Thursday Morning Stand-up
What they did yesterday:
All you one-run-win truthers out there rejoice, the Cubs won a nail-biter. Jose Quintana went six strong, allowing six hits, while striking out (the same amount) of hitters. With two on and nobody out in the 6th, Javier ‘El Mago’ Baez turned a short-hop liner into a 6-5-4 double play. Somewhat similar to the play he made against the Dodgers in NLCS Game 2.
Garret Cole was slightly more impressive, allowing just two hits over eight scoreless. He struck out eight but did walk four. The Cubs’ bats wouldn’t come alive until the 9th, lead by a one out walk from Anthony Rizzo. Recently acquired pitcher, err center fielder, Leonys Martin would pinch run and score on a triple from (recently acquired) Alex Avila. Some are even going as far as calling this ‘The Deadline Acquisitions Game’, or ‘The Theo Game’. Oh, just me? Never mind then.
Nevertheless, a win is a win is a win. Pair that with a Brewers loss 🙂 and a Cardinals win 🙁 and you have a flip in the standings by one half game: Cardinals 4.0 GB, Brewers 4.5 GB.
What they’ll do today:
Rubber match: Jon Lester takes on Jameson Taillon before the Cubs head back to Wrigley for some Friday Night Baseball.
What’s in their way:
Health: The team has been able to sustain some breathing room despite missing the two regular position players. Nobody is going to argue the importance Willson Contreras has in the starting lineup. The emergence of a consistent Javy Baez has some asking questions about the return of Addison Russell and it will certainly be interesting to see how Joe handles the return of his once everyday shortstop. He is certainly someone you want on that playoff roster, so here’s to hoping this time off to get healthy is just what he needed to return to productive form. It could be two times around the rotation before seeing Jake Arrieta take the mound again. Sadly this comes during a time Cy Arrieta was starting to show himself again. I don’t worry much about Jake given the intensity at which he manages his body, so if he’s confident, I am too.
That’s what he said: Despite just winning a World Series (people forget that), there is still that ominous feeling surrounding this team. I know all my doubts were supposed to be lifted with the trophy over Theo’s head, but that Cub fan feeling hangs over this season just a little more than I expected it would. They just need to handle their business over these last 22, especially against the Brewers and Cardinals (duh), and find whatever switch they need to flip to get hot at the right time. A deep run through October, just enough to make these old doubt-filled habits die hard.