NLDS Game 5 Preview: Cubs @ Nationals

It's survive and advance time.

After splitting at Wrigley, the two teams are locked at two games apiece, and it comes down to which one wins in Washington tonight. The series going five games should not be terribly surprising; these teams are evenly matched.

Tonight the Cubs will see Gio Gonzalez again, who was formidable in game two, even though the Cubs touched him up for two home runs and three runs altogether. Having a second look in a series has almost always been a good thing for the Cubs offense, but Gonzalez will still be a challenge. Before game two, I cited the Cubs' history against Gonzalez, but it should be noted that it is not an extensive one for any of them. Jason Heyward has 39 plate appearances against him, but he has hit just .216 with only one extra-base hit.

Whatever lineup Joe Maddon chooses, the offense has been mostly anemic all series, but we have seen them do this many times in the past only to burst with a torrent of runs. The obvious hope is that that's what happens tonight.

The pressure is much more on the Nationals, who have yet to progress beyond the division series in their history, so winning tonight would exorcise a lot of organizational demons.

They also have to try and do this against Kyle Hendricks who, with his now-typical quiet brilliance, has made himself virtually unhittable in the postseason. He has a 1.98 ERA in the playoffs, and he is no stranger to pitching a decisive game in a postseason series. He is fully rested as well, not having pitched since game one last Friday.

Here's how the Cubs bullpen has been used in this series:

cubs

And here's the Nationals:

nationals

Final thoughts and shameless plugs:

It's pretty simple. The postseason is an awful hill to climb, and even the best teams in baseball struggle mightily to advance through the early rounds (just ask the Cleveland Indians this year), and moving on guarantees only greater challenges. The Cubs have a wealth of postseason experience to draw from in the past two years, and undoubtedly that works somewhat to their advantage. I am loathe to make predictions, but I feel at ease about tonight. Cubs win and advance.

Shameless plug time: I had the great privilege of covering NLDS games three and four at Wrigley, and should the Cubs advance, I'll be credentialed for the NLCS and World Series in Chicago. In the meantime, here's my story on game three with a few great quotes from Ben Zobrist and Albert Almora, Jr., and here's my story from last night that is mostly Nationals-centric, but Joe Maddon has a few words in there. I also, just before the postseason started, talked to Mike Freeman about his wild experience playing for eight teams in two years.

Comments

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  • I believe we'll witness an explosion of offense tonight. If KH is on his game again tonight and we can play error free defense - we should all get a happy ending tonight. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!)

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Skidoorunner:

    I like happy endings.

  • Thought this was interesting read, I have thought same thing.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/joe-maddon-has-lost-faith-in-his-bullpen-again/

  • Mantra for tonight: Take the game out of Maddon's hand aka Score Runs Early & Often!

  • I never put much thought into lyrics, they are usually spur of the moment. This may seem a little cheesy, but it is what keeps sticking in my head. I remember coming out of the movie theater as an 11-year-old boy, and everyone was singing this song and ready to fight. This is how I feel tonight:

    "Rising up, straight to the top.
    Had the guts, got the glory.
    Went the distance now I'm not gonna stop.
    Just a man and his will to survive".

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Barley, was that the original "Rocky"? If so, you're showing your age on here haha! That was released in '76 I'm thinking. Maybe it was
    Rocky II in '79? Anyway, appropriate lyrics before Game 5. Let's do this....score early and KH goes 7, and we're looking good!

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Rocky III, I think, released in 1982. Don't make fun of me, old man, you've mentioned before we are the same age. :)

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Haha...I knew you'd remember that! Feb '71 here. Here we go Barley...."along with former Cub and all star, Ron Coomer, it's Pat Hughes reporting"! Let's get this W!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Sorry, but only one song for tonight:

    They got the power, they got the speed
    To be the best in the National League
    Well this is [again] the year and Cubs are real
    [Despite yesterday at] Wrigley Field

    We’re singing now

    Go, Cubs, go
    Go, Cubs, go
    Hey, Chicago, what do you say
    The Cubs are gonna win today.

    Go, Cubs, go
    Go, Cubs, go
    Hey, Chicago, what do you say
    The Cubs are gonna win today.

  • In reply to TTP:

    That works for me!

  • In reply to TTP:

    Watching the championship rally outside of the cbs studio last year, I changed "be the best in the national league" to "be the best in the major leagues".

    Here's to hoping that dream continues!

