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.

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  • First.Pitch.120 3 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!

     

  • crunch 16 hours 45 min ago (view)

    ha.  also, this reminds me that Grand Slam cereal existed in the late 90s.  it was basically Kix with the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (in baseball items shape).  it was actually really good.

     

  • Charlie 19 hours 7 min ago (view)

    I just love cereal so much

     

  • bradsbeard 20 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Yeah, both of those guys have some versatility. Could make a nice platoon if it ever came to that. 

     

  • bradsbeard 20 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Rooting for General Mills?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 51 min ago (view)

    I like that they're trying Robel and Giambrone all over the diamond.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 57 min ago (view)

    I'll just be here salivating over the possibility of observing a sub-70MPH curve ball. :)

    Rooting for Mills in general. Seems like fun as a 5th starter.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 8 sec ago (view)

    dusty baker + adam greenberg piece...

    https://www.mlb.com/news/dusty-baker-adam-greenber...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Man this Dodger broadcast is garbage.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 23 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Love those breakdowns Phil - thank you!

    People tweeted about watching the Cubs game live here yesterday: http://yoursports.stream/mlb?v=MTQ5NzY2MDMw Might work for anyone on here who can't seem to get the game today.

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Phil for these breakdowns. Really helpful.

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    i forgot about these types of update posts...thanks for the breakdowns.  they're really useful.

    strong agreement on the mess t.olson was throwing.  he didn't even look happy with himself out there.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    I know most of you saw the game or will be seeing the game, but for anyone else who might be interested, here are the Cubs pitchers velo readings from Saturday night's game: 

    Alec Mills: 
    FB: 90-92 
    CH: 82-83 
    SL: 80-81 
    CV: 68 
    NOTES: Nice mix of pitches... Mills obviously comes from the "I'm a pitcher not a thrower" school, all of which means command & control matters a lot and he had both tonight... a legit candidate for the Cubs #5 SP slot... 

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    hell of a 1st game.  even the good and bad mean nothing this early in spring, but it was a nice one.  i'm not worried about rizzo misplaying a couple balls in the first innings, nor do i think bote is on his way to a batting title.  spring is meaningless enough without trying to read into february spring games.  it was a fun watch, though.

    my biggest regret is not seeing souza chase down any plays in LF while he was in the game.  that's something i really would like to see this early in spring.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    I also hope they edit it for the season. doesn't list pitcher or hitter or pitches thrown.

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    "i'm feeling right at home." - mark grace