This is What the Cubs Season Has Been Reduced To...
The St. Louis Cardinals magic number sits at 11 before game play started today. That means there is a slim shot they could be clinching against the Cubs this weekend. And whether they do it this weekend or next week or the last day of the season isn't really a big deal, but I'd rather avoid watching the spectacle and the future highlights. So here's a rundown of what would need to happen this week with the Cubs at Milwaukee for four and Cardinals at Marlins for three.
Cardinals sweep 3 from the Marlins, Cubs get swept by Brewers: Cardinals would need to win 2 of 3 this weekend to clinch
Cardinals sweep 3 from the Marlins, Cubs lose 3 of 4 to Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to win division or 2 of 3 to clinch tie.
Cardinals sweep 3 from the Marlins, Cubs split versus Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to win the division.
Cardinals sweep 3 from the Marlins, Cubs take 3 of 4 from Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to clinch tie for the division.
Cardinals sweep 3 from the Marlins, Cubs sweep or take 3 of 4 from Brewers: Cardinals cannot clinch this weekend.
Cardinals win 2 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs get swept by Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to win division or 2 of 3 to clinch tie.
Cardinals win 2 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs lose 3 of 4 to Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to win the division.
Cardinals win 2 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs split with Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to clinch tie for the division.
Cardinals win 2 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs take 3 of 4 or sweep Brewers: Cardinals cannot clinch this weekend.
Cardinals win 1 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs get swept by Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to win division.
Cardinals win 1 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs lose 3 of 4 to Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to clinch tie for the division.
Cardinals win 1 of 3 from the Marlins, Cubs split, take 3 of 4 or sweep Brewers: Cardinals cannot clinch this weekend.
Cardinals get swept by Marlins, Cubs get swept by Brewers: Cardinals would need sweep to clinch tie for the division.
Cardinals get swept by Marlins, Cubs lose 3 of 4, split, take 3 of 4 or sweep Brewers: Cardinals cannot clinch this weekend.
On the fanciful side, if the Cardinals get swept by the Marlins and the Cubs sweep the Brewers and then the Cardinals next weekend, the Cubs would be just three games back in the NL Central.
- Congrats to the Cubs' Minor League players of the year, Kyler Burke and Casey Coleman. 21-year old Burke was acquired in the Michael Barrett trade in 2007 and after a rough start to his Cubs career, put up a .911 OPS season in Peoria with 15 home runs and 43 doubles. 21-year old Coleman helped lead Tennessee to the Southern League playoffs (where they have reached finals) with a 14-6 mark and a 3.68 ERA in 149 IP (84 K/58 BB). I've started compiling a list of the award at Wiklifield and if anyone can fill-in from 2003 and earlier, I'd appreciate it, even if you just drop it in the comments.
- Dempster tries to become the third Cubs starter to 10 wins this season. He'll have Theriot, Fukudome (RF), Lee, Ramirez, Soto, Fox (LF), Baker, Fuld (CF) in the lineup to help him.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.