  • I like the defensive lineup today. Jay in LF, Almora in CF, and Heyward in right. Run prevention! I really like the Cubs chances. I hope they score early, get a lead, and don't need to burn Quintana for Saturday.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Indeed! Agree on all counts!

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Yes sir!

  • 1. Jon Jay (L) LF
    2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
    3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
    4. Willson Contreras (R) C
    5. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
    6. Addison Russell (R) SS
    7. Jason Heyward (L) RF
    8. Javier Baez (R) 2B
    9. Kyle Hendricks (R) P

    1. Trea Turner (R) SS
    2. Jayson Werth (R) LF
    3. Bryce Harper (L) RF
    4. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
    5. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
    6. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
    7. Matt Wieters (S) C
    8. Michael A. Taylor (R) CF
    9. Gio Gonzalez (R) P

  • I expect an epic game tonight. Hard fought and the aforementioned brains spilling all over the field. Basically the way it should be between two evenly matched teams in an elimination game. This should be intense, strategic baseball.

    Unless the Cubs score multiple runs early. Then it will be less stressful than, well, stressful.

  • Joe doesn't have any hitters that you justifiably can say should move up in the order. Dusty has one and he leaves him at #8. Hope he only gets 3 Ab's tonight instead of 4.

  • I think Dusty played this one perfectly. Starting Gio gets all the RH Cubs in the lineup. He will probably be pretty good the first time through. Then he can flip to Scherzer and have great match ups or force Joe to burn his bench.

    I don't think the Cubs are going to do something similar as they have far less platoons situations. This game is all Kyle's. And I like our pitcher a lot better than theirs.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Interesting theory. Gonzalez faces maybe 12 batters, then bring in Scherzer against the predominantly RH batters. Joe has 5 good LH hitters on the bench, so expect to see a few swapped in if this is how it plays out.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I'd be surprised to see Gonzalez around in the 4th or 5th inning. I think if the game is fairly tight, Scherzer is a lock to come in in the middle innings.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I think Joe countered that by starting JHey and Jay even though they are Lefties. Only move you might see is Zo for AA in crucial AB against Sherzer.

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    I like this lineup. It's the best defensive lineup we have, Albert A is going to do something tonight offensively and we have Kyle on the mound. Bring on the Nats!

  • I don't buy the pressure is more on Washington. I think the pressure is on each team equally. It's a loser go home. So, I don't buy the pressure is on one team more then the other.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Agree - Don't know why most insist the pressure is all on the Nationals.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    True -- you think the Cubs are sitting around saying this is just a game -- no biggie because we won last year? Not a chance. They are getting the pre-game butterfiles knowing this is the end of the road if they lose. This game means equally to each team and each team feels the same amount of pressure to win.

    It's in situations like this where I feel Joe is the best in the business. Dusty is more of a tight wad with the "us against the world" stuff he preaches. Joe and his "don't let the pressure exceed the pleasure" mantra will suit our guys better.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    It's on the Nationals because they never get past this point. Baker personally doesn't in his various stops and the Nats themselves have been stopped here. Add to the fact that virtually every member of the national baseball media is calling for a decisive Washington win and there's a high probability that Baker is fired if he loses this game and I'd say the pressure is on them. If we lose nobody is losing their job and the worst thing is that the bloom might be off the rose for the warm fuzzies garnered by last year's championship. I think that's a significant difference.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Sorry, I just don't buy your reasons. It's a loser go home. Pressure is the same for both teams in my opinion. For game 4 I would agree with your points. But, not game 5.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I’m not sure what the game sequence has to do with it. The Cubs as a franchise don’t need the long playoff run. A loss is not going to put less butts in the seats, they aren’t going to lose their best hitter to FA in a year (and no I don’t think losing Jake is analogous) and they aren’t going to waste the equivalent of what could be the one two punch of Scherzer/Strasburg’s best season. The Cubs lose nothing changes, the Nats lose and they have to do some serious soul searching as they’re near the end of a window.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think your view point reflects pressure on each FO or even the fans more so than on the players and they are the ones controlling the outcome. IMO the players on both teams are feeling a lot of (equal) pressure. They both greatly want to win and losing will hurt. I hope they aren't as nervous as me.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    Well said Cphil. Yes, I am talking about the players. The FO I think really doesn't have pressure because the game is out of their control now. Dusty will be feeling a lot of pressure. Because, it could be the last game he ever manages. He is 68 years old now.

