Javy Báez is an MVP -- Cubs 8, White Sox 3

The Cubs bullpen was much sharper tonight than the previous, and the offense came alive as well as the good guys beat their crosstown rivals Saturday night.

Javier Báez didn’t waste any time putting the Cubs on the board first, hitting a two-run home run (his 34th of the season) off of White Sox starter Lucas Giolito.

Cubs starter Jon Lester quickly set down Sox leadoff man Tim Anderson with a swinging strikeout. Yolmer Sánchez followed with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error from Báez, and would come around to score on a single from Avisail García. The inning ended with a gem of a stop by Báez at short, redeeming himself for the previous error, and the Cubs ahead 2-1.

Anderson smashed a leadoff home run to left to even the score at 2-2 in the third.

The Cubs added on in the fifth, with designated hitter Kyle Schwarber notching his first hit of the series, followed by another single from David Bote. Daniel Murphy advanced to second and brought Schwarber in to score on a misplay from Sox left fielder Ryan LaMarre, and Bote and Murphy came around to score on a single from Ben Zobrist. Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked and Zobrist stole third, but both were stranded on an inning-ending strikeout from Kris Bryant and the Cubs left the inning ahead 5-2.

Lester hit 100 pitches in the bottom of the fifth and the White Sox took advantage when he started struggling. Matt Davidson singled and scored Anderson to bring the score to 5-3. Lester was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.

Carl Edwards, Jr entered the game in relief of Lester in the sixth. Lester went five innings, with eight hits, three runs (two earned), four strikeouts, and one walk. Edwards walked Yoan Moncada but otherwise had a strong inning, striking out pinch-hitter Daniel Palka and Adam Engel for the final outs.

Giolito exited the game in the seventh after walking Báez and was relieved by Caleb Frare. Frare faced Rizzo and induced a flyout for the third out.

Jesse Chavez pitched for the Cubs in the seventh and gave up a leadoff walk to Anderson. Defensively, Albert Almora, Jr replaced Murphy, Zobrist moved from right to left field, Bryant moved from left field to third base, Jason Heyward moved from center to right field, and Bote moved from third to second base. The Anderson walk was of no consequence, as Chavez worked a popout from Sánchez and strikeouts from García and Davidson.

Ian Hamilton pitched for the Sox in the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 inning, with a strikeout from Bryant and groundouts from Heyward and Contreras.

Justin Wilson replaced Chavez for the final out of the home half of the inning and got Moncada out an a strikeout.

Schwarber hit into a ground rule double (due to fan interference) to lead off the ninth inning against new Sox pitcher Rob Scahill. Terrence Gore pinch ran for Schwarber and easily stole third on a passed ball with Bote batting. Gore used his lightning-fast speed to score on an RBI fielder’s choice from Almora. Zobrist walked, and Almora then scored on a single from Báez, his 110th RBI of the season.

Hamilton was replaced by Jeanmar Gómez with the Cubs ahead 7-3. Zobrist scored on an errant throw from Anderson, with Báez sliding into second on the play. He did not deviate from his original path (and also did not make contact with Anderson), but Anderson was tossed by umpire Joe West after chirping at him after the Sox challenged Báez’s slide. White Sox manager Rick Renteria was also ejected from the game. The inning ended with the Cubs up 8-3.

Steve Cishek closed out the game for the Cubs and made quick work of the White Sox. Palka grounded out to second, pinch-hitter Leury García flied out to left, and Jose Rondón, in for Anderson, flew out to center to end the game.



Source: FanGraphs

Filed under: Game Recap


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  • fb_avatar

    Great team win. Like I said in another thread, Javy is the new Dex. 'You go, we go".

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    D, that’s the fastest recap I can remember. Who would have thought that we would want to see Wilson instead of CJ? Lester wins his 17th but was off, but Javy clinched the MVP in my opinion, especially if the Cubs win in the Central. Anyone want to trade him now?
    I said earlier that this was one of the most important games of the year and they came through big time.
    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Will all of you who wanted Javy out of town step forward and admit they were wrong.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Ah, the power of hindsight. I was definitely one who would have traded Javy. Mind you, not for a bag of peanuts, for a TOR pitcher. I still think Javy is as likely to hit under .200 in the playoffs when pitchers stop throwing him fastballs, because I still believe he struggles with any other pitch other than that. BUT.............he definitely is worthy of MVP consideration. I can and will admit that.

