I Don't Believe What I Just Saw; Cubs 9, Nationals 8

For a game that had as much happen as this one did, I don't know how to adequately describe all of the events, or give a blow-by-blow.  It saw the Cubs take an early lead in the first inning, but also disappointingly leave the bases loaded in the top of the first.  It also saw Cubs post-season hero, Kyle Hendricks struggle mightily in the second inning, allowing home runs to 2015's foil, Daniel Murphy, and 2017's potential #1 Most Despised, Michael A. Taylor.

It also saw our beloved Cubs gut out the type of victory we, as fans, have seen the Cubs lose on so many occasions.

We all watched it, or will be re-watching it tomorrow (today?), so let's focus on the biggest moments.

Top of the 1st: Jason Heyward grounds out to first base to leave the bases loaded.  The Cubs had scored one run, but had a chance to possibly chase Gio Gonzalez early.

Bottom of the 1st: After an infield hit and stolen base, Trea Turner advanced to third on a fly-out.  With the Cubs playing in, Bryce Harper hit the ball to Javier Baez at second, who gunned out Turner trying to score.

Bottom of the 2nd: Hendricks gives up two homers, a lead-off homer to Murphy, and a 3-run bomb to Taylor.  With nobody out, Hendricks settles down (though the Nats still get a double by Jayson Werth and intentional walk to Harper), and strikes out the side.  The four runs aside, Hendricks settles down and holds the Nationals to four runs through four innings of work, giving the Cubs a chance to stay alive.

Top of the 3rd: Cubs load the bases with one out, and start to claw their way back into the game.  Addison Russell grounds out to score a run, and Gonzalez uncorks a wild pitch to allow another run.  This foreshadowed the ugly play that would plague Washington the rest of the way.

The Whole Freaking top of the 5th: This inning had it all.  Max Scherzer, pitching three days after holding the Cubs to one hit in 6 1/3 innings, comes in to pitch for the Nats with a 4-3 lead.  Superstars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are retired relatively easily before Willson Contreras beats out an infield single to shortstop.  Ben Zobrist singles, and Russell smacks a ball down the third base line.  It rattles around in the corner; Contreras and Zobrist both score on the double.  Jason Heyward is intentionally walked to get to Javier Baez - and it works...sorta - when Scherzer strikes out Baez.  However, catcher Matt Wieters missed the ball, allowing Baez to reach first.  On the throw (which was thrown into right field), Russell comes around to score.  Wieters argues about possible batter interference after being struck on the backswing by Baez...only to be called for catcher interference on the next batter. His catcher's glove was struck by Tommy La Stella's bat on a foul ball.  Naturally, Scherzer hits Jon Jay to extend the Cubs lead to 7-4.  Dusty Baker comes out to cry to the umpire about...I don't know...Jay not trying to get out of the way of a ball clearly headed for his leg?

It's at this point that Joe Maddon decides that anyone who has ever pitched for the Chicago Cubs will pitch in this game.

Between innings 5-7, Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop, Charlie Root, Carl Edwards Jr., Pat Perry, Kevin Foster, Jim Bullinger, Jose Quintana, and John Baker throw a portion of an inning.  None of them particularly excel, with the possible exception of Duensing, who didn't allow a run in 2/3 innings of work.  He would earn the victory despite not finishing the fifth inning.  In the meantime, Daniel Murphy gives more reasons for Cubs fans to hate him  when he doubles off the left field wall, scoring a run.  Matt Wieters further secures himself as the goat (not GOAT) by flying out to end the 6th inning with the bases loaded.

Top of the 6th: Addison Russell doubles (hahaha) to left field when Jayson Werth whiffs on a line drive.  Ben Zobrist scores.

Top of the 7th: Kris Bryant grounds into a force out, allowing a run to score.  Nationals challenge whether Jon Jay's slide into second was legal, and it was confirmed.  Dusty Baker begins crafting his list of excuses for why his team has yet again failed to win in the playoffs.

Bottom of the 7th: Wade Davis is summoned to finish the game with 7 outs to go.  EVERYONE panics, and has to really pee, but cannot leave their seats for fear that something ridiculous might still happen.  It does, as Willson Contreras picks off Jose Lobaton at first base to end the 8th inning.  The Nats had come within one run by this point, and had two men on base.

Somewhere in the 8th inning, an albino-looking man and his 30-something year-old friend show up from the future, and are inserted into the Nationals lineup.  Clark the Cub is struck dead on a pitched ball while pinch-hitting for Frank Chance.  Members of the 12-Hour Church begin singing a dirge, and a black angel from a local cemetery takes over in left field.  It is revealed that Washington D.C. was originally named "Big Inning" (these are obscure references, but this game was REALLY freaking weird).

NOTHING happens in the 9th inning, for the least dramatic ending to the craziest game of the playoffs this year (and that's saying a bit).  Davis strikes out some schmo named Harper to end the game, and the Cubs celebrate on the field as Dusty grinds toothpick #84 into the dugout floor.

Now - what the hell did I just watch?

The Cubs will face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday evening in their third appearance in the NLCS in as many years.  And that's something that has never been done before by this team.

 

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  • I love this team. Go Cubs

  • I spit out my drink on them 5-7 relievers!

  • Coomer?

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    Who was the MVP of the series?

  • In reply to mblum876:

    Wade Davis?!

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    In reply to mblum876:

    Micheal A. Taylor single-handedly kept the Nationals in this series, so I'd be hard pressed not to give him the nod. But if it has to be a winner I'd go with anyone of Rizzo, Russell, Davis and Lester (I think Lester would be my pick because of that relief appearance).

  • In reply to Tyler Cunningham:

    Micheal A. Taylor ALMOST ceremoniously received a Cubs Killer blue jacket from Daniel Murphy (ala SNL hosting club)

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    In reply to mblum876:

    Man, that is a tough one.

    Kyle Hendricks? Got the win in the critical Game 1 but struggled a little in Game 5. Nearly double the IP of any other pitcher (sans Lester). One of only 3 to get a win (and Duensing and Edwards weren't particularly overwhelming). Would be a "dark-horse" selection maybe.

    Davis? He came in and stopped the bleeding in Game 5 but wasn't really particularly dominant giving up 2 runs in 4IP. Not bad, but hardly what I want from an MVP.

    Jon Lester? Among Cubs pitchers he gets my vote. Minus a BP meltdown he was the most dominant. Not only did he get 6 IP of 1-run ball in game 2 (though with disappointingly few Ks) he also came into Game 4 and tried to bridge things giving up 1-run in 3.2 IP. While he took the loss he did FAR better than the rest of the 'pen in that game.

    Steven Strasburg? While I am generally opposed to giving the MVP to a player on the team that was defeated I defy anyone to find someone more "valuable" or "better" this series.

    Among batters: WOW, what an underwhelming group.
    Jon Jay? Well, gets the sentimental pick as a vet who played well.

