Playoff Bound (10 innings) -- Cubs 7, Pirates 6

Wednesday's game versus the Pirates was a bit more emotionally taxing than it probably needed to be. The Cubs were able to walk off with a win, but not without a lot of unnecessary drama.

Cubs starter José Quintana got the first two outs quickly on strikeouts from Adam Frazier and Starling Marte, but José Osuna would not go down quietly for the third out. He launched a solo shot to left field and put the Pirates ahead early. Elías Díaz followed with a groundout and the first half of the inning ended with the Pirates up 1-0.

Anthony Rizzo responded for the Cubs against Pirates starter Iván Nova with a two out single to center. Jason Heyward found some magic in the cleanup spot, hitting a homerun to center to put the Cubs ahead 2-1.

David Bote led off the third inning with a line drive to right field and Daniel Murphy followed with another single. Javier Báez loaded the bases on an error by second baseman Frazier. Bote scored on a sacrifice fly from Rizzo and Murphy and Báez were able to advance as well. Ian Happ walked to load the bases again with two outs, and Nova walked Kyle Schwarber for another Cubs run. Victor Caratini grounded out to end the inning, but the Cubs were able to add on and go ahead 4-1.

Báez notched his 111th RBI on a single, scoring Murphy in the fourth with two outs. Murphy had previously stolen second on what may have actually been an out, but the Pirates did not have a challenge available. Rizzo singled and scored Báez, but was then tagged out at third for the final out. The inning ended with the Cubs winning 6-1.

Corey Dickerson led off the Pirates half of the fourth with a solo home run to center to bring the score to 6-2.

Tanner Anderson pitched for the Pirates in the fifth and faced Happ, who hit an infield single. Schwarber followed with another single. Tommy La Stella pinch hit in Quintana’s spot and was intentionally walked to load the bases for Bote, who unfortunately grounded into a 4-3 double play.

Jesse Chavez took over for Quintana in the sixth and worked a quick inning. Marte grounded into a double play and Frazier grounded out to third. Quintana went five innings with four hits, two runs (both earned), and four strikeouts.

Happ singled against new Pirates reliever Michael Feliz in the seventh and advanced to third on a throwing error from the pitcher. Happ would not score, as Caratini popped out for the final out of the inning.

Happ moved from right field to left, Albert Almora, Jr entered the game to play center, and Heyward moved from center to right in the eighth inning. Carl Edwards, Jr took the mound for the Cubs and struck out leadoff man Kevin Newman. Colin Moran pinch hit in Feliz’s spot and drew a walk. Edwards was pulled after a second walk was given to Frazier.

Steve Cishek took over on the mound and induced a flyout from Marte. Moran and Frazier advanced to third and second, respectively, on a passed ball by Caratini with Josh Bell batting (pinch hitting for Osuna). Bell walked to load the bases. Two runs scored on a single from Díaz, putting the Pirates within two with the score now 6-4. Díaz then advanced to second on a throwing error by Báez. The final out was recorded on a groundout from Pablo Reyes.

With Steven Brault now pitching for the Pirates, Almora batted for the first time and grounded out. Bote followed with a swinging strikeout, and Murphy grounded out to short.

Justin Wilson came in to close it out and Mike Freeman entered the game at second base. Jordan Luplow popped out for the first out, followed by a single from Newman. Francisco Cervelli pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot and doubled. He was replaced by pinch runner Kevin Kramer. The Pirates evened the score at 6-6 on a double from Marte that Rizzo just missed. Jaime García took over for Wilson and got the final out on a groundout to short from Bell.

New Pirates pitcher Kyle Crick faced Báez first in the bottom of the ninth and got a swinging strikeout. Rizzo popped up and the ball was caught by Díaz for the second out. The Cubs could not walk it off, with Heyward grounding out to end the inning.

Brandon Kintzler entered the game to pitch in the tenth with one out after García faced two batters. A pleasant surprise ensued when Reyes grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

The hero of the night was Almora, who walked it off with a single. Happ walked to lead off the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Terrence Gore. Gore advanced to second on a sac bunt from Freeman and scored on the single from Almora. With the 7-6 win, the Cubs held on to first place and secured a playoff berth with the Cardinals’ loss to the Brewers.