    So I was wrong about Baez but painfully right about Schwarber and Happ. : (

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Well Baez was drafted in 2011 and he has bloomed in 2018, 7 years later. Schwarber was drafted in 2014 and Happ in 2015. Seven years will be 2021 and 2022 for them. Give them time. You may be wrong for all three.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    They're silent now & have jumped on the 'javy for mvp' bandwagon.Funny what letting a player develop and work thru his struggles can do.Meanwhile addison russell looks like the bust, the same russell who was crowned by cub fans years ago.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I try to write them as the game happens so I can publish quickly!

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    Also, great lineup by Maddon tonight. He had his best hitter(Zo) batting 2nd, best rbi guy(Baez) batting 3rd. If only KB would step it up a notch they'd start clicking more often. I also thought Bote did a way better job defending 2b than Murphy. Thank god Murphy will be a FA this offseason. I'm pulling for a Whit Merrifield trade with the Royals. Dude has good contact skills, good slash line, & plays way better defense @ 2b than most everyone on the team.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Merrifield is a great suggestion, he also has speed he led/leads the al in steals 2 years in a row. He's versatile too, can play all over the place.I agree I hope the cubs can acquire him. He's defintely the type of player theo & joe would want.

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    In reply to bolla:

    I just hope we have the prospects to pull it off. I don't want to lose Alzolay or any pitcher in a trade. I could deal with any milb position players. We already have a nice young core in the bigs.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Dont take this the wrong way, but we don't have the prospects to get it done. He has too much control left so KC envisions him part of the future. So its going to take an over pay to get him. We can't even give fair value.

    Happ and the Schwarbenator together is a lot and prob not enough. So I suspect we should eye another player to trade for to lead off for us.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Whit Merrifield is a good player, and would look great (and be used in the most useful way) on the Cubs! However, I don't know if it's worth it to try to trade for him. Although he still has 4 more years of control, he will already turn 30 before next season starts. Obviously the Royals will want something worthwhile for a player of his pedigree, so what do the Cubs offer that can make a trade like this happen to a rebuilding team? Not saying it's out of the realm of possibilities, but he's a player who's likely passing his physical prime in the next year or two, so his legs won't be as fast as they are now, which means the stolen bases and his range diminish. Also, another concern, he's only been an above average OBP guy for just this season, so how sure are we that his on-base ability will continue? Just some thoughts about him. It's too bad we couldn't get him as a throw in along with Davis from the Soler deal. Now wouldn't that have been incredible?

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    No one cared about his D wen he single-handedly eliminated the Cubs from the NLCS. He was brought here to hit. And the dude can flat out hit.

    As for 2019, I prefer Machado, and if not a LHB. Whitfield is a mediocre defender and the bat is good at a 121 wRC+. He would probably cost too much in a deal. I like Scooter a little better.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    I forgot about Gennett. But Machado is going to be an outrageous amount of money. Although I'd take Manny over Harper in a heartbeat. No questions asked.

  • Congratulations to the Cubs on their 4th straight 90+ win season!

    Unseen anywhere in our lifetimes....

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Yes it is. And to quote BP, 'May we have another'.

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    Besides Baez's good chance of winning MVP, I'm rooting for Zo to get batting title. He has been the best signing by Theo imo.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    There’s a guy named Lester you may want to look up.

  • What a win, what a night. Cubs win, Brewers lose. We all so badly needed this after the depressing sh*tshow of yesterday.

    What can you say about Baez except MVP? The best player on the best team, and doing things no one has done in the long history of the game. A middle infielder and captain of the defense. I could go on but I won't now. He is the MVP, and I would say the same thing if he played for another team.

    Looking forward to Norway's update, even if I and DropThePuck are having a disagreement over whether he uses an abacus or sliderule. And this little quirk is taking on greater importance by the day:

    Thank you. May I have another?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not Johna, but you sure as ell can have another...

