One Run on One GD Hit? Cubs 2, Rays 1

The last time we saw Mike Montgomery start a ballgame, it didn't go so hot.  He was the unlucky Cub to get the call in a 15-2 defeat to the Brewers on September 9.  After lasting just two innings in that one, he was sent to the bullpen, with the hope that after one start by Jen-Ho Tseng, Jake Arrieta may return to the rotation and Montgomery could help hold down the 'pen.  Well, Arrieta has not yet returned yet, and Montgomery was called on again to start against the Tampa Bay Rays and Chris Archer.

And man, did he make the most of it.

Actually, both starters were pretty solid, as Chris Archer kept the streaking Cubs offense mostly in check.  He got the Cubs out 1-2-3 in the first inning, including a strike out of Anthony Rizzo to end the inning.  Montgomery's first inning started out much shakier, as he actually hit lead-off batter Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch.  Kiermaier would advance to second on a flyout, and with two outs tried to make something happen by taking off for third. The Willson Contreras/Javy Baez combo made for a gorgeous throw-and-tag to end the inning.

Montgomery got a run in the top of the second when Kyle Schwarber launched a 482 mph, 7842 foot home run to right center.  Okay, so it was really only 114.3 mph and 446 feet.  Close enough. At any rate, the Cubs held a 1-0 lead.

Both pitchers settled in, with only two base runners reaching between the two teams in innings 3 and 4.  Jason Heyward, who has shown some life of late, led off the top of the fifth with a single.  He would be out one batter later on a fielder's choice by Addison Russell.  Archer appeared to hang a breaking ball to Javier Baez, who ripped a ball down the line for a double.  It was bobbled a bit by the left fielder, Corey Dickerson, and then misplayed again slightly by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.  Russell was able to score without a throw, and the Cubs led 2-0.

Montgomery's no-no lasted into the sixth inning, when 1980s-style, stirrup-wearing Brad Miller lifted a fly ball to deep right-center.  The ball cleared the wall, and the lead was cut in half.  Montgomery finished out the inning, and was lifted in favor of Pedro Strop.  Likewise, Archer was removed after six innings of solid work before the Rays bullpen took over.

After that, there wasn't a ton of action.  The Cubs trio of Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Wade Davis closed out the last three innings, combining to strike out 5 batters, and allowing nobody to work.  Davis was particularly impressive in the 9th, striking out the side (though he did get a favorable call with Kiermaier batting).  The Cubs, for their part, didn't really threaten to score, though Willson Contreras did smack a double to left in the ninth with one out.  There had been a little bit of excitement in the 7th, when Ian Happ ripped a single to right that was bobbled by Steven Souza Jr. He recovered to make a solid throw to second, and Happ was called out on a close play.  To me, it appeared as though Happ's hand reached second a smidgen before he was tagged, but the ruling was upheld upon review.  Addison Russell was also robbed of extra bases on a nice play by Kiermaier (that's a really annoying name to spell this many times, you know?) If that's the worst of things to happen, I can deal.  It's not like we had to deal with a 7.1 earthquakecategory-5 hurricane, or the possible rapture.

This and That

The Cubs don't get to Tampa very often, of course, so it was an interesting night.  Joe Maddon was honored for his time with the Rays, and that was nice.  However, playing the Rays gave me the opportunity to listen to an old friend, if only for a short while while switching the broadcast on MLB.tv.  For those of us that have been around for a while, you might remember Dewayne Staats, who used to fill in on WGN during the middle innings when Harry went to the radio booth.  It was during this time that I began watching games.  In those early years of my fandom, listening to Dewayne and Steve Stone swap puns were almost as memorable as the innings that Harry called games.  Staats got to call the 1989 season that saw the Cubs win the division, and those memories are some of my favorite from late childhood.  It's pretty cool that he's been able to be THE guy since the very beginning in Tampa - I really enjoyed him as a kid.

Three Stars of the Game

Javy Baez had a big double that ultimately provided the winning run in this game.  Still, the tag that he made on the Contreras throw on the attempted steal was a thing of beauty.  It's almost as though there was some divine intervention, as Baez was playing third for Kris Bryant, who got the night off.  Why not have those two combine for one of their signature defensive plays in a close game?

I didn't really do Kyle Schwarber's home run justice.  Any description of it is like using tympani instead of cannons during the 1812 overture.  You have to see and hear the real thing.  It's worth it just to watch the reaction from Archer, who, in that moment, surely felt responsible for the potential deaths of dozens of bleacher fans.

