The race to the postseason got a bit tighter for the Chicago Cubs as they dropped two of three to the 92-loss Colorado Rockies in Denver. It was a series full of mistakes and sloppy play that made fans tear their hair out. If it were not for a clutch go-ahead knock by Yan Gomes in the ninth inning of game one, the Cubs would have gotten swept.
While we see good teams lose to bad teams all the time in the regular season, the timing of this series loss was tough as the NL Wild Card race is so close with just a few weeks left. There were many runners left on base, outs made on the bases, pitchers with shaky command, and even some booted flyballs. Every game the Cubs had a lead with opportunities to break it open, but they couldn't and it ended up being costly.
In the final two games, the Cubs left 18 runners on base and went 4-16 with RISP. Only seven runs on 21 hits. It also did not help the fact that the Cubs walked nine Rockies hitters in those final two games, a team bottom-five in OBP. There was nothing fluky about this series' loss, the Cubs fully earned it.
Right now it seems like some of these players are running on fumes, particularly the bullpen arms. When the Cubs were winning a lot of close games, they had to work really hard to grind those games out. It was going to be hard to sustain winning at the rate they were, especially in close contests, without hitting a bit of a wall. The bullpen situation is a bit more complicated now with Adbert Alzolay on the IL, but they will have to make do with what they have. They will also need to find consistency offensively as it has been all but lately. Hopefully, the off day on Thursday will help them rest up and recharge.
This next series against the Diamondbacks is huge. The Cubs already lost three of four to them at Wrigley last week and they are right behind the Cubs, along with the Reds, Marlins, and Giants. Justin Steele, Kyle Hendricks, and Jordan Wicks are slated to start for the Cubs in the upcoming series.