    Almora? He put together a nice series in limited playing time.

    Contreras? He nearly matched Jay's OPS and got the Cubs their first "earned" run by homering off of Gonzalez. He also had the critical pick-off of Lobaton in the 8th inning.

    Michael Taylor? Hard to overlook his impact on the series. He hit the "dagger" Grand Slam in Game 4 and a 3-run homer in Game 5. In 18 PAs he had 2 HR, 3BB and 4K'. He is Rob Manfred's "True Outcomes nightmare."

    My ballot would look something like this:
    1. Strasburg. NO ONE had a greater impact on the series. Even playing for the losing team, he was the best, most valuable player on either roster.

    2. Lester. He did everything we could have asked of a him

    3. Taylor. Again, an outstanding performace in a losing effort. While his GS didn't "win" the game in Game 4 it certainly sucked the life out of things. His homer in the 2nd inning was huge as well. It gave the Nationals runs, and gave them runs early to give them a solid belief they could really beat up on Hendricks.

    4. Hendricks. Solid performance. While he was off last night his performance in Game 1 is the stuff that we will tell stories about. Remember, he WON the game that Strasburg lost.

    5. Contreras. The kid is becoming a leader. If he and Rizzo can become Tinker and Evers (who also famously disliked one another) if the stories of their stormy relationship are true I can live with that.

    6. Davis. I don't like my closer to give up runs but he stopped the bleeding. That deserves some credit.

    I am sure there will be those who disagree about 2 of my top 3 being from the LOSING team. But to me they were the best and most important players in the series. The Cubs simply had a better supporting cast. Or, at least, a less bad supporting cast. If only marginally.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Dusty for walking Heyward.

  • Here are the current Win WS Odds from 538.com after
    games of 10/12/17 — and then there were 4:

    538 Rating / Win World Series
    *at completion of day’s games

    Pre WC Games….………10/6 *…………..……10/7 *…………….
    CLV 1604 / 27%…….CLV 1607 / 34%……CLV 1607 / 33%……
    LAD 1564 / 18%…….LAD 1566 / 19%……LAD 1569 / 23%……
    HOU 1569 / 15%…….HOU 1576 / 22%……HOU 1576 / 22%……
    WAS 1551 / 11%…….WAS 1547 / 6%……..WAS 1550 / 8%……..
    CHN 1559 / 10%…….CHN 1563 / 13%……CHN 1560 / 9%…….
    BOS 1553 / 7%………BOS 1546 / 1%……..BOS 1546 / 1%………
    NYY 1561 / 6%………NYY 1560 / 2%…….NYY 1560 / 2%……..
    AZD 1539 / 3%………AZD 1540 / 3%…….AZD 1537 / 1%……..

    ………..10/9 *…………….10/11*……………….10/12*…………….
    CLV 1602 / 23%……
    LAD 1571 / 27%……LAD 1571 / 30%…..…LAD 1571 / 31%…..…
    HOU 1572 / 24%……HOU 1572 / 29%……..HOU 1572 / 30%……..
    WAS 1548 / 4%……..WAS 1553 / 10%……..
    CHN 1562 / 14%……CHN 1558 / 9%…….CHN 1560 / 18%…….
    NYY 1566 / 7%……..NYY 1570 / 22%…….NYY 1570 / 20%…….

  • Dusty's presser was sadly depressing. He just looked old and broken.

  • Fully agree.

  • Yeah, I agree. I like Dusty Baker, the man and the human being. I want him to have a good life. And I don't think it would be fair for the Nats to can him as a scapegoat for not winning this series.

    On the other hand, I'm glad he is not managing the Cubs anymore. While he got a lot out of the 2003 team, he did lost control of the 2004 team and, by the end of his tenure, the job of managing the Cubs got to him and it was time for him to move on. He also seemed to be stuck in the past in some of his approach to the game.

    The same thing seemed to happen in Cincy -- effective at first, then diminishing returns. He seems to have done a good job turning the Washington team around two years ago from the debacle that was the Matt Williams manager tenure -- but he hasn't been able to get them over the post-season hump. Still, I think they got too close to blame the final result on him. I think they should bring him back, but I'm probably biased because, as I said, I like him. Just don't have him manage the Cubs -- bad fit.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    You're right, overall Dusty seems like a nice guy, but one thing that always bothered me about him is that it didn't seem that, as the mgr of the Cubs at the time, he did enough to exonerate Steve Bartman. I always thought he should have done more to take on the blame for what happened in that inning (at least on behalf of the team, the guys that missed ground balls and couldn't find the strike zone), but it really did seem that he threw Mr Bartman under the bus at the time.

    In fact, everything about that inning, to me, showed a lack of leadership skills that might explain why, despite managing many teams to regular season success, he has yet to win a WS.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    Dusty' s legacy will be, that he was good at getting his team's to the post, but unable to close the deal. He has come up short at SF CHI, CINCY, and now once again.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Gene Mauch? Didn't he also have that reputation?

  • I have a hard time remembering any questionable moves that Dusty made. IMHO, Dusty pressed all of the right buttons but Mad Max just did not have it last night. And it did not help that Michael Taylor (.333) was the only Nat starter to bring his bat to the postseason. Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy (.211), Bryce Harper (.211), Jayson Werth (.167), Ryan Zimmerman (.150), Trea Turner (.143), ... can look in the mirror.

  • WE’RE BACK.

    This will be harder than before. But this was harder than before so I digress.

    But after tonight, this is happening. We’re all in.

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    In reply to Skidoorunner:

    "It's the hard that makes it Great"
    Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks)
    "League of Their Own"

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Indeed!

    "if it was easy, everyone would do it"

  • Holy ****. Great recap. I am currently in Italy and just woke up. Fly the W!

  • In reply to 1945AD:

    You slept through that...?

    I’m in Kuwait and these 0300starts are exhausting... especially such long games.

    Never mind, it was worth it. Time to start looking at flights Kuwait to Chicago for the last week in October...

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    In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    I live in Israel and we are in the same time zone Hustlelikereed. Today is a glorious day even though I am exhausted!

  • In reply to Daniel Rosenberg:

    Indeed it is... I just may struggle to keep my job through the after effects of another 8-10 nail biters so it’s safer to have a few days off and spend them in Chicago...

  • If I may put on my shrink's hat for a moment and address the blog's "Doomsayers":

    It's not uncommon for Doomsayers in life in general to predict doom and gloom, because it is a pseudo win-win situation. If doom and gloom happen, they were right and therefore win. If doom and gloom don't happen, they win because doom and gloom didn't happen.

    However, the problem with this strategy is that it tends to, over time, be associated with depression -- not a good thing at all. Plus, it negatively affects relationships with non-Doomsayers, who will ultimately intuit this pseudo win-win strategy as a no-risk strategy and thus tend to discount the Doomsayer in general. So this is really not a particularly good strategy for either blogs or life in general.

