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Q B Dealing--Cubs 5 Brewers 0

Q B Dealing--Cubs 5 Brewers 0
Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune

The drama of the series and the season was wrapped up with Jose Quintana's calm, complete game shutout. The series had featured three straight games decided in the tenth inning, but the Cubs magic number sits at 2 after the team took care of business at Wrigley North. A classic example of a game that was closer than the score indicates, but it never felt in doubt with Quintana's performance. Ryan Braun had the hardest hit of the day with 2 outs in the first inning. The Brewers could only manage a couple of infield singles and a walk the rest of the way.

It was a pitcher's duel through the early frames. Chase Anderson faced the minimum through the first 3 innings aided by a pair of inning ending double plays. The Cubs got on the board in the fourth inning. Jon Jay hit a solid single to start the inning, and Kris Byrant's double drove in the first run of the game. Anthony Rizzo lined out, but the Cubs looked to break the game open with a Willson Contreras single. Ben Zobrist failed to make contact with a runner at third and less than two outs, and Addison Russell struck out to end the inning with the Cubs clinging to a 1-0 lead.

Chase Anderson settled in to throw another couple 1-2-3 innings, and the game seemed to be a breezy affair compared to recent match ups between the two sides. The only drama in the fifth and sixth innings were when the Brewers had their only runners in scoring position. Each was caused by a two out stolen base, and ended with outs squelching any hope for the Brewers season.

Chase was chased from the game in the seventh inning. Contreras hit a leadoff single and was driven in by a no doubt Ben Zobrist blast. The extra breathing room was more than enough for Quintana. The Cubs added another pair of runs in the eighth inning. Jon Jay picked up his second hit of the afternoon off new Brewers reliever Wei-Chung Wang. Carlos Torres took over for Wang quickly, but the results weren't any better with a Kris Bryant walk. Rizzo drove in the pair with a double to make it the final 5-0 score. Jared Hughes was next out of the Brewers pen, and extinguished the threat as he caught Rizzo trying to take third on first move. It didn't matter as the Cubs cruised to an easy win on the back of Jose Quintana.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Big Boy Start
Jose Quintana pitched like the guy Theo Epstein traded for today. He has been solid recently, but this performance showed that the Baltimore outing was no fluke. No Jose Quintana has been one of the most consistently good starting pitchers the past few years, and has a lot of statistical similarities to the other left handed ace of the staff. The upgrade of Quintana from John Lackey in the postseason is huge. If Jon Lester is right, this is a better pitching staff than the one that won the World Series last year.

Jon Jay's Bat
I don't know how Joe Maddon is going to do it, but I want Jon Jay's bat in the lineup during the postseason run. He has provided the Cubs with professional at bats that you need in the postseason. That means that someone you want to start is going to have to sit. That might be a recently very hot Albert Almora. That could be Jason Heyward's other worldly glove and improving bat. It might be Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Javier Baez or Ben Zobrist. I am not sure where those at bats are coming from, but those long grinding at bats that Jay has had recently are needed against those type flight starting pitchers. The Cubs lineup has lacked contact at times, and Jay provides that. It is going to be a tough puzzle for Maddon to solve, but I think Jay is a piece that needs to be fit in.

Random Reference
Break out the band because the Cubs are very close to go to the playoffs three years in a row.

Comments

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  • Nothing quite like the opportunity to clinch in the Looooooouuuuu!

  • Actually Quintana is now finding the devastating inside FB that fads back a few inches over the plate. When his curve ball off the plate falls over the plate along with him spotting the FB over the outside edge against RH'ers and he can be dominant, and he was today. The position players are beginning to perfect their roles and they have realized that they have grinded to the place of having the best offense in the second half of the season.

    Cubs are peaking and only the Diamondbacks are as hot, not the Cards who are 5-5 in the last ten, having lost 2 in a row. Wonder if they Cubs can reach 93 wins even after closing out the season by Tuesday night, that would mean 50 wins after the ASB for the 3rd consecutive year, interesting benchmark. Further, wonder if AZ will win 93?

  • PIT beat StL. That combined with the Cubs win leaves the Magic Number for clinching the division at 2. The Cubs cannot clinch the division tomorrow with win at StL, since MIL is idle. Tuesday is the earliest Clinch Day.

