To be clear, this wasn’t your traditional pitcher’s duel. Rather, it was a test of which man could stay in the game the longest. Phillies starter Roy Halladay lasted just five complete innings while giving up five runs on seven hits, while the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija went 6.2 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits in a game Philadelphia won 6-5.
These aren’t the numbers you would expect from pitchers who should be leaders on their respective teams, but when compared to the 2013 seasons of each man and team, those numbers aren’t half bad.
Of course, neither the Cubs nor the Phillies will be playing in October. Both teams are at least 20 games out of first place in their respective divisions. However, like other teams that have struggled this season, the Phillies and the Cubs can use September strategically to figure out what they want to do this winter and how they want to approach next season.
Today was really a good day for both teams then, showing them what they need to work on going forward. From here on out, they should think like it’s spring training, where wins and losses don’t really mean anything. So while the next month’s games are meaningless in 2013, they can be put to good use while preparing for 2014.