    Shrink's hat now off and replaced with my Cubs cap. Looking forward to LA and many happy blog posts....

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Agreed 100%... some of the comments on the game thread after falling behind 4-1 were bordering on infantile.

    “we are finished as a team and no farm to speak of...” etc etc...

    I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of Rizzo and Bryant who I feel mostly go missing when under pressure; I’m also not a fan of Maddon in games where he is really under the spotlight... but today the back-up cavalry got us home - Contreras, Russell and Baez and while this wasn’t a perfectly executed game, it showed us as fans that there is real depth all the way from 4-8 in this side... maybe Heyward aside...

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    There's a way to talk about how you are worried about a particular development in a game without going full Debbie Downer on everybody. Take a hint Doomsayer guys -- nobody want to be around Debbie Downer. Seriously.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    Gee...i guess that's why i don't have any friends. Thanks!

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Wasn't thinking of you, Stubbs.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Wow, not a fan of Rizzo and Bryant and calling others posts infantile. You don't happen to have a mirror there do ya?

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Do I have to be a fanboy and love every Cub player...?

    Rizzo as a man is top drawer, but as a player I don’t think his numbers / performance with the bat when the chips are down fit the profile / aura that many give him.

    I’m a fan of the grind of players - like Contreras in this team... he has his faults but I think he leads beyond his years.

    Rizzo unfortunately reminds me of what we would term in cricket a flat-track bully. Gorging on poor pitching but rarely given the aura that surrounds him getting that key hit when the chips are down.

    That’s having an opinion, not castigating him or his fans. He is who he is.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Everyone please halt this string of replies. No good will come of this.
    Thank you.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Agreed Michael

    Thanks for being the voice of reason.

    Let's just enjoy this one for a while.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    +1!

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Nice job there, Michael. Thanks.

    ONWARD!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Don't want to see Heyward or Edwards until next February.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    I was not involved in the "Game Thread" conversations, but I can imagine how they went.

    Time for me to eat crow, though. I was one who did not believe in this club in June. They were not playing well. They just looked flat. I was happy about the trade for Quintana because it would not hurt this year's team and would HELP in 2018-2020 without having to make a huge monetary investment. However, I DID advocate trading Davis (what good is an elite closer in the final year of his contract on a 3rd place team?). I wanted to re-stock the farm-system. The best "target" for a location for him to go? A team with bullpen problems closing out games and with decent minor leaguers. The NL East leaders were the most appealing option. Though I doubt I would have gotten the prospects out of them that I wanted.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That was funny all the people wanting to be sellers in June. Rebuild the farm system. Nice to see someone say hey I was wrong. 8 more wins!
    Go Cubs.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Don't go that far. I would still like to see more talent in the farm-system. I will stand behind my process. It just didn't turn out like I expected. The Cubs played lights out from the All Star Game on.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Nice to see folks owning up for making "less than wise" statements back when the Cubs were struggling. As for me, I advocated swapping Caratini with Contreras (Victor up, Contreras back to AAA) when the bats were very cold in a effort to juice up the offense. Man was that ever a desperate thought! I'll feast on a bit of crow for that moment.

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    In reply to HefCA:

    I don't know that it was "less than wise" as that I "guessed wrong."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Right it is just a guessing game. Hopefully with a few facts mixed in

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    Go Cubs!

  • I saw this on the MLB site and I just have to share it with everyone:

    • The Cubs' strange go-ahead fifth included an intentional walk, a passed ball after a strikeout, a catcher's interference and a hit by pitch. According to Baseball-Reference, none of the 2.73 million half-innings from Major League Baseball stored in the site's database contained these four plays in the same turn at the plate. In fact, only five games within the database contained those four plays in the same game.

    1 in 2.73 million!!!

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Amazing! All the years I whined about Cards voodoo...I'm happy we seem to now have somehow stolen it from them!

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Incredible! Thanks for that. What a game!

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    This might be a stretch of "probability" but won't that number likely continue to go up with every half inning for the next century or so.

  • What an emotional roller coaster! Willson's pickoff of Jose Lobaton to end the 8th inning was unforgettable and really got Davis out of a jam.

    I'll make it through work today, somehow...

  • Wade Davis! What a hero! What guts!

    The whole team was on fumes. He put the whole team on his back and DID THE JOB! One of the MOST HEROIC performances I've ever seen! No. Scratch that. THE MOST HEOIRC PERFORMANCE I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Davis!
    DAVIS!
    DAAAAAAAAAAAVVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

  • In reply to TTP:

    The amazing thing about Davis is he seems to pitch better when under pressure...

    The late season game I. Milwaukee aside he’s only really given up runs when we were already behind anyway. Great player and a wonderful temperament.

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    In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    My favorite thing about Davis is "No Histrionics." Also one of my favorite things about Hendricks. Some guys like Lackey, Lester, Zambrano, etc. seem to go off the rails sometimes. I never get that feeling with Davis and Hendricks. They go out there, do their thing, go home, kiss their wife and kids.

  • Some fine writing from David Haugh:

    "When Harper swung and missed to give the Cubs a 9-8 victory over the Nats, Davis showed more emotion than Chicago ever has seen from him. He yelled, he pumped his fists, he exulted. It was Davis' 44th pitch, his seventh out and his finest moment as a Cub."

    Nice.

  • In reply to TTP:

    It was kind of cool to see him show some emotion. On the other hand I kind of liked how he seems to be unflappable on the mound in the 9th inning of each save. OK, hear I am in the 9th, lead to protect, just due my job. That last pitch to Harper was just plane nasty.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Yeah, that struck me to in the moment to - very un-Davis. it would be like Kyle doing that.
    It was awesome!

  • I still don't think I have seen Happ smile yet. The most stoic baseball player ever.

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    Do you know that the game ended on Friday the 13th? Whew! After the game I'm watching Sportschannel, WTBS and the MLB network and everyone trying to explain the game we just saw. They especially were talking about the Javy at back and should the ball have been called dead right away---I don't know, it was discussed in the last thread, but in the end it worked.
    I wonder if Lackey will pitch Sat (tomorrow). If so, he better go 8 or 9 because who has any pitches left in their arms?
    I'll repeat what I said late last night---thank you Jorge Soler, KC liked you enough to trade Wade Davis to us for you!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Here is what HP umpire Jerry Layne is quoted on MLB.com. It is not the most eloquent quote I have ever read, but I think it explains the ump's ruling. Not how many times he says "in my judgement". I guess it was a judgement call... ;o]

    "Backswing interference is a play where a guy is stealing or there's a play being made by a runner hindering the catch. It was a wild pitch and went past him," Layne said. "That is no longer in that particular description, in my judgment. In my judgment, the passed ball changed the whole rule around to where, in my judgment, it had nothing to do with everything [that happened]. Therefore, it didn't have any effect on it, in my judgment."

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    You know he just got off the phone with his agent/lawyer who said, "Stress the fact that the rule says 'in your judgment.' Trust me. It is the ONLY way to try to tamp this fire down."