    StL is 6 back and MIL is 5.5 games back. Both must win all their remaining games and hope the Cubs lose all their remaining games to win the division outright. Of course, since MIL is at StL fornthe last three games, only one of StL or MIL can accomplish this. One Cubs win or one MIL and one StL loss assures only at best a tie for the division and a one-game playoff.

    One win in StL eliminates StL from the division title and assures that the best MIL can do is tie.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The Math shrinks doesn't it, Fangraphs now says Cubs are a 99.9% odd of winning the NLCS, 0.01% goes to the Cards, in that they have four games with the Cubs, while the Brewers 0.00%.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The chances of the Cubs losing the first two at St. Louis AND the Brewers winning Tuesday are slim, so it looks like Tuesday it is. I just hope we can clinch with a victory on the field.

    I see by some other comments that Sam did another drive-by on the Anarchist's Brunch. What a shame, I miss reading that Sunday mainstay. He is aware of the history, rules, and level of civility here, which is exactly why he does it. He has a captive audience he can abuse. The ultimate inspiration for his brand of trolling. He will not stop until he is stopped. You heard it here first.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agree! I've stopped reading him.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Me too. Could not agree more.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Another example of nepotism gone wrong. By continually flaunting the rules and general sense of civility, he is just showing his sense of entitlement and invincibility. How he can write this garbage knowing he is disgracing the legacy of John and his brother is beyond me.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Well said Barley. He needs to go. No place for Sam's bs here.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Thanks, but I'm sure we'd all just rather not deal with it. Another example of nepotism gone bad. Sam continues to flaunt the rules and encite negative discourse, showing his sense of entitlement and invincibility. How he can continue to post his garbage on this fine site, with no regard to John's legacy or his brothers, is beyond me.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Sorry for the duplicate comment. I thought the first one got ate.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Jeez, BP, did you really have to bring the flap over to this thread? This ones for you:

    Politicians hide themselves away
    They only started the war
    Why should they go out to fight?
    They leave that role for the poor, yeah

  • In reply to TTP:

    Sorry?

    If my ramblings keep leading to "War Pigs" lyrics, I'll keep rambling. :)

  • In case you missed it in Michael's Game Thread, Q's effort today earned the best 2017 Game Score for a Cub pitcher (Lester 2nd on 5/23 vs. SF), and tied for the 6th highest 2017 Game Score in MLB!

  • In reply to wthomson:

    That's tied for 6th among approximately 4650 pitchers' starts so far in 2017.

  • As a fan I can't think of a more anticipated post-season as the one coming up in the NL

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Agreed. This year's NL playoffs are going to be outstanding.

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    Always love the Star Trek references, Mike. Thought id let you know, Bbc america has the two part series finale on tonight at 9 ct. unfortunately they do edit out like 5 minutes of each episode for some reason, but i wont let that (or the fact that i could just watch it on netflix whenever i want) stop me from enjoying what is arguably the best episode of the series.
    Great win today.

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    Thanks for the heads up, but I can watch all of them uncut through Netflix (and do regularly). Quintana is a pitcher I've loved for a while, and Q is an all time great character. It is a match made in heaven or at least in my brain that I don't plan to give up any time soon.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Although I have a massive fascination with space exploration, I've never been a Sci-fi fan, and certainly not a trekkie. I'm just hoping the Cubs end up with a stud player named Ozzy or Allman.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That'd be fun too, but sadly TV has always been a bigger inspiration in my life than music. I mean everyone likes music, but I am not nearly as into it as you or dare I say his name. But as you've probably picked up from my 200 plus recaps I've watched a lot of TV in my life, and I can't help but think in references to it. Just how I am wired. Anyways I am not sure we really care what the reference is as long as Quintana is dealing.

  • COL beat SD, so COL has a 2-game lead over MIL, 2.5 over StL, for the 2nd NL WC.

    That's the closest of the remaining races. ARI has clinched the 1st NL WC. In the AL, BOS has a 5-game lead over NYY in the AL East. NYY has a 4.5-game lead over MIN for the 1st AL WC, while MIN has a 5-game lead over LAA, with LAA currently playing on Sunday Night Baseball. Both BOS and NYY hve clinched playoff berths.

  • Great game by Q. I hated the trade, but I’m rooting for him to prove me wrong.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Our FO knows what they are doing. Q is just the kind of pitcher they wanted. Tough to lose Eloy though.

