Cubs @ Nationals: Hendricks vs ? (NLDS Game 5)

CHC (2-2): RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 0.00) 
WAS (2-2): ?HP (?-?, ?)
First pitch: 7:00pmCST (TBS)

Lester picked off a baserunner, but other than that, Game Four was a steaming pile of shit. Now the Cubs are facing elimination and on the road—against a phantom pitcher. 

Thankfully, we have kid Kyle heading to the mound, the wizard of Game One, who somehow gets it done, when all laws known to god and physics suggest otherwise.

Parachat will be in effect—for me at least. If we’re going to go down, we need to do it together and with as much noise and grossness as possible.

Go Cubs! 


Gio Gonzalez has been named as the starter.

Jay (LF), Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras, Almora (CF), Russell, Heyward (RF), Baez, Hendricks

Pitching plan, Hendricks 6ip, Lackey 2ip, Davis 1ip. Duensing/Strop to get out of a jam. Skip the haircut and just go to LA.

lackey 0ip would be better.

Ok, I'll take Hendricks 8ip, Davis 1ip.

Hendricks, Strop, W.   6-1 without much drama.

Why is Heyward in the lineup? Did Ian Happ piss someone off?

crazy that the dude that throws 85-87mph is not only the best option from a stats point of view, but he's also the guy that most fans would want in a clinching game. btw, hendricks has a career 1.98 post season ERA.

Looks like Joe is going with his best defensive lineup to back Hendricks.

Hendricks, Strop, W.   6-1 without much drama.

So, a breakout hitting thing?


Fucken Heyward. Six more years of his crap? I'm serious, it's become a drinking game at my house. Each time he's up, we guess: pop-up, right-side ground out, or strike out. Can't take any more of this dude.

Beware any lengthy contracts.

Last year I knick-named him "Mr. 4-3". I had thought that Heyward would come in during the later innings. However, there may be a spectacular play to be made in RF. To be fair, Heyward had one of the three hits last night. A single.

don't worry, i hear he's going to try another batting stance this off-season. 2018 gonna be awesome.

4 men LOB now, would have been 5 but for the friendly WP. If Theo eats $10MM/year, can they dump him on some other team? $12MM/year?

if he would ob% around .350 with 30-ish doubles and 15-ish HR i would be happy. we knew he was overpriced the second the contract was signed, but there are few FA market "great deals" signed for the amount of money and years he got. he's a support player getting quality slugger loot because of some power upside we haven't seen in many years and the ability to handle the 2-ish balls hit to him a game extremely well.

How many guys has KB left on base so far tonight?

Maybe you guys aren't aware that Heyward called three team meetings and gave three speeches during the game, just inside the runway where the guys in the dugout could hear him. That's why the game took so long. He told them, We're the best, etc., etc. He did what he was paid to do.

C'mon - give him a break. We're all stuck with him for the rest of the run this year. He is the least of the worries now with one - maybe two - bullpen pitchers performing and the 2016 MVP not doing shit yet.

Agreed. Also, sit back and enjoy that the baseball gods/devils/fates handed the Cubs that probably undeserved win. Maybe it's payback for what they did to Heyward's offensive game when he signed with the team.

I figure we are even for 1984.

to his credit, he did just have his first playoff series for the cubs where he had an ob% above .167 sigh.

Strange to say, but appreciate Hendricks' night when compared to Gio's -- kept his composure and kept battling. Guys beat him but he didn't beat himself.

Thank you Dusty. IBB to Heyward, that's some mad genius there bro, lol.

And then we get an inning like the top of the 5th. I'll take more of that, please.

Hard to tell which bullpen sucks worse.

The answer is both. They both suck worse.

My kingdom for a decent relief pitcher.

Cubs 1-11 w/ RISP, and have scored 9 runs. Weirdest damn game I have ever seen.

If you're looking for us...we're in Parachat drinking too much wine and trying to remember to breathe. Go Cubs!


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what a series!

