By Nick Gargano
As much as I want to go off on Joe Maddon for the way for he handled the bullpen Sunday night I’m concerned with much graver issues.
But what could be worse than electing to send John Lackey to the mound with 2 runners on? How can anything be more concerning than sending a guy who’s specialty this year was giving up home runs early to face Justin Turner, who’s specialty this year has been to rip out the beating hearts of opponents?
Whats more concerning is that the Cubs have failed to score more than three runs in a game all but once this October, but it goes further than just the sheer scoring power. And obviously most of the fault has to be given to the players when they can’t really get on base or get a hit when somebody is on base.
Joe needs to realize that he’s gotten away from the identity that earned this team the best second half record in the majors. Depth and versatility. Javy Baez is hitless and Contreras has been garbage aside from one, maybe two games. Meanwhile Ian Happ and Alex Avila continue to ride the bench. So what Joe Maddon and his ball club have to do is look at the man in the mirror and some soul searching and rediscover who they are.
When this team is at its offensive best, everybody’s eating. Its why six Cubs had 20 plus homers this year and its why its time for Joe to take a step back and kind of get back to his coaching identity where he rotates his lineup a fair amount. Joe’s style is quirky and you can hate it or love it. But its who he is, its who he’s always been, and its who he needs to get back to being to even have a shot at returning to the World Series.