I watch a lot more Cub games this year than usual. I have seen Maddon make more managing mistakes than Dusty Baker. Today, the Cubs led 6-1 when Maddon pulled the starting pitcher and brought in a less-than warmed up reliever. The first pitch was hit for a three run homer making the score 6-4. Maddon was seen enthusiastically clapping for the Cincinnati home run hitter. When the next player got a hit, the camera showed Maddon enthusiastically clapping for the Cincinnati hitter. In the meantime, Maddon had NO ONE WARMING UP IN THE BULLPEN. After the reliever, Strop, gave up four more runs and the Cubs trailing 8-6, Maddon brought in a new reliever who finished the game allowing no more runs.
The Cubs lost 8-6 allowing bottom-dweller Cincinnati to sweep the Cubs.
At one time, I thought the Cubs might be a World Series contender. Now, I don't believe they can win their Division, the weakest Division in the majors. Despite having the best fielding team in the majors. Biggest problems are the way Maddon is managing this year, the inability for the Cubs to hit in the clutch (lead the majors with men left on base, especially by strikeouts) the inability for some of the best hitters to recognize the strike zone. The failure of Addison Russell to hit; period, and failure recognize that Zobrist is 'over hill' and will not bat more than .225 by seasons end, no real pinch hitter, no real clean-up hitter and the overall failure to hit GOOD PITCHING.
Today's performance by not using 2-3 relievers in the big 7 run Cincy inning, will always be a mystery to me and other fans. And applauding for the wrong team. Maybe too much time being spent Saturday night at Binnys.
Plus the Cubs have no legitimate back-up catcher and Contreas is bound to be tired at Play-off time.
Maddon has little of Tony LaRusas 'small game', few players can bunt to advance players on base. Then there is the mystery surrounding the $67 million dollar acquisition of Darvish from the Dodgers??
Laying odds that if the Cubs win their Division or a wild card, they will not win their first actual round in the playoffs. Also laying odds that maddon has won his last World Series and that none of the Cubs now playing will ever win another World Series while a Cub.
You can prove me wrong in November. I'm in agreement that Russell and some minor leaguers and extra reliever ought to be traded for a hitter. Also believe that Chris Bryant is having trouble finding thee hitting zone and CANNOT hit good pitching. Kyle? Well, there is another question mark on his being able to hit good pitching.