No Disguising It--Cubs 5 Brewers 4 (10)

The Cubs are the NL Central champions! I’ll see myself out now…

They won in dramatic come from behind fashion. Oh and the guy behind it all wore a ridiculous fake mustache. And it’s Friday. Everything is coming up Millhouse!

The Brewers might not be a good team, but they still have power up and down the lineup. They used it early and often. Orlando Arcia hit a second inning solo shot and Ryan Braun did the same in the third inning against John Lackey. The Cubs answered in the fifth inning. Chris Coghlan singled to lead off the inning and Albert Almora hit a home run to tie the game. That tie last for just a single inning. Scooter Gennett hit a two out two run home run to put the Brewers back in front by 2.

The Cubs waited until the final inning before scoring the first runs not by homer. Willson Conteras had a good day at the plate for the first time in ages, and a lead off double against Carlos Torres started the rally. Chris Coghlan singled Contreras in to cut the deficit in half. Albert Almora flew out, and Tommy La Stella reached on an error by Chris Carter. Munenori Kawasaki was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Addison Russell hard hit ball drove in Coghlan to tie the game. Matt Szczur hit a fly ball, but it wasn’t deep enough to score the winning run. Javier Baez showed the old Javy striking out swinging without getting a single strike in the at bat. Aroldis Chapman blew the Brewers away in the tenth, and Miguel Montero greeted Blaine Boyer with an opposite field blast.

No awkward celebrations this year!

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

John Lackey
It wasn’t a great start by the final stat line, but Lackey did his thing keeping the Cubs in a game for 7 innings. The Brewers hit him around, but it took homers for the Brewers to get any runs. The fact that Lackey limited the damage to 4 runs with 3 bombs is impressive. Health is the biggest concern for the Cubs, but the pitching staff performing a peak levels is a second thing to watch. Lester and Hendricks are doing just that, but the other half of the postseason staff remains to be seen. Thankfully there is another tune up start or two left for Lack.

Playoff Roster Spots
A few weeks ago, Montero’s spot on the postseason roster was all but officially gone with Willson Contreras catching Jake Arrieta. It seemed like Montero’s only shot at the roster was as Jake’s personal catcher, but with that gone there was no reason to carry three catchers. Montero has heated up recently, and more importantly is hitting for power. The Cubs could use some left handed thump on the bench as well as the veteran’s ability to handle a pitching staff. Willson also had his best offensive game in weeks. Coghlan and Almora were also the driving force as the bottom of the order did virtually all of the damage this afternoon.

The Biggest Story
The Cubs “won” the division today in dramatic fashion, but this might have been the biggest story of the game still.

Random Reference
Less than 24 hours ago it seemed like we would be celebrating in this fashion.

Now it is.

Three Stars of Game
Third Star-Munenori Kawasaki (1-2)
His stat line wasn’t that impressive, but he had the highest WPA. And I will use any excuse to post this.
kawasaki dance2

kawasaki dance1kawasaki dance1

Second Star-Chris Coghlan (3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI)
There probably isn’t a spot on the playoff roster, but he is looking like the guy that was a valuable part of the 2015 Cubs again.

First Star-Miguel Montero (1-1, 1 HR)
Walk off star.

Comments

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    If this is what it feels like to celebrate the division just imagine the next few celebrations.
    I think Theo needs a raise--that's a pretty cheesy mustache he's wearing.
    How great would it be to announce Theo's extension before the post season begins.
    Go Cubs!!

  • Great for Montero!!!! He needed that. Been a tough year. It's no secret he has been hurt. Awesome that he could get a walk-off HR.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Now THAT'S the way to start a party! Montero has to be the most popular bartender in Chicago. Even motivated me to open a cold one. Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Going Moscow Mule tonight. Two down and more to follow. It's still 90 degrees here in the ATL. LOL!!!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The Southeast is my stompin' grounds. Came back up here a year ago to be closer to the action. I've said all my life "the Cubs are going to win, and when they do, I WILL be there". Hard to do drunken snow angels in Charleston or Miami. I'm on my normal cheap beer diet tonight, although my southern friend Jose paid a visit after Miggy's bomb.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Jose always seems to pick his spots to show up, doesn't he? :-)

  • THIS feels like life again! I'm so happy to be alive right now.

  • W.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Says it all!

