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“Maybe Next Year” -Cardinal’s Nation

Written by , Posted in General

The Iowa Cubs, err, the Chicago Catchers, no.. The 2017 Central Division Champions (there it is!) pull out a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in 11 innings. The team’s 90th win of the season was the last feather plucked from the Cardinals’ playoff hopes. In my opinion, mathematically eliminating your pompous division rival certainly justifies another champagne celebration. Talk about an exclamation point ending to their season; a game ending, robbed home run in the 11th innings is enough to make Leyones Martin hated among baseball’s “Best Fans”. This is the second consecutive season the playoffs will be free from the Devil Magic virus, a baseball tradition we can all certainly get used to. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of a Cubs-Cardinals NLCS has fascinated me since the 2015 division series, but I’ll need to attend few more Cubby Blue parades before actively rooting for both teams to fight for the pennant. While the Cubs struggled to get their feet under them in the division, it certainly wasn’t anything the Cardinals were doing, with a season series of 14-5 in favor of the Central Champs. That’s taking care of business. “That’s Cub!”

Professor Kyle Hendricks’ final lecture of the season was masterful; allowing just four hits over five innings, striking out nine and walking only one. Surely his last start of the regular season, the question surround Kyle is not if, but when he will start against the Washington Nationals. Last season it was a fairly easy decision to have Kyle pitch at Wrigley Field as much as possible. This season doesn’t seem as clear, and maybe it’s just due to a smaller sample size because of his time on the disabled list. The overall inconsistency of the starting rotation makes for a lot of question marks going into the Division Series. My only guess as to how they set the rotation is to split up the lefties and righties, but who starts game 1? I don’t know that there is an “obvious” choice based on performance, but based on experience you give it to Jon Lester. Assuming that is the case, I would say Lester, Arrieta, Quintana, Hendricks makes a lot of sense. What do you think? I could see it going a number of different ways, and let’s not forget John Lackey still exists, especially if Jake Arrieta’s leg problem (which still bothered him on Wednesday) is more than nothing.

A couple quick notes: Ian freaking Happ.

Wow. If you asked me in mid-May (when he was called up), I would have guessed he was destined for the 2017 taxi squad. Hell, in March I didn’t see much hope for him on the 2017 roster at all, and here we are (link). We would have seen him up and down when needed, which, due to the Russell injury would have been quite a bit anyway. I had him probably hovering around 10 home runs, yet here he is on the doorstep of 25 long balls and a legitimate case for postseason regular. Kudos, kid.

Justin Wilson: The only thing you can say is that he has shown flashes, which is far less than expected when the trade was made. Hopefully, something in the October air ignites that fire within, allowing him to be the weapon he can be. He struck out three hitters, but still walked one :/ boo.

John Lackey: Was that Jon Lester speech, in which he said Lack could have just made his final regular season start, supposed to be heard by cameras? But that’s not why I bring him up. I do so because, I see the Cubs making room for him on the playoff roster. I think its between him and third catcher Rene Revera for that final spot. I know Joe enjoys that versatility of the third catcher, but I think Lackey can be effective in a long relief/all-hands-on-deck/innings-eating role.

Its W season, folks. Buckle up.

  • Eddie Von White

    I think you’re correct. Lackey is on the playoff roster. I think Lester will step it up and do well. I think Arietta has lost his mojo. Hendricks, Quintana, Montgomery, Carl’s Jr., Davis. They’re all hitting on all eight cylinders right now. We should go deep.

  • Bryzzo1744

    To the cardinals:
    https://youtu.be/rX7wtNOkuHo

  • Bryzzo1744
  • Brad Lyerla

    Thanks Trevor.
    Happ is not a good centerfielder, but he is dangerous at the plate. It will be interesting to see how Maddon gets him ABs in the post-season.
    Just a few months ago, Wilson was a premier, lights out set up left hander. He looked to be a perfect acquisition for the Cubs. It is hard to figure what happened, or when he will come out of it.
    Lackey has had a nice second half. I would have him on my play off roster. Some see Lackey’s post-season role as redundant with Montgomery’s. I am not so sure. MM is a very different sort of pitcher, and you might need them both.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I see both Lackey and Montgomery as being used the same way Lester was used in game 7 of the World Series. If either Lester or Arrietta show that they do not have their best stuff Lackey can get up with a true reliever, they true reliever can finish the inning while Lackey gets all of the warm-ups he needs to start the next inning. with a double switch enabling Lackey to pitch 2 or more innings to get to our set-up men and closer. This way we are not seeing both Strop and Rondon in the same game.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Jerry, that’s a thoughtful analysis. Who is your emergency starter if one is needed?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        If both Arrietta and Lackey fail it will not matter, the Cubs will be done, The emergency starter would be the one who is not used for multiple innings.

  • cap’n realist

    re: Lackey. The sad truth is that if the Cubs are even in a ‘need’ situation and Lackey is the answer, they are likely so far gone that they are beyond help. Give me the 3rd catcher.

    • Doc Raker

      Exactly, if we need a long reliever our post season won’t be long. With that said, I would rather have Lackey in the pen than Justin Wilson.

    • Adam Peters

      We don’t have the Lester/Ross dynamic at play anymore. WTF do we need a 3rd catcher for? Especially when his name is Rene?

  • Doc Raker

    Let’s review some positives for 2017:
    JJ signing.
    Q trade
    Happ
    Almora
    Contreras
    Javy

    Cardinals home in October.

    Who is Rene Revera? I thought his name was Avila. They are different guys?

    • He’s the chubbier one I think.