  • In reply to John57:

    Absolutely tough to lose Eloy, but look at the talent we have in the outfield under control for five more years. Then look at the black holes we have in the starting rotation beginning next year. That deal hurt, especially to fans of prospects and the minor-league system, but that's a deal I make again and again.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Amen!

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    The real question becomes who tells Lackey he's not going to make the postseason roster:

    " I was cutting a rug
    Down at a place called The Jug
    With a girl named Linda Lu."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Why is there any sense of worrying about telling Lackey if he does not make the playoff roster? He would understand if he could not contribute in the rotation or the bullpen.

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    The comp, to me, for the Q trade for Theo in the Red Sox was his trade of Hanley Ramirez (a very highly thought of prospect) for Josh Beckett (a guy with a couple years of team control before he got expensive). A trade that the Marlins may have gotten more fWAR out of but the Sox got a ring. Not a bad deal.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    And of course if Q has an impact anywhere close to Beckett’s for Boston, I’ll happily pronounce myself wrong and ill equipped to properly assess Theo’s wizardry, regardless of what Eloy becomes. We’ll see.

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    Beckett was a TOR starter--though I think Ramirez was an even more highly regarded prospect than Jiminez. Q isn't quite a TOR starter, or, if he is, he is at the lower end if that makes sense. But my point is that Theo has a history of making these trades. For years we have discussed "trading bats for a good, young, cost-controlled starting pitcher." We all knew, in the back of our minds, that it would "hurt." But many also hoped the hurt would be something more similar to what we traded to get Wilson and Avila.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I don't see why Q isn't considered TOR. He's 15th in fWAR this season in the majors among qualified pitchers. I'd say that's TOR.

  • In reply to Joe Martínez:

    Great stat, Joe. Q has been great for us, especially during September crunch time. Plus, his performance right out the box in Baltimore set the tone and sparked the Cubs second half run.

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    In reply to TTP:

    He really has settled in nicely here in September. I am sure he is chomping at the bit at a chance to start a postseason game. The guy is definitely a competitor.

  • In reply to Joe Martínez:

    The last 5 years he has been 30th,10th,15th,10th, and 15th in fWar. He is consistent and gets 32/33 starts a year. I would say TOR SP too.

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    In reply to John57:

    Throw in the fact that he is on a very team friendly deal, it isn't shocking that it cost the Cubs a lot in prospects. But I would do this deal over and over again.

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    In reply to Joe Martínez:

    There are two different definitions of TOR starter. One is based on "Production" and will look at things like K's, innings pitched, WAR, ERA, FIP, starts, etc.

    The other one is "Stuff" based and looks at his grades on the 20-80 scale used by scouts. On this scale there might only be 10 TOR starters in the majors, and not every team has one.

    Sometimes they will come to different conclusions. Those are the fun ones to talk about. Quintana is one of those. Production wise I really like him. I was using the "Stuff" based one. When Q was acquired there was talk he was a #2 or maybe #1 with some skeptics putting him at #3 (though at least some of those were just miffed that the Cubs had to trade Jiminez to get him).

    I didn't not mean to disparage Quintana. But I would still put Beckett ca 2006 ahead of him. But that might be something worth looking into.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I guess I will say that is fair point as far as stuff. But when I think of elite LH starters, the list is short. Kershaw, Sale, Lester...Quintana?? I know not every team is lucky enough to have a true TOR guy, but to me I'd likely go by production as it truly shows what they are worth. What good is elite stuff if they can't ever produce? I probably would put Beckett ahead of Q as well, but if Q keeps up his numbers through October, I may have to reconsider.

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    In reply to Joe Martínez:

    I am generally a production guy but I try to be conservative when making statements like the one that started this (whether Q is TOR or not).

    He is definitely the least known of all the top tier LH starters.

    When they made the deal I was stunned that we traded both Eloy AND Cease. But if he can do anything RESEMBLING what he has done for the last couple weeks I will be thrilled. I am most looking forward to "What expensive FA pitcher will the Cubs have to sign." AND they can still do that because he is locked in for several more years. It might also mean they can take on a big contract which will bring down the cost of acquiring someone else.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Stubbs, I think you are wrong already. I agree with BP.

    So how high are you setting the bar? What exactly does Q have to do before you pronounce yourself wrong?

