Joe Maddon has not seen anything like these single-inning implosions lately.
At least not at the major-league level.
For the third time in the last five Wrigley Field contest, the Cubs pitching staff has allowed at least seven runs in an inning.
This time, it was nine runs before the first out was recorded in the eighth inning of Friday's 11-4 Cardinals victory.
The Cubs actually entered the inning clinging to a 3-2 lead and had their best setup guy — Carl Edwards Jr. — slated to pitch against the top of the Cardinals order.
But after taking out his teammate with a foul ball, Matt Carpenter began the wacky inning with a double off Edwards and the rout was on.
"We had a bad inning pitching," Maddon said after the game. "That's the third time in a week here at this ballpark, if you go back prior to the break. It's a seven, a nine and a 10 in an inning.
"I've not seen that since rookie ball. That's crazy stuff. I'm saying it straight up: We played good baseball today. We just pitched badly for one inning. Some really good pitchers had a tough time.
"...That's kind of a strange day. We played well and lost because we gave up nine runs in an inning, which is really awkward to watch from the dugout."
Thirty-eight minutes after Edwards threw the first pitch of the inning, the Cubs finally retired the Cardinals and were looking up at an 11-3 score.
Neither Edwards nor Hector Rondon recorded an out and they combined with Justin Grimm to allow six hits, six walks and nine runs.
Here's how it all went down:
That's the second straight Wrigley Field game that has featured at least nine runs in an inning but a Cubs opponent. Ace Jon Lester surrendered 10 runs in the first inning to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the day before the All-Star Break began.
And the day before that series began, Mike Montgomery and the Cubs gave up seven runs to the Milwaukee Brewers in a rain make-up game at the "Friendly Confines."
"You see it every now and again. Not often," said Jake Arrieta, Friday's starting pitcher who was in line for a win before that wild eighth inning. "You stick around this game long enough and you see some crazy things happen. And really, that was the turning point in the game.
"A couple guys had a pretty rare outing in the 8th there. You won't see that rarely ever or ever again from those two guys. Just a tough one."
Rondon, who had entered the game having allowed just two runs in his last 13 innings, could do nothing but shake his head in trying to explain it after the game.
"That was a weird, weird inning," Rondon said. "First time I've seen something like that — nine runs with no outs. But it is what it is. They got us today and we'll see tomorrow."
Maddon has seen control issues with his bullpen all year, but still has confidence in the unit as a whole. He knows not to overreact to one game.
However, Maddon did point to the first game coming out of the All-Star Break where Montgomery and the Cubs bullpen squandered an 8-0 lead before Addison Russell's heroics to break the tie for good late in that contest.
"The bullpen has been fabulous," Maddon said. "Twice since the break, they just had tough games."
Rondon and the Cubs relievers won't overreact, either.
A year ago at this time, Rondon was the Cubs' closer and they hadn't yet traded for Aroldis Chapman. So no, one outing won't get him down.
"Right now, I'm pissed and whatever," he said, "but tomorrow, I'll come in with a different mentality and try to win the game."