This is something we’re going to attempt throughout the baseball season. 162 game wraps are dizzying for you to read and us to write, so it’s a little easier on everyone if we just go by the series.
When you score 10 runs, you’re supposed to win. Somehow, within the season’s first week, the Cubs have lost twice when scoring 10 runs. Well, not somehow. We know how. Which is what makes a routine 4-2 loss when you get Hader’d a little more frustrating than it should be. Because if you get the win that’s supposed to be automatic when you get a touchdown and a field goal, you shrug off the loss in the finale. Now you don’t. Anyway, let’s bust through some quick notes before I adjourn for Wrestlemania.
–Jose Quintana told everyone in Arizona he wanted to throw his change-up more this year. I don’t think six in an outing quite counts. That’s all he managed in his Friday immolation. When Q only goes with fastball-curve, it gives him no room for error whatsoever. It’s obviously not an instant process to incorporate a new pitch and gain confidence in it, but this was kind of a slow start.
-Until Kris Bryant goes nuclear, there’s always going to be a fear that he’s not healthy. And just like when he came back last year, it feels like he can’t deal with any velocity. It says he’s hitting .300 on fastballs this year, but he’s whiffing at a quarter of the ones he swings at. Could be just a slump.
-Of course, the bullpen remains the main story. It destroyed any hopes on Friday, and made things way more interesting than they had to be on Saturday. I’m not a body-language guy and mostly think it’s bullshit, but I’m guessing a real big reason Carl Edwards Jr. was sent down on Saturday morning was that he was expressly looking helpless on the mound Friday. You can’t look like you’re lost. Crash Davis told you this. “Act cocky, even when you’re getting lit up.” If you don’t look like you think you can get anyone out, then you’re almost certainly not going to.
-At least the pen found something on Sunday. Baby steps to the elevator.
-Not gonna worry about Hendricks too much. He’s always been something of a slow starter. Again, the margins of error are so small, and that pitch he threw to Yelich couldn’t have been more inviting if it was wearing a neglige on the way to the plate.