Second Wind--Cubs 1 Reds 0

The recap is quite a bit late tonight. The weekend here has been dominated by a small roofing repair. A repair, that I might add, which is still not completed. I felt pretty drained, but the chance to shower and eat has me feeling a second wind. The Cubs seemed to have their own second wind with a three game winning streak. Jon Lester stepped up and won a ballgame for the Cubs.

The Cubs southpaw ace surrendered an one out single to José Peraza in the first inning. Peraza advanced into scoring position on a stolen base. Lester got a ground out and a fly out to keep the Reds off the board. Lester would throw seven shutout innings. He struck out eight while scattering three base runners over the scoreless innings.

The Cubs bats didn't manage much more against Reds starter and messenger from the future Cody Reed. The Cubs first rally was a two out variety in the second inning. Willson Contreras singled and Victor Caratini was hit by a pitch, but Jon Lester struck out looking to end the rally. Albert Almora Jr. walked and that occurence by itself deserves a mention, but that was the sum total of the offense in the third inning. The Cubs best chance against Reed came in the fourth. Dave Bote walked and Addison Russell chopped an infield single to lead off the frame. The next three Cubs made outs as Reed completed five scoreless frames of his own. He struck out ten Cubs while matching Lester.

The Cubs lefty ran into his most challenging inning in the sixth. Billy Hamilton drew the one out walk, and promptly stole second. He was thrown out trying to reach third for the second out. Peraza struck out looking to end the inning. Joey Votto walked to lead off the seventh inning, but Eugenio Suárez struck out swinging for Lester's eighth punch out. Phillip Ervin bounched into the inning ending double play.

The Cubs broke the deadlock in the sixth inning. Sal Romano took over for Cody Reed. Javier Báez singled back up the middle to start the inning. He moved to second on a David Bote groundout, and the Cubs were in danger of squandering another scoring chance when Addison Russell struck out. Willson Contreras shot the ball the other way to drive in Báez for the first and only tally of the game.

Justin Wilson pitched around a one out single in the eighth inning to keep the Cubs in front. Jesse Chavez entered the game in the ninth inning. Scooter Gennett pinch hit and flew out to start the inning, but Peraza knocked a solid base hit. Maddon switched to Randy Rosario, and the lefty retired Votto. That set up the full TLR and the easiest of saves for Steve Cishek. The veteran righty is setting a career high in appearances with each time out, but he did the trick against the slugging third sacker Suárez. The Cubs notched win number 87, and with a Brewers loss have gained the slightest amount of breathing room.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

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  • I always get a kick out of the Simpsons clip. The Homer club one the other night was hysterical.

    The Cubs are a resilient bunch. #Everybodyin hits the mark.

    Before the Brewers lost, Fangraphs had the Cubs odds of winning the division at 82.5%. Afterward it jumped to 87%.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Same here. If I'm not wearing Cubs stuff or drinking coffee from a Cubs mug my next choice is wearing a Simpson's shirt or using a Homer coffee mug.

  • 1-0, baby! My favorite baseball score.

    Lots of people on the ledge, and I can't blame you. But I remember rooting for the Cubs in 1979, 2005, and 2013. This is mid-September 2018. The Brewers and DirtyBirds lost and we're up by a couple games. Enjoy!

    I've been gone for a bit and am feeling nostalgic. I remember having a disagreement with John in early 2015. He insisted that a good team would not move an incumbent SS (Castro) mid-season, and I said we would. I don't remember how but in that discussion I threw out my first lyrics.

    "Freedom's just another word for
    Nothing left to lose..."

    Speaking of that, go to YouTube and watch Pink cover Bobby McGee. No really, do that now. Go to YouTube and watch Pink sing Bobby McGee. You're welcome.

    Oh, yeah...

    Thank you. May I have another?

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Surprisingly for the last week or so, with all the inroads Milw was making I never heard anyone say the word
    “Ledge.” I might have thought it a few times but never mentioned it. Maybe we’re learning to have trust in this team.
    Btw, you say you love the score 1-0, do you remember when Fergie lost 5 games 1-0 and still won 20 games. That was in 1968. He started 40 games, had 20 CG, gave up a league leading 26 HR but only gave up 65 BB while striking out 260 and had a WHIP of 1.1 and an ERA of 2.63. That’s why if Hendricks gives up HR with no one on I don’t get too concerned.
    Fergie was one hell of a pitcher.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Jeez.....he lost 5 games 1-0?