If I didn't already have a closet full of 2016 World Series Champions gear, that fucker right there would have killed me.

Black cats, Leon Durham's glove, Bartman -- baseball Karma paid it all back tonight. What a ballsy finish by Davis, after Willson bailed him out in the 8th. My jaw hurts from grinding my teeth for 5 hours. Lackey starts Game 1? Or perhaps Wade Davis?

That replay call in the 8th shows why guys slide headfirst -- easier to hold the bag. Even though that call probably saved the Cubs season -- I still think it's a bullshit call. On almost every slide, a player's foot will temporarily be off the bag. It's not like he missed the bag or overslid. They need to fix that for next year. Replay was the Cubs' friend tonight.

Wade will start, then save his own game.

Davis last pitch may have been his best. Absolutely perfect pitch.

I posted this over at Cubs Den: "Discussion on the post-game show says that on the Baez dropped third strike, Javy should not have been allowed to go to first base because his bat hit the catcher on Baez's back swing. By rule, it's a dead ball, the base runners cannot advance and the call is a strike. That would have been the end of the inning. Instead, two more runs end up scoring before the third out is recorded."

Zimmerman's non-check swing also opened the flood gates yesterday. So baseball evens things out. So hap py to not see Michael Turner or Murphy this year anymore.

It's not that cut and dry though. There's also a rule (6.01)that on a dropped third strike, it's the umpire discretion whether the batter-runner interfered with the catcher and hindered him. The umps after the game said that they didn't feel the the backswing affected the play. There's certainly some wiggle room on when Baez was a batter or a runner on that play, but there's going to be a lot of hot takes tomorrow saying it was a clearly blown call, without looking at the full rule book.

Thanks for the additional rule book information on that, Rob. It didn't appear to me that Javy's backswing interfered with Wieter's ability to catch the pitch, nor go after it after it got away. In the broad scope of the play, it played out like it should have.

Also: one series closer to using Schwarber as a DH! I think that indentation on the wall from his single will stay awhile (2nd hardest hit off his bat this season per statcast)

Javy hitless in the 5 games? I cant remember him getting on via an actual batted ball.

You are correct, sir. Hopefully, his recent futility will cause him to adjust his approach in the upcoming series -- and sooner rather than later. He was expanding his zone something awful tonight.

This series was as bad as I've seen Javy at the plate. Scary stuff.

Mostly happy with my decision to turn in around the 7th inning. Gotta save the sleepless nights for the NLCS and potentially another WS. The blood pressure spike of that 7-out save might have done me in.

Have your doc prescribe a small amount of Xanax. It does wonders when used appropriately. And, no hangover!

50-100mg of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) works wonders for sleepless nights without many downsides. 30-60 minutes before you want to crash and you're set. don't play around though. take it only if you know you're in for the night and want to crash out because you'll feel/act loopy if you "fight" it putting you out.

Can the Rickets purchase the dented RF wall and attach it somewhere over RF bullpen door?

I thought all the hot takes were going to be on that dropped 3rd strike/backswing call but the focus seems to be on the pick-off replay.


he was clearly. You want to try and change the rule to legislate that coming off the bag is not an out, good luck, be sure you bring back the neighborhood play while you're at it. 

I was surprised that Jay's slide into Murphy didn't get Bryant called out that scored a run. He slid straight and was within reach of the bag but he does kick his leg up a little at the end. Didn't effect the play ultimately as Bryant clearly beat it, but that's not the rule. I guess he didn't kick the leg up enough to warrant the call, but it was pretty damn close.

anyway, a shitty loss like that couldn't happen to a shittier organization. Werth and Baker are awful and the Nats should pay for eternity for not starting Strasburg in 2012 playoffs.

Also -- the "Get Loud!" and "2 Strikes!" signs were awful and have no place in baseball. This is not the NBA, and it's not the 1970's, where all teams had fake grass and exploding scoreboards.