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    First of all, good news Jared for getting credentials for the NLCS and the WS. They couldn't have chosen a better writer.
    As much as Joe was criticized in his use of Chapman last year I noticed that another Joe used Chapman in every game this post-season. He also pitched 6.2 innings. He realized that you use your best as often and as much as you can, although in his case it didn't work.
    As for our bullpen, I've been impressed all year with Duensing during the year I would like to see him in there.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Not sure why you say Joe Girardi's handling of Chapman didn't work. The Yankees won the series. Or maybe that was a typo?

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    It was completely a typo. Thanks for the help.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Word is, Joe sent Joe a Maine Teddy Bear for breaking Chapman's multi inning aversion....

  • The Cubs have seemed to "turn it on" when they needed it this year.

    I do hope they remembered to gas up the victory bus this morning.

  • In reply to discubobulated:

    And, to show my age again, had plenty of biscuits for breakfast.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    We all know who said that! Let's score some runs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    These are some of the trivia questions who will tell who is really a life-long Cubs fan.

  • We need to just be patient at the plate and make sure Gio makes pitches walks are just as good as a single. Everything else will go fine.

  • In reply to cubbie forever:

    I agree totally. The Cubs plate discipline could dictate this game. I expect an "instant classic" game won by our depth and Maddon out-managing Baker.

  • Sick of seeing that taylor grand slam.Can't wait til this game starts.I'm nervous which is weird because game 7(stakes WAY higher) I was confident/cautiously optimistic before the game.

  • What do you think, Stubbs? I know you are reading. You don't have to wait until we are losing to make a comment. Tell us you expect the Cubs to win!

  • Fangraphs is having a live game chat with the imitable Jeff Sullivan.
    Was on it Monday and had a ball, but it could use some more knowledgeable Cubs fans.

  • I've found that most podcasts and discussions amongst national experts pale in comparison to the dialogue on Cubs Den, but maybe I'm just a homer.

  • One thing I did last year that seemed to really help was NOT post during the games. So with that, I bid you all adieu' and hope to come back after the game with happy thoughts. Until then, Go Cubs. And whatever happens, I am thankful to be a Cubs Fan !!!!

  • Just a bit outside.

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    One of the biggest at bats of the series. We have t score this inning.

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    Bryant is a freaking choker and not a big game player.

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    Thank you Anthony!! He could have bunted down the first base line and that would have scored Jay and maybe even got to first himself.

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    Russell is going to bomb one tonight.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    The obssesion continues. Enjoy watching another Cub NLCS, cub fan. Lol

  • Heyward with his patented ground ball to the right side of the infield..ugh!

  • Gonzalez was nervous.I wish the cubs could of scored another run or 2.All he threw was curves & change ups he was petrified to throw the fastball anywhere in the zone

  • First blood.

  • Good choice Maddon on jhay

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    Hendricks leaving to many pitches up in the zone... He better start getting the ball down.

  • There you go baez.That was great

  • El Mago.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    He made that play look routine. It was not. What a transfer and throw. Getting back to a point I made a couple days ago, that is the same as a solo HR, it just doesn't look the same i. the box score.

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    We need Javy playing everyday. I know Zo has experience and does come through in pressure situations but he doesn’t make that play and that could be a difference maker.
    I just wish we could have scored a few more. RISP!!

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    There goes the first hanger of the night....Hendricks gotta start getting the ball down.

  • Hendricks doesn’t look like he has his pin point command early. I hope he can find it quickly

  • In reply to BigChi:

    Never mind. 4 runs without getting a single out. Thanks!

  • Washington definitely seeing the ball better tonight they've had more hard contact in the 1st 2 innings than all of game 1 combined.

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    Maddon isn't smart enough to have his batters bunt in that situation. Geesh...i didn't think it was possible but Dusty Baker is actually out-managing another manager,but then again we're talking about the incompetent Joe Maddon.

  • And boom goes the dynamite. And our season.

  • Dusty might as well bring Scherzer in now. Nail in coffin.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Are you talking about 2-days rest Max Scherzer?

  • Well, this season appears to be coming to an end. I struggle to see us getting 3 more to tie and that is without WAS scoring another run.

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    Season over. It was a great 3 year run for the cubbies but it's over. The cubs will now fall back to a 3rd-4th place team next year. Old starting pitching,no farm system,no legit pitching prospects on the horizon,the good position players left to trade=disaster for this franchise.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Go away. This is such a silly post. Get real.

