View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2017



The B-Team Rides Again

Written by , Posted in General

Business done, division in hand, party complete…it looks like the regulars are going to get plenty of rest as we make our way to the postseason.  These games against the Reds really don’t mean a thing, except to pad that win total–a sweep of the hapless Reds would have the Cubs finish up at a very nice 93-69–not too bad for a team that, at one point, looked like it might struggle to get to 85 wins.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the game, what with work being in the way and me not knowing it was a day game until…about the time it went final.  But, it’s good to see Ian Happ notch his 24th homer as the decisive blow.  And Hector Rondon wound up with a hit–only in September–after a replay review.  And, well, the lineup was pretty much otherwise full of guys we won’t be seeing much of in a few days’ time.  With all the beverages they had available Wednesday in St Louis, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lot of guys still nursing a pretty good hangover.  Lackey and Theo might not even be sober yet.

Does Ian Happ fit in to the postseason roster as a regular, or a bat off the bench?  He’s 5 homers shy of matching Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, and while he’s not a great outfielder, he’d be an upgrade over Schwarber or Ben Zobrist out there.  But, he hasn’t been on that stage before, it might not be worth thrusting him into that spotlight…no more guesswork with lineups come October, and I hope Joe Maddon gets it.

As for the NLDS rotation, I would presume we won’t know the plan until the day the series starts; not just because teams like to be secretive, but because they may just not know right now.  All four of the starters that figure to be in the rotation–Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Jose Quintana, and Kyle Hendricks (in no particular order)–all have arguments to be made in their favor, as well as arguments against.  We could also get a surprise if John Lackey slots in somewhere.  In any case, Arrieta won’t make what would have been his last start on Sunday, and instead throw a simulated game.  Meantime, I would lay odds on the Nats putting Max Scherzer, he of the heterochromic eyes, out there to start things off.

In odd stats, an odd one that I wouldn’t quite have expected: which pitcher has the lowest ERA through 100 career games?

Yep.  None other than Kyle Hendricks, better than…a pretty damn good list of names.  The impressiveness of this can vary, depending on your thoughts of how effective ERA is as a measure of a pitcher’s quality.

Two more games before the second season starts.  Time for a couple more wins, maybe get Bryant and Schwarber their 30th homers to give the team three 30 HR players on the year, and then hop on the roller coaster ride that will be the MLB Postseason.

  • Bryzzo1744

    The only thing left to play for is HFA over the Yankees in the World Series.

  • Doc Raker

    I can make no argument not to have Jimi starting a game in the division series, if I write the line up he starts game 1.

    Schwarber has 30 jacks in 400 AB’s.

    • Brad Lyerla

      KS could make the HOF as a DH.

    • The iPad’s Mom

      If it’s me, games one and two go to Hendricks and Quintana. Lester gets game three at home.

      Likely to see Strasbourg in game one – I have to have Jay in the lineup against him, and also have to have Russell/Baez up the middle, so it’s gotta be Heyward in right, and I don’t care which of Zobrist or Schwarber plays left. The other positions are obvious.

      Beating the Nationals will mean shutting down their running game – which is another reason that Contreras needs to be behind the plate every game – regardless of righty/lefty bullshit, and Baez up the middle (which means no Happ or Zobrist at 2b this series.) Happ is another corner OF option for me – but not CF, which I’d leave for Jay and/or Almora only.

      Don’t listen to my son. He’s an idiot.

      • Doc Raker

        JJ LF
        KB 3b
        Riz 1b
        Contreras C
        Almora CF
        Baez 2b
        Russell ss
        Heyward RF
        Jimi P

        We need a couple 17 pitch AB’s to get Strausburg out of the game sooner than later and we need to put him in the stretch so we can go boom for some quick runs

    • Seymour Butts

      Think he will get 53 today?

  • Doc Raker

    Len Kasper posted his playoff rotation.
    1) John Legend
    2) Lady Gaga
    3) The Blues Brothers
    4) Murph and the Magic Tones

    Because Len digs music not baseball

  • Doc Raker

    The Curious Case of Kyle Schwarber: Check out his September stats.
    AVG .288 OBP 344 SLUGGING .610 OPS .954
    59AB’s 6HR’s 1 double 20 K’s
    So 10 singles and 7 extra base hits.

    When used properly Schwarbs is an offensive threat that can quickly give the Cubs some runs.

  • Eddie Von White

    Today is Len Elimination Day.

    • Doc Raker

      Celebrate LED! We are on TBS for the divisional series, I hope they have Ron Darling doing the games and not with Hubbie Brooks the basketball announcer.