It's not a great day to be Mike Quade, newly non-interim manager of the Chicago Cubs. Saturday he didn't intentionally walk Albert Pujols in the 12th inning of their game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Pujols took a golf swing at a Jeff Samardzija pitch, seemingly out of the strike zone, to give the Cardinals a walk-off victory. The result: Sunday, Mike Quade said he couldn't get any sleep after the loss, but that Sunday was a new day and he would be sure to deal with Puiols differently—which might mean being more aggressive or less aggressive, depending on the situation.
On Sunday Pujols homered to beat the Cubs again. The slugger's season-long dormancy apparently lifted just in time to make Quade, who had Rodrigo Lopez in to pitch against Pujols in the suddenly tied game, look terrible for a second day in a row.
Cubs fans are likely to be less forgiving than I am, but Quade was in an incredibly awkward position both days. You might not want Albert Pujols to beat you in extra innings, but with the Cardinals lineup currently featuring a number of players who you wouldn't want to beat Jeff Samardzija or Rodrigo Lopez, what's to be done about pitching to a guy in the worst slump of his career who will nevertheless proceed to hit three long home runs when it counts?