    I agree, Javy is the MVP. Can’t wait for 6 to be posted by Norway. It ain’t official until he posts it... :o)

    The win was sweet especially because we were in Brewer land, hearing it from them & Sox fans before the game, Ha Ha!

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Hell, you be in Brewer land we are south of Ogden Av, with 1/3 of the family sporting black caps with that Gotham font, but as soon as the score went to 6-3 they went onto other agitations. Admittedly one in law said, i just is hard to swallow this ongoing celebration of Cubdom and will be sweet when it comes to an end. Resentful feeling never actually are satisfied.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes You May!!

  • The National League will wind up with 10 of the 15 teams over .500.....yet the AL will only have 7....

    Go figure

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Another crazy stat...
    Cleveland has only played 53 games against teams with a winning record...
    The Cubs have played 93

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Not only will the AL have few teams over .500but the bottom teams are just horrible, really AAAA teams. The NL is the better league top to bottom for sure.

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    One more title we should get--Manager of the Year. Joe has done more this year with fewer top players, and not just top players but those we signed to fill holes in our pitching staff, both starters and relievers. Also, KB hasn't had a great year and Rizzo had streaks of awful batting but has done well until Sept--he has hit only .262 with 2 HR and 7 RBI. We should win about 93 or 94 games with everything we had to deal with and Joe did it.
    A gold star for Theo for Terrance Gore too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    This is a whole different discussion and one I don't have the energy to debate right now. I totally agree that Joe has done a magnificent job this year. I've said multiple times I think this has been his finest work. He has guided us through a gauntlet of pitfalls, and here we are on top.

    I'm not a Maddon-basher. But I am sensing some cracks. We'll see what happens this offseason, as I can't see them letting Joe go into next year as a lame duck. But Theo has made some underreported but poignant comments lately. He specifically noted that there was an organizational plan in place for keeping Morrow healthy. There was an understanding that he would not, ever, be used three days in a row. Joe broke that protocol by using Morrow that third day, I think in extra innings in panic mode, and Morrow hasn't pitched since. Theo specifically mentioned that date and deviation from the agreed-upon plan. Then there is the Strop situation. I was listening on the radio that night. I literally had my jaw dropped as Strop came to the plate, with one out and the bases loaded, having already pitched an inning and two thirds. What?

    There are a lot of crap writers that write crap articles for money. But I've read some from people I trust. There seems to be a growing disconnect with the way Maddon is handling the roster the FO has so meticulously worked to provide him, and deviating from organizational plans.

    A lot if this could be noise, but Theo chooses his words carefully. When he called out the decision to use Morrow for the third consecutive day, and mentioned the specific date and how it went against the plan, my ears perked up.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    for someone who doesn’t have the energy to discuss this you do alright.
    This is an interesting discussion and you’re right, another time is best.
    I will say that they’re a number of managers who have won MOY and been fired, as they’re have been TV shows that win an Emmy that have been cancelled.
    To be continued....

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    AJ Hinch getting that extension I believe bought madden an extension. Like you said, they couldn't have him go in as a lame duck manager next yr so outside some serious collapse over the next week or so, he will get an extension.

    If he gets a 1 yr extension w an option or something like that, then you know his leash is real short. I am sure Ricketts wouldn't mind eating 1 yr of Maddon's salary, but 2 or more, would be painful.

    I can't think of another manager besides AJ Hinch whose philosophy is more in line w the FO. Tito perhaps, but he's not going anywhere. Maybe some candidates will pop up once the season is up.

    I just hope they can have a meeting during the off season and come to an agreement that makes everyone happy. I am just worried, Joe's ego will not allow it. Even when he's wrong, he's right. Probably what makes him such a great leader of men, but Theo and Co don't play that.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree that we'll have better times to discuss Maddon's status but let me just throw a few things out there. I still think this team is going to win 95 games which I have since minute one of this season but I didn't know the pitcher who signed to be your 1 would miss the vast majority of the season, the best player on the team going into the season would miss a total of 2.5 months on 2 DL stints, Anthony Rizzo would have a down (but not out) year and your closer would get hurt in July and would not return. I've said many times that Maddon has been my favorite manager in the game for a decade and I'm not sure I've seen a better performance than this one. The guy makes odd decisions that others wouldn't even think of and it works most of the time. Even the Strop decision, which I vehemently disagreed with and still wouldn't have done it myself, is understandable from the point of view that the season could have easily gone south with a loss that day. Again, I wouldn't have done it, but the justification was there if you can get past your bias. Brian Snitker is going to win the Manager of the Year because he fits the mold of what most voters vote for, a team that wins despite expectations, but Maddon is equally deserving. The job he's done to meet expectations in the face of adversity has been something to see. How easily could this team have been the Washington Nationals?