I was in Wrigley recently and the whole experience was magical, even in a 3-0 loss to the Brewers. Once the game starts, there's an electric hum in the air every second from the crowd that drowns out any noise from the amped-up PA system. In Washington, the scoreboard is too big and loud and bullying. (I think they found the schematics in Orwell's papers.) The fake noise reverberates off the ubiquitous empty seats. I do like the nightly salutes to the military and the Presidents' Race, and there's also a Shake Shack.

The "off the bag" call is also why it makes sense (from a run-scoring perspective) to slide head-first into home. Many feet-first slides have the lead foot over, not on, the plate.

I think we have reached break-even on baseball karma -- last year's rain delay, then the following sequence: - IBB (to a truly terrible hitter) - K, reach on passed ball - Catcher's interference - HBP Apparently, those 4 things had NEVER happened in a single half-inning. Never. They happened in 4 consecutive ABs with 2 outs against one of the best pitchers in baseball. Maddon brings the mojo.

Everyone hates Heyward now, huh? Bummer.

He's truly special defensively and considering the Cubs were 2nd in league in runs scored, I think they can bite that bullet on offense. 

Dodgers start 3 lefties, we'll see how many starts he gets. On the other hand, that's a big fucking outfield.

Should see a lot of Almora and Happ too. Not sure when Schwarber is going to get any starts.

I agree on Heyward. I know the money is a lot, but he is a big part of this team’s success in “the sum of the parts is greater than the whole” synergy thing... “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions,etc.” And to me that is worth every penny they pay him.

Yup. Making the catch look easy on that slicing drive down the line in the 6th was worth at least $10 m of his contract.

I also always try to consider JHey's contract alongside Lester's contract. Of all of the big, big contracts for SP in the past couple of years, Lester's is one of the only ones that has really panned out thus far (knock on wood). We could have had $75m of James Shields or $30m/yr of whatever David Price is doing.

yup, not pretending it's gonna be a good contract at the end of all this nor that Heyward has been disappointing with the bat. But more hits than misses is really the most you can ask for on big contracts. If Cubs are lucky, Heyward has a huge year next year and opts out, unlikely as that may be.

well, dude has hit .243/.315/.353 over 2 seasons while his 2-ish chances a game in the OF are about all you can count as a positive over an extended period of time (so far). his .200 ob% over 60PA of postseason ball with the cubs isn't doing him many favors, either. making a nice catch every 10-20 games can only buy so much love when you're on a 8/184m deal. if he can return to his .350-ish ob%, 10-15hr, 30double "normal" it would at least be what most of us were expecting as a minimum compliment to his D.

i vote for the glue factory.

lackey is a FA after this year and isn't an issue going forward.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 5 hours 9 min ago (view)

    side note...k.wong is on 1st putting on one of those "baserunning mitts" (hand protection for sliding) that's extending past the length of his hand/fingers by at least 2-3 inches.

    they're going to have to start regulating this piece of equipment if this keeps up...


  • crunch 7 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Q with LAA in his debut for them...HBP, a wild pitch, and BB through 7 pitches...then 3 pop-outs to follow.

    blah blah spring training...

    baseball on TV...neat.


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 30 min ago (view)

    We just traded for Maddux!!!   ......... nope, the other one.


  • crunch 23 hours 1 min ago (view)

    yeah, i'm just saying i did consider piling onto it with a troll-level post about the's practically asking to be written that way.

    jeff passan did it quite well...

    that said, i had no idea zach bryant existed before today, but his early numbers looked oddly good (which means nothing without context that early in his career).


  • Charlie 23 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Oh, I mean the trade. You were quite diligent in posting!


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    i contemplated writing the post totally trolled out as hell with "zach" coming after a wall of text.

    i decided the cubs being cheap was enough pre-season punishment without piling on.


  • Charlie 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    This is a straight up troll 


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    rsox aquiring ZACH bryant from the cubs.

    ptbn from the josh osich deal.

    totally useless trade...hopefully not a terrible loss.


  • Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal


  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 6 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.