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Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2017



Perplexing Playoff Points

Written by , Posted in General

The magic Number has dwindled to 2 as our boys in blue showed October mental-toughness in a series victory versus an especially pesky Brewer club. As they continued to do their best 2015 Cub impersonation, the Cubs delivered a divisional knock out blow.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

No more playoff push. It’s playoff prep.

I will leave this open ended as I am looking to generate a spirited discussion as we head to the final week. As we prep for the first 3 straight playoff appearance Cub team since 1908, I have begun asking myself questions in roster and lineups. In games where ‘everything’ is on the line, then who starts? What is the lineup? The answers may not be as clear as you think.

The Lineup

Beyond Rizzo and Bryant, I am stumped. Jon Jay has been the best backup I didn’t know I wanted. Zobrist brought me so much joy last year and is returning to form. I have 2 middle infielders who I want in every game I can, but have to sacrifice a WS MVP to play them. I love Schwarber’s bat and always will, but is he a starter when you need at bats for Happ?

The Rotation

This situation is easier on paper. If Lester doesn’t pick it up this week, do you hope ‘Big-Game’ Jon shows up in the playoffs. Gun to my head, my playoff rotation is Arrieta, Hendricks, Quintana.

The Bullpen

Wade Davis finally had his ‘balance his luck’ moment on Saturday. Would you really want Wade going into the Playoffs perfect? I personally like seeing a guy can be human and recover. Does Joe trust anyone not named Montgomery or Edwards? Do you?

What do you think?

  • Michael S.

    Like last year, your starting infield has to be Bryant, Russell, Baez, Rizzo, with Contreras behind the plate; outfield of Happ, Almora, Heyward would be my best bet, but you can do some mix and match. Have La Stella, Zobrist, Jay, Schwarber, and Avila off the bench.

    Pitching-wise, I like your thoughts on the rotation, but…we know it’s not gonna happen that way. For the LDS, you’re gonna end up with Lester, Arrieta, Quintana, with Hendricks in the ‘pen; Montgomery, Edwards, Davis, Rondon, Strop, Wilson, Duensing, and probably Grimm round out the pitching staff…beyond Edwards and Monty, I think you can trust Duensing, but the rest are probably a crapshoot. Beyond the LDS, I would think Hendricks returns from the pen to the rotation, and just have one fewer guy in the pen…otherwise, gotta figure out who to take off the bench for a Lackey.

    • Doug S.

      Who’s telling Lackey he doesn’t make the cut?

      • Michael S.

        Let Joe West tell him. He likes to yell at umpires anyway.

      • No one does. Maddon doesn’t have the bits. He should pitch Hendricks, Arietta, Quintana. My guess as I vomit a bit, is that he goes with Lester, Arietta, and yes, Lackey. (On the other hand I also predicted they’d be returning to their off-season homes on Oct 2 so what do I know)

      • Doug S.

        There’s not many open seats on that prediction bus.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I’m with you. Lackey doesn’t belong on the playoff roster, but the stupid iPad says he does.

      • Doc Raker


    • Dork

      Do you think you go with 3 not 4 man rotation?

      • Michael S.

        For the LDS, since it’s at most 5 games with 2 off days, yeah. For the LCS and WS, you bump it to 4.

      • Bryzzo1744

        World Series you could go back to 3, because that’s it.

      • Michael S.

        That worked real well for Cleveland last year…

      • Eddie Von White

        … until the top of the 10th.

      • Doc Raker

        It did, they certainly didn’t lose game 7 in inning 10 because of how they handled their starting pitchers

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I think Maddon is a 4 man rotation guy all the way though the playoffs. My bet is Lester, Arietta, Quintana, Hendricks. Both the Nationals, and Dodgers have trouble with lefties.

      • Michael S.

        You’re right, looks like he did have 4 starters all the way the last couple years. Bit odd.

      • Sherm

        Good chance it’ll be Lester, Quintana, Montgomery and Lackey throwing left-handed.

      • Michael S.

        Are you saying Lackey is a rich man’s Pat Venditte?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I view Lackey as being a guy who brings everybody down to the gutter, certainly not a rich man.

      • Michael S.

        The Cubs are the rich man. Overpaying him for what we’re getting out of him. He’s surely making more than Venditte is, if he’s even still in baseball.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I think Arietta with all of his yoga and shit has a better chance throwing as a lefty.

      • Dork

        I tend to think it will be 4 man too, with the lefties. If you went to a 3 man I think you still would get 2 lefties, but then arguably you would leave out one of your best pitchers.

  • Jeff

    I love the discussion on this.Ultimately, I think it is amazing that we have so many lineup questions.

    However, the rotation is very frustrating. If Lester looks Lester-ish tonight, then its most likely Lester, Quintana, Arrieta, Hendricks? I only put the 2 lefties off the bat due to the potential of Harper/Murphy.

  • Doc Raker

    You spelt verse wrong, it’s verses, not versus.

  • Doc Raker

    What are you doing to celebrate Cardinal Elimination Day?