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    who the hell pitches Saturday & Sunday in L.A.

    Lets write Lackey down for 5 in or 90 pitches for Sat ?

    Quintana for 90 pitches Sunday ?

    who else ?

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Q threw 12 pitches last night. I don't know how long he warmed up and how it differs from his between start regimen. I agree with your thoughts on Lackey then Q. If Lackey starts on Saturday, I think he goes at least 7 innings, possibly longer, regardless of the results. Innings for the starter in Game 1 may be more important than the outcome so the staff can get back in sync. But, what the heck do I know. My career managerial peek was winning a little league championship about 100 years ago.

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    In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Winning a little league championship about 100 years ago makes you acutely aware of the Cubs drought. Right?

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Good question...and I worry about what Maddon might do.

    If it were me... Lackey pitches Saturday. I would let him know it, but I would talk openly about pitching Lester or Quintana, and then pitch Lackey instead. I think if you throw anybody else out there, you risk messing everybody up. It's one game....and Lackey is a helluva competitor. If he were to somehow beat Kershaw, then we get an incredible lift and they get incredible deflation. If they win, it was expected anyway....Kershaw pitching. Now if I am Roberts, maybe I don't pitch Kershaw in game one, but save him for game 3.

    Sunday's game (2).....everybody still will be short on rest, but the guy who I believe could bounce back the best is Lester. He has shown the ability to pitch on short rest before, and he had a short outing on Wednesday.

    Tuesday's game (3)....back to normal rotation....Arrieta on regular rest. (I could see Hendricks or Quintana here as well)...the key might be who Maddon wants in game 7 if needed)
    Wednesday's game (4)...Hendricks or Quintana (or Arrieta)
    Thursday's game (5) .... Hendricks or Quintana, (or Arrieta)
    Saturday's game (6)..... Lester
    Sunday's game (7)...... Arrieta, Hendricks, Quintana

    So, I base this on only shorting Lester 1 day (and he didn't have a full game)....everybody else would have normal rest. I put it on Lackey, and it will be tough on him since he hasn't pitched in over a week, but he is one helluva competitor.

  • In reply to Santo10:

    Montgomery
    Quintana
    Lester
    Jake
    Kyle
    Quintana
    Lester.

    5 lefties out of 7, Lester in game 7 if need be

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    The advantage in starting Monty in game 1 is that he can go the pen afterward. I suppose Lackey can do that, too, but since he wasn't used in the NLDS, why would it be different in the NLCS?

    Should the Cubs keep Martin, or add another RP, e.g., Rondon? I vote for Rondon.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    yeah, I think Rondon needs to be added.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    I'd bet it's
    1 - Quintana
    2 - Lester

    Q only threw 12 pitches, and Lester threw 55 in what would have been his bullpen day.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    That is my guess to. But I was surprised to see Quintana pitch last night. But both bullpens had a "kitchen-sink" quality to them. My guess is that Maddon will say something like this to his starters, "Quintana, you threw a HELL of a game on Monday. I pitched you 12 pitches on Thursday night. You are MY GUY on Saturday. Lester pitched on Saturday, came out and thew 50 pitches on Wednesday then had 3 days to rest his arm (Thurs, Fri, Sat). He goes Game 2 on Sunday. Followed by Arrieta on full rest on Tuesday (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon). Game 4 will be Hendricks, again, on full 4 days rest. Now everyone should be back in sync...kind of.

    Man, that 1 day post-ponement REALLY screws things up. The fact that Lester and Arrieta had to throw a ton of pitches really hurt. And then to STILL lose the game was devastating.

    Part of me says, though, that Maddon, because it was a clinching but not elimination game for the Cubs, had his timing worked out for Lester and wouldn't have thrown him too many pitches to come back to pitch whichever game Maddon wanted him for in the NLCS. Quite possibly what really messed things up was Quintana needing to pitch in Game 5. Or the choices would be obvious. If Maddon isn't planning on pitching him in Game 1 or 2, though, I really think he would have left Quintana out there.

    Sorry, kind of thinking out loud here.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I'd go Hendricks in game 3 (four days rest) so that he can do game 7.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    OK, Hendricks Game 3. I see what I did. I mis-counted my days and treated TODAY as the 1st day of rest for Arrieta. It is the first day of rest for Hendricks. Who also didn't throw that many pitches (81). Good call.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    And Wilson sent to the rookie league.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Agreed. Need to pitch Lefthanders versus the Dodgers

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    In reply to cubbybear7753:

    I agree. I'd rather have LA face Q & Lester, both lefties, in the series. They've been better against Lhp's this season, but not by alot.

  • In reply to Santo10:

    It would not be possible to pitch Kershaw in game 3. If Roberts did schedule Kershaw for game 3 he would be fired right after game one and the new manager would pitch Kershaw in game 2.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Lackey on Saturday. Quintana on Sunday. I think Quintana's pitching last night is not much different from a "side session", which he would have done anyway. Quintana can pitch his normal amount, in my opinion, but I'm no expert on this stuff

  • Does Jerry Lane's assault on Contreras get addressed? Seriously, an ump can't do what he did. What if Contreras had responded?

  • That was a comical interaction between player and ump. It was fun to watch.

  • The Nats really imploded. In embarrassing fashion. Almost Pre-Theo Cub-like. Feel really bad for Dusty, a good man who I really admire and respect..

    Scherzer: “Just a gut punch again. Here we are in Game 5, play our hearts out, everybody lays it on the line, everybody’s fighting doing everything they can. It was a nail-biter of a game again,” said Scherzer. “It just sucks . . . This game’s cruel sometimes . . . What a series.”

    Boswell in WaPo: The Nats lost because two of those runs off Scherzer were unearned because Matt Wieters, a four-time all-star catcher known for his soft hands, turned into a one-man circus act at the worst possible time. Wieters, the brainy fellow from Georgia Tech, the calm center of every team on which he has played, suddenly found himself spinning like dirty laundry in the tumble cycle.

    Weiters: “It was a bad time to have one of the worst defensive nights of my career,” said Wieters. “Max was throwing the ball great,” said Wieters, disgustedly. “I’m upset with myself for not blocking it (on the Baez passed ball) and then compounding the error.”

    Boswell says it poetically: There are endless twists in any high-scoring morass of thrilling, brain-twisting details. But the idea of a season-ending loss coming on a margin that was created by poor pitching from Scherzer and hallucinogenic defense by Wieters staggers even the baseball imagination. And the baseball imagination has been staggered, stretched, folded, spindled and mutilated for generations." I like that.