Mike Montgomery is one of those glue guys that a successful team needs.  Honestly, where would this team have been without him this year? At times he held the bullpen together, but for the majority of the season he's provided an arm in the bullpen when others have gone down to injury.  I mean, does anybody remember that Brett Anderson started this season in the rotation? And what would have happened had Montgomery had not been here when Lackey, Hendricks, and Arrieta have missed time due to injury? Tonight he tossed 6 innings of 1-hit, 1-run ball.  I'll take that from a fifth, sixth, seventh - whatever starter you want to call him.

Moving Forward

Pittsburgh failed to live up to their name on "Talk Like a Pirate Day," and were keelhauled by the Brewers, 1-0.  With the Cubs winning now seven straight games, it's looking more and more like the Brewers' most likely path to the playoffs is through the second wild card.  "Team to beat" St. Louis (sorry, I'm kind of a jerk) looks like they'll pull out a 1oth inning win against Cincinnati to remain 6 games back in the division.

Tomorrow night the Cubs will send Jon Lester to the mound for a potential sweep of the two-game series.  He'll be faced by lefty Blake Snell.  Let's win that one, and keep our fate in our own hands, shall we?

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  • 1. Schwarbsy and Javy gittin'r done. A couple is big key hits. Sluggin!

    2. Javy's been my favorite for a long time, I mean since he came up. But Schwarbs is such a stud. Despite his atrocious first-half, he's such a key to this team's success the rest of the way. That was an important HR. That's what he does.

    3. It bodes well, doesn't it, that we're winning these low scoring one-run games?

    4. The bullpen -- Strop, Edwards, Davis -- have been lights out. That too bodes well.

    5. It'd be nice to win one going away tomorrow night.

    6. Our boys are finally looking like they can make a long run.

    It's still our turn!
    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to TTP:

    Of course you can never predict a baseball game, but to your point #5, there is a good chance, purely from a numerical and rational perspective. Lester is pitching, and the Rays' offense is horrible against LHP's, as we saw tonight. They don't have the depth of talent to help negate that weakness. Rays starter Blake Snell is tough on lefties, but gets hit hard by righties. We will stack the lineup against him. Schwarber and probably Heyward get a break and we won't skip a beat.

    It would be very nice to have a "boring" win, getting a little work for some low-leverage pen arms, and hopping a plane to Wrigley North well-rested and ready to rumble.

  • I'm staying out of St Petersburg this week....last time I went down to see the Cubs they got swept with Carl Crawford hitting a grand slam against us off our chubby lefty reliever whose name I can't remember. Scott Eyre maybe?..
    I dunno...it worked! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Oh I was at that bloody game that year as well. That was when I was living in florida full-time. The Cubs looked so bad that series, I was almost embarrassed to call myself a cubs fan. Will never happen but that was an UGLY series and game.

  • Cleveland is better than us. So is Keshaw and maybe Wood and Scherzer and Strasburg . This is all to say that 2 runs against Archer does not create
    Postseason optimism for me.

  • In reply to discubobulated:

    Archer is a very good pitcher. Sometimes lack of offense is more about pitching than anything else and we've seen this team score runs, not to mention that they scored just enough off, again, a very good pitcher.. I'll worry about Cleveland if/when we get to the WS, in the NL I think this team is more than capable of beating anyone, Arizona probably scares me the most but again we wouldn't see them until a hypothetical NLCS. The Cubs are team with the best record the NL in the second half, an offense that's 4th best in MLB for the season and 1st in the second half, and has looked good lately. I'm making no bold predictions but I do think any team that sleeps on the Cubs this playoff season does so at their own peril.

  • Joe seems to be cranking up the RPMs on Wade Davis, and Davis seems to be a little sharper with the steady work. Think we'll be seeing a lot of him until this division is clenched. What a great job Mike Montgomery has done since coming here. Always gives a great effort, usually good results, never complains about his role. Where would we be without him?

    I think the Brewers pushing the Cubs all the way to the finish line is good for this team. They seem to have their mojo from last year back, and everybody's contributing to the wins. One more win in Tampa then to Milwaukee for some revenge from the lost weekend....Go Cubs!

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    Monty!

    Right after I pressed "comment" on my post above last night, I recognized that I said nothing about Monty and his truly extraordinary performance last night, deserving of player of the game. You are right. Monty has absolutely been a key, huge, fortunate pick up. He got the last out in the WS, for Pete's sake! Yes! He's perhaps our most unsung hero.