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    In reply to TTP:

    Q struggled a little out of the box outside of his outstanding start vs. BAL. Even including that start against BAL through the end of his start 8/30 he was 5-3 (I know, W-L record isn't a good way to judge a pitcher) and an ERA of 4.5, 4.04 FIP and 3.55xFIP. Not horrible, but not good. If we remove the BAL game it looks even worse. An ERA north of 5.00, an FIP of 4.71 and an xFIP of 3.98. There was reason for concern. In September he has been unbelieveable. 2-0 with a 1.63 ERA, 2.14 FIP and 2.70 xFIP. That is extraordinary!

    Of course Quintana has a history of success and that shouldn't be ignored. But sometimes a guy will go to a new team and suddenly "figure it out" (Jake Arrieta) and other times he will go to a new team and is never quite able to re-find the magic.

    I am thrilled with Quintana in September (believe it or not there was talk of "he isn't a pitcher who can deal with pitching in pressure games"). I hope/expect it to continue. But the deal has not been a home run so far. But it hasn't been a dud either. We'll see.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    This^

    I’m not looking at a months worth of starts and making any judgement. He was mediocre for a long stretch before that, but it’s all been SSS. Regardless, my original perspective from the moment the trade was announced was ...this guy better be an unequivocal ace or we gave up a potentially generational talent for a cost controlled MOR. That’s completely irrational, but I’m a huge Jimenez believer. Jury’s still out for me.

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    It's so nice to read BASEBALL talk here. I said what I wanted in the other thread but let's keep this between the lines and disagree on who gets replaced in the field or at bat or who sits on the bench. Thank you.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    With the division all but wrapped up, I think we can turn our attention to the postseason roster. I am going on the assumption of a four-man rotation, seven-man pen, and six-man bench.

    There are really two spots open in the pen. Davis, Strop, Edwards Jr, Montgomery, and Duensing hold five as locks. I would love to see a healthy and effective Rondon. I think Wilson rights the ship and locks it down. If not one of those two, then the loser of the Quintana/Lackey fourth-starter battle. Quintana has no postseason experience, and Lackey has a total of three postseason pen appearances. And as my "Gimme Three Steps" lyrical reference implies, I'd hate to be the poor sap tasked with telling that big boy he ain't making the cut.

    On the bench, I only see one spot available. I think LaStella makes it, along with the six-deep outfield platoon. I know Joe likes three caatchers, and that may play into the final decision. I see that last spot going to Rivera, Martin, or my sleeper pick, Caraatini.

    We'll discuss this in depth for the next two weeks. The best news is we are discussing this.

    Go Cubs!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    OK, I'll bite:
    Starting pitching (no particular order the numbers are there to make sure I don't accidentally put in 27 guys or something like that)
    1. Lester
    2. Hendricks
    3. Arrieta
    4. Quintana

    Bullpen:
    5. Davis
    6. Strop
    7. Edwards
    8. Montgomery
    9. Duensing
    10. Wilson
    11. Rondon

    Defense:
    12. C: Contreras
    13. 1B: Rizzo
    14. 2B: Baez
    15. SS: Russell
    16. 3B: Bryant
    17. LF: Schwarber
    18. CF: Almora
    19. RF: Heyward

    Bench:
    20. TLS (2B, 3B, LHB)
    21. Jay (all OF positions, LHB)
    22. Ben Zobrist (RF, LF, 2B, Switch-hitter)
    23. Avila (C, LHB)
    24. Happ (All 3 Outfield positions, 2B, Switch-Hitter)
    25. Rivera (C, RHB)

    I think that with Bryant's, Happ's and Zobrist's ability to play OF and infield we are at least 2-3 deep at each spot. Oddly, my bench is pretty heavily LH which gave the 25th spot to Rivera (the only "pure" RHB on the bench). It also gives a 2nd veteran back up catcher., though I haven't seen much of Caratini so if he can handle it having 3 switch hitters on the bench might be fun! Don't take my "defense" too literally. I don't care if you want to substitute Happ for Schwarber or maybe Zobrist for Heyward (though, that would make the bench even MORE heavily LH) or something like that. And I figure that Joe will kind of do the same thing he has done all year and mix-and-match.

    If that is the post-season roster I could live with that. Imagine the weak links being Hector Rondon and Jon Lester? Either one of them is capable of pitching really well. And that line-up can be adjusted to accomodate different kinds of starting pitchers. There is power there. There is speed there (Happ is pretty fast). There is RH/LH balance (with switch-hitters). There is power. There are BB. Depending on who is being talked about there is contact ability. In short, I think that will be a competitive line-up. If the bullpen can pitch up to their potential it could be a scary good group. I don't know that it is enough to win it all. But it is the best I can come up with given players on the 40-man roster.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    If Rondon and Wilson are healthy and effective, that's that. And Lackey is going to throw a fit.