 

WPA CHART


Source: FanGraphs

Filed under: Game Recap

Tags: Cubs, Ivan Nova, Jose Quitana, Pirates

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  • fb_avatar

    Let Joe go. He is worse anti Dusty Baker. Game most likely over in 9 if he let Q pitch 6-7 innings. He wanted the BP for a good Buc SP tomorrow night. Unless Lester goes 7+.

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    Wasted, not wanted

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    Joe has led this team to 4 straight 90+ win seasons, something not done since the early 1900's. We've got to the NLCS 3 straight years
    (possibly 4) and of course our WS win in 2016. I have had a number of complaints about how he manages, but we don't see what he does in the clubhouse and how he keeps everyone together. I'll bet every team has fans that criticize like we do.
    I think he's like Phil Jackson; yes he has talent, but to harness all the egos to play together (and we haven't heard of fights between players) he deserves credit. Big picture, I can't think of anyone else managing that I'd rather have.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Lol. Phil Jackson had Michael Jordan and then Kobe and Shaquille. Any one of us could have coached those teams to championships. Jerry Krause was never given enough credit amassing the talent of that bulls run. How did Phil do in New York? Right , his contract was bought out and he ran back to the Montana woods. Everyone has their own opinion , but the bulls were going to win with or without Phil bleeping Jackson. Joe is bad and your defense of him does not hold water.

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    In reply to Oldno7:

    Others have brought up 1969. The Cubs had 4 HOF on that team (and that wasn’t the only Cubs team with those players) and they couldn’t even get into the playoffs once. How many HOF do these Cubs have? I thought maybe KB but I don’t know. Durocher couldn’t do it. Maddon does. As for Phil Jackson, the Bulls didn’t win until he got there. Maddon was also Manager of the year with the Rays so he has a history of getting the most out of his teams. I don’t have a better candidate, if anyone does please let me know.

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    In reply to Oldno7:

    And how many titles did those players win before Phil got there?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Not trying to take anything away from Joe but he has managed cubs in a different era. For so many years it was 2 teams make post season. Then they went to 3 division and 1 wild card. Now they have added a 2nd wild card. It is easier to make playoffs 4 years in a row now then it was 10 or 20 years ago.

  • I just posted this in the game thread, but am copying it here too

    Disagree completely with all of the Maddon bashing. The back end guys (Edwards, Wilson, Chavez) haven’t pitched much at all lately & I’m thinking they thought they needed to get each of them some work tonight. Plus, if we do end up tied with Brewers, it will be Q’s turn in the rotation on Monday. Give him some extra rest & pull him after a solid 5 innings. We are Up 6-2, but have a chance to add on at the point. It’s not Maddon’s fault CJ can’t throw a strike. They need to get him right to have a chance in playoffs

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I don't know that I disagree as much as I believe this is unrealistic expectation and really does not warrant further discussion.

    As such, I will pass on any add't comments or time spent on this line of thinking.

  • I was a little kid in ‘84 so I can’t remember that postseason run, but the cubs before this current era made the playoffs 5x in my lifetime and most of them ended in tragedy(‘03 & ‘08).So I’m truly grateful to witness the cubs make it 4 years in a row. Despite the fact I’m scared this might end real quickly I’m also not gonna take the annual postseason runs for granted.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agree completely bolla. I was very young in ‘69 when we collapsed, so I had an early indoctrination into the Cubs Way of the pre-Theo/Maddon years. ‘84 was a blast. Didn’t think a title would ever happen after ‘03. Four straight playoff appearances is awesome. Let’s just enjoy the ride. Like you, I don’t think it will be a long ride this year, but who knows. Crazier things have happened

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yea, it was painful....they kicked it away in ‘84 and ‘03.....’89 they just were blown away and pretty much the same in ‘08. I thought they were actually the best team in the NL in ‘08......choked it away in ‘04 when they had the WC all but wrapped up until the end. There has been a lot of pain associated with Cub baseball no doubt.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    You disappointed me, Wick. Bolla spoke of being young and his lack of memories in 1984, and Cubpack took us back to the hippy years. I thought you may share stories of partying with Hack Wilson. I feel cheated. Make something up.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I can’t......I will never live down leaving Holtzman’s no-hitter in the 5th inning with the Cubs up 3-0 after a Santo first inning homerun.

