Anarchists Brunch: Breaking Through
There is no such thing as “statement games” in any sport really. We like to put that label on some to highlight or peak certain games in regular seasons that always turn into a slog at some point. Except for football obviously, where every game is one because there just aren’t that many of them and there’s a difference between 9-7 and 10-6. If they do exist, they most certainly don’t in baseball, which varies far too much from day to day and things can hinge simply on how your pitching matchup lined up for that day. Even full series really don’t qualify.
But that doesn’t stop us from looking at them that way, especially this year with the Cubs as we try and figure out just how good they are and just how good they can be. And if you were doing that like me, you were probably driving yourself just a little too crazy for this early in the season, and probably overall.
If you viewed anything as “a test,” the Cubs hadn’t really passed any of them. They lost two of three to the Padres, another playoff contender for sure. And then they kind of infuriatingly teased us from there. They took the first two games on the road against the Pirates, and PNC Park was not a place that they’d played well in a very long time. But then they lost the next two. They then lost two of three at home to the Brewers, which wasn’t a test but certainly frustrating. They then cuffed around the Cardinals’ pitching staff for most of a four-game series, but got creative to lose three of those. And then lost two of three to the Brewers, which is like walking into a wall after you biff the SAT or something.
So when the first-place Mets rolled in with their glitzy pitching staff, while you didn’t consider it a benchmark you certainly were interested on how the Cubs’ lineup would deal with this power staff.
Well, that one they passed, huh?