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    In reply to Cubswin09:

    Time to get yourself a new keyboard. Even a cheap USB one. The one you have doesn't seem to be working.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Hey, 09, I never did get the chance to say I saw your comments a week or so ago. Everyone has a bad day, and your comment wasn't squat compared to the fit I threw on here a year ago. All you can do is own it and apologize. You did that, and I appreciate it. Go Cubs!

  • I'm surprised they didn't do a 21 day DL for Montero in June or July. But he got tons of rest, and his return to health bodes well for the post season.

  • If Montero and Heyward can get their bats going for the playoffs they will be tough to beat. The fact that this team has been this dominant with those 2 bats silent is very impressive. Watching the celebration after a walk off is so much better than if they had lost this game. What a nice comeback.

  • Have I said lately how much I hate Braun? I grit my teeth every time he raises his arm while he gets set in the box, hops around after a swing and miss, or crow hops on a lazy throw from the outfield.
    Geez, what a twerp.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    Careful, now, lots of Braun fans here in this community. I had just commented during the game preview how I was hoping Braun would attempt a steal of second base and get "tagged" by Javy.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Barley, respectfully.... tough sh** about anyone who is a Braun fan. He's a liar, a cheat, and did he everything he could to ruin a man's reputation, including costing the dude his job. There's *nothing* too bad that can happen to that POS that would upset me.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    I think you missed my sarcasm, as well as my desire for Braun to attempt a stolen base so that Javy could apply one of his patented 110 MPH swipe tags (TM) right between Braun's lyin' eyes.

    I do love your passion. If there's anything worth getting fired up about, it is that Ryan Braun is a piece of sh*t human being.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Sorry to inform you. The international association of pos has denied Braun's application to join. It appears he didn't meet their moral character code. The IAPOS will hold their convention in St. Louis in late October.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    Braun noser. For all the Braun powder hes likely shoved up it.

  • So Home Field Magic No. reduced to 9, and maybe can go to 8 if Atlanta can somehow beat Scherzer.

  • 25 home runs from the catcher position this year too.........pretty GOOD production, not to mention more runners picked off then I can ever remember.

  • Not to nitpick because this cubs season has been great and they clinched last night but Baez swung at ball 4 in the 9th that would of won the game.I don't expect him to ever be a .350 +ob guy but he needs to have more plate discipline and better recognition in general.Opposing pitchers know they don't have to ever throw him strikes because he'll chase 9 times outta 10.I love baez he's my favorite cubs player,that was really frustrating to watch

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    In reply to bolla:

    He took 3 balls and looked good doing it, but that last pitch was low and coudn't have been called a strike. He's getting better, and these high pressure situations are just what these young players need. He'll learn from this. Remember too that the ball he hit earlier was as hard as he's hit it and would have been at least a double. It does equal out.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yea I agree he'll get better(at least I hope he does) because russell and bryant are much better than they were last year, baez defense and the many instinctive plays he's made this season evens it out but that particular ab he swung at 3 balls way out the zone

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Javy does have a little Vlad Guerero in him with plate coverage though. He often hits pitches off the plate pretty hard sometimes.

  • In reply to bolla:

    As my grandfather said, "You'd kick if you were swimming."

    Was I happy with Javy's AB? No.

    Am I happy with the young man's progress? Oh my god YES!!!!

  • In reply to bolla:

    My love of Javy is well documented, so I feel your pain. In my experience, there have been players with so much natural ability they were slower in making adjustments. Javy is frustrating in that his instincts and awareness dwarfs other players on the field, yet his pitch selection, recognition, and over-zealousness is still an issue. I believe he is a late bloomer in that respect, and unlike many scouts, I see a few .300 BA seasons in his future. But it is confounding how he can naturally master every mental and physical aspect of the complex game of baseball, yet still struggle with the offensive discipline. He will get there, and when he does, we have another perennial MVP candidate.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Actually every pitch in that AB was out of the zone. Defense A+, Hitting: Good Rex, Bad Rex.