    But I do have one question: Has anyone ever seen Monty and Marian Hossa in the same place at the same time?

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    In reply to TTP:

    A couple years ago I was scheduled to meet with my supervisor for my annual evaluation. He had to re-schedule several times before we could meet. So when we finally did I commented that there were people who were suspecting we were the same person. He asked, "Why's that?" I said, "Because they never see us in the same room at the same time. He laughed and things went well from there.

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    Joe is in post season mode now. Running Davis out 3 of 4 days, depending on Duensing, Edwards and Strop and Davis. Getting them ready.
    The Brewers are stronger than we thought so we'll have to win to keep them at bay and that's fine. We're showing everyone else how strong the Cubs are. Everyone is focusing on Cleve and Houston and LA and Wash so that's fine, we know what we can do.
    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    What's interesting about the 4 teams you say everyone is focusing on is that the fans of at least 3 of them are in for an awful disappointment this year if they don't go all the way.

    Cleveland could extend the longest WS drought despite their historic win streak, the Dodgers might make it 30 years without a championship despite tracking towards 116+ wins up to just a month ago, while Houston and Washington might continue streaks of never winning a WS in their franchises existence despite having excellent teams (and in the case of the Senators, their window might be about to start closing).

    Add in already realized disappointments of teams that looked promising the past couple years but won't be making the postseason this year (and with championship droughts of their own - Mets, Blue Jays, Rangers), and it just highlights the fact that even if the Cubs don't hoist the big trophy again this year, there are a lot of fans who will be worse off than us at the end of the season (after all, could we rally complain about it being 1 whole year since the Cubs last WS win? )

  • Since MIL beat PIT 1-0, the Magic Number fot clinching the division is now in the single digits, at 9.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    FWIW, MIL is now only 1 game back COL for the 2nd NL WC.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I REALLY don't want to face Milwaukee in a playoff situation. They've had the Cubs number all year.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Right now if we go 6-6 The Brewers will have to go 9-2 just to tie us.

    I feel pretty good about us right now.

  • I loved to listen to Dwayne Staats. The Cubs had some good color guys. Milo Hamilton was one. I'd include Mr. Stone, if he hadn't gone to the Dark Side of the Town. 12 games left, who's getting a day off tomorrow? Otherwise, it's all hands on deck until we clinch. Three division crowns in a row! A feat last accomplished by Frank Chance, who was the skipper for the '07-'08 WS Champs. Hey remember when early when the season started, and everyone here in the Den was thinking Happ would be trade bait? We basically got rid of everyone else. Happ has gotten his cup of coffee. It's turned into a Thermos! I wish we could watch Cubs games out here in Oregon.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    listened to Joe at noon on the score yesterday and he said this two gamer set up well because Rays had a tough righty in game one and a tough lefty in game two. Said it was a good chance to rest some right handed bats in game one (Bryant) and a good chance to rest some lefty's in game 2 . Wasn't 100% sure but figured tonight would be a day Heyward, Schwarber and Jay get the day off with Bryant back in and an outfield of Zobrist, Albert and Happy.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Don't think he needed to rest Bryant after a day off

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Take it from someone who has worked "seasonal" and had to work an extended stretch every day. Having 1 day off is nice, though having to spend it traveling cuts into that. Getting a 2nd day off in a row is REALLY rejuvenating.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    Happ is a conundrum for me. He's like a machine, hardly ever displaying any personality, rarely even cracking a smile. He's the Ivan Drago of this team. He's not a defensive stud at any position, but more than carries own. He's not an El Mago at 2B, but he's surprised me with some of his plays there. He strikes out too much, but has a decent OBP. I prefer Almora in CF and Baez or Russell over him at 2B, but I'm totally fine with him in LF, yet then again, I want Schwarbsy getting his swings. He's Clint in a Fist Full of Dollars. WHOOO ARE YOU?!!!!

    But all and all, Happ has had a very good rookie season and we can definitely expect more next year and beyond.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Congratulations, you just described the role of "super-sub" pioneered by Ben Zobrist. When there is a manager like Joe Maddon he craves a guy like this. Because he isn't beholden to an "every day starting line-up" sometimes he feels the need to give guys a day off, or maybe move them around (remember when he started Baez at 3B with Lester pitching last year and often put Bryant in LF for those game?). So a guy like Happ will find several hundred PAs because, as a switch-hitter and enough defensive versatility--he can play 2B and OF and maybe some 3B in a pinch)--he can cover for a lot of different people to give them a day off, or to move someone from a position where they aren't as good to a a position where they are better. I have been saying for the last 2+ years that there IS playing time for all these guys, provided Maddon doesn't anoint 7 guys with 650+ PAs.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    The Cubs finished third in the division in 2015, but had the 2nd WC. If we win the division, we will only have two division crowns in a row, but three consecutive playoff appearances.