  • In reply to TTP:

    One might imagine that that team functioned like it came out of Washington DC.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    *Rim-Shot*

  • In reply to TTP:

    I always love looking at the newspaper from the opposing team after games like this (for one, I can't sleep for several hours). The WaPo stuff was so good, and so sad to read. There's definitely a poetry to the writing that wasn't present in say, the Tribune or Sun-Times when the Cubs were losing games like this.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I follow their blogs post-season. I used to think Cubs fans narrative was unique. But last year learning Clevelands.
    And the Nats this year?

    http://www.talknats.com/

    We are blessed

  • Oh. One more thing:

    Schwarbsy literally dented the outfield wall. HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to TTP:

    I couldn't believe people were complaining he didn't make second. That ball was crushed and took a perfect bounce to a guy 40? feet away.

  • All hands on deck. Cubs are in the NLCS 3rd year in a row. No insightful analysis, except that this team is one in a 2,730,000. Enjoy the roller coaster.

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    In reply to rnemanich:

    To say that half-inning was 1-in-a-million is to imply that it is almost 3x more common than it was.

  • How upset would we be as a fanbase if the Baez strikeout and interference non-call went against us? I think Jay should've been out on his slide to 2nd also, based on application of the new rule - he clearly slid outside the baseline, which I understand to be a key element of the rule (along with maintaining the bag). I get that umps make mistakes, and the strike zone was all over the place all night, but we should thank our lucky stars this game wasn't played under protest. I feel kind of dirty winning this way, and I really feel for Dusty and Wieters.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    The replay folks in New York would disagree with you on Jay's slide into 2nd, so protesting the game over it would have been pointless. I think the Nats would have lost any protest over the non-interference non-call would have quickly been tossed, too. The Cubs won the game fairly and nobody has any reason to feel "dirty."

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    I actually see what you mean. It does feel a bit dirty, because of how sloppy this game was. The Nats gifted the Cubs most of their runs.
    I 100% disagree on the Jay slide. He was in the baseline enough to reach it with both hands, and didn't slide past it. But yes, if the Cubs had lost on some nonsense like that Baez strikeout, I'd be beside myself. Also, the Lobaton pickoff was brutal. I know he came off the bag so he technically should be out. But that is not in the spirit of the rule (of replay). They really need to change this. His foot popped up because that's how physics works. Not because he made a mistake or slid poorly or something.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    That's a HUGE can of worms to open up, if you're going to call tag plays on whether the player meant to come off of the bag or it was "just physics." We might make the same argument when "physics" causes the first baseman to pull his foot off of the bag just before making the catch. Shouldn't it be incumbent on the baserunner to make sure he can get back to, and hold, the base safely?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Agreed, it's a huge can of worms. You could say it's on the runner to make a good slide, but I'd argue that Lobaton did just that. He got back to the base in time, didn't overslide, his momentum didn't carry him away. Sometimes, moving at full speed, it's physically impossible to keep contact with the base for the entire time.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Sorry, but that's a bad slide. He looked oafish, to say the least. Both legs had rolled over before he stopped. That is bad sliding fundamentals. Having replay will actually force players to use better fundamentals. Probably less head-first slides, too, since the fielder can "accidentally move" the slider's arm off the base in some cases.

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    In reply to HefCA:

    I think it looked bad because he started his slide way to close to the bag. I am honestly surprised he wasn't significantly injured.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think you’re right. That’s why he looked so awkward there.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    If you don't stay on the bag, that is the very definition of a poor slide. I would disagree with you on the spirit of the rule. He came off while the tag was applied. He's out. That is the spirit of the rule.

    I will never feel dirty over a win ever since game 6 of the '03 NLCS. The Marlins had no business winning that game. And yet they did. I'll take all wins as they come.

    I just think it is crazy how these Cubs keep on winning against the very best pitchers. Bring 'em on with short rest!!!!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Absolutely. I just read the MLB site with the replay rules and there is nothing in there about "spirit of the rule". The replay in MLB exists for one reason...get the correct call...either on the field or in the review. The fact remains that when a player is tagged when not touching a base...he's out...no "spirit of the law" required.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Agreed. That is the very worst of the replay rule at work. The runner beat the throw, by a lot. He didn't over-slide, he didn't roll off the base, it wasn't out of control in any way - the runner simply beat the throw. He was safe. When I saw the replay I knew he'd be called out for the split second that his shoe lifted a couple inches off from the base. And I hate that call! I very much dislike the replay in nearly every aspect, but this is a tragic ruination of the spirit of baseball rules.

    Now- I do not believe the Cubs stole a win because of this call. The batter could have hit a dribbler the very next pitch.

    Amazing freakin baseball game.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    I don't feel that the Cubs stole a win. It still feels great. And the Nats played a much, muuuuch sloppier game than the Cubs. They played so poorly that I feel bad for them. I think this win feels dirty because the Cubs surrendered 9 walks. You shouldn't win those games. I honestly feel like the Nats lost more than the Cubs won.

    But you know what? We get to watch the Cubs take a whack at the NL pennant. Again. Life is good.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    I don't understand how anyone can have an issue with that call.
    Where does it say in the spirit of the rules that tag plays only can constitute an out when a player beat the throw and didn't mean to come of the base? I thought the rule is clear..Just like beating a throw and over-sliding and then being tagged out. Same play. The spirit of any tag rule in baseball is "if the runner is ON the base before the tag is applied, he is safe. If the tag is applied without the runner on base, he is out." It's pretty simple. Was it a "bad" out for WAS? Yep, I would say so. But no spirit of the rule or rule in itself was violated.

    I agree with you that the Cubs were not gifted the game because of this monumental play. It was a fortunate break for the Cubs that replay was available to take a very close look..

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    How do you feel about the old "hidden ball trick?"

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    The pick-off of Lobaton was probably not "in the spirit" of the rule. But it was "by the rule." If the umpire doesn't call him out he then has more explaining to do. At least on the Baez PB/K the rule included the phrase, "in the umpire's judgment." The tag rule does not. For it to work where we say something like, "If the player is not tagged BEFORE he touches the base he is considered 'safe'" then we must come up with some kind of a "dead ball" situation similar to an "automatic time-out." Or else when does that grace period end? This would be an extreme example but what happens if the pitcher throws to 1B and the runner slides back in and is CLEARLY SAFE. The 1B throws the ball back to the pitcher and the runner re-takes his lead. The pitcher wheels and fires to 1B again. The runner stands there and the 1B walks up and tags him resulting in the runner pleading that because he touched 1B a few moments ago they can't apply a tag to him and have him called out. Unless you say, "When/if the1B throws it back to the pitcher things are 're-set' and the runner must again retreat to the base to prevent being tagged out." But then there can be no 'hidden ball trick' (much to the detriment of baseball, IMO). A less extreme example would be a guy who over-slides the base and can't get back in time (same situation, he was on the base, now he is off the base). As with any time we look at changing the rule the devil is in the details.

