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World Series Game 1 Notes

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Box Score / Condensed Game

Game 1 is in the books and Cubs fans have stepped to the ledge, ready to jump off. Let’s talk about why game one is simply that, game one.

There are definitely things to come away from the game with that cause you to be disappointed, but to think the series is over is ridiculous, yet so many followers sent me messages on Twitter saying how concerned they were. It’s absurd. Let’s think this through.

CLEVELAND DOESN’T HAVE GOOD STARTING PITCHING – Before you start throwing things at me saying how dominant Corey Kluber was, stop and take a look at the rest of what they have. Trevor Bauer has one of his fingers that is completely disgusting from a drone accident. If you didn’t see the story, Google the photos, but be warned. Josh Tomlin is a little more than league average, and then they don’t really have a 4th guy. Kluber would have to start again on short rest in game 4. I think our guys will figure out Bauer, if he can even go a decent amount of innings, and I think we’ll hit Tomlin. We saw what we did to Clayton Kershaw the second time seeing him, so calm down. Things are OK.

THE UNHITTABLE ONE WAS HITTABLE – Coming into the series, people were talking mostly about Andrew Miller, and for good reason. The guy was the ALCS MVP. He’s been that good. The Cubs faced him in the 7th and th 8th and didn’t look overmatched in either inning. They didn’t score, but sometimes just knowing you can hit the guy will get in your head and get in his head. Tack on the fact that Miller threw 46 pitches last night and there isn’t much to worry about. Let’s say he does come in tonight to pitch. He can’t possibly be as fresh. We should be able to get to him, especially now having stepped into the box against him the night before. I’m not afraid of Miller. Calm down. Things are OK.

THREE STRAIGHT GAMES AT WRIGLEY – If I’m the Indians, the thing I’m worried about most, despite having home field advantage, is the concept of going to Wrigley for three straight if this series is tied at one. In my opinion, it’s an unfair system, the 2-3-2 format of games, but we can use it to our advantage. This Cubs team will not lose one of those games at Wrigley. Maybe it was just me, but the Indians fans and that stadium didn’t seem to have much of an atmosphere last night. You saw people get up to cheer more out of responsibility rather than raving fandom. Wrigley will be rocking and the Indians should be worried. You get one tonight and go back to close it out at home. Calm down. Things are OK.


Game 2 – 7:08pm EDT (Note the Time Change)

Jake Arrieta – 0-1, 4.91 ERA – Arrieta is well-rested after not pitching since a loss in Game 3 of the NLCS. He faced Cleveland once during his NL Cy Young Award-winning 2015 season, allowing four runs in five innings.


Trevor Bauer – 0-0, 5.06 ERA – The Indians turn to Trevor Bauer, whose right pinkie injury forced him to leave ALCS Game 3 after two-thirds of an inning.


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World Series Game 1 Discussion Thread

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

It’s game day. Do you have your tie on like in middle and high school when you are on a team and have a game that afternoon? Let’s discuss a few things this morning in anticipation of tonight’s opening game.

  1. Did the Cubs make the right decision by putting Kyle Schwarber on the playoff roster for the World Series given that he could damage the knee and be out most of next year? If yes, what do you expect to see from him in this series?
  2. If the Cubs do not win the series this year, will this season be marked as a failure in your book? Why or why not?
  3. What is your ideal lineup for game one tonight?
  4. What are your predictions for the series? By predictions, don’t just predict who wins the series, but also prop bet type predictions too like who is the MVP, crazy things that may happen, etc.

Let’s get this work day over with and settle in.

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One Step Closer

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Dodgers 0 @ Cubs 5 (Box Score)

When I started this site, it was shortly after the Cubs lost game 7 of the 2003 NLCS. I watched game 6 on my couch and was stunned at what I saw, but hopeful that we would win game 7. Last night, as I went through my day, I kept thinking about how game 6 could either really hurt or be complete bliss. Thankfully, the coffee tastes good this morning, which is crazy because I don’t even drink coffee. One thing I’ve learned in my 13 years doing this site is that you, the reader, do not come here because I wax poetically about the Cubs. I’ve learned that I’m an average, at best, writer, and that there are many who have contributed here that are far greater and more talented that I am. Instead, what I’ve learned is that you come here for the community we’ve built and to discuss with other Cubs fans. So, I’ll get out of the way and give you my quick thoughts and let you guys do what you do best.

  • Kyle Hendricks was everything you wanted him to be. I’ve been a Hendricks guy from the beginning. Don’t believe me? Check the archives. However, I never imagined him being this guy. It was so good to see him pitch the way he did on the big stage last night and overshadow all the love for Clayton Kershaw. Well done, sir.
  • The offense did exactly what you wanted. They came out aggressive and jumped on Kershaw early and never looked back. If you look at the game progression above, the Cubs just put them in the sleeper hold and put them to sleep.
  • Rumors flew yesterday afternoon that Kyle Schwarber could return for the World Series. The Cubs activated him from the 60 day DL and sent him to the Arizona Fall League. He started at DH and went 0-for-3 with a walk. I don’t know how to not feel excited about this, but it’s important to realize that he’s nothing more than a lottery ticket at the plate right now. You’re really just hoping for a home run on a mistake pitch.