    All that said the points that BP brings up are valid. I think there has been a certain standoffish relationship with the FO and some of Theo's comments have certainly been designed to deliver a message. I don't know that means that an irreparable rift is a fait accompli. This is a manager with four 90 game seasons in a row that really kept his team relevant this year when it would have been really easy for the team to have fallen off. Also the grass is always greener and all that except when it isn't. The Yankees replaced one of the best managers in the game in Joe Girardi with Aaron Boone and yet their season will be a failure if they don't get to the World Series. They were one game away last year and nobody is ever going to convince me, despite the "complaints" that came out about Girardi after the fact, that the decision wasn't based on money. there were $5 mil reasons to make that move. Washington replaced a playoff manager with a rookie manager in Davey Martinez who failed to make the playoffs. I think firing Baker was the right move, but clearly the wrong decision was made in replacing him. Even Boston who has had a magical season under rookie manager Alex Cora will be considered a failure if they don't win the World Series. Replacing a successful manager is a tricky thing.

    Look, sometimes teams need a different voice and I get that, what I don't get is why people this team needs one. I think Chili Davis might have been an overcorrection from John Mallee and might need to be fixed and I hope that they give a long, critical look at Kevin Hickey, but the bottom line is that we have never seen this kind of sustained success in our lifetimes and there's a WS championship in their back pocket. Any changes have to be made very, very carefully and I know that the Cubs FO knows that.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I will not debate the JM stuff, I think the comments are fair.

    What I do take exception to, if true, is the laser like scrutiny of JM when this FO has plenty of dirty laundry. The risk of injury to Morrow was a part of his tool kit upon signing, this was always possible. Chatwood was arguably the worst starter in MLB. Darvish for twice the years and way more money than Arrieta, who was a great fit for the team. Trading an elite prospect for Q who was a #2 but is now a #4. Eloy Jimenez could have give us the ammo to go for deGrom and have a legit chance to get him.

    I want to be clear, there is plenty on the positive side of the ledger, but that is really my point. If they just focus on a couple bad things with Joe OK, but he has a lot on the positive side of the ledger. You let that guy go and the only acceptable parting speech would be how the FO made their share of mistakes as well. If they are going to be honest both are true.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think next year is Maddon’s last.....and why not? He was hired to a 5 year contract with the hopes of winning during that time and he has so far. If he has another successful year next year and winds up with over 470 wins what else is there to do? He achieved the best case scenario that anyone could hope for and I see him pulling a David Ross. The next Cub manager will be a frat boy with a computer attached to his hip. All managers if they stay too long get fired, Maddon knows he is a dinosaur but he accepts that and even likes it. Why not go out on top, do some TV and wait for the HOF to call? This run he has been on and winning it all as a Cub in ‘16 and maybe getting into another World Series will get him that.......Maddon has always seemed to be one of those guys who can see the bigger picture....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    HOF call? No way. Maybe if the Cubs win the next 2 world series. If not no way. I have said this before, he may get into the basketball HOF. They let everyone in that one but, not the baseball HOF.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    How the heck does a guy (BP) that went MIA for almost two weeks and then came down from a mountaintop with no cellphone and internet connection know all this stuff?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    AM radio.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I love the range of Amplitude Modulation!!!

  • I know I am always on Javy's case about giving away some at bats. So here we go... I have to give him mad props today for putting together 5 great at bats! This is the Javy I want to see, and that we need to see, if we're going to go deep into October.