    I think I get what you mean. These plays where a runners body loses contact with the base for a split second due to the rocking motion of the body on some slides but he has a body part immediately in the vicinity of the base used to be ignored and the runner routinely called 'safe.' But I think that was in error. While we are all used to that application of the rule replay allows the rule to be more uniformly applied. I actually look at replay as a POSITIVE force in baseball. I am one who doesn't mind delaying things for 5-10 minutes even. GET THE CALL RIGHT. If the original call was right and it can be confirmed--or at least not over-turned--I see that as a positive. If the call was wrong then it is overturned and it is as if the "bad call" never happened. If I were an umpire I would welcome the replay. It allows me to make my best call given what I can see and be confident that if there are serious questions about it that it will go to replay. It eliminates some of the, "man, they blew that call" conversations. It can be said with greater confidence, "No, the correct call was made." Even if we disagree with how the rule was applied.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    There are two parts to the runner being safe. He needs to be on the bag but if off the bag the player must apply the tag. Rizzo applied the tag a just the right time. Had it been earlier the runner could have been safe. Should we reward the runner the base and negate Rizzo and Contrares' effort? What if the ball clearly beat the runner and Rizzo wiffed on the tag? Should the runner be out becaue it meets the criteria of "the spirit of the rule"? How about the swim move that Baez has applied a few times when sliding into the base. He was clearly beaten by the throw but avoided the tag. Should he he out?

  • Forgot to add one thing... keep in mind that on the Baez swim slides, he was intially called out and the play was overturned - just like this call.

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    To me the rule has been better applied since replay started. And I tried--though not very gracefully--to describe just how tricky it would be to NOT apply the rule correctly if replay showed that he was off the bag while the ball/glove was in contact with him.

    Which reminds me, I remember in the 1980s umpires would sometimes call the batter out because they were tagged by the glove...and the BALL was in the fielders throwing hand. I remember one broadcaster saying that was intentional because it would not allow the runner to knock the ball out of the glove so it wasn't just a "weird play" but was intentional by the fielder.

    I suppose the other possible way for MLB to handle it would be to say, "tag plays are not reviewable" but after so many plays have been overturned I think this would be a tough sell. People will point to this play in the 8th inning as evidence that it NEEDS to be challengeable.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Yeah he did slide poorly. Returning to a base, players are taught to go back head first precisely to prevent the "pop off foot". As to making a mistake, he did that also. He had a man in front of him and wasn't going anywhere. Should have been close to the bag. As a catcher he wasn't going to beat a throw to 2B anyway. As to the rule, if you are not on the base and are tagged, you are out. Not sure how you can make exceptions here.

  • In reply to veteran:

    I’m a little surprised that Loboto’s slide has not been criticised more. Without getting into the feet-first v head-first debate, he started his slide about 1 foot from the base which caused his momentum to take him off the base.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    I understand your point, but don't forget that the Cubs had taken the lead before all the craziness. It is incorrect to assume that, if the Baez call was different, that the Cubs would have lost 8-7. There would have been a different sequence of events, different managerial decisions, different pitcher-batter matchups. There would have been a different, unknown outcome.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    It is easy to argue "if only this play had gone differently then it would have led to a different result." I believe baseball is more complex than that. Decisions are made based on the situation at hand. So we must make hypothetical changes to the sequence of events with GREAT trepidation. A team up/down by 3 runs rather than 1 run may behave somewhat differently. ESPN had an article about Scherzer's inning that was insightful in a way talking about "What should have been" by probability. And that is fine. But I think they went too far by assuming that the "most probable" thing would have happened EVERY time.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    outside of the rule is written, the way its been called since about the middle of last year is as long as you slide in front of the bag and stay on the bag at the end of your slide you are pretty much fine

  • Man,... that was an UGLY win,... but a win nonetheless. 14 hits. 9 walks. 8 runs. But in the end Davis gutted out one fantastic effort. The Nats left like what - 19 runners on base over the course of the game.

    I think the Cubs have to seriously think about starting either Montgomery (with a limited pitch count) or dusting off Lackey - or running them out as a starter tandem. Preferably get into a game where Davis doesn't have to come in as well - that guys a horse, but that was a lot of work for him in a very short period of time.

    On to LA. Some of my DC area friends are seriously despondent,....

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    guessing it will be quintana/lackey to get us through 6.. hopefully

  • These past 2 seasons it seems that all the ghost, curses, unusual weird plays, bad luck and any other Cubs misplays the last century are finely evening out and going the Cubs way. What a game I do think it took 10 years off of my life though. Davis has been the team MVP all season and it showed tonight again.

    Onwards!!!

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    I think that one thing we need to take into consideration is the idea that you "make your own luck." If you do the little things right more times than not, then those kinds of things go your way. I've been a Cubs fan for more than 30 years in my life. Compare the base running ability (not speed) of this team compared to other Cubs teams. Look at Hendricks's skill on picking guys off, Contreras's arm and confidence to throw behind runners, overall defense, grinding out ABs. We've NEVER seen a team that does little things this well. The Cubs are making their own luck.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Agreed that the Cubs are making their own luck.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    No TOOTBLANs!

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Ha! Like the two by the most unlikely players. Hayward and Rizzo.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Agree Urge, it's not the Cubs fault the Nats played so unfocused. It was an ugly loss, not an ugly win.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    What he said. The Cubs were much better fundamentally than the Nationals last night, and that proved the difference in the game. They don't need to apologize for playing better fundamentally. Now maybe a mea culpa for issuing all those walks (I keed I keed).

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Your comment instantly draws my mind to game 6 of the NLCS last year - 9th inning. Remember Carlos Ruiz hit that foul pop almost exactly to the Bartman seat? In any other year, fan (and player) reaction might have "oh no." But when it happened everyone just sort of chuckled and shook their heads.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    It's true, CFSS, they have reversed the curse. Call it "Goat voodoo magic", and it's the new norm. But I don't think it's just by chance or luck that this team doesn't wilt or die every time there's a little adversity. These guys just roll with the punches and come back stronger than before. The Dodgers, Indians, and Nats knocked them down but couldn't knock them out. These young Cubs have already seen it all, and hopefully we're just in the beginning of a long run.

    The reason for the "luck" is just too much talent up and down the lineup. Last year's postseason Javy was spectacular early while Rizzo, Russell and others struggled. Midway through the NLCS those two caught fire and kept it going through the WS. Javy looks lost at the plate right now, but Addy has looked locked in for awhile. Javy is streaky and will bust out any day. Add in Almora, Happ, Schwarber, and TLS from the bench, and it seems like someone always is there to pick us up when things get rough. And yes, the manager's never panic attitude plays well with this confident young group.

    NLCS three years in a row is an amazing feat. My whole life I've said I just wish we had a team that could make the playoffs and compete for a championship each year. Eventually, maybe we'd win one. Thanks Theo, Jed, Jason and mostly Tom Ricketts.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    Agreed, after what the fans have been through for the last 50 years, 3 straight appearances in the NLDS is fantastic. I never realized how much fun October baseball could be.

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    In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    “Whoever heard of the Cubs losing a game they had to have?”
    --Frank Chance

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Love that quote. I first came across it in Cait Murphy's book, Crazy '08.