    But ya know.....we just HAD to go downtown to Old Town to try to score that paisley long sleeved shirt.....true story.

    Don’t gimme any lip whippersnapper.....I just got my first Medicare card in the mail so we ain’t dead yet :)

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    that was a funny exchange , chuckling to myself

  • In reply to John Nesbit:

    I dunno lol, nervous energy.
    LOVE pennant races, I do....just wish we weren’t so vulnerable. I want the Dodgers GONE, I really do but for that to happen the Cardinals have to beat........uh huh..........grrrrrr.
    I guess the best case scenario for us is to win the division and let the chips fall where they may.
    If we lose tonight then we have to match out the Brewers and they have the Tigers left....terrific, not good.
    Winning tonight is BIG...otherwise we are realistically looking at a one game playoff if tied....AND THEN...another one game playoff as a WC if we lost that division tie game to Milwaukee.....I don’t want such a crazy stressful weekend.

    Is this the Cub franchise of old OR the new, improved 21st century model? Guess we’ll see.....

  • In reply to bolla:

    Great post that's why I'm not gonna bash these guys regardless of what happens. We're sitting here in 1st place in the NL with 4 games to go and we've been sitting in this spot for a long time. We've faced far far more adversity than the Brewers from a scheduling and injury perspective let's not forget that even though kris Bryant's back the KB that I love watching essentially has been out since early June. And I know people don't want to hear this from me anymore based on the previous reactions to me saying the Brewers are really good a long time ago but those guys are really good and some thought it was outrageous when I said I think the NLs gonna come down to the Brewers, Dodgers and Cubs in late July but I believe that Moreso than ever now I think the Brewers are the best emergent team in the NL outside the perennially strong Cubs and Dodgers. The Dodgers may still be my pick to represent the NL in the World Series and to me they're the favorites but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Brewers beat them and I still haven't counted out this Cubs group this is a proud experienced group and I think our starting pitching gives us a chance every game. But there's nothing to be ashamed of if we win 94-95 games and have to play in the wild card game which may still not happen if we can win tonight big game. I still believe we would've practically closed the division by now if not for that 30 game in 30 day stretch but in any event excuses aside the Brewers look like the best team in the NL central at least at this moment in time with the Cubs laboring through injuries, fatigue and struggling players. They've had a magical season and I think it's time to respect how good our division has been despite these teams not being postseason proven.

    But great win last night big time hit by Almora and everyone for goodness sake if you're a cub fan at the game and our players have a chance to catch a foul ball then please stay out of the freaking way. Have we learned nothing as cub fans about going for foul balls that are almost in the field of play?

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I was wrong about the Brewers. They are a pain in the ass, and a good team. At this point if they win the division, it’s becasue they deserved it more.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    And cubber I think it's human nature to doubt your unproven division rival most fans are gonna downplay their rivals success until that rival fully proves they're for real and as cub fans I think we're wired to fear the cards and not take the Brewers seriously but I try to always evaluate teams on what I see this year I don't believe any teams gonna fail just bc the organization has had some struggles/failures in the past. And we've all been there I didn't think the Kansas City royals were a legit contender years ago and At least you're smart enough to acknowledge this brewer team is gonna be a serious threat moving forward I still have friends in denial who were wrong about them all year and now they're all like let's see how they do in the playoffs bc some people just never will admit when they're wrong. That said I still haven't lost faith in this Cubs group I think we're perfectly capable of winning a playoff series against them but it's not gonna be easy we need to turn things up fast hopefully last nights win sparks a nice run

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The brewers have surprised me and they continue to hang tough, but let's be honest, they've overperformed. Good for them. They play hard and they're hungry, but I don't buy Wade Miley as an all star caliber starter, and the rest of their rotation is suspect. The frustrating thing is the cub's talent level is still in a tier above MKE, but we haven't executed. We can attempt to predict outcomes using as much logic and reason as possible, but baseball seems to always find a way to make us pull our hair out. If we didn't have the bevy of injuries occur, as well as uncharacteristc slumps, we would have already locked up the division. The brewers are playing at or near their roster's ceiling, whereas our 25 man roster is playing closer to its floor