    Wtf! He should have won 25 games minimum.....maybe a 30 game season wasn't out of the realm of possibility w some run support.

    I wish I was old enough to have seen Ernie and Fergie play other then on highlights or videos....... must have been a treat like no other w all that talent and very little to show for it. Kinda like the Sandberg, Dawson, Maddux, Grace Cubs that didn't win much at all except that one Zimmer boys of summer.

    I wonder how those Fergie, Ernie, Santo, Williams, Holtz, Hundley, ect teams would have faired if their was a wild card or 3 divisions ??

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    etc= Beckert, Hands, Selma, Nye, Rudolph, Oliver, Abernathy, Regan, Aguire, Kessinger, Niekro, Gamble, Decker, Hickman (just read off my autographed baseball from the late 60s)

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    In reply to Tennwolfeman:

    Sounds like they may have been able to make some noise if their was a central division or a wild card(s) !!

    Would be nice if we had a little time machine.....

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    A baseball time machine........

    Give me a time machine, I will def find a lot better things to do w it then see how those Cubs teams would do w expanded playoffs. LOL

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yeah, I would look up Steve Jobs and give him. A few bucks for any ideas he might get.

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    In reply to Tennwolfeman:

    Joe Pepitone, Randy Hundley, Milt Pappas, to name a few off the top of my head.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Fergie won by that 1-0 score as well. Returning to the fatigue discussion a second, in relation to that team in 69', that talented bunch was wiped in September. Gave up a huge lead to the Mets.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If Maddon was manager then they would have gotten their rest during the year and won late.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Let's not forget the truly outstanding year that Bill Hands turned in for 1969.

    A 2.49 ERA was remarkable for that time period at Wrigley

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    6 Consecutive years of 20 wins or more. Wow!! Think we'll see anything in our lifetime like that again? I think not.

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    And after our astute front office decided Fergie was washed up after "only" winning 14 games in 1973, we traded him to Texas where he proceeded to "only" win 25 games and be runner up for the cy young award.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Cubs got Bill Madlock in the Fergie trade. Madlock won 2 batting titles and the Cubs traded him because he would cost to much money.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes you may! Great to see you BP!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    BP great to see your posts again. Hope all is well. Go Cubs Go.

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    Yes You May!!

  • The cliche; pitching & defense wins championships, why because a team with lessor P & E than they will allow a scratch run. Last year Cubs shut out opponents 10 times, this year 17, 2015 they had 21.

    I am liking how the starters are coming together where the club appears to have four starters peaking at the right time. Their bullpen is performing as many situation arms. Defense remains a strength despite the best OF'er out and the versatility that much of the roster provides. The Magic # is 12, with Cubs having 14 to play and the Brewers 12. 87 wins with 14 to play means at the least 94 wins, or Brewers would need to win 9/12. Cubs win with Q tomorrow the math begins to constrict as the odds increase that the likelihood Cubs will finish better than 94 wins. Finally AZ lost again and are 3.5 behind CO/LAD and 3 behind StL. Another loss to Houston tomorrow and they are about done and ripe for the taking next week.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I wouldn't count out the Diamondbacks yet. AZ, CO, and LAD all play each other for 3 games a piece in the final 2 weeks, so it seems as though anything can happen. In a quick analysis of who their other opponents are, I'd say that the Dodgers have the easiest remaining schedule (Padres and Giants), Rockies close at home against the Phillies and the Nats, but both their series agains the Dbacks and Dodgers are on the road. And of course, the Dbacks also play the Cubs and Padres, but all their remaining games against the Dodgers and Rockies are played at Chase Field. A note that will make the Dodgers season ending series kind of tough- they play 3 in SF against the Giants. So just knowing all that, I feel like anything can and will happen between those 3 teams. Couple that with the way the Cardinals have turned bad again, and 2 of those 3 teams might actually make the playoffs now.

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    I know those who really follow the team are fully aware of this, but even I didn't realize how ridiculous our starting pitching has been of late. Its kinda sad Joe doesn't let them go a little longer when our pen is short and on fumes.

    I don't know what Cole Hamels has said to these guys, but he needs to be here next year !