    You forgot to mention somewhere in the neighborhood of $80MM to spend. This franchise is in good shape.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    All that money and nothing good to spend it except for other teams 30 plus year old rejects.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Don't really want to kick a guy when he's down, but....

  • I said last night.A lot of pressure on hendricks to pitch a gem.He doesn't have it tonight.Nationals are squaring him up good

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    WTF is Maddon waiting for? Is there anyone left on this blog that still believes Maddon is a good mgr?

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Yes

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Really ! Joe Maddon screwed up a game at Cincy, then another at Pittsburg leaving relievers in too long and making moves just to make moves doesn't cut it.

  • We Never Quit.

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    Why the hell did they add Lackey on the postseason roster anyway? Isn't this the perfect situation to have had him warming up and ready for something like this?

  • Wheres Q . Hendicks is toast.

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    Hey, I’m depressed too and Hendricks doesn’t look good but it’s only the 2nd inn. We had bases loaded in the first and one more hit we’d have scored a few more. Have a little faith in our team.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    What has their offense shown this series to support that faith?

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    Well, we’re right back in the game, or because we’re 1 down is the game still over?
    These Cubs come back all the time.

  • If the Cubs have any chance of coming back they need to bring in someone that can shut down the Nats from here on out. It’s just not Hendrick’s night.

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    Kris Bryant=King of the Meaningless hit.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    People want to know, where is the Scott Boras refund booth !

  • Base hit ties the game come on j hey

  • Again. Nice choice Maddon for playiing jhay. Left 5 on and counting.

  • In reply to mwillie:

    4

  • I've said all day this will be a battle to the last out. We will be bruised, bloodied, and victorious.

    Go Cubs!

  • Freakin Scherzer

  • We will win this game. We just need to keep contact until our big hit comes!

  • We are a 2 out hit away from winning this game. Someone step up. Let's go!!!!

  • Can’t comeback if we can’t keep em from piling on.

  • Need to make Max work. I would consider taking every pitch cause we’re not scoring off him. Only hope is to limit him to 2-3 innings.

  • It’s getting late, early.

  • Way to go Willson. Keep adding the pitches to Maxwell Silver Hammer.

  • Wow. Wow. Wow.

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    WOOOOO RUSSELL!!!!

  • Trolls: who’s your Addy?

  • ADDY!!!! Friggen 2 out hit. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Addy!!!! Zo has some wheels to score from first.
    We still need more runs

  • Come on Baez, now would be a great time for your first hit of the series!

  • A little late tonight, but both BP and 538.com have the Nets 52-48.

    ...but what do they know!]]

  • Gotta love when Baez strikes out.

  • Man, postseason baseball is gonna give me a heart attack.

  • 2 days rest is not enough.

    Keep Scherzer in as long as Dusty wants.

  • Keep the line moving!

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    Dusty's about to have a meltdown! GO CUBBIES!!!

  • First to 10?

  • Need a shutdown inning. Not a 4 pitch walk.

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    We don’t need to walk anyone! Use our defense.

  • This is surreal. Feels like any second they’ll be up again.

  • Sit. Down. Meat.

  • Sorry, can't help myself:

    "Bang, bang Maxwell's silver hammer fell down upon his head.
    Bang, bang Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that he was dead."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Well played, sir. Well played.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I have to give credit to NoDoubtAboutIt. He made the first mention of that nickname I had ever saw a couple days ago.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    “Yesterday, all his troubles were so far away.”

  • Wow the nationals are having a melt down

  • All with 2 outs.Absolutely amazing

  • That’s a double?!

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    I don't think Werth touched it. Just like last year when Russel got a "double" when it fell between the two outfielders in game 6.

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    Keep adding those runs. I’m feeling better, but until that last out is made nothing is a given.
    Go Cubs!!!!

  • Ye of little faith Addy is so clutch. Hendricks has 1 bad pitch in the last year but comes back with 2 shutdown inning just what we needed

  • Say something nice, and I'll forget that you earlier said,

    "And boom goes the dynamite. And our season.

  • I rolled on as the sky grew dark
    I put the pedal down to make some time
    There's something good waitin' down this road
    I'm pickin' up whatever's mine

  • With this bullpen 4 runs doesn't seem like enough because they walk too many batters.The cubs need 2 more runs before I can relax personally.

