Yeah, so Ivy got busy and couldn't get to the last few series recaps, so you get to deal with me this time. Yay. She'll be back to close out the season though.
@ Pirates, September 12-15
After a pretty promising series against the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs dropped three of four against the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates. The offense sucked, the pitching kind of sucked, James Russell continued to suck at the worst possible times, and there were tempers flaring. But during this series, the Cubs guaranteed that they would not lose 100 games for the second season in a row. Hooray!
@ Brewers, September 16-19
So then the Cubs went to Milwaukee and continued to suck. Edwin Jackson sucked, there were other overblown arguments, the offense sucked, Justin Grimm forgot how to field bunts and forgot that if the winning run scores it doesn't matter if he records the second out or not. But at least Jake Arrieta didn't suck. Another three losses out of four games. Still an improvement on last season.
Vs. Braves, September 20-22
The Cubs returned home for their final homestand of the season. In the first game, they fell quickly to former teammate Paul Maholm but came storming back to tie the game. However, in the top of the ninth, Kevin Gregg remembered that he was Kevin Gregg and gave up four runs. The Cubs couldn't match it in the bottom of the ninth, and Gregg said stupid crap to the media which didn't please Theo Epstein very much. I personally think he was off-base in his comments, and Mr. Rubio has his own take on the situation. Suffice it to say that I thought the Cubs didn't do anything wrong by Gregg, and Gregg needs to get his head out of his ass (my words).
In the next game, I missed almost all of it except the few innings I heard in the car while driving to mini golf. I do know that Starlin Castro broke up the no-hitter early, Travis Wood pitched extremely well, and the Cubs eventually won. I also found out that I suck at batting cages, particularly if I can't tell when the machine is actually about to launch the ball, which really messes with my timing.
The reason why I missed the first couple games? My friend was in town because he wanted to go to a Cubs game. I had been to a few games already this season because of the generosity of Anno and some other friends, and I got to take my wife to one too on Anno's dime. However, the little boy hadn't been to one yet this season, and we needed to rectify that. So we decided to just go to the Sunday series finale against the Braves. This would be the last chance I would get to see the Cubs live, and the bonus was that the little guy would get to run the bases after the game. And yay, I get to see Edwin Jackson hopefully not suck!
Alas, the win was not in the divine plan for today. The Braves actually clinched earlier in the game as the Miami Marlins knocked off the Washington Nationals in the first game of a double-header. They celebrated briefly on the field and more so in the clubhouse. Today we learned that the Wrigley grounds crew has a sense of humor:
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 22, 2013
Edwin Jackson, aside from two major mistakes, was decent in this game against a pretty good Atlanta lineup. Freddie Freeman killed a baseball onto Sheffield and Andrelton Simmons hit a couple homers; Simmons actually has some sneaky power this season, I wasn't aware he had that many homers. James Russell didn't suck, but Blake Parker and Brooks Raley did. Eventually, thanks to a ton of strikeouts and poor situational hitting (it's a theme), the Cubs did fall. At least we all had fun, and the kid got to run the bases.
There was a weird play at one point where Brian Bogusevic stole a base while Junior Lake swung and missed (Lake got the ignominious Golden Sombrero today), but because Lake smacked Brian McCann upside the head on the backswing, Bogusevic lost the stolen base. Weak. There was no jumbotron (THANKS ROOFTOPS) and the TVs hanging from the rafters weren't much help, so thanks to the Twitters for helping me figure out WTF happened.
Have some pictures!
The Cubs finish off their 2013 home slate with three against the Pirates, who are going to the postseason. Will the Cubs help them secure the National League Central, or relegate them to a wild-card showdown against the Reds? Hmm!
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
Monday, September 23rd 7:05 PM Central
TV = CSN, Radio = WGN
Tuesday, September 24th 7:05 PM Central
TV = CSN, Radio = WGN
Wednesday, September 25th 1:20 PM Central
TV + Radio = WGN
Francisco Liriano vs. Jake Arrieta
The Cubs can potentially mess with the Pirates and the Cardinals this coming week, or they could lose out and get an outside shot at the #3 pick. Either way, I'll be sad to see Cubs baseball go. On to next year, I guess!