Chicago Cubs: Cardinals prevent sweep, but are put on notice


Cubs drop a heartbreaker, lose a game to Cards and Bucs

Normally a trip into St. Louis in September with the Chicago Cubs winning two out of three would feel pretty good–and it still does. But it very well could have–should have been a sweep but the bullpen faltered and wasted a strong start from Jon Lester in a 4-3 heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals.

After winning the first two in the series with what I would honestly call mismatches on the mound, the Cubs were unable to get the job done after Lester’s strong seven innings. For the second day in a row, the bullpen surrendered runs late, but this time they didn’t have a large cushion to absorb it. After RBI doubles from Anthony Rizzo and Tommy La Stella, the Cubs look poised to earn the series sweep with Lester in control on the mound.

Instead of gaining three games on the first place Cards, the Cubs managed to gain just one. The Pirates managed to eek out a win against the Reds to gain a game and move three ahead of Chicago for the first Wild Card.

The struggles of the bullpen have been minimal this season, but now is the most inopportune time for them. Pedro Strop seems to be in another funk, struggling with his confidence, while the absence of Jason Motte has indeed been noticeable. It’s not reached a panic situation, but skipper Joe Maddon needs to find that formula in the bullpen and very soon.

There’s no denying the impact that the rookies have had this season, as well as guys like Rizzo, Lester, and Arrieta. But what can’t be overlooked are the performances of some of the secondary players such as Dexter Fowler and Chris Coghlan. The numbers might not be eye-popping for either, but their effect on this roster has been just as important and will continue to be as they race towards October.

These and other stories you might have missed:

‘Cards avoid sweep with comeback win over Cubs’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Cubs’ pen has some late season issues to work out’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Bucs win, pad lead in Wild Card race’ –

‘Cubs getting the most out of secondary pieces this year’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Harvey to tentatively get two more starts’ – ESPN

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