THE CUBTOBER DIARY: Breakfast at Wrigley’s
CHICAGO – Let’s face it, they needed the products that were being offered on the tables just to the left of their dugout.
They were dealing with a pretty ferocious hangover from the night before in Washington D.C, that’s for sure. That’s not because of an overindulgence of a few adult beverages, but rather the blow of dropping a two-run lead with five outs to go.
A five-run 8th by the Nationals in Game 2 was a gut-punch to the Cubs, who return home with just one victory at Nationals Park instead of two as it appeared it might be for most of Saturday’s game. If Joe Maddon’s team was feeling a little “hungover,” so to speak, it was understandable.
Hence the manager had the team put out an impressive spread of breakfast at Wrigley Field for the Cubs’ late morning, early afternoon workout on Sunday under a bright sky at the Friendly Confines.
“Stuff like that, there’s nothing that they have to do on the field today, but if they wanted to, there’s going to be food on the field, just something different. Lighten the mood a little bit,” said Maddon, who brought out the breakfast spread on a Sunday between Game 2 and Game 3 of the NLDS against the Cardinals in 2015.
Call it a subtle “Maddonism” for arguable the most stomach-turning loss of the season so far. A little grub, perhaps, can go a long way to curing the hangover of a playoff defeat, or at the very least giving the team a pick-me-up after a defeat.
“You don’t have to thicken it up. You don’t have to tighten them up. You don’t have to add, you know, thoughts or concerns or worries,” said Maddon of the breakfast. “Why would you ever want to do that? Just keep going the other way. Keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.”
Indeed rallying back from losses has been a calling card of a Cubs’ team that had its share of crests and troughs throughout the 2017 season. Only a strong September kept them from missing out on the postseason, which would have been a major surprise for the defending world champions.
When trying to put Monday’s contest into perspective after the difficult loss, he recalled a similar situation that Game 3 starter Jose Quintana faced just a few weeks ago. Against Milwaukee on September 23rd, the Cubs dropped a ninth and ten inning lead when Wade Davis blew his first and only save of the regular season in a loss to the Brewers.
Quintana responded with a complete game, three-hit shutout the next day to give the Cubs a victory that pretty much sealed their spot in the postseason.
“If you live in the previous negative situation, then you’re really eliminating all your chances to proceed. I think we have been really good at getting hit in the jaw a little bit and moving on, and I’m looking forward to that again tomorrow night,” said Maddon. “And again, I just referenced the game in Milwaukee, win two, lose a tough one, and then come back and win on that day, the game that Q pitched.
“I learned that years ago. I thought, when I was with the Angels, there was a lot of times guys would carry the previous day’s loss into the locker room, which led to a loss that day, which caused them to be angry again, which led to the loss the next day. Makes no sense. None. To carry a negative moment in your life, it makes no sense, you need to discard it.”
Just let it fade away over the course of the morning, chasing it over a breakfast of bacon and eggs.