The Incredible Shrinking Lead

Down five games in ten days and plunging like a stock market correction, the I-Cub divisional lead that’s been in double digits much of the summer has been cut to five as the PCL regular season enters its final week. Granted, it still sits at five with only eight games remaining, but the last four are versus the onrushing Memphis Redbirds, winners of nine of their last ten (including a series sweep of Iowa), here in Des Moines, culminating with the season finale on Labor Day. The playoff berth that once seemed a fait accompli now hangs in the balance of the last two series.

Over the weekend, the I-Cubs hosted Nashville, featuring a roster supposedly fortified by reinforcements from Chicago. Friday night, for instance, the first four hitters in the lineup were Messrs. Almora, Bote, Zobrist and Descalso. Zobrist, in particular, was very warmly welcomed by big crowds on Friday and Saturday. But the game-action highlight of the weekend turned out to be Colin Rea’s 14th win (against only three losses) which ties the franchise season record. He’ll get a shot to break it on the road this week in Okie City. Still, the general organizational trends right now are that Cardinals can’t lose and Cubs are sputtering.

I read where the C-Cubs are tentatively planning to have Contreras use I-Cub playoff games as a rehab stint. But you know what often happens to the best-laid plans of mice, men and even Theo Epstein.

Baseball seasons are long. Not long enough, though, more often than not, lest anyone’s forgotten.

Comments

Get it down I Cubs.

STL up by 8 after 2 innings...sigh.

The Cubs are probably just going to have to try and catch the Cardinals when they play seven games against them over the last ten days of September, otherwise just try and stay ahead of the three teams closest to them in the race for the 2nd Wild Card slot. Taking at least two out of three from the Mets starting tomorrow would be a good start. 

Considering the last series is in St Louis, I seriously doubt we’re going to catch them then. If anything, the Cubs would need an untouchable lead going into that series.

As much as I want to see the Cubs celebrate winning the division against the Cards in St. Louis, reason tells me you are probably right. Also, I dread this team having to win a Wild Card game. I don't even know who you would want pitching that game at this point.

Not sure it much matters if the game is anywhere but Wrigley, unfortunately.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • JustSayin' 14 hours 25 min ago (view)

     I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo.  The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not.  Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future.  I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan.  If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S

     

  • Cubster 15 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions.  Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.

     

  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...

    https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462...

     

  • Charlie 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    "Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."

    also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/15/20966...

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.

     

  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 17 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.