How the Cubs can come back in this series. Part I
Yes, we all bitched and moaned during the National’s series. Yet we won. Now, we are all bitching and moaning again during the Dodger series. Rightfully so? You dang right! The Cubs find themselves in a huge hole heading to Wrigley where they hope that the gusty north wind and the smell of Budweiser will change the fortunes of this series. There is a WHOLE lot of work that needs to be done in order to savor victory and move on to the World Series. How much work? Today I will take a look at our pitching staff.
Jake Arrieta- Big contracts awaits him? Well now is the time for him to show his worth. After going 4 innings against the Nationals while striking out 4, this is put up or shut up time. The Cubs will either be down 3 games or on the verge of tying the series when he gets the ball Wednesday night. We need good Jake to take the ball.
Kyle Hendricks- Kyle, IMO, had a great first outing against the Nationals. What was the difference between his first start to his second start? Leaving the 87 MPH fast ball belt high so they could go ‘yack’ on it. Kyle is about finesse and painting the corners. If he doesn’t have finesse tomorrow night, Teen Wolfe will be eating again.
Jose Quintana- Jose didn’t do a bad job in game one. He just suffered from what all our other pitchers have done this postseason: use one inning to crap down their leg. Ball 4, Ball 8, two runners on and two runners in. He has the stuff to be a number one pitcher. Mind isn’t in a number one position right now.
Jon Lester: Give it up to this dude. He is a horse. He worked his ass off in relief against the Nationals and then again on Sunday night. Sure he walked five. That’s gravy work compared to others. Too bad his arm isn’t rubber so we could use him every night. We need to get to game 6 to get him the ball back.
Wade Davis: Dude, I’m sorry you didn’t get in the game to face Teen Wolfe. I guess holding you back another two days will allow you to be extra fresh. Thank you for your work getting 7 outs against the Nationals in game 5. But guess what? You will be expected to do it again. The others listed below will have to do their jobs first. P.S. Don’t walk people.
Brian Duensing: Not a great job last night but not too bad either. You are in the same category as Hendricks. Sometimes you think you are a doberman when in fact you are a wiener dog. Know your role, know how you throw, and throw strikes. We will need you again. Get your off speed stuff over and we will be fine.
Carl Edwards, Jr.: Last night is what we expected from you for all of postseason play. The last time we saw you in D.C. it looked as if you saw your major league playing time flash before your eyes as you were walking off the field after 4 balls to the only batter you faced. You pitch like you did last night, son, you will be the key to our success this week.
Mike Montgomery: Same page, different verse. Brother you need to fill up the strike zone. Get that bomb that was hit off of you in D.C. outta your head and move on. You and Brian are our only lefties that we have down in the pen. We have to count on you to get right in order to finish strong. Think back to that last strike in the World Series last year….that’s who we need right now.
Hector Rondon: I saw you warm up last night. I got scared. But I thought, “Who else we got?”. We need you to come in without the “what are they gonna think of me now” look on your face. Throw strikes. Repeat, rinse.
Pedro Strop: I got excited when you came into the game last night, following Jr.’s outing, when you got the first two batters out. Then you walked the third guy. Quite being so up and down. Find the intestinal fortitude and tell yourself that you will have a clean inning. Quite trying to be pretty and, again, throw strikes.
John Lackey: I’m sorry brother. Not that you gave up the bomb to Teen Wolfe. I’m sorry that Joe Maddon put you in that spot. I know you would have rather sat in the pen, a long distance from the next bullpen guy (ala you and Wilson in the pen together in D.C.). I hope you are able to come in and throw one more pitch so that the “jack” isn’t your last claim to fame. I love your bulldog mentality. The pen just didn’t work out.
There you go folks. In order for us to win this series we have to throw strikes. Been saying it since little league ball. It still applies to today’s game. Tomorrow, I will bring you what we need to do as an offense in order to win the series. I bet you can guess though.