  • In reply to bolla:

    At least. Zim. Lefty. Fear.

  • The bullpen can never make it easy.

  • I feel like we’re gonna see Wilson soon

  • Here we go again. Murphy gonna burn us like all those times before?

  • Effing bullpen. THROW STRIKES!!!!! Quit walking guys.

  • Knew the pen would kill us this year. Not championship caliber. And no matter how many more we give up this inning, gonna face the heart of the order in the 8th again.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Yea, and sometimes it seems like the heart of the order never ends.

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    cubs bullpen about to choke it up again

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    If the cubs hold on and advance to the NLCS they really need to add Rondon to the bullpen.

  • Please bryant come through, he's on a bad streak right now this a perfect time for a big hit.We need the runs, bryant or rizzo gotta deliver.

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    It's nice to see people here actually blaming the pitchers, for once, instead of the manager.

  • It feels like forever since the Cubs hit a home run

  • I'll take it ,1 run is better than 0.I wonder does joe go with quintana to close it out even though the starters as relievers plan has been pretty shaky in this postseason to say the least.My blood pressure can't take edwards right now

  • In reply to bolla:

    Gotta have a quick hook on edwards

  • Please take Edwards out. As a major league pitcher he has forgotten how to throw strikes

  • What?!?! A CJ wall?! Surely you can’t be serious.

  • Wow edwards has turned into justin wilson ,and why would you bring him in right now?

  • Why is Edwards in there?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Of course!!!! Lead off walk from the "not ready for prime time" late inning thrower.

  • Gonna burn out Q, huh? So Lackey for game 1 if we somehow survive?

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Sounds better than Roark

  • I’m so disgusted with the effort from the bullpen. Can someone who is not a normal starter please step up.

  • No way we win this. Can’t find outs.

  • I love Contreras, but he has got to work on his pitch framing in the off season.

  • Home plate umpiring gonna drive me to an early grave!

  • I said earlier ...first to 10. HR here delivers that.

  • Bruised, bloodied, and victorious.

  • Davis?! For 7 outs? What the heck is going on out here?

  • Well we know what 2 things theo needs to get this offseason 2 starters and several new bullpen pitchers.This is ridiculous

  • In reply to bolla:

    One thing's for sure Davis is gonna cash in big time!

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    We might see Roark tonight. This feels like game 7 of the WS. Up and down and up again. We still have a 2 run lead. Be positive.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Good point. But I bet the Dodgers are loving this.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    ++++

  • Dodgers are loving this.

  • Jinx

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    So do we have only Lackey and Wilson left? I assume (maybe not) that Davis will start the 8th.

  • Need more runs. Justin Wilson in the 9th is a little frightening. On the plus side, Q should be ready for game 2.

  • We need runs, badly. Come on!

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    Aslo, the deeper we get into their bullpen the worse the pitchers are. I know it's relative, but we do more damage with the bottom of their pen than with their best. You could say the same with us too. Who can stop the other last?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    They still have dolittle

  • Here we go for another ride.I'm not sure about using davis for 7 outs and if justin wilson ends up having to close this game I'm gonna be scared out my mind.

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    An interesting fact I just read. In the ALDS Aaron Judge struck out 16 times. In the 1995 season, in 577 plate appearances, Tony Gwynn struck out 15 times. This is from Ryan M Spaeder @theaceofspaeder.
    Those were the days hitters hated to SO.

  • 8 walks tonight. Great way to end the season.

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    Stubbs, why put yourself through this? You could go to bed and read about what happened in the morning? Save yourself all the stress. You'll find out soon enough.

  • Put Lackey in. Start Tsenfg if you win.

  • When will we turn a double play. We have hit into several

  • In reply to Troop85:

    There ya go. :)

  • That could be the break we needed

  • Those that turned a blind eye to our catastrophic BP all year must finally see the truth, no?

  • And a star is born it just can't be easy the playoffs are not good for the weak of heart

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    washington about to do to the cubs what the cubs did to the giants last year.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Another wrong prediction. Lol

  • Jose bleeping Lobaton

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    Kaboom 3 run hr!!

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    its coming

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    wait for it,wait for it, here it comes

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Keep it up, buddy! I like the results.

  • OMG the cubs needed that it felt like an impending disaster was about to happen

  • 1-2-3 in the 9th...against Wilson? Perhaps Mike’s earlier silver lining was prophetic...

  • This is less of a game than it is a story.