    I noticed the lack of a big RH bat off the bench as well, which works against Martin. Joe likes the comfort of having a third catcher available, but in a short series the bat is more important than the catching ability, which is why I'm saying watch for Caratini to make it.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I could see Maddon having Lackey on the roster over Rivera (because he is afraid to tell him he is not on the roster). Not so sure that Maddon wants 3 catchers. You could have Schwarber as the emergency catcher. Maddon didn't have 3 catchers in 2015 if you didn't count Schwarber.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    He also didn't really have another good option at C in 2015. But you are correct, he could have Schwarber move to C for a couple innings if necessary. Unless he had already removed him for a defensive replacement in LF.

    One intriguing thing to me about putting Lackey in the bullpen is he could also come in if the game were "all over but the crying" and not waste the other bullpen arms. There are a lot of close games in the playoffs, but there are also 9-2 games as well.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I agree with this roster w/1 exception: Lackey over 1 of Rondon or Wilson. Lackey's on the roster in my opinion. And Rivera over Martin is for me not even a question. Would be different if Marteen could hit his way out of a wet paper bag....

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Joe likes speed. Martin can pinch run and steal a base to scratch out a run. He has a chance to make the team.

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    In reply to John57:

    Esp since we really have nobody else on the roster w any speed.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think Jay, Almora, Baez, Happ, Heyward might argue w/you. Martin is not Hamilton...

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Gut Feeling, I think he was being sarcastic making roughly the same point as you minus the names.

  • In reply to John57:

    He can also get caught stealing just as easily. His % is not good. Joe probably values the flexibility of 3rd catcher more. And looking at the SSS, Rivera's done nothing but hit, get on base & catch well since becoming a Cub.

  • In reply to John57:

    Thank the heavens Joe finally figured out Jon Jay's speed and defense trumps the Schwarbs mighty bat and so so defense.

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    In reply to John57:

    I don't buy that "Joe likes speed." I think he likes having a 3rd catcher more. So, to me it comes down to Caratini or Rivera and I think that with a young catcher like Contreras that Joe would like to have another strong defensively veteran catcher like Rivera. Using a roster spot for someone to "pinch-run" is not the direction I expect them to go. If they really need a pinch runner they can use Happ (who also happens to be able to get on base decently AND has some power). The roster I gave will give Joe a TON of options of moving guys around. Heck, we are 4 deep in CF for crying out loud (Almora, Jay, Heyward, Happ). So much flexibility will allow Joe to mix-and-match like he likes and still have a ton of ability. So to me using a roster spot on the off-chance that we will want a pinch-runner isn't a good idea.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Agreed. And who would he pinch run for most likely? A catcher... Without Rivera, they'd be down to 1 if they pinch ran. Contreras & his hammy says 3 catchers over a light (non) hitting 7th-8th OFer... I think Joe likes having the speed guy for when his roster expanded for the stretch run... Not necessarily for his post season roster spot.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    BTW, and speaking of sitting on the bench -- a few weeks ago I commented that I was embarrassed to be a Cubs fan because the players can't be bothered to come out of the clubhouse for the anthem while the entire visiting team is out there standing at attention. And no one has said squat about it. And yet when the Steelers didn't come out for the anthem today, they were booed mercilessly by the home crowd, including, I'm sure, thousands of Cubs fans. Goose meet gander.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Sorry, If you don't know the difference then nobody is going to be able to explain it to you.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    You can draw distinctions and rationalize all you want. I just telling you its an embarrassment when all the Reds or Cards are on the field for the anthem, while he got only Joe and a ragtag handful of staff there -- although, I should note that the last game I want to, (Friday game vs. Cards) I was happy to see my man Schwarber out there, along with Zobrist. Good for them.

  • In reply to TTP:

    You did have the one Steeler who came out, a veteran AND Latino too if I'm getting his name correctly. This issue bothers me more because of priorities more than anything else. Why doesn't anyone complain about what happens down around 63rd and State almost every night?

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    LOL. Your right about that. I just bought a property fight off the highway and 61st. I had to spend the night there the last 2 nights as "security"

    They need to really address the issues down there but they rather just ignore them and publicize this million dollar pre-madonna's

  • In reply to TTP:

    Let's drop the political talk and honor the rules John created for this place. We don't need to have the Cubs Den degenerate into a the mess you see other at other sites.

