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.
crunch 10 min 20 sec ago (view)
cubs lose, cards lose, brews win
cubs/brews tied (82-69)
crunch 34 min 22 sec ago (view)
hoerner is a steady glove, but so far he is not much of a "playmaker" with how quickly he can turn a play.
the mechanics are solid, but they're not quickly fluid. watching javy will spoil a fan, though.
crunch 1 hour 4 min ago (view)
7ip 6h 1bb 13k, 4r/er
8Ks in a row a cubs team record
crunch 2 hours 1 min ago (view)
...and darvish strikes out f'n everyone as a followup.
11Ks through 4ip...63 pitches
crunch 3 hours 9 min ago (view)
darvish hates the cubs, and america, and puppies, but mostly the cubs.
16 pitches, man on 1st, 3 runs in, and a visit from the pitching coach. that's good stuff.
George Altman 5 hours 11 min ago (view)
I like that last paragraph a lot, Phil. Then use whatever cash left over in arbitration to fix the bullpen.
crunch 5 hours 18 min ago (view)
c.kimbrel threw a 16-pitch simulated game, he could return by week's end if he doesn't have a setback
crunch 5 hours 54 min ago (view)
4 additional charges (as of now, unnamed) have been filed.
crunch 6 hours 1 min ago (view)
zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini(1st) / heyward / hoerner / darvish
Arizona Phil 6 hours 4 min ago (view)
Betcha the Dodgers are really glad that they didn't trade Gavin Lux for Vazquez at the trade deadline.
crunch 6 hours 9 min ago (view)
28 year old PIT closer felipe vazquez (one of the best in the game for the last 3 years) nabbed for hooking up with a child for the past couple years (age 13-15).
anything less than a full exoneration pretty much sinks his career unless he wants to run for office in Georgia.
he's being charged with "one count of computer pornography - solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minor" (this was all uncovered when the mother of the child discovered text messages)
Arizona Phil 7 hours 31 min ago (view)
I strongly believe that there will be some major changes on the Cubs after this season, even if the Cubs somehow win the World Series. There won't be a tear-down/rebuild lke 2012-14, but I can see the Cubs going younger.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 6 min ago (view)
I think Jon Lester wil be treated as a much-respected "franchise legend" next season, getting the honor of starting on Opening Day, but then being considered the #3 or #4 starter after that before getting his well-earned $10M "golden parachute" after the season. He won't be disrepected by the club, but his time as the go-to guy at the top of the rotation will be over. (Actually it's already over).
Arizona Phil 8 hours 27 min ago (view)
Keep in mind that Yu Darvish does have an opt-out after this season, so if he and/or his agent think he can get at least 4/$81M (which is what he presently is owed 2020-23) as a post-2019 FA he could opt-out.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 54 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Colin Rea hasn't pitched in almost two weeks so I doubt that the Cubs will call him up (they probably should have assigned him to the AFL to get him back into SP shape, but they didn't). That said, If the Cubs were to call-up Rea right now (and they would really need to do it ASAP for him to be useful as a SP) they could recall Justin Steele and place him on the 60-day IL to open up a spot on the 40 for Rea, so that part really isn't a problem.
Charlie 9 hours 8 min ago (view)
Regarding last night's 9th: Kyle Ryan unwilling or unable to throw his curveball is a little ugly.