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    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Great book. Don't remember whether that was the first place I saw it or not. But it used to sound almost taunting of the Cubs organization and their fans. After last WS (game 5-7) and NLDS Game 5 it is starting to sound prophetic.

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    Can the roster be changed for the NLCS? I should know this but am not sure. Thanks.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yes. Rosters can be reset before every round of the postseason. I am somewhat expecting the Cubs to carry 12 pitchers and maybe switching another arm out to help them survive the next two days.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    NO more pitchers. Replace Wilson with Rondon, that's it.

  • In reply to willycat:

    Cubs aren't going to remove a lefty from the Cubs bullpen.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Whoops. Shouldn't have written "Cubs" twice in that sentence. Feeling the after-effects of post-game excitement.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    What are you thinking dabynsky?

    Who gets moved off? Martin for an arm okay, I can see either:
    a healthy Uehara or if not Grimm for Martin

    and then which other arm? Lackey for Zastryzny?

    Maddon said that the club house is fine with everyone doing their new roles and special stuff.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yes. If you'll remember, Rob Zastrysny was added to the roster for the LA series last year to get an extra lefty into the bullpen. It changes on a series by series basis, but any roster (I believe) has to have players that were on the major league roster on September 1st.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Urge, I am pretty sure that is the player must be on the 40-man roster, not the 25 (ML) roster by 1 September. For example, Martin was only placed on the 40-man after being acquired from Seattle.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    That sounds right. Thanks for the clarification!

  • I have a feeling Rondon will get an opportunity this series given the struggles we just saw from Edwards

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    not like thats all re assuring

  • Remember the Cleveland fan who sat behind the Indians' dugout last year with the offensive banners?

    I was thinking last night that I had not seen such a thing from Nat fans this year. Any then I started looking and noticing there were NO signs or banners. Do the Nats prohibit signs and banners in the stadium? (0ther than the W , of course)

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    They actually have employees carry large posters telling their fans how to cheer and for who. How White Sox-ish.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    They allow and there were plenty of banners at the Washington Ballpark. At the end of game 2 there was a fan holding up a white flag with a blue “L” on it down the right field line.

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    In reply to Moonlight:

    Someone didn't do their research to know it is a blue flag with a white L that they should have been going for.

  • Can't wrap up this series in my head without extending kudos to the best player (IMHO), Mr. Michael Taylor.

    I was more anxious with him at the plate than any of the other Nat's feared sluggers, and his defensive prowess was also quite impressive.

    Look forward to watching him play in the future, except against the Cubs.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Murphy is still that guy for me. Uses the whole field, low K's, good power. Just hate facing that guy. I knew Taylor was toast after his HR off of Hendricks. I knew the clock was about to strike 12 for him. He was not going to continue with a 1.200 OPS against us.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yep, Taylor ended up with only 1.117.

    Murphy was a close second, with some hangover from 2015.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Agreed - If the Nats had held on to that 4-1 lead, though, he's almost as hated by the Cubs fan base as Murphy (well, probably NOT Murphy).

    Probably could have gotten to Rizzo's ball in game 3, but agreed on all other points. He consistently had their best ABs, and came up big in clutch situations.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Daniel Murphy is one of my favorite players.

    *hides under chair*

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Oddly, I really like the Nationals team. They go about their business professionally and are really good. The problem for them is the goat has moved from Chicago to D.C.

    Maybe this series pushes Bryce Harper to sign with the Cubs for a discount after next season.

  • In reply to Senator Blutarski:

    They have built a solid team in DC. In a lot of ways their rebuild was like ours, but started a few seasons earlier. Look at all the guys on their roster that they have drafted and developed, or have traded for from the wealth of talent that they built in their minor league system.

    Have been living in the DC area since 2004. Have been watching them build up this team since they got here in 2005. They generally did the rebuild the right way.

    I wish them luck next year - just not against my Cubs!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I'm really not trying to start any arguments, but I think the National's story is similar to the Cubs' EXCEPT they didn't hire a Joe Maddon. They relied on Davey Johnson, Matt Williams and then Dusty Baker to guide very talented teams that all fell short. After watching Dusty fail in both Chicago and Cincinnati with young, super talented rosters, I was surprised that yet another team "on the cusp" chose Baker as the guy to get them over the top. Include the Giants in the long history of Dusty, and this year's Nationals are the first Baker-managed team to EVER make the playoffs in consecutive years (not counting the 2013 2nd WC Reds, who lost the playoff game). That's the difference a manager & coaching staff can make.

  • Lost in the shuffle of that crazy 5th inning last night was Russell's huge double that scored Zobrist and Contreras, which gave the cubs the lead again. In two consecutive post seasons, Russell has established himself as a guy who can get big time, clutch hits on the biggest stages. I know he had a rough regular season with some personal and injury issues. I certainly hope all that is behind him now. Still so young.

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    What I found REALLY interesting about the coverage of this series is all the talk about "The Nationals' failures in the post-season" and even mentioning of "The C-word" ("Curse") NOT being applied to the Cubs. That was the biggest achievement of the 2016 team. Think about all that you've heard about the Nationals failures in the post-season, the Indians' drought continues, the Dodgers trying to shake almost 30 years of history, the Astros never having won a WS. Even the Yankees are in a "slump" of sorts with only 1 title in the last 17 years (2000). The Cubs--OUR CUBS--are the ONLY team that doesn't have to think about how long it has been since they won a WS.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Agreed... I think you could see last night which team was laboring under the weight of expectation / history.

    Hopefully that can be the Cubs’ upper hand hereonin.

    Repeating the WS would be wonderful but at least 2016 has lifted the burden of history from these players for future seasons.

    That can be the only explanation for Scherzer last night returning to being human and Wieters having brain cramps.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    I think the fact that Scherzer was out there after throwing 100 pitches on Tuesday is a far more likely explanation, but okay.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Yeah, I guess there's that too.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    These Cubs are playing with House Money!. Very seldom do you see back to back champs. I like that a lot. No pressure at all. We aren't expected to repeat so lets just go out and have fun, pull for each other and see what happens.

    But be careful, LA, Stros and Yanks, this team is very very talented.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    I was saying yesterday the pressure was all on the Nats and some folks disagreed. The bottom line is that they are close to the end of a window and we are not. Their manager's job was on the line and they could be on the verge of major changes and that doesn't apply to our club. On top of that the national baseball media was clearly hoping for them to advance.

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    In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    I still say that the best explanation for the Nationals 5th inning is:
    "Baseball is gonna baseball."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I was reading a fangraphs article (maybe the one about the Nats decision to start Strasburg in game 4?), and one commenter joked that he expected the Nats to blow a game 5 lead in the 9th by recording 2 outs and then yielding back-to-back catcher's interference followed by a dropped 3rd strike. He said something like "it would be the most Nats thing that could happen."
    And then, essentially that's what happened.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Brilliant! It even predicted the "catcher's interference" (or no-call batter's interference) on Baez strike 3. Impressive

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Great point... Didn't once hear about goats and curses (unless I missed it) - but I heard plenty about the Nationals problems winning the big games.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Remind me again, Joel, how long has it been since the Cubs last won the World Series?