  • I get it and agree. I never discuss straight up politics here. Never. But I'm talking specifically about what our Cubs do. Nuff said, and I'll leave it at that. Thanks.

  • I was incredibly encouraged by Q's start, not only with his pitching but the fact that it was a big game and the pressure was on. Encouraging indeed.

  • This has been a weirrrrrrrd season. We all maybe took it for granted that the Cubs would get the division easily, what a coaster ride.

    Gotta hand it to Milwaukee for their improvement but maybe most of all to their GM who found those boppers no one knew about and the job their starting pitching has done.

    St Louis is what St Louis was expected to be....mediocre.
    Yes, I take joy in that.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I would like to sweep the Cards and put them 10 games back. That would really mess with their minds for next year. :-)

  • In reply to John57:

    Popping the cork in St. Louis would be marvelous ! Rub it in Cubbies!

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Don't forget the job Greg Counsell has done as well.

    Imagine if Villar hit like he did last year and Braun was still at his peak level. Watch out.

    Oh and their GM added some real help at the deadline.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Oh yea, no doubt! Just look at the record improvement over last year. Counsell definitely deserves Mgr of the Year consideration.
    Who gets it though? Maybe the guy in AZ? Or Roberts? That's gonna be a tough vote....I do not Trusty in Dusty.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Counsel has done a terrific job. Tip of the cap his way.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    "and Braun was still at his peak level." You mean still on PED's?

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The Brewers stuck around WAY longer than I expected. And they have talent in their minor league system.

    I have a friend of mine who was furious that they traded Lucroy last year. She doesn't mention it much anymore.

  • It was certainly good to see a solid complete game from Quintana after all those long and close extra innings games. Milwaukee is going to be a good team next year as well.

    Great pitching, solid defense, and some good offense,... and not much drama. Win against St. Louis tonight or tomorrow and knock them out,... Then get the rotation rested and set for the first leg of the playoffs,....

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    Isn't Milwaukee's pitching coach our ex-minor league roving instructor? Their pitching has improved tremendously.

  • In reply to Dave Grimm:

    Yes sir, you're exactly right. Derek Johnson. We miss him, and Milwaukee is lucky to have his services. I'm a Bosio fan, but he is really good.

  • Great start from Quintana yesterday. I love how he seems to be completely focused on each and every pitch. We gave up a lot, but it will be nice to watch him every 5th day for the next few years.

    Goal each year. Win the division with a few games to spare to set up the rotation, rest the bullpen, and give the position players some rest to heal whatever is bothering them after a long season. Goal accomplished. Then take your best shot in the playoffs where anything can happen.

    Baseball is much more fun when the Cubs rule the Central!

    I think it is very interesting that all of the Cubs high draft choices have pretty much turned out like we had hoped they would.
    Baez, Almora, Bryant, Schwarber and now Happ. Throw in Russell (no.1 via trade) and Contreras and we have been very fortunate. It doesn't always turn out that way.

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    "I think it is very interesting that all of the Cubs high draft choices have pretty much turned out like we had hoped they would."

    That to me is the real success of Theo and his crew. He did not set out to build a World Series team as much as his goal was to rebuild the entire organization so it was capable of winning championships. I remember a lot of folks on TV and Radio making fun of "The Cubs Way" and other early organizational moves to shore up player development but who's laughing now? Look at Albert Almora... A few months ago, lots of folks were ready to give up on him and now the more I see him, the more I want him in the lineup even with Jay playing as well as he is (what a pickup he's been). The funny thing is that I think we got so spoiled with some of these players moving so quickly through the ranks that Almora seems abnormal even though his path to the majors has been much more similar to most players in the league.

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    Almora's path was more "normal" (1 year at each level). But it isn't uncommon for a guy to have to "repeat a level." Especially someone drafted out of HS. To me Almora was on the fast side of "normal" for someone with his experience and age.

  • Lot's of people don't realize but Almora was 18 or 19 when he was drafted. So was Baez. They both took similar courses to the big Leagues as you said. Bryant, Happ and Schwarber were college players. They came a little faster.

    I always liked Almora and Baez all the way back to watching them in A ball. I saw both of them play in person and there are certain players who stand out. Both looked head and shoulders above the rest of the players on the field.

