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.
Eric S 6 min 42 sec ago (view)
Brewers Game 2: Happ, Rizzo, Javy, Schwarber, Willson, JHey, Bote, Kipnis (DH), Nico, Chatwood
Eric S 23 min 22 sec ago (view)
The MLB team Player Pools may soon be bumped up to 75 players from the current 60 player limit - which would make a lot of sense.
crunch 2 hours 20 min ago (view)
"Chicago Cubs @Cubs
Our Aug. 7-9 series at St. Louis has been rescheduled as three 7-inning doubleheaders at Wrigley Field.
#Cubs will be home team for Game 1. Cardinals home team for Game 2."
Eric S 2 hours 30 min ago (view)
It's been fantastic how little use the pen has had (relatively) thanks to the starters going for six-seven innings. Hopefully Chatwood keeps the line moving tonight.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 14 min ago (view)
I agree with all of this except maybe Tepera. I'd put him firmly in ??? territory. I feel like he's looked better than his results but it's hard to say given small sample size.
Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 10 min ago (view)
Managerial change making a difference I think. Hopefully the changes to the amateur scouting department also bears fruit
Cubster 17 hours 59 min ago (view)
David Ross might be worthy of a little credit, especially sorting out the bullpen issues.
crunch 18 hours 4 min ago (view)
this team is amazing. i want more than 60 games of this. darvish since mid-season last year has been great stuff.
also, wick got to close. kimbrel hasn't worked in quite a while.
Eric S 18 hours 45 min ago (view)
39 pitch inning by Burnes.
crunch 19 hours 20 min ago (view)
...well, it is true that's the plan...but...umm..."allegedly"
QuietMan 19 hours 30 min ago (view)
Cubs to play double headers Monday and Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Eric S 20 hours 22 min ago (view)
Ha! Hope Nico goes on a heater!
Cubster 20 hours 28 min ago (view)
"Not thrilled"...as if on cue, Nico leads off with a double and a later Schwarbsbomb.
Eric S 22 hours 21 min ago (view)
Updated Bullpen tiers:
Tier 1 (Closer/Firemen)
Wick and Jeffress (interchangeable)
Tier 2 (Preferred Setup roles)
Tepera, Sadler, Rea (!)
Tier 3 (Face lefties exclusively if possible)
Ryan (has to get that fastball out of mid-80s or head to South Bend)
Tier 4 (Long man innings eater)
Tier 10 (reserved for use when either up or down by 10+ runs)
I think that covers it?
Jackstraw 23 hours 50 min ago (view)
Wait. The bullpen can get worse? That's unpossible.
Eric S 1 day 9 min ago (view)
Here we go again: Nico, Rizzo, Javy, Willson, Schwarber (LF), Happ, Bote, Souza, Caratini
Not thrilled with Nico leading off when the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history was available but whatever