Chicago Cubs: What led to Carl Edwards’ late-season implosion?

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A forgettable conclusion to the season on all fronts

When the book closed on the Chicago Cubs’ 2018 season, most of us found ourselves in a state of disbelief. For much of September, the team’s playoff odds sat in the high-80s to low-90s percent range, but after Game 163, the Milwaukee Brewers celebrated their National League Central title in front of the Wrigley faithful.

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By that point, Edwards had pretty much completely fallen out of favor with Maddon – and for good reason. He totaled a mere seven innings over the final month and walked a staggering 12 batters, while striking out just nine. If you’re doing the math at home, that works out to 15.43 walks per nine.

He made 11 appearances in that stretch – and walked at least one batter in all but one of them. That’s particularly staggering given the fact he pitched a full frame or more in just three of said outings. His earned run average jumped from 2.36 at the start of September to 2.60 at season’s end.

Edwards did not pitch in the team’s 13-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card game, despite not appearing in Game 163, either. Maddon opted to use Kyle Hendricks and Cole Hamels, his likely top two starters should the team advance to the NLDS, rather than Edwards. By that point, it was abundantly clear that his skipper had no faith in him in any type of high-leverage situation.