All hope is not lost when you go down 0 – 2. It’s hard to find a little piece a light to keep you going, but there is light. There are still five games left to play, three of which are Wrigley Field. The Cubs have yet to lose in the postseason at home. While Hendricks is usually good at home, the same is not true of Jason Hamel. I think the key going forward is keeping the top three Mets off the bases and not giving up any homeruns.
It’s not like the Mets have come in and blown the Cubs out in either game. The Cubs have managed only to scrap together three runs in two games. No matter how much your distaste for Lester is, or your surprise in Arrieta, it’s the offense, or lack there of, that’s put the Cubs in an 0-2 hole.
It’s clear-cut to me that if the Cubs are going to get back in this, it’s their bats that are going to have to do the work. Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are or no slouches as pitchers, but they are beatable the third time through the order. The Cubs did have their moments in the sixth and seventh innings against both pitchers, but never managed more than two runs. The Cubs seemed to neutralize Yeonis Cespedes and the rest of the Mets lineup, but Granderson, Murphy, and Wright are killing them.
At the plate, they’re going to have to do one of two things differently. One, even though they lived by the long ball against the Cardinals, they can’t do that against the Mets. They’re going to have to string together hits, walks, and play station to station baseball.
Second, considering how the Mets are getting ahead in the counts with first pitch strikes, being a little aggressive on the first pitch might work for some hitters. Ideally, the Cubs need to be aware of how they are being pitched right now. Cubs’ hitters are not adapting to the Mets’strategy.
The great thing about this young Cubs team all year is that it has been resilient. I think now they are in a deep hole but they can dig out of it with minor adjustments. Maddon somehow has to work some of his mojo on this club or the season could be over before the weekend. Luckily, this is not a two game series.