The game was clinched by the 8th. There was no reason to worry.
Except that Lester’s performance was lackluster, the hitting that did come was just enough to be better than the Nats, and up to this point the bullpen was having it’s way with the Nats.
And then Carl Edwards Jr unraveled. Edwards is one of the many pitching projects the Cubs have invested in over the last few years. And by all accounts, he’s the future of the bullpen. That might be, but you can’t hang your pitches in the zone like they are drywall. That’s exactly what he did though, with Bryce Harper, with one on board.
Maddon did the thing that we all would do quickly, and that’s put Mike Montgomery in. That worked out just as bad. Montgomery walked into the Nats high on momentum, and then handed them a three run watermelon to clinch Game 2.
Much of the Cubs bullpen is projects of the current management, and while it’s nice to develop relief pitchers in a league that is thin on relief talent, and both Montgomery and Edwards have been great additions. But this is a problem.
One night off is not a big deal, but it’s well known that the projects of the northside have more than their fair share of bad nights. It just so happens that Wade Davis, our closer, bails them out of problems. But when multiple guys are failing, there’s only so much he can do.
Davis pitched last night in the Game 1 win, and my guess is that Maddon wanted him to rest. These projects have to start taking it on the chin and accept their results of their failures. Hopefully a two-game stand in Chicago rejuvenates the bullpen. I don’t want the Nats finally cutting their playoff teeth on us.
And big picture, this bullpen needs to be re-evaluated. We can’t have guys that every seven or eight games can locate their pitches.