    Jon Lester: 1.73 ERA over last 6 starts
    José Quintana: 1.84 ERA over last 5 starts
    Kyle Hendricks 1.80 ERA over last 5 starts.
    Cole Hamels: 1.57 ERA over last 9 starts

    Yes, I know some of you guys don't like ERA, but I do and think this is outstanding !

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    ERA? Kind of like RBI's and runs scored and other old-timey statistics. Fans today behind their keyboards laugh at us because they know so much more than we do. RBI's and runs don't matter, they say, because they are team dependent. Wins and saves don't matter either because there are better ways if measuring value. Wins and losses don't matter when measuring the true value of a player, does it? Baez sucks because he doesn't walk.If Javier Baez would only be less aggressive and take more pitches he would be better, right?

    For the bazillionth time, the only numbers that truly matter in baseball are the ones under the"R' column at the end of the game. There are lots of ways to get there, and Javier Baez has figured out most of them.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    What?!?! ERA is equivalent to RBI as basically a team stat? ERA is still one of the most accurate measures of a starting pitcher, period. FIP is a great secondary stat that compliments ERA very well. I don’t see any way that dismissing ERA makes any sense. For one, you can compare ERA amongst starters in the same team. ERA is certainly better served over a long sample size but it is surely a pretty accurate measure of performance.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    ....and to go even further back in time regardless of stats.....

    Hit the ball, Catch the ball, Throw the ball........Execute!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Sign Cole to a 2 year deal.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yeah they need to figure out a way to keep him. Maybe the new (since start of 2016) clubhouse will be a factor for him to stay.

  • Cub hitters do not seem to have a clue or a care. It's as if they didn't even expect to make contact. Not even many foul balls. It's just oh well, I didn't expect make contact anyway. Good grief.

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    In reply to veteran:

    I want to say the sun and the shadows had something to do w it, but the Cubs offense has been below average for awhile now........

    Maybe a trip to the Desert is going to spark this offense.

  • In reply to veteran:

    It definitely feels that way sometimes, and yesterday was bad in terms of contact, but in this tough stretch of the last 14 games the Cubs hard contact rates are basically pretty good and what they’ve been all season. In addition the Cubs have a .250 BABIP over the last 14 days compared to a .315 season mark which is obviously unsustainable. When the bats break out they’ll break out hard. Schwarber and Heyward coming back certainly won’t hurt.

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    It seems like our hitters BA are as low as our pitchers ERA.
    I’ll be 68 next month and I was lucky enough to have seen Mantle and Mays and Aaron and Gibson and Marichal etc. through most of their whole careers.
    But now think of Trout and Harper and Baez and Lindor and Correa and Keyshaw and Madbum etc and maybe Torres and Acuna and Soto etc.
    Every generation has superstars and when we look back in 20 yrs or so we’ll (or you) will look back and see how lucky we are.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Well said.

  • As pointed out by rnemanich above, the Cubs’s win and the MIL loss to PIT reduces the Magic Number to 12.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Tip of the cap to the fjords master. Four starters trending since August with ERA's below 2.00 is huge. 14 games with one off day means Lester gets two more starts, while Q, Hendricks and Monty get 3 and depending on need Hamels gets two or three. Perfect forward looking circumstance Cubs clinch tie/win at or before StL series where the lineup is Hendricks, Monty & Hamels. The earliest game if division winner is Thurs even Friday after last game of Sunday. Meaning lining up Lester-Hamels-Hendrick-Quintana in a five game series is heartening to look forward to.

  • Ok, it’s tough to break old habits and it would seem that I just can’t quit y’all so here’s a little math to drop on you on a Sunday morning.

    After the games on Saturday September 1 the Cubs had a 4.5 game lead on the Brewers. Since then the Cubs have played about as bad as a team of their caliber is capable of going 7-6 or a .538 clip, well below their season norms. The Brewers on the other hand have gone 9-3 or a .750 clip much more above their season clip than the Cubs were under, basically playing as well, or frankly better,as they could ever be expected to play. The Cubs lead this morning sits at 2.5 games. In other words things went way more favorably for the Brewers than could be reasonably expected and they picked up 2 games in two full weeks. This is why the rule of thumb is that in September teams can be expected to be able to gain no more than 1 game a week. With 14 games for Chicago and 12 games remaining for Milwaukee the teams would have to basically duplicate those numbers, 7-7 and 9-3, just to tie for the Division. This is why I wasn’t panicking, I was frustrated as all get out, but not panicked.