  • In reply to bolla:

    My love of Javy is well documented. But you are correct, he can be frustrating to watch at times. In my experience, there have been players who are so naturally gifted that they can be slow learners, if that makes any sense. I believe Javy is a late bloomer offensively, and unlike many scouts, I think he will put up several .300 BA seasons. He is so far advanced in his instincts and knowledge, he is the brightest player on the field, and uses that against the opponents. His complete grasp of the complex game of baseball is uncanny, yet his lack of plate discipline and pitch recognition is troublesome. Again, looking at the complete player, I see no reason to doubt his plate discipline doesn't catch up to the rest of his game, and he takes his place alongside the other young Cubs as a perennial MVP candidate.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He is a 1/2 year to a year ahead of where I thought he would be now at the plate.

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    In reply to bolla:

    As Joe maddon said, you have to take the good with the bad with him, he's young and he plays with so much energy it's kind of easy for him to get caught up in the moment, but there is way more good than bad from him... Until he gets a little older this is the javy you will see from time to time, the John daly javy Baez.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Javy didn't want his walkoff to be on a walk. He's a showman! That's just how he plays the game right now. I think he'll learn to take those walks more as he matures. Thankfully Miggy came through in the 10th. What a great day!

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    In reply to bolla:

    It was maddening, but that's just who he is. He's currently a negative oWAR player (with his games carefully chosen) but makes up for it with defense and baserunning. Since this team that's living on pitching and defense, I think it's a decent trade-off.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think 44slug's comment in comparison to Vlad Guerrro with Baez is very apt,.... although he's far more useful defensively (especially since he's a seriously good multi-position IF) than Vlad ever was.

    Baez did not look great in the last pitch of that at bat,.... but he looked pretty good up to that point,.... and the young man is getting seriously better as he figures things out.

    Give him another season or two of seasoning,.... and the Cubs can afford to do that in the meantime by rotating him through 2-3 positions as a 'super-UT',... he could be something special.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Javy's outstanding play on the blooper to left was awesome to watch. That was all instinct and ability--things you cannot coach or teach.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Ever is a lot of hyperbole, Anyone who knows even a little about baseball knows that Baez's ceiling is so far off the charts that it is more than possible that he can develop himself into a plus (. 350) OBP guy sooner than later.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    ".350 OBP SOONER rather than later".
    I wish you'd be right, but if I was going to bet my life savings, I'd take the under. No offense.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Im with r. This kid has the best pure baseball instincts I've ever seen, even if they're often hiding behind some bad habits. Nothing he does in improving his game from this point on will surprise me.

  • Baez did not strike out to end the ninth, he grounded out to the pitcher.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    You are correct. Nice catch.

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    The fact that everyone remembers it as a K kind of says something, though. Doesn't it?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Touché.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Congrats and thanks for posting what actually happened. I re-watched the 9th and 10th innings only an hour or two before I read this string so I had JUST seen what really happened. Yet, as I read this thread I "remembered" him striking out.

  • fb_avatar

    Javy has so much talent and baseball savvy and look how far he's come since he came up last year. He is still only 23 yrs old. There are 23 yr olds in single A ball. He will be a GG infielder and remember that last winter he even played some CF and if we didn't have AAjr he might spend some time there.
    I was disappointed in him swinging at ball 4 but he did work the count full and these are all learning experiences. I am so happy with this team and can't wait until tomorrow to watch them again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    "Can't wait until tomorrow to watch them again". Beautiful!

  • WAS beat ATL, so the Magic Number for homefield advantage (Cubs own tiebreak) is.........9.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Did you get to see them celebrating after the win yesterday? I was smiling and totally enjoying the whole thing! this was amazing and I am looking forward to more celebrations. this really doesn't describe the pure joy I was feeling after the win and then seeing everyone pouring beer and champagne and their enthusiasm! What a ride this has been, is, and will be.

  • Good morning, Denizens! It's overcast with light showers where I'm at, but it is a beautiful day. After yesterday's come from behind, walk off win and last night's celebration, it's a good time to take stock, and, and, and . . .Oh my!

    I wake up with such joy and excitement and anticipation. I have been watching CSN all morning enjoying the celebration and highlights and interviews. I most enjoy the slow motion replay of the team waiting for Montero at home plate. That scene makes clear that my joy is surpassed only by the joy of the team itself. It's such a moving scene.

    For us longtime sufferers, for whom the Cubs are part of the very fabric of our existence, who have enjoyed many moments now of lore, but have suffered one heartache after another, it is hard to believe, almost impossible believe, that we so clearly have the best team in baseball. The best team in baseball heading into the most meaningful time for baseball.