  • In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    Respectfully I disagree I think they still have strong payroll flexibility to address their rotation and other needs and they have Jimmy Nelson in my eyes their most talented starter coming back. I think the fact they're in 2nd is more of a testament to how tough the Cubs are Moreso than anything else let's remember from their perspective they're chasing a golden generation Cubs team that has now been to 4 straight postseasons and won a WS. Their strong positional player group and bullpen are in place for the future and they can address their starting rotation which I think isn't as bad as cub fans act like as it is when you look at the numbers Derek Johnson a former cub minor league pitching coordination is doing an outstanding job as pitching coach with what they have and they'll have some reinforcements in the rotation by next year I assume if they get back Jimmy Nelson and add a starter. They have their core players all signed long term and they're gonna be a thorn in our sides going forward whether we like it or not. I certainly hope I'm wrong but I don't believe they're going anywhere. I do agree the Cubs will go into next season as an NL favorite but let's not forget the Cubs are a very difficult obstacle for any of our division rivals to overcome yet these guys are going toe to toe with us for the division. This Brewers team has proven that these aren't your past day Brewers I'd think what they're doing this month and what they just did to the cards makes that clear

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I get what you're saying, but I agree with the cubbieinfantry.I do think the brewers are overachieving and a combo of the cubs injuries/under performing players along with that ridiculous 29 games in 30 days streak traveling to multiple cities and time zones is the only reason this thing is close.A healthy cubs team would of wrapped this division up by now.

    That labor day loss looms large, that loss hurt the cubs chances big time.They would of had a 1.5 lead right now

  • In reply to bolla:

    My point of view isn't arguing that they're better than the Cubs at all the Cubs have easily been hit harder by injuries, scheduling bad luck and underperformance and the Brewers are having that marginal type season where everything's gone right. But just as we have an offseason to address our issues they have an offseason to improve their starting pitching and lineup holes and the reality is they haven't really squandered their payroll flexibility they signed Cain but clearly didn't go all in to win this year even as a small market team I still believe they're gonna have some huge moves up their sleeve. And like I said all their most important players are signed long term. This is a Cubs group built for sustained success and with an ownership group that has a fat wallet so the Cubs of course have one of the most optimistic future outlooks in all of baseball but my only point is I think this Brewers group is gonna push us now and in the future. They still have Keston hiura as their 2B of the future too and Corbin burnes is gonna be moved to the rotation next year. I think the NL central in general has a bright future

  • The way it’s looking now and as crazy as it sounds the Cardinals are going to wind up 1 game behind the Dodgers for the last WC spot as of right now....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    The 'birds miss the playoffs? That's strangely satisfying...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    And becoming a trend.

  • Could you imagine what this place would have felt like if we had blown that lead and lost this game? We didn't. Can you think of the dire circumstances if we needed to win out, and get help, to advance? That would suck. Can you even comprehend the weight of the world on your shoulders, with generations of fans live and dead worshipping your every move, being down 3-1, and finding the will to win? We did.

    We won. We didn't lose. We need to win again. We can. We will. I believe.

    Thank you! May I have another?

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes You May!!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    It would Probably be very similar to the tone of Greg Simmons his Cardinal decorated basement this morning.

    I am grateful this morning that we came back for the sake of Bartman Senior not to be blamed for yesterday's loss.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Bartman senior is right , lol ,, I think as a fan you HAVE to have some semblance of WTF is happening at the game,, its bad enough people are on the phone the whole time but this guy was just clueless,,
    and Rizz needs to catch one of the two balls he dropped for cryin out loud.. I realize they were difficult plays but he catches the line drive he dropped in his sleep and 9 out of 10 times

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not to take away from last nights victory but my take from watching the brewers sweep the Cards is that they are in the same spot the Cubs were in 2015 and 2016.

    I do not possess any special prognostication tools or insight into the future but, at this moment in time, the Brewers are a team that bears watching.

  • The Cubs Magic Number for clinching the division is now 4.

    Since COL won and LAD lost, the Cubs have also clinched homefield advantage in the WC game, should it come to that.

    Note that COL now leads LAD by a half-game, even though they were swept in LA a week ago.

