get the Cubs back in the game, but couldn’t come up with the big hit. He did murder a 2-run HR to left-center in the 8th inning to cut the deficit to 8-3, but I think he would admit that he didn’t have a great postseason with the bat.
Jason Hammel absolutely did not give the Cubs a chance tonight. After retiring 2 of the first 3 guys quickly, he gave up a walk, then a 3-run HR to Duda, followed by a solo shot by d’Arnaud. The Cubs were already down 4-0 before even getting a chance to hit. He came back out for the 2nd and struck out the first guy he faced, but then walked the next guy and was replaced. That walk ended up scoring and the book on Hammel read: 1.1 IP, 5 runs (all earned) on 4 hits (2 HRs), 2 walks and 1 K.
He will most likely have a spot in the rotation for 2016, but I would imagine if the Cubs can make a couple moves to bolster the starting 5, that spot may not be so secure. He 1st half vs. 2nd half splits are one of the great mysteries of this season and I wonder if it was an injury or something else. Either way, his struggles showed that the Cubs need to get a little deeper with the rotation.
You have to tip your hats to the Mets and their pitching staff. They are young and hungry and should make for a tough matchup for the Royals or Blue Jays in the World Series. It just sucked to see them celebrate on the field and in the clubhouse at Wrigley.
Spring Training will get here before you know it (hopefully) and it should be an active winter for the Cubs, who have money and a deep and cost-controlled stable of hitters. I have no doubt that they will come back and be solid again in 2016. It was a great season and this team was easy to root for all year.