    First bat: 1 pitch, HR
    2nd AB: 2 pitches, both strikes, one swing, ground out to 1st base.
    3rd AB: 8 pitch at bat, never offered at a pitch off the zone, worked a full count, flew out to RF.
    4th AB: 6 pitches, swung at the first pitch out of the zone, fouled off a curveball in the zone, but took all the fastballs out of the zone and worked a walk. Note: there was an eye-high fastball that we all know he loves to offer at, he didn't flinch.
    5th AB: 3 pitches, all in the zone, fouled off the first 2, then got a single to LF.

    It's the 5th AB that shows that Javy (and the Cubs) will truly benefit from his use of discretion when swinging at balls and strikes. He saw 17 pitches before that AB, yet he only swung at 1 pitch that wasn't in the zone. So is it really a wonder that with runners on 1st and 2nd, one out, and Rizzo on deck, that Javy saw 3 pitches in the zone and was able to knock an easy base hit to drive in another run. Had he given a couple at bats away, there's no way he'd get challenged like they did in the 9th inning.

    What does it all add up to? A 2-for-4 day with a 2run-HR, an RBI single, a walk, and more importantly, a Cubs W!

    Keep doing that Javy, and the Cubs postseason fate, and an MVP award is squarely in the palm of your hands.

    So in celebration of a Cubs win, and the fact that BarelyPop is alive and well, and posting on the Cubs Den, "Thank you Javy, may I have another?"

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Yes, sir, you may!

  • As fate would have it our family happens to be in the Chicago metro this for a long weekend celebrating the life of our family's matriarch, so catching a complete game is, well socially challenging even though the patriarch is a die hard fan as I am. On as much a bigger picture Cubs won their 90th, and now have a range of 98 tops and a elimination number of 6 (Norway you can bestow the magic significance), where I hold that they will settle between 94-96 wins when it is done.

    For us fans tomorrow is a close out with the White Sox nation by winning the season and this away series as this has been the course of the Cubs post ASB mantra, winning series.

    The other is the make up of the team now that Russell is essentially out. Something happened with Russell since 2016 when he was a budding superstar but I think he will be left behind now. Gore seems to be his playoff replacement for late game specialization of inserting game changing speed. Add it up.

    14 position players:
    Contreras, Caratini, Rizzo, Murphy, Baez, Bryant, Zobrist, Heyward, Almora, Schwarber, Happ, Bote, La Stella (makes 13) add Gore = 14. Essentially Bote replaces Russell on the IF defense.

    Cubs win 4/8 forces Milwaukee to win 6/7 to tie, win 5/8 (one tomorrow, 2 with Pitt, and 2 with StL) and Milwaukee needs to run the table to simply tie. Ironically they play 3 with StL so sitting in Pittsburgh the odds are they lose at least one along one of the the river towns, probably two before they meet the hapless Tigers. My guess as the oddsmakers look at is the Cubs win 95 games, before it is recorded in the history books.

    Anyway...tomorrow our celebration visiting continues and I have to find a way to catch the game socially reprehensible as it appears.

  • Didn't see the game tonight, but so happy to hear that the cubs win after 2 terrible losses and the whole Russell situation over a 3 day span. Thinking of Baez, I recently heard a radio interview on the Score with former cub pitcher Steve Trachsel. He was talking about how the game of baseball was really hard form him when he was playing, how much he had to concentrate at all times; and he alluded to watching Baez now and how it seems he can just go out there and have fun with it all and play loose without compromising his performance; and that there was no way he (Trachsel) could have done that. It does seem that way with Baez - it was interesting hearing Trachsel's perspective.

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    In reply to Bill Buckner #22:

    JD has said on broadcasts that playing baseball is really hard. It sounds like Trachsel went deeper than JD, probably because he had more time to describe it, but I don't think we appreciate how much time and effort goes into it. Think about all the time before the game, the weight room or stretching or watching film for any little edge or the off season training or on the field and thinking before every pitch who's batting, who's on base, how fast are they what are their tendencies, what if the ball is hit to me or to him or in the outfield, etc. There are some Denizens who have played, at any level, but for me, who never did, it sounds like an extraordinary amount of will and concentration and work.
    Thanks for bringing that up; and if they win, how long to relish that before thinking about tomorrow and the whole process starts over.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Maddon was talking up Javy-for-MVP with the media just a couple days ago. He was explaining the value he has in playing all the most difficult infield positions, something no other MVP candidate can claim, and how difficult it is to quantify that value and to evaluate the impact of natural baseball ability and intellect. He said one of the favorite lines I've heard: "He (Javy) got a 1600 on his baseball SAT's."