  • I'm following along with the painfully slow ESPN gamecast thingy on my phone, like I do all the time. And by the time the bullpen arrived to save the night, I started to cuss. You mean the Cubs blew a 6-2 lead going into the 8th inning, and the four guys that pitched, Garcia, Cishek, Edwards, Kintzler couldn't do it? Theo and company better have better options for who pitches next season. I get the injuries, that happens. Is CJs shoulder still bothering him? Back to the training room, dude. He used to throw fireballs. Now I'm thinking he drinks fireballs. Geesh! Did the Russell drama put a black cloud over our Cubbies? We should've clinched the dang division by now. Pig bitin mad I am, grrrrr...

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    He was throwing fireballs but except for the 1st batter, he walked guys again... granted he was squeezed a little by Holbrook, but he’s gotta throw strikes to at least get ahead of the batters.

  • Question for the anti joe people. If you think maddon is so terrible, who of the available options do you prefer? Girardi? Showalter? Who do you think would be a better in game manager.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Idk, Davey Martinez. I just don't understand Joe's in-game thought process. I drank so much beer watching last nights game, I had to call in sick this morning. That was one of the most nail biting, mismanaged game I've seen in awhile.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    lol. man you guys say some funny zhit....

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Lol Davey martinez? Really? Last nights game was an emotional roller coaster but I think joe is doing the best he can given the circumstances.

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    In reply to bolla:

    I know. I just threw a name out there. I'm still drunk from last night. Being drunk & frustrated isn't a good combination for me because I usually say dumb sh*t. I couldn't even spell yesterday. My bad, but I'm sure it happens to the best of us.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Yup.

  • In reply to bolla:

    This is Joe Maddon's team for better or worse. Two things, that he has been show to grasp. One, Kyle Schwarber can hit anywhere in the lineup except leadoff. Two, a manager is not being creative if the art is preprogrammed, that's just strategy, and it might backfire.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree

  • In reply to bolla:

    They may be better in game managers than Joe, but when you spend 9-10 months in a clubhouse and hotel rooms traveling the country he is THE BEST manager in baseball. My college roommate played for the Angels organization when Maddon was a roving instructor. All the guys loved him because he could relate to them and truly was a “cool” guy. Creating an atmosphere for players to be comfortable and play their best is as important as in-game strategy.

    Give me Joe and it is not even close.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Agreed, He does questionable things at times but I have no issues with maddon like others do.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Why don't we just rehire one of our previous managers that took us to the playoffs four consecutive years?

    Oh, wait.....

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Exactly, this season with the injuries and under performances joe managed this team to 90+ wins and another playoff spot. He can't control if walkwood can't get thru 3 innings without walking the whole line up or if darvish and morrow both been out months or if bryant is banged upor if edwards forgot how to pitch. Theo acquired these players can't blame joe.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Exactly in many ways you can argue that we've overachieved ESP in the 2nd half. We only have 1 4+ WAR every day player in javy Baez the Brewers have 4 in Cain yelich Aguilar and Travis shaw. The Cubs players may have better pedigree but with rizzo ahd contreras down years and Bryant's injury issues this really isn't the same lineup as previous successful Cubs teams. And we haven't had a proper closer since June really overall I know Joe makes pitching change decisions that drive me crazy but if you fire him it's hard to quantify if you're gonna be able to replace all the good that he brings to the table as a manager

  • Last night's game had a game7 feel to it. Both would have been devastating loses. I had that 'we can't lose this ballgame' mind set. I had it blowing the lead against the Tribe in the series and again last night. One W ended a season the other saved one for now. This team has character.

  • Someone said earlier that it's not Joe's fault that Edwards can't throw strikes. While true it's Joe's fault to continue using him in a situation with any pressure. You can just see him imploding on the mound. No stones.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Vet, that was me that said that. Edwards was put in with a 6-2 lead in the 8th inning against the bottom of the Pirates order. You can't get much less pressure situation than that at this time of year. And Edwards is someone they really need to get it figured out for the playoffs, so it made perfect sense at that time, imo

  • Edwards cannot pitch a meaningful inning the remainder of the year. He is not ready for prime time. We had this debate about a week or two ago. He just can’t get it done. Mentally weak or hiding and injury.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    CJ has been off his square for awhile(since injury), but could get it back with a successful outing or two. Last night might have been his last chance this year. Time is almost up.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    He inspires no confidence. In these meaningful games, the inability to throw strikes is critical. Walks turn a 0 or 1 run inning into a crooked number. Against playoff caliber teams that is the death of a team.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I could not agree more about issuing walks.