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    In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    I grew up on Steve stone. I think he was excellent when he was over here.

    Well I hope your alluding to the fact that you expect us to win the Division again next year because then it would be 3 in a row.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Steve Stone is still my favorite color man but JD is growing on me fast. But we had to go through the desert that was "World Series Hero Joe Carter" (TM) and Bob Brenley who, a friend of mine aptly put it, couldn't "manage his way out of a wet paper bag."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Is that the same Bob Brenley who managed the D-Backs to the 2001 world series championship?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Managing aside, I found Brenely inarticulate and as boring as paint drying. On that later point, I guess he went well with Len who has a tenth of the emotion and passion that Pat Hughes has for the Cubs. Len is a pro, but I appreciate and enjoy the way Pat exhibits his love of the Cubs.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Honestly love of the Cubs is not an attribute I require in announcer. That said I do love Pat Hughes but more because of the picture he paints of the action than the passion for the team. If anything I miss the days when announcers would sometimes rip on their teams hard, but those days are long gone. Len & JD are probably one of the two or three best combos in MLB and I've watched most of them. Len has hit upon a nice mix of old school baseball and analytics that helps teach the game without pissing off the neanderthals who don't understand the modern game.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Totally agree with you Pat Hughes and how he "he paints a picture of the action".
    For many years the only way to follow the game here in New Zealand was to listen to the radio broadcast. All my memories of those seasons are vivid, colourful, VISUAL memories - I honestly couldn't tell you whether I have actually seen or 'only heard' any particular game.
    I rate Pat as one of the great announcers of all time..

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    In reply to TC154:

    Watch some of the NY announcer and the Mariner announcers. They will criticize their team. Nobody really rips on them anymore which you are 100% right about which is okay, but I would like my announcer to have a backbone and not just be a yes ma'am.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    No, I am talking about the guy who managed the top 2 fWAR pitchers in the NL--one of them by a laughably huge margin--and the #4 hitter. Yeah, that guy.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Oh, OK.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I love JD's dry sense of humor.

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    In reply to David23:

    I do too.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    What I find interesting is you need to be paying attention because he'll say something but not really let you know he tried to be funny. Sometimes I'll listen to him and then realize after the fact how funny his comment was.

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    In reply to David23:

    To me that is the definition of a dry sense of humor. He doesn't laugh at his own jokes. If you catch it you get an "easter egg" but if you don't you won't feel like you are "missing something." He just goes on. Sometimes I wonder how many times he says something funny and Len is "muted" and doubled over laughing.

  • In reply to David23:

    He also throws out a ton of references in a low-key fashion. I remember a couple of seasons ago, in Jake's Cy Young year, and they were talking about how he owned the Pirates.

    Without missing a beat, JD drops, "Ownsss, ownsss." from Slapshot. (Who own the Chiefs?). Very random, but so funny when it hits. I really enjoy JD.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    Milo Hamilton was before my time (as a Cubs fan), and my opinion of him is certainly biased based on what I've read (in Stone's "Where's Harry?" book, for instance). Hamilton did get a pretty raw deal in Chicago, as he apparently was the "heir apparent" when Brickhouse was set to retire. Then the Cubs hired Harry.

    Still, it doesn't look good to hear/read about Hamilton frequently mocking Harry in a drunken fashion, and referring to him as "the Canary."

  • They are making a big deal about the big increase in home runs now but has anyone noticed the huge influx of REAL good young players the last 2-3 years? I can't remember another time when so many came on the scene all about the same time....in both leagues.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    There are so many good SS now. I've never seen such great young players. You're right about all the young players. We've talked about this before--look at the Cubs. Has any WS champion had such a young team? LA has almost as many, and this is with Joc Pederson who did so well last year and has fallen this year.
    If I was a kid again (not that I want to) this would be like it was for me in the 50's collecting BB cards of all the great young players then like Aaron and Mays and Mantle, etc.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    As you point out with Aaron, Mays and Mantle it might be fun in 15-20 years to look back on these careers. Some of them will "flame out." But some of them will go on to HOF careers.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    The closest I remember was the mid-90's AL SS (Rodriguez, Garciaparra, Tejada, Jeter) but that was one league and one position. You are right that there is an a HUGE influx of talent. Possibly the best "under-25/26" team in history. But that would be a fun conversation for people more well-versed in baseball history than I am.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Half of the AL SS you named were known PED users ( Rodriguez and Tejada).