  • In reply to Bill Buckner #22:

    I remember that Steve Trachsel was one of the slowest working pitchers in Cub history, taking FOREVER between pitches. Lots of concentration going on there. I wonder how he would manage with today's rules limiting time between pitches.

  • As so commanded by the Denizens....

    Cubs win, MIL loses, so the Magic Number for clinching the division gets a double dip (patent pending, ha-ha) and is now 6.

    Both StL and COL won, so the less important but still significant Magic Number for clinching the playoffs is now 3.

  • I have to go with a conterian point of view which I never do but this is also a scenario that could exist by next Thursday night.....

    Cubs 90-69
    St Lou 90-69
    Mil 89-70

    Although this is almost impossible, it could happen. Just goes to show how important this game today on Sunday is. If they win today.....the above cannot happen.

    The Cubs have to rely on one thing only: The Cubs
    They can’t be worried or depend on what the others are doing, they need to TCB on their own.

    The Milwaukee/St Louis series will be the death knell for one of them for the division but realistically 2 of the 5 teams left fighting for a spot will be on the outside looking in come Thursday night.....

  • The core is pretty well set through 2020; in 2021 only Hendricks (FA) and Lester ($25M option) likely fall off. With a window through 2020-21, it makes zero sense to experiment with a new manager. My guess is that everyone agrees to a short extension that aligns with the window with the current core. No lame duck, no long term deal. Unless a new CBA raises the ceiling it will be nearly impossible to resign Bryzzo, Javy, Schwarber, and a bunch of arms for 2022 even if several arms in the system blossom into controllable starters. Four more shots at a ring (2018-21) gets Joe into the hall and a ride into the sunset, and some other poor bastard deals with the media, "fan"base, and transition/rebuild in 2022.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    I am really interested to see how Theo and team transition the post 2021. Can they keep winning, like the Dodgers and Cardinals, or when that window closes do they stink, like the Giants. But before that happens, at least one more World Series win would be nice!

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Do we expect Theo to be around after 2021? that would be his self-imposed expiration date. No more than ten years in one job.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I’d bet he stays. His kids are in school in Chicago, walking distance from Wrigley. It seems like he is given incredible autonomy in his job, with Ricketts not telling him what to do. And hopefully he likes the challenge of maintaining a winner. Theo talks about the Bill Walsh model, but I’ve read Walsh regretted his decision to leave the 49ers. And he even came back.

  • Discouraging news.The offense has been pretty bad since the asb

    'Entering Saturday, the Cubs were averaging just four runs a game since the break, 25th in baseball during that span. They were 17th in walk rate (7.9 percent), 20th in batting average (.248), 17th in on-base percentage (.315), 27th in slugging percentage (.391) and 24th in wRC+ (89). They’re also tops in ground ball rate (48.8 percent) and 29th in hard-hit rate (30.8 percent)'

  • In reply to bolla:

    And with those numbers, the Cubs are 35-26, a .574 winning percentage since the ASB. I guess the pitching has been pretty good?

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Yes that's exactly what it is, but as we saw in the last 3 starts were struggles from hamels,quintana and lester vs AAAA line ups. and the cubs scored 1 run in two of those losses. Yesterday it took a error and zobrist and baez who have been 2 of the most consistent hitters this season to come through for the cubs to score some runs.Can't put that much pressure on the pitching to perform every time,need some consistency from the offense.

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    As much as I admire the tenacity of these Cubs I don't get the same feeling as I did in 2016. That was the invincible Cubs, the team that could come from behind 3-1 in a series, that every time someone came up I expected greatness, or every time someone came to bat I expected a hit. It was like the first love, walking around in a oblivious fog when all is right with the world.
    This team doesn't feel like that, but it's proven time and time again that it is never beaten, can come back, if not in this game, then the next. No 2 teams are ever the same. We're just winning differently this year, and we are winning. It's just a little more challenged this year.

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