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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  • Hagsag 8 hours 38 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 14 hours 43 min ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.

     

  • Charlie 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Who are you all rooting for in the World Series? I'm rooting for the Nats to face and defeat Houston, I think, but with very mild interest. Let them get that championship out of the way and then maybe go the way of the post-2016 Cubs.

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what do you think the Cubs will do with Oscar de la Cruz if they don’t add him back to the 40 man? Can they try to re-sign him but wait until after the Rule 5 to make it official? Do you think they will try to keep him in the organization in some fashion? 

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Angels also make sense as a destination for Kris Bryant. 

     

  • azbobbop 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I wonder if Maddon will take any of the coaches with him.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    I doubt that Maddon would have taken the job if the Angels aren't fully prepared to sign one or maybe even two FA TOR SP (like Gerrit Cole and/or Stephen Strasburg if he opts out). 

    When you have the best player in MLB and now the highest-paid manager, not making the playoffs again in 2020 just can't be acceptable. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 15 min ago (view)

    HOU/NYY postponed.

     

  • crunch 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    as expected, joe maddon to be the new manager of the angels.

    btw, it is unlikely tonight's HOU @ NYY (10/16) will happen because of rain that's going to start 3-4 hours before game time and carry well into the night.

     

  • crunch 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    world series will be played in DC for the first time since 1933.  neat.

     

  • crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    and it's only getting worse...i mean, better.

    7 runs to pad out the 1st.

     

  • Craig A. 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Oof. Hudson leaves the game after giving up five runs on singles and doubles and only getting one out.