    The more you watch Jay the more you like him. Very experienced. He just wants to play and I feel like he fits in very well on this team.

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    In reply to cubbybear7753:

    I like Jay and I think he quickly grasped his role with the team: He is the 24th/25th guy on the roster. Rather than complaining about playing time he bought in right away and it allowed Maddon to use him when he was the "right guy" and use his veteran leadership even when he wasn't playing. I wouldn't mind the Cubs signing him again and he "checks a lot of boxes."

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    This year has been great because of that. That Division series against the Giants was crazy and I hope we're more focused this time around. When you clinch early it can be hard to keep your foot on the accelerator. Hear that Dodgers?

  • Chris Russo.......ow!
    NO Cub respect, AT ALL!

    He says the Cubs don't have it....they play in a weak division.

    Whaaaaaaa? The Nationals DO?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    The Central has three teams with over 80 wins. The East has one and two teams just over 60 wins. Which division is weak?

  • That's what I meant.....like the Nats don't play in a weak division?

    I'm alright if the national media wants to discount the Cubs (but I wouldn't call that the good move)......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Agreed. It won't be easy playoff run but when our starting rotation is right, I like our chances as much as anybody. The key to the playoffs in my opinion will be limiting our bullpen use. I trust the bottom end but the middle relief is scary (although Montgomery being added back does help).

  • I try to be objective and think clearly but it obviously doesn't always work out that way but I will say this about the Cubs.....

    We could very well lose to Washington, we could, it could go the way of 2015 when the Met pitching shut us down but one thing: it's not like it will be these kids walking into DisneyLand for the first time, most of them were on the roster last year and now know what the grind and mental strain is like.....that plays into our favor.

    Plus.....I haven't seen it with Strasburg but I have with Gonzales and Scherzer.......they rattle.....and when the wheels fall off they come undone pretty easily.

    Seriously, I don't see the competition setting up this year to be any more better than it was last year. Sure, I could be wrong but if we do lose I won't look at it as a bad year unless we play really poorly the next few weeks. If they beat us they beat us.....I just don't want to go all winter knowing we beat ourselves. We won't have home field anywhere but if we could get Game 1 at any location that would be big.....big.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I agree

    Are the Nats, Dodgers and Dbacks good teams. Sure. They wouldn't be where they are if they weren't. But if Lester is Lester we can go toe to toe with any of them and I also think we have the better manager than any of them. I also like out bench better than the Dbacks or Nats. I think out bullpen is also better than the Dbacks and Dodgers

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    In reply to cubbybear7753:

    Our bench is not better then any teams offensively except maybe the Dbacks. Defensively, our bench is probably the most versatile, but in the playoffs, the bench is really most important for big PH positions and some defensive switches if you have some butchers in your starting lineup

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Though many of the pieces are the same as in 2015, this is a fundamentally different team. As you point out, this year they have a wealth of experience to draw on. I think for the first time in living memory the Cubs don't have the most "baggage" going into the playoffs. They have NOTHING to lose. In fact, they are "supposed" to lose to WAS (according to seeding).

    The other thing that is different is the Cubs had a concerted effort to limit their exposure to high K totals. While the Cubs still strike out a lot the addition of player like Zobrist, and Almora along with the improvements made by Rizzo and Bryant has greatly reduced the size of that hole in their offense.

  • You have to take Russo with a grain of salt.

    He wont admit it but he is still ticked off that the Cubs beat the Giants last year in the playoffs.

    Central was way better than the East.

  • OK,... Anybody here really wanting to see Cleveland and the Cubs playing head-to-head and toe-to-toe again in late October?

    Got to admit,... would love to see that again.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I'd rather have that a lot more than Houston, nothing against them but Cleveland again? That's almost must-see TV.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Yeah, but all these doubles KB is hooking down the line would be in the crawford seats at Houston! And that dang foul pole ain't in center with the flag on it anymore. Let's do Houston guys!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    How about Cubs vs Red Sox?

  • I just want to get there. I don't care who we play. However living in the Dallas area. Astros would make it very easy to drive 4 hours to catch a game! Just saying.

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    I'm too cheap/strapped to spring for tickets,... but have to admit I am looking forward to the vibe in the DC area for a Cubs/Nats series. I'll be watching on TV and perhaps at the local within walking distance brew-pub,... and it should be very cool!

  • No Schwarber again.

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