Where did all the bats go? What happened to our pitching? Why did we lose? Unfortunately, the Chicago Cubs season has come to a crashing end. It didn’t end the way we or they wanted it to, and it is a lot less satisfying than what happened last year. It is what it is though, and now we have to deal with it. The pain is very slowly residing and now we can wait out the lull of the offseason till a new spring begins. But back to my original question, “What happened?”
After coming out of a tough NLDS against the Washington Nationals, the Cubs were up against a fiercer Dodgers team in the NLCS. This series only lasted five games and the Cubs never really got going. In those games the Cubs never scored more than three runs in any single game. As a matter of fact, in three of those five games they only scored one run. Let’s face it, most of the time you are not going to win a game by only scoring one run. You can win a game by one run, but not scoring only once. To put it shortly, the Dodgers pitchers were more effective and accurate at silencing the Cubs big bats.
On top of the batting we can also look at another contributing factor as to why the Cubs lost. A big reason – their pitching. Overall, the Cubs starting pitching was not that sharp. They had to throw a lot of pitches to get outs and then they also had to throw from behind in the counts. The pitchers also never went very deep in the game when they went to the mound. When you throw a lot of pitches in the early going, you won’t be able to go as far into games when you get to the later innings. And their relief wasn’t much better as a whole. True, some relief pitchers would be really good one game, but not the next or vice versa. They were very inconsistent. The thing is, when some of them went out to the mound, they even had trouble recording outs. The other thing with the pitching that comes to mind is think of the NLDS as a series itself. The Cubs had to play through a five games series. That will take a serious toll on your pitching staff. They didn’t get the job done in three or four games and then have that long time to rest and recover. After a grueling series like that, it could be the Cubs were just running out of gas.
Maybe the Dodgers were just hungrier than the Cubs. Or the Dodgers could have been playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing to the Cubs last year. It could be the Cubs were just tired. Maybe all of these played a factor. Maybe none of them did. All we know is that this year was not the Cubs year. As a true Cubs fan will always tell you, “There’s always LAST year.”