Its an old axiom that experience matters in the postseason… The Cubs were loaded with postseason experience, and we know what that got us. Our biggest hit of the sweep, which led to our only, albeit short-lived, lead in the series was Geovany Soto’s two run homer in game two. Its ironic that our biggest hit was by our least experienced player, and somewhat inexcusable that he was on the bench for game three, as there is no defensive case for playing Jason Kendall.
Just another data point in the experience vs. rookies debate. I’ll acknowledge that experience counts for something, but it remains one of the more overrated aspects of postseason play. I have a few reasons why:
- In the case of the Cubs, many of the players had postseason experience, but excepting three players (Wood, Ramirez, and Zambrano) it was all with different teams, in different situations.
- Along the same idea, the Cubs had five new starting position players, and two new starting pitchers by the end of the season. They had more experience on paper than they did actually with each other.
- Players with a lot of postseason experience are often veteran types who could be on the downside. Jason Kendall had good numbers vs. Livan Hernandez, but it was mostly years ago when he was a Pirate, and you know, a good player.
In the end, its hard to view this team as being anything but underachieving. I hate to say that, but the fact that they left nine runners on base in each game, and were unable to come up with hits in key situations bears that out. They were hitting Arizona pitching, they were getting on base, but when they really needed a hit, they came up empty, time and time again.
When people talk of experience, they often cite it as something that helps a veteran player come through, and while that might be the case at times, it certainly wasn’t the case here.
The Diamondbacks were young, inexperienced, hungry and had something to prove. The Cubs aren’t the ’27 Yankees, but they should have won this series, but they were beaten in nearly every phase of the game. So the next time somebody touts experience as a deciding factor, remember your 2007 Cubs and how far experience got them.