Playoff Push – Part 3
I want to open this weeks discussion with some commentary – I love meaningful September baseball. Don’t get me wrong, I would have preferred this division to be wrapped up in a shiny bow (like a lot of us thought it should have been) a while back. However, there is not much in the world better than a meaningful, emotional September series versus the Cardinals.
How It Happened
Tuesday – Cubs 8, Mets 3
Gsellman was no match for an offense that is looking to start clicking. After a much needed off day, the Cubs walked 5 times in route to scoring 8 runs on 11 hits. Schwarber showed signs of maturity by having a perfect night at the plate, including his 26th home run. Quintana continued his great stretch, going 7 strong with 6H, 1BB and 7 SO. If there was a must win game after last weekend, this was it.
Wednesday – Cubs 17, Mets 5
If you told me in the 2nd Inning of this game Lester would go 6 innings, I would have laughed at you. Jon looked rocky to start the game, but gutted out 6 IP, giving up only 6 H and 2R. The offense continued to torment a Mets pitching staff that is so different than the group that shut down the Cubs in the 2015 NLCS. Lester commented after the game on this matter, discussing that baseball has no guarantees and you must push when you have opportunities. Bryant and Zobrist stayed hot, but Albert Almora used his 2 at bats to drive in 6 with a triple and home run.
Thursday – Cubs 14, Mets 6
Tseng’s first start; rest for Montgomery…? I go back and forth on whether I really understand this move. Ultimately, I am coming to the conclusion that this was an insurance policy on Jake Arrieta. If Jake was done, who could the Cubs slot in to finish the year, while keeping Montgomery in the pen? He was clearly nervous, but a suddenly dynamic offense carried the load.
The Weekend – B.E.A-utiful. Ejections. Suspensions. But most importantly – BROOMS!
The 1st place Cubs are 4 games up on Milwaukee and 6 games up on the Cardinals.
Magic Number – 10
What is Next?
Unfortunately, there is not much of a break: 2games in Tampa, followed by the big 4 game series in Milwaukee.
I am not going to post the rotation this week, for there is not much clarity in Jake Arrieta.
13 games left! Let’s do this!