By Todd Johnson
Well, game 163 pretty much was a microcosm of the past two months. Hopefully, the Cubs will have a short memory when it comes to tomorrow.
Starting pitcher Jose Quintana did his job. Reliever Jesse Chavez came on and did his thing that he does so well – shut the other team down. Anthony Rizzo kept the team in the game with a solo shot. But an overworked and undermanned bullpen gave it up when it mattered the most. Then again, the bats didn’t really do much of anything either. It’s a shame to lose the division at your own place, but life goes on and the playoffs officially begin Tuesday.
Luckily, the Cubs only lost home field advantage if they play the Brewers. That’s it.
For all other games, the Cubs will have the home field advantage including the tilt on Tuesday.
The Cubs should feel confident heading into the challenge as Big Jon Lester will be on the mound no matter who they face. Lester pretty much lives for these types of moments. He will be ready to go when the game begins.
While Manager Joe Maddon did go through most of the pen on Monday, the Cubs can adjust to a heavy bullpen tomorrow as the roster will be set for a 1 game series. No need for Quintana or Hendricks to be on that roster, nor Cole Hamels. The Cubs can even load Gore for tomorrow to get that one extra run. Just load up the pen and man all battle stations.
I don’t have a preference when it comes to whom the Cubs play. Just bring it on.
The game begins at 7 central tomorrow. It should be exciting.