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Half of base was PED users

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Half of baseball was PED users

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Half of baseball players now if not more are on something maybe illegal ( but they know how to mask it) or at minimum on substances players in previous generations have never even heard of.

    Its just part of the progress of society. It is what it is.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    That doesn't mean they weren't talented.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    No, but it does mean their stats were inflated by PED use.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    The problem I have is that there isn't a good way I have seen to "calibrate." Were their numbers inflated? Probably. But by how much? Would Rodriguez have hit 350 HR without PEDs? Would Tejada have been a talented but inconsistent SS? As I said, these guys were REALLY talented. We will possibly never know what they would have been sans PEDs Which is, for me, a really frustrating thing.

    In another vain, I really enjoy discussing baseball with you, 2016 Cubs. I know sometimes I come off as argumentative, but I do enjoy our interactions. We often seem to disagree but as long as we keep it civil--and I think we have--it can be a lot of fun.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Good points Joel. I agree about the PED's, who know how much they help. I think they made very talented players Very very incredible players. Like Bonds, Rodriguez and Sosa. I think they also made AAA players utility MLBers. You also don't see too many "super stars" in their late 30's or early 40's any more either.

    I do agree with most of what you post. I just usually reply when I may disagree a little or make a comment that I meant to a given post. The reason this is my favorite site for Cub things is the articles and the commenters. Everyone seems to keep things civil even when there are some disagreements.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I think there will always be a shadow from about 1997/1998-2005/2010. Which is too bad. It seems like now EVERY player who did well during that time it is brushed off as "PEDs."

    I very much agree that it made very good players into very, very incredible players.

    I remember reading something written by an expert in PEDs and he said a couple of things:
    1. The main PED users in baseball are not going to be the Barry Bonds types. The extremely talented guys looking to get a little more firepower. They will be the AAA guy for whom the increase in prestige, in addition to pay, makes taking PEDs worth the risk of getting caught.
    2. PEDs don't necessarily make you stronger. They may not increase your power that much. The reason is that the PEDs main advantage to MOST players (there are exceptions and they are the famous ones) isn't that you will hit the ball further but it will decrease recovery time from injury. Players often have "little" injuries that are basically fatigue. The PEDs help them recover from these.

    I wish I could find the article but his predictions were born out. Most of the guys with PEDs have been guys on the margins, not the stars. While people usually talk about Bonds, Rodriguez, etc. the majority of guys that are suspended are marginal guys. This guy predicted that.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    How do you know the stats were inflated? Wouldn't the hitters also be facing pitchers on PED's?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    That is quite obvious. I don't really need to explain. Just look at players stats and look at their best years say from 1998 - 2002.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    That isn't really a good analysis. It kind of pre-supposes that PEDs were rampant and everyone did better during that stretch. The first player I looked up, for instance, was Ken Griffey Jr. His best years by OPS+ or SLG all took place PRIOR TO 1998, though one was 1997 so maybe that is close enough. He was in his 28-32 year old seasons during that stretch so one would expect them to be his best years. And, while certainly good he was not as dominant as before.

    Another guy who everyone "knows" was on steroids was Sammy Sosa. And his best years took place between 1998 and 2002. But before this is cited as "proof" of PEDs during that time keep in mind that this was also his 28-33 year old seasons.

    Just to be clear I am NOT saying that either, or both, of these guys did NOT use PEDs but simply saying, "check if their best years were in the range of 1998-2002" (paraphrased) kind of ignores other possible explanations for their success. It is not unheard of for players to have large improvements in their production sustained from age 26/27 through about age 32/34.

    I think you are thinking of guys like Bonds whose OPS+ spiked between ages 36-39 which is HIGHLY unsual. But he was also very good in his ages 25-35 year old seasons. But, as in so many things, Bonds can be the aberration rather than the rule.