That’s all I’ve got. It was a great night to watch baseball and I’m looking forward to the World Series. Let’s just hope that all the celebration last night isn’t the climax. We’ve got work to do still and it starts on Tuesday.

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NLCS Game 5 Notes

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Cubs 8 @ Dodgers 4 (Box Score)

We’re going back to Chicago, folks!!! When I last posted, things looked grim with the Cubs mired in a slump of scoreless innings. Since then, we’ve busted out and now have the momentum. Here are my notes from last night’s win.

    • Jon Lester has been the ace of this staff all year and he showed it again last night. Of all the pitchers on this staff, I have the most faith in Lester right now. We worried a little about the idea of stolen bases and the running game that the Dodgers planned to employ, but overall it wasn’t much of a factor. There were times, but I didn’t feel like Lester was ever rattled by it like Rich Hill was when he had Anthony Rizzo on first base in game 3. I sometimes wonder if Lester is hustling everyone and is going to one day bust out this wicked pick off move in a massively huge situation and blow everyone’s minds. All he had to do was throw to 1st and he had guys picked off last night, but he chose not to. This might be a situation like in White Man Can’t Jump where Sydney and Billy are just hustling their opponents.
    • Joe Maddon went with the Aroldis Chapman two inning “save” and I hated it from the moment he started warming up. Chapman has said repeatedly he doesn’t like the multiple inning outing, but has gone to Joe and said he is available if needed. I don’t see the need last night to call on Aroldis in the 8th. Why do we have guys like Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon, who have been in big situations before, if we’re not going to use them. Has Joe forgotten that Strop has the power to call on the souls of his dead grandparents? Use these guys and put Chapman in a position he is most likely to be successful. It’s almost like Maddon’s manager button got spilled on and it’s now all scrambled. Stick to the plan that got us here. Stop over managing.
    • For the 2nd straight game, the offense has delivered, particularly Addison Russell. Another two run homer for Addy and it was a huge one. I jumped out of my seat and yelled “He did it again!!!” as soon as he connected.
  • In a rather creepy interview in game, Matt Szczur revealed that Rizzo had used his bat before and that the night before, Russell had worn Szczur’s underwear.

  • Javier Baez is a bad man. His play last night even had Doc Raker send me a text apologizing for wanting him traded. You’re forgiven, Rake.
  • Cap’n Obvious had the opportunity to attend the game in person and sit next to the one, the only, Marla Hooch from A League of Their Own.

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Cubs Are One Step Closer

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

We’re steadily inching closer to the impossible. After winning the NLDS, the Chicago Cubs are one step closer to the World Series. They narrowly escaped a tough series against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants thanks to some terrific performances by Javier Baez and clutch pitching from Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. Now, the team is taking on Clayton Kershaw (who just recorded his first-ever professional save) and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

The Cubs have been pegged as the favorites to win it all since the beginning of the year and they’re living up to those lofty expectations. It’s been an incredible 108 years since the Cubs last won the World Series—the same number of stitches in a baseball!—and fans are trying to remain as optimistic as possible. But they’re also avoiding potentially jinxing the team. Based on Chicago’s post-season play so far, though, Cubs fans are riding high with plenty to be excited about.

No one denies that the Chicago Cubs have one of the most talented rosters in baseball, if not the most talented. Jake Arrieta has been on fire this post-season and is still among the favorites to take this year’s NL Cy Young Player Award. The 30-year-old pitcher began the season with 6/1 odds of winning his second Cy Young and continues to perform well down the stretch. That includes a notable three-run homer off Bumgarner that actually ended Madbum’s streak for scoreless innings in the playoffs. Other members of Chicago’s terrifying bullpen are also in contention with both Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks making their own cases for the award.

However, some of the biggest talk of the postseason has been about Javier Baez. He has been positively electric for the Cubs on both offense and defense so far, and we have a feeling that the 23-year-old Puerto Rican infielder is just getting warmed up. Baez rocked a solo home-run off of Johnny Cueto in the bottom of the eighth to sew up Game 1 for the Cubs. The homer marked the first time the Cubs had won a playoff game 1-0 since the 1906 World Series. Baez became a hero once again when he managed to clinch Game 4 with a crucial single. He has become a human highlight reel during the playoffs through his reliable hitting and acrobatic throws.

As the series with the Dodgers gets underway, we can only hope the Cubs will continue their run of terrific form all the way through to the World Championships. Regardless of what happens, it’s going to be the end of a long drought for either ball club. The Cubs are trying to earn their first National League championship since 1945, and the Dodgers are aiming for their first since 1988.

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