    I will always be in the camp of collecting pitchers who consistently throw strikes.

    Its one thing to get beat by the opposition but there is nothing more frustrating to me as a fan that watching a Cub pitcher give the other team a free pass

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yea I was holding out hope, but he can't be trusted which hurts the pen even more.Another reason why I think the cubs postseason run may be brief.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Our pen is what worries me. These guys are giving up runs by the handful night in and night out.

    Just like an offense can go on a quick run, maybe the pen could too. But I fear any quick exit will be due to the pen followed by a close 2nd the heckyl and jeckyl Offense.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I think physically he just can't handle the rigors of an MLB season. He's the greatest reliever in the world early season when he's fresh but then breaks down the end of the year and his velocity is way down. Hate to say it but his skinny frame could be his biggest problem this guy doesn't exactly have an aroldis chapman type build

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    With the right conditioning program, this can be addressed.
    There have been other pitchers with a similar build that have had sustained success in the bigs.

  • I don’t blame Joe for pulling Q necessarily.

    Up 6-1, man on first and second. He knows he is going to pull Q so he has Caratini bunt. Up comes Tommy who is walked. Bases loaded and 1 out. Bote grounds into a DP.

    Now, he could have had Caratini hit away and hope he gets a hit, but if he doesn’t, then Q is up with 1 out and two runners on. He makes an out and now Bote is up with two on and two out.

    Two innings earlier, we had bases loaded with 1 out and got a sac fly from Rizzo and a pop out from JH.

    So two bases loaded 1 out situations and we got one sticking run. If offense does its job better, we should have been up 10-1 and Q could have stayed in the game. Joe thought he could get some insurance and the hitters didn’t come through.

    I at least understand his logic and it does make sense.

  • What was Almora screaming when they tackled him? Looked something like, "This is our division." I'm not one for TWTW and winning with heart and grit, but I have to admit... that fired me up a little.

  • Baseball is a wacky game so who knows what will happen the next 4 days, but everything's lined up in the brewers favor to win the division. They are hot and face a lowly tigers team with no fulmer and with no dh , the cubs face the 2nd best starter in the nl post asb(besides degrom) tonight and have been in an offensive slump for weeks.Then face a desperate cards team who is fighting tooth and nail to stay alive in the wc.

    Tigers could end up taking 1 or 2 games this weekend or get swept we'll see.I just hope the brewers are peaking too early, unfortunately yelich snatched the mvp from baez with his recent performances which makes me sad because baez has done it all season despite a slow start and has been invaluable to the cubs.Cain has the same war as yelich he's been just as important to the brewers baez has no teammate providing daily value like that.

  • In reply to bolla:

    The MVP thing is immaterial at this point Its window dressign to me).

    The Cubs need to call on their intestinal fortitude and find another gear or risk going home early in 2018.

  • Unfortunately living here in Cheesehead land .... it's tough. It's all Brewers. I hate to admit but I have to agree that it's looks like the Brewers are going to win the division. I can't see us winning more than 3 out of 4 at best. TheTigers are awful.... hopefully are former Cubs somehow play heros (go Candyman!) Even if we do, all that might ensure is game 163 on Monday.

  • It was great to see the Cubs offense show up! Let's hope this is the start of something

  • I just looked at the red sox 2017 offensive stats compared to 2018. Wow the contrast is ridiculous chili davis may have to go , I have no issue whatsoever with the contact go to all fields approach.I think that's the best approach to reduce strikeouts and make productive outs but the red sox offense went up in every category in 2018 and the cubs have the most 0-1 run games in mlb and continue to struggle with risp.I know adding jd martinez helps but there's overall improvement from several players who were there last season.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Sacrifice power for more contact utilizing the entire field with less K’s is fine. But when averages plummet and HR’s are way down, then I blame the philosophy being pounded into their heads daily.

    Rizzo, Bryant, Contreras, and Schwarber did not need a new approach. And Russell and Heyward were anemic to begin with. So, Javy did and it has clicked for him. But when your 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 hitters to start the year regressed then there is a major gap that will need to be solved.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I agree, don't know what exactly will be done but this has to be addressed. I don't know why they can't use launch angle and contact approaches depending on the pitcher or situation.