    Again, I am not making any comment on which of these guys was "clean" or "using" (most don't consider Griffey to be on PEDs but Bonds and Sosa are kind of assumed). Just that there can be other factors that would cause their numbers to spike.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    This is a reply to Joel. For some reason there was no reply tab under your post. My point (which I did not take the time to explain) was the top 6 number of home runs hit in a season was between 1998-2001 by 3 players. I believe most would believe they were PED users. I think that says PED's did inflate stats.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Coincidence, I don't think so.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    You also have to remember that at that time, everyone was big on BOTH young NY shortstops in that era. Jeter was one, and the other was future Cub Rey Ordonez. They don't always work out.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    All those good young players, that's how steroid era started isn't it? I hope that's not the case, but maybe there is something new out there that mlb can't test for. Players are built like statues.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The steroid era was highlighted by behemoths routinely beating Father Time to an unrecognizable pulp. This is not that.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    How do you know if the steroid era is over?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Ding. Ding. Ding.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    beat me to it (as usual). Been wanting to say this for weeks but didn't want to put any ideas in anyones head or start an argument....

  • I'm really not too worried about the Cubs making the postseason. As referenced in the last sentence of the game recap section above, after Saturday none of this will matter.

  • In reply to Lildude:

    Win tonight and all they have do is split in Milwaukee. That would send them into St. Louis with a Magic number of 3 with 7 games to play. It really is all in their own control.

  • In reply to TC154:

    You are assuming MIL loses tonight. If both the Cubs and MIL win tonight, then the Magic Number would be 8, and a split in MIL brings it down to 4.

    Not that that changes your analysis all that much....it is all still in the Cubs control.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Yep, bad math. You are correct.

  • A month ago Houston was the best team in the AL, and the Dodgers were the best team ever, with a quick sprint through the playoffs coming to claim their 2017 trophy. Now LA fans are wondering if they'll make it past the first round, especially if Arizona is their opponent, and the flavor of the month for September is the Cleveland Indians with an amazing 22 game winning streak.

    Good thing the playoffs aren't in September. The Cubs were pushed to only a two game lead over two teams just a few days ago. They have responded with a 7-game wiining streak and are getting back some key players. Russell had no rehab games but is swinging the bat great. Kiermaier's catch was unbelievable, but that ball was hammered. Now let's see if Jake is back and then start talking about a Indians-Cubs rematch.

  • HA! Great "description" of Archer's reaction when WarBird hit that HR. Saw the video too and Archer knew immediately that the ball was crushed.

    Would have loved to have been there in person to see it, as TV just doesn't do it justice.

    Great win by the Cubs. Keep it up boys.

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    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    "Made you flinch!"

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Kind of reminds me of in 2000 , Dennis Eckersley giving up a walk off bomb to Manny Ramirez in Cleveland and Ecks "wow" response. The look of shock and awe is priceless.

  • Speaking of Bret Anderson. Who picked him up and is he having any success with his new team?

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    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Per BR he has caught on with the Blue Jays and is pitching OK for them.

  • OK a dumb question about Javy. Did he just recently get dreadlocks or has he had them all season long and just been hiding them inside his jersey for most of the season?

    Just started noticing them the last couple of weeks of watching video highlights.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    hair extensions

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Seriously? Hair extensions for a guy? No wonder I hadn't notice them 3 or 4 weeks ago!

    Javy is the Man!

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    In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Yep, he's the Man...with hair extensions.

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    In reply to Oneear:

    You guys are kidding......those are not really extensions are they?

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    They are extensions. They could be gone tomorrow if that is what he wants.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    And it is fairly recent. Sometime after the All Star Break.

  • We won 103 last year everybody knows that but with the way things are going for the Dodgers now....what was considered a no-brainer huge total now seems as if they may not even equal last year's Cubs number.
    They are definitely trending in opposite directions......NOT the right time to be doing that LA LA boys......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    They are playing well lately

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    They rebounded a bit, but have now lost three in a row. Record is 4-6 in last ten games.

  • In reply to David23:

    I saw they won 4 in a row. Still a very good team

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Yeah, one four in a row and have now lost three in a row.

  • "It's worth it just to watch the reaction from Archer, who, in that moment, surely felt responsible for the potential deaths of dozens of bleacher fans."

    Well done sir. Well done.

  • I noticed Archer's reaction only during highlights on the post game show. It was wonderful. Would love to get that as a GIF.

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    In reply to TTP:

    That would be an awesome GIF.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    An even better one would be in the 2007 play-offs against Arizona when Ted Lily threw his glove down after giving up a home run.

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    In reply to David23:

    Davis actually did something similar the other day. I think Fowler got ahold of one and then it got caught. He looked pretty relieved.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    We have not seen any emotion from Davis all year, but he exposed his intensity when Dexter put that pitch right the sweet spot of his bat.

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