    The depth and versatility of this team is unprecedented, not just for the Cubs (that's a given), but maybe in the history of the game. I have never -- never! -- had greater faith, greater hope, greater optimism that my Cubs, our Cubs, the Chicago Cubs, can and will -- it's hard to believe it that we can actually say it out loud -- win The World Series!

    Can you believe it?

    It's here!

    It's now!

    It's Our Turn!

    Finally!

    Yes!

  • In reply to TTP:

    I came home from a long day at school though, even in a after school Dept meeting on a Friday I had found the score and was overjoyed with the comeback and extra inning win. This team's personality grinds and relentlessly plays within the moment, they have become a reflection of their manager's competitive personality, they process the game in its moment by moment parts, they attempt to beat you in every aspect of the game.

    I listened to the responses to the pretty on the the field reporters about what or how they will prepare for the playoffs and almost to the player they are focused to continue to grind and process, though after some serious celebrating last night.

    This is silly time when fan and sports reporter or blogster will speculate outside of all reality over the next twenty or so days, but this team led by experienced former Champions, (Lester, Lackey, Zobrist, & Ross, where previous playoff experience from Montero, Chapman, Heyward, along with all of last year's returning squad will be a guide post to how to prepare. The only thing left now is to see whether Strop is healthy and the sharp to compete and contribute, finish up with the statistical accounting of the year where I foresee 9-6 finish, and some individual milestones, but the reality is only a WS win can successfully punctuate this season and team.

  • fb_avatar

    All you people were right..my fear of the cardinals was unfounded. They simply are not a very good team. After watching the struggling giants whip their butts last night I now do want to face that team in the playoffs instead of either the giants or Mets. The cardinals starting rotations really stinks right now. They have one decent starter that can't control his emotions(martinez) and the feast a bunch of 4th and 5th type starters. Even Adam wainwright isn't anything more that a 4th starter these days.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    There is no one on here Greg, that hasn't expressed a wrong opinion at one time or another.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Dude, you're good. You were just suffering from a severe case of FORBS (fear of the redbirds syndrome), I was suffering from it myself but pulled out of earlier than you did. It's pretty natural too. The Cardinals are the NL version of the Yankees (without nearly the hardware) and, if possible, they might actually strut more. Then those jerks had to and back it up most years even winning a World Series with an 83 win team. I was in St. Louis on business that week and, trust me, I still have scars. There we were as a team and as fans year after year having to watch those insufferable teams with their even more insufferable fans like the little brother with a terrible case of acne having to watch as the big brother got the glory (all those winning years) and the girls (the fawning national media). Let's face it that stuff leaves a mark.

    This year might have looked different on paper, and we were coming off of a season where we kicked their egotistical butts right out of the playoffs, but it didn't feel different, not at first. They acted badly when we signed Lackey and Heyward, despite the fact that they had actually offered the latter more money than we did, and when Heyward proved to be disappointing at the plate shouted loudly how they never wanted him in the first place. When the National media had actually turned their eye towards the now ascendant little brother after a brilliant offseason, the Cardinals players and fans started chirping how we would never be able to stand the pressure of World Series expectations.

    Yet through all this our boys hing tough, not rising to the verbal barbs and playing the rivalry tough, this time from the upper hand. Even though the series this year is just about even there really isn't any doubt who the better team is and yet I like to think our boys wear that particular distinction with for more class than the now humbled little brothers with their clipped wings.

    So yeah you had fear and I did too. When I picked the Cubs to finish 1 game behind our guys this year on some other websites most of my baseball savvy friends around the country chastised me as on paper, to them and nearly every one else, it wasn't close. I thought they'd nip at our heels all year long and it wasn't until they got to that final push where they climbed within 6 (I think) and fell back that I was able to let that all go. I knew then I was cured of my FORBS and that I would march through the rest of this season with loftier goals for my favorite team. So yours lasted a while longer, it's all good friend, because here we stand at the gates of Olympus with nary a Cardinal within immediate sight and soon we'll begin climbing the mountain, heads held eye, led by young warriors in our quest. Meanwhile our friends from Missouri are shaking their heads and are wondering what this affliction is they are suffering from. We know what it is though don't we? It's a bad case of FOCC (fear of a Cubs Championship). Let's hope they suffer for a while.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Thanks TC154 i really appreciate that. I need to remember that old saying about worrying....Worry is interest paid on a debt you may never owe.

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