  • Whos pitching in the 9th for the cubs? Cant be Davis can it?

  • Who is left in the pen?

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    The game of inches and camera angles. Willson is a monster back there.
    Now, could we have Lackey pitch the 9th? It's a clean inning and Davis is done. We really could use a few more runs because if Turner gets on he's stealing 2nd and maybe 3rd with Harper and Murphy coming up. Great call Joe to review that. Let's have our hitters take pitches, get walks, like they did.

  • I believe in Wilson! He can do it!

  • It's gotta be justin wilson for the 9th.This is possibly about get really,really scary.It would be poetic justice if wilson went out there and struck out the side or got a 1-2-3 inning for the save.

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    Harper going to hit 2 run walk of hr.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    no he's not....

  • Davis’s game to lose. Oh boy.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    1st to 10, you said it 1st.

  • Yes! Strike out the side, I agree; relish Harper going down with his hair flip going down swinging

  • Davis is on fumes I don't know about this

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    Davis threw 24 pitches in the last 3 days not including tonight. Already up to 41, soon to be 42. Let's end it with # 42, a SO.

  • Wade Davis for President

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    Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!!!

  • Fly the W

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    Someone wake up Stubbs--we won!

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    And Greg!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Stubbs, mwillie and a couple others are sleeping their disappointment away. They do have some complaints to raise though.

  • Craziest game I’ve ever seen. Wade Davis was all guts

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    Thank you Jorge Soler, KC wanted you enough to trade us Wade Davis.

  • Winning Ugly, Is still a win!

  • BAM,BABY!!! WE NEVER QUIT!!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Winning is the Cubs way

  • Wow. You don't go to the NLCS three years in a row every year.

  • Thank you Wade Davis. You are all guts. Hats off to you!

  • Wade Davis, God Of Hellfire!

  • Wow. No, really -- wow!

  • I'm in a glass case of emotions!
    https://youtu.be/NQKhf--Gxw0

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    Fly the W, Fly the Wade.

  • Discussion on the post-game show says that on the Baez dropped third strike, Javy should not have been allowed to go to first base because his bat hit the catcher on Baez's back swing. By rule, it's a dead ball, the base runners cannot advance and the call is a strike. That would have been the end of the inning. Instead, two more runs end up scoring before the third out is recorded.

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    In reply to JoePepitone:

    I saw that and it seems like they are right.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Sounds right to me, too.

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    How do the Cubs do it? We win 9-8 with Bryzzo going 1-10. Unbelievable but it happened. For so many years we asked how other teams did it and now all the other teams are asking it about the Cubs. That feels great.

  • Also, Schwarbs ends up scoring the winning run (run #9) after that rocket pinch hit of his.

  • (Phone ringing)

    Barley: "Hello, this is BarleyPop"

    Unknown caller: "Hey, Barley, this is Wade Davis."

    Barley: "Holy Cow, Wade Da..."

    Unknown caller: "Do you post comments on a site called Cubs Den?"

    Barley: "Yes, Wade, I do, and I would love to ask you abo..."

    Unknown caller: " Do you know a man named Stubbs?"

    Barley: " Yes, Mr Davis, and let me tell you I love what you di..."

    Unknown caller: "Tell him to suck it."

    Barley: " Yes, Mr. Davis."

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    The best comment tonight! You are the best.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think I finally realized yesterday, our Stubbs' and Simmons's are like the old ratty T-shirt u have to wear to guarantee a win.

  • I like when Greg posts his downer posts.
    Because he is always wrong, it gives hope to us all!

  • Emotionally exhausted.I felt the same way after game 7.I can't believe the cubs held on to win that game wow

  • Wow. Was that Wade Davis or Bruce Sutter? Old school 70s style save. Break out the Rolaids Relief Award!

    Winning homely... just so log as we're still winning!

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    I'm thinking about Zo. Maddon loves him and no wonder. He was in the WS with KC, they lost. The next year in the WS with KC, they win. Then last year with the Cubs, we win. This year at least in the NLCS, we'll see (but we'll win). Think how many games he has played in the last 4 years and he's an older player, but he makes things happen. You really have to watch the games to see how he does both the little things--actually, there are no little things. Getting a BB is not little, moving a runner is not little. He's a winner, and we have him.

  • Lester is hammered, I love it!

  • Please expand on this apparent insight for the uninformed.

    Also, isn't this October baseball thing GREAT?

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