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.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.