The Chicago Cubs offense was unpredictable for much of the 2018 season, making a Wild Card game loss to the Colorado Rockies a fitting way to close it.
Two days, two big games, 22 innings and two runs. That’s the way the 2018 season came to an end for the Chicago Cubs.
Monday, the Cubs had a chance to clinch their third-straight National League Central Division championship. Instead, they mustered up one run on just three hits, losing the division title to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Of course, Chicago had a chance to right the ship quite quickly in the NL Wild Card Game. The offense’s inconsistency could have been forgotten, at least for a few days, if the Cubs were able to defeat the Colorado Rockies.
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Yeah, that didn’t happen. The Cubs scored just one run on six hits in 13 innings, going one-and-done in the postseason for the first time in the Joe Maddon era.
The offense failed to produce in back-to-back big games, but it truly went missing weeks ago. After scoring 5.12 runs per game in the first half, the Cubs managed just 4.07 runs per game post-All Star-Break.
Truly, the Cubs’ elimination from the postseason was merely a microcosm of their season. There is no doubting that this was a club ripe with talent. There is also no doubting that same roster constantly struggled to produce offensively.
Questions abound this offseason
So, where does the blame lie? Was the 2018 season a failure because of the way it ended? Should Maddon and/or Chili Davis be blamed, or are the hitters most responsible?
These are all questions that will be asked nonstop starting now until Opening Day 2019. A 95-win season should never be seen as a failure, in my opinion, especially considering the Cubs have had one day off since Aug. 20, closing things out with 41 games in 42 days.
No one felt bad for the Cubs during that stretch, but one has to wonder if it ultimately did them in. But in the end, the offense did not show up in back-to-back critical games, when just a few runs would have been enough to pick up huge victories.
Getting eliminated from the postseason always stings. For the Cubs and their inconsistent offense, though, the season may have ended at the right time.