  • In reply to bolla:

    The one guy I think chili for sure hurt is willson contreras. I think willson thrived last year by mastering John melees launch angle concepts and chilies comtact oriented approach has turned willson into a heavy ground ball guy that's forgotten about the launch angle concepts that were key to his breakout in the 1st place

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yea without a doubt, contreras in 2017 and contreras in 2018 are totally different offensive players. Willson was on an absolute tear before that hamstring injury.

  • In reply to bolla:

    In some ways I think some adversity maybe good for contreras. I've mentioned before to you bolla that I have a good friend he's Cuban that has a close relationship with contreras and he's left us tickets to games on a number of occasions. I probably shouldn't even mention this but my friend is a die hard cub fan and he expressed some concern to me this offseason that he thinks that contreras was getting over cocky in their conversations this offseason talking about how he expected to be an MVP candidate and the clear cut best catcher in baseball let's just say while Contreras is a good kid I've heard he's one of the least humble individuals that you'll ever meet. That inner confidence is probably one of the reasons he's been successful but sometimes being too confident can be a bad thing. I'm just speculating here from what I know but I know my friend is a sharp guy and a smart baseball fan so it's interesting to me that he was concerned about contreras mindset going into the season. And let's keep in mind that he's known contreras for years so he clearly noticed a difference in behavior after his breakout 2017. This is all just speculation but maybe it's good for him to be humbled a little

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    That's interesting insight. He should definitely feel humbled after this season.Hope contreras can return at least close to his '17 form because that makes the line up dangerous.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yes.....I definitely saw an attitude change. The machismo thing got the best of him especially last year when he made the remark about being the general of the team, the man, and all that when he was going good. Baseball will humble you, he needs that. Makin the all-star team did his head no favors.

    As far as the Brewers....ya gotta hand it to them. I think everyone expected St Louis to respond and counter the Cubs but it was Milwaukee that has really stepped it up. Kudos also to the Rockies for answering the bell. Let’s get this last game tonight!

  • This Cubs team is absolutely maddening. The hitting is utterly appalling. Everybody, but Javy, Zo, and Heyward have significantly regressed. Even Murphy and Bote. Caratini has one homer for the year. Career minor leaguer Erik Kratz looks like King Kong compared to the Cubs dwarfs. It is shocking their hitters have pathetically shrunk. Is it Chili Davis, I doubt it. Coaches don’t normally make such a big difference in the Majors.

    I know many teams have meager stats but Boston, Milwaukee, Oakland, Yankees are not striking out like the Cubbies.

    Yet they are in first place in a tough division. They are playing like a 4th place team but somehow ekeing out wins with grit and four good starters. For this reason I think Joe Maddon deserves Manager of the Year. Lose Morrow, Strop, Darvish, Chatwood, Rizzo, Bryant, Russell, Contreras to injury or malaise or moral scrutiny, and still win 90 plus games—miraculous.

    Joe, my hero. Manager of the Year 2018 by 2 furlongs.

  • Last night was an example of the cubs resilience compared to past teams.After the bartman situation that team crumbled alou was demonstrative and the team panicked then the snowball turned into an avalanche, they completely fell apart I can't watch that game to this day.One of the worst losses I ever witnessed as a cub fan.Then the '08 team CRUMBLED ryan dumpster had 7 walks in an opening game of the postseason and gave up a grand slam as a result ,derrek lee botching routine plays they had 4 errors the next game the cubs collapsed under all the pressure.That whole season it was "100 years since the cubs won this is the year" they had the best team in the nl and looked like deer in headlights in that nlds.

    Last night that foul ball was eerily similar to bartman, obviously stakes no where near as high but the cubs were up 4 runs in a must win game and the pirates got back in the game and were threatening big time. Pittsburgh tied it but the cubs didn't collapse they won a walk off in extras.That's one thing I love about the current cubs they don't crumble under pressure instead they thrive for the most part.

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    In reply to bolla:

    I was thinking about this too last night. Reminded me of game 7 how they responded after Davis’ home run (though as you said obviously different stakes). I guess these Cubs have to confront their past demons each year; this time it’s Bartman lol.

  • I hope those of you who say the Cubs should get rid of Chili Davis or Hickey are correct as I agree. I just don't think Theo or Made in will do that. We will no doubt hear nonsense from them about how this was a transition year from Mallee and Bosio and next year things will be better.

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