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    341 DAYS, I believe, maybe 340 depending on the time that Game 7 ended.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    And I've said it all along, now that the Cubs made the playoffs, I'd take the defending WS Champions in any elimination game.
    Last night was a perfect example. Dare I say 'Natty Occurances'.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I've heard whispers of the phrase, "Cubs devil magic" within the last 24 hours.

  • Is there anyone else, when thinking back on last night's 5th inning, that is at least vaguely reminded of the 9th inning of G4 in last year's NLDS? I know the details are very different, but simply the improbability of it all.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I didn't make that connection but since you point it out I CAN see where you are coming from.

  • Does anyone else see the irony in all this?
    The Baez passed ball call, the slide rule, replay on over-slides?
    We want robo-umps, because we want to take human error out of the game.
    We want to make the game safer, but not in the spirit of the game.
    We want reviews, but we don’t want them to be perfect.

    Being safe or out is the crux of the biscuit.
    Being on the bag is fundamental to that. And no, the only reason runners are supposed to maintain contact with the base is not just to determine if they are making an attempt to advance to the next one.
    One day looong long ago, some neanderthal realized he could shave off some time by sliding instead of trying to stop on a dead run. And players have been holding the tag since before even that new wrinkle.
    These are world class athletes, (no one is supposed to be able to hit a 100mph fastball to begin with). The slide rule was put in place for a reason. Sliding is dangerous, one of the skills a player should able to do well.If a player cannot execute this fundamental skill (like by going feet first on a pick-off throw, who does that? Wait, no one, now we no why).
    The reason there was a review on the Jon Jay slide was because a rule was made to prevent injury. The slide rule. Players adjust to what they are given and inevitably push the limits.
    Modifying a fundamental rule to adjust for less skilled players will more then likely lead to unintended consequences. First and foremost, player injury.
    Here;s a solution, softer bases. If u have ever stepped on a MLB base, you’d be left thinking, ‘how do they not brake their ankles on this. It’s basically a hide covered spring, slick as ice with cleats on. And I don’t mean coiled bed springs, I mean curved metal cross members.

  • We need more filter....

  • "I wish I would've met you.
    Now it's a little late.
    What you could've taught me.
    I could've saved some face."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    YES! Hey man, nice shot!

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Thank you! That was a meatball...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Nice swan song for Maxwell Silver Hammer yesterday, BP. Now we gotta work on Kershaw.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    Thank you for the inspiration. When I first saw your post a week or so ago, I couldn't hit "reply" fast enough. I was thinking "Dude, that is brilliant!"

    Kershaw has been having problems going deep into games. Specifically, he has come unglued in the 7th inning. Even the Dodgers experts are saying he probably gets pulled at the end of 6, regardless. We may see him 3 times in this series, so between his 7th inning bugaboos and our 8th inning gremlins, this could make for some tense late-game situations.

    And, as always, Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Ha! nice.

    All our times have come
    Here, but now they're gone
    Seasons don't fear the reaper
    Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain

    Good that u ignored that Sinister....

  • I sure wish that Our Friend in Norway would update us on the official number of wins needed to win the WS. My calculator's battery has gone dead again....

    :)

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    I was just thinking the same thing. We need our magic number.
    So it might be midnight in Norway, but hopefully tomorrow we'll get the updated number.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Ok, you two... (I sound like my mother...) ;o]

    The official number of wins needed to win the World Series is...um......8.

    All the Cubs need to do is go 8-6 in their last 14 games, and they are World Series champions...again.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Just something to consider. 8-6 would be a .571 W/L%. The Cubs W/L% this season? .568

    Including post-season play (95-72) .568

    W/L% from 2016 play offs:
    3-1 (Divisional Series)
    4-2 (NLCS)
    4-3 (WS)
    11-6 for a W/L% of .647
    Their regular season W/L% .640.

    Just sayin'. Honestly, I think it is mostly meaningless but it is fun to think all the Cubs have to do is play the same W/L% during the remainder of the post-season as they did for the regular season and they win the WS. Albeit with having to win Game 7 on the road in the NLCS and WS.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Those are fun numbers!

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Thank you.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Vær så god! :o]

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Jeg liker a lese norsk igjen (I like to read Norwegian again). I did that without google translate too. Tusen takk.

  • Everybody and their mother on tv is picking the dodgers.I mean everyone not one person has picked the cubs.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Espn picked the Cubs over Dodgers. I predict Yanks over Houston. A Yanks Cubs WS would bring in alot of $ for mlb.

  • I just saw a stat (that I haven't confirmed) that Jose Altuve has more hits at this point/age of his career than Pete Rose. Amazing.

  • Man, I'm sure gonna miss hearing more about Scherzer's eyes.

  • If there is a hitting coach out there that can get inside of Javy Baez head and straighten him out , I wish the Cubbies would hire him !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    At this point Javy is what he is. An outstanding fielder on the infield, capable of enormous power. When he is "right" he will work counts and do well. When he begins to struggle his PAs are ugly. I guarantee you there are plenty of people trying to help him. And he is trying. And he is improving.

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    Just a thought I had: that rain out may have been fortuitous. If the Bullpen meltdown we got in Game 4 happens with Roark starting, Cubs may well lose anyway. And the Hendricks of Game 5 had no chance in a battle against the Strasburg of Game 4. Obviously impossible to know how it would have played out, but I think it's at least possible the rain out saved our season. Some may attribute it to God, I choose to attribute it to John. :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The attributions need not be mutually exclusive. Good to read your stuff again Mike.

  • Cj Edwards sets his twitter account to private. If you tweet a professional athlete and hurl insults, you are a loser

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    That's sad to hear

    I can't say if CEJ will ever be a future closer, but he is a 26 year old 48? round pick, wicked stuff and a great story. And their is a lot of story left for him to tell.

    I have to admit, I posted Joe would not hesitate to go to Carl. But he would have a short leash on him (5 pitches to know which Carl shows up). A four pitch walk and was pulled.
    But I have no doubt, Joe will not hesitate to use him this series. Hopefully, he can afford that short leash.....

  • He is gonna have to be used, there isnt too many other guys to go to.

  • This just in..../Jen-Ho Tseng and Dillon Maples added to NLCS roster. Tseng slated to piggyback game one with Lackey......

    Maddon has lost trust in the bullpen, for a reason:

    https://twitter.com/JimmyTraina/status/793991983442382848/video/1

  • Is the roster for nlcs out? The only change I would make is rondon for martin.

    With Kershaw throwing I would like to see an outfield of zobrist Happ and almora. Just my opinion.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Zobrist can't hit batting right handed. So Maddon probably starts him.

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