    When you assess any decent sample size in baseball, be it a month a half or a full season, you do it using probabilities. The Brewers CAN win this division but the probabilities say they are not LIKELY to and those numbers have said that since at least September 1. Dealing in maybes and coulds is not logical. All that being said can we just win a laugher so we all can breathe? Thank you for your time and GO CUBS!

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yes... but a 20 point lead at halftime is a logical win.

  • Correct, but what is the percentage chance where that 20 point lead is overcome? Without looking at actual, verifiable numbers I can’t say for sure but my guess is that it’s very, very low. Maybe 10%-15% of the time and I think that might be high. Why would you ever base a projection, or even a simple guess, on something that’s not likely to happen? That’s like my mother who unplugs all of her appliances every time she leaves the house or goes to bed because ONE of her friends house burned down because of a faulty toaster. Or that she doesn’t leave the house with the washer on because a washer flooded her laundry room once IN 1976! I deal in probabilities, not worse case scenarios.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Our are or could be a good at poker.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You are

  • In reply to TC154:

    Well said.

    And Joe understands this as well as any manager. He just doesn’t panic. Old School manager may have had a coronary over this team with the highs and lows.

    We are in a great position.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yep...agree......don’t think they have scored more than 6 runs at any time in the last dozen games either but, they will be fine....
    More than likely see the Brewers in the NLDS.

  • This time of year a win is a win. The cubs have played themselves into being into the drivers seat by playing Weill in May and June. Now it will take a super red hot charge to knock us out of the lead!!!!

    Another reference to being fatigue in the title. Not sure the 1-0 was convincing of cubs are back. 3 infield hits a the lone RBI was on a ball that was hit so soft it wouldn’t make a splash if it fell into a swimming pool. I would like a sweep of reds before we hit Zona with Hendricks and Montgomery.

  • If the offense can get out of this collective slump in the next 2 weeks, I’d like the Cubs chances in October. The teams batting average is similar to the era of some of the starters

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agree bolla. I wrote something similar a few days ago. If we can catch fire for the next few weeks, I believe they can ride this at least to the World Series. Starters have caught fire. We need the bats to ignite.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I do think cubs can get to NL championship series and even the WS. But I don’t think this offense will get hot but can hit timely Hr to win it. I believe this line up will K 10 times a game. We need to rely on the walk, a single and then a bomb. Starting pitching will be just enough to get us by. I still think the bullpen is not very good to nail down 7, 8 and 9 inning.
    I want the Rockies to win west. Brewers will win 1st wild card. Zona or STL in the 2nd wild. Gotta stay away from LA.

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    BP is right about Pink. My girlfriend wanted to see Pink so i was forced to go with her and was not looking forward to it. I was so surprised it was one of the best concerts i have ever seen and I've seen the Stones, Pink Floyd,AC/DE,etc. If you get a chance I'd go. Great win by the Cubs!

  • With all of the shifting going on today, taking away what normally would have been solid base hits, we’ll take those weak, ugly duckling hits. You gotta.

    I’m going to tip my cap to a couple players. Russell for the diving save of a ball thrown past Baez on a Hamilton steal. Contreras for throwing him out the next play at 3rd. And Almora for the diving grab off of Hamilton. Some big time plays that could have changed the direction of the game.

    Cubs!

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    quick question-
    If Cubs -Brewers tie do the Cubs take the division based on head to head or will there be a one game playoff?>
    cheers to whomever answers

  • In reply to John Nesbit:

    1 game playoff. Best head to head record for home field

  • Baez has had some great ab's the last week or so, has gone from 0-2 to 3-2 multiple times and drawn walks.

    He wouldn't chase when going down 0-2 reed and chacin threw multiple sliders/breaking pitches and he didn't bite, very encouraging development.Hope he keeps it up

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yes he has. If the voting were to happen right now, he’s my MVP of the NL.

  • Heyward activated!!

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    In reply to bolla:

    Who's taking LaStella's spot today? All I've seen is that he's been scratched due to lower back tightness. I'd like to see Heyward in the outfield & Bote or KB at 3b, but Bryant needs to rest the shoulder imo.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Nevermind. I just saw it's Happ. I'm okay with it. Atleast the bench is loaded if they don't put up. Any runs early.

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