Cubs 3, Cleveland 2 (World Series Game 5)

In Commentary And Analysis by berselius155 Comments

OSS: Cubs hang on to send the series back to Cleveland.

Three+ up:

  1. Aroldis Chapman was the Cubs WPA leader (.404), and it’s not even close. Chapman slammed the door on the Indians, pitching 2.2 innings and striking out four. As has been well documented doing this is way out of his comfort zone, but you couldn’t tell tonight. There’s going to be all sorts of records broken for relief pitching contracts in a few months (dying laughing). Hopefully he’s good to go for more on Tuesday, thought probably not for nearly three innings.
  2. Kris Bryant broke out of his slump with a line drive home run in the third inning that got the Cubs rally going.
  3. Rizzo had a nice game as well, just missing going back to back with Bryant in the third and scoring on Russell’s infield single.
  4. Addison Russell had two hits, and great contact on at least one of the hundreds of lineouts to RF the Cubs have drawn up this series. His weakest hit ball was the most important one, because that’s the way this series has gone (dying laughing). He drove in Rizzo for the Cubs second run.
  5. David Ross just missed on connecting with a grand slam that would have brought the house down in his final game at Wrigley, but his sac fly ended up being the deciding run.
  6. Heyward struck out in his first three PAs, but made a great defensive play and made some action on the basepaths in the eighth while the Cubs tried to tack on some insurance. Too bad it was Chapman at the plate.
  7. The last three innings took so many years off my life that I completely forgot that Jon Lester was dealing today. He came out strong, getting tons of whiffs while striking out the side in the first. Aside from a random solo shot he was cruising all the way to the fifth, where he worked around a leadoff double and got burned by a stolen base in the sixth. Still, a fantastic performance all around.

Three+ down:

  1. Javy looked completely lost at the plate, striking out on pitches that crossed the plate in Milwaukee. He did have a slick bunt single though, and we got our requisite JavyTag. Still, I wish Joe had put Schwarber in for him when he came up in the eighth.
  2. I could list like fifteen other tactical things here for Maddon, who overmanaged the hell out of this game. But at least he made sure to lean on his best relief pitcher. Scan through the game thread for all of them, I’m too lazy to lay them out here. Or don’t, I can’t tell you what to do.

Next up: The season lives on with game six in Cleveland, and we get bonus happy bafflement at seeing Kyle Schwarber at the plate. Jake Arrieta takes on Josh Tomlin at 7 pm CT. Hopefully the Cubs don’t make him look like Cy Young again.

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Comments

  1. Smokestack Lightning

    EnricoPallazzo:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Disagree. I thought it felt like it was in hand all game. I mean I was shitting my pants the whole time but at no point did I think it was anything resembling despair.

    Gotta hand it to you. You’ve kept it on the sunnier side the whole way.

    (1)

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  2. cerulean

    So the team that scores first is 0–2 in the last two games. When the stat about teams scoring first being undefeated in the LCS and WS to that point flashed on the broadcast yesterday after the Cubs took the lead, I had an “oh fuck” moment. I am glad to have had a “fuck yeah” moment this time.

    (0)

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  3. Smokestack Lightning

    Francisco Lindor on Chapman:

    “I didn’t think I was capable of hitting any of those pitches he threw me.”

    (5)

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  4. dmick89

    Hopefully Fowler can get something going in the first because I want to shut that stupid Cleveland crowd up. If they beat Timlin Tomlin like they should, I can understand losing to Kluber. He’s a great pitcher, but the fucker that starts game 6 is below average.

    (4)

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  5. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Hopefully Fowler can get something going in the first because I want to shut that stupid Cleveland crowd up. If they beat Timlin Tomlin like they should, I can understand losing to Kluber. He’s a great pitcher, but the fucker that starts game 6 is below average.

    And a further reminder of just how dumb it was the Cubs blew game 3.

    (4)

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  6. Smokestack Lightning

    Is it weird that one of the happier moments of last night’s game for me was seeing Heyward blast the ball foul a couple of times before managing another hit?

    Man, if he would just snap out of it for 2 games…

    (2)

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  7. Smokestack Lightning

    Also, watching Chapman pitch last night, I realized for the first time I will be pretty disappointed if the Cubs don’t re-sign him.

    (4)

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  8. Author
    berselius

    Smokestack Lightning:
    Is it weird that one of the happier moments of last night’s game for me was seeing Heyward blast the ball foul a couple of times before managing another hit?

    Man, if he would just snap out of it for 2 PAs

    I’d even take this

    (4)

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  9. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Yeah, with the uncertainty with Rondon and Joe seemingly trying to avoid using Strop, I think the Cubs really have to try pretty hard to keep Chapman. They also gave up a ton to get him and I don’t want that to become an annual occurrence.

    (1)

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  10. dmick89

    That was an old school save last night. I didn’t figure there was much chance of 3 runs winning the game after the Indians got a man on 2nd with only one out in the 7th. Chapman was impressive.

    (4)

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  11. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: They also gave up a ton to get him and I don’t want that to become an annual occurrence.

    This is perhaps the biggest reason of all.

    And from what I can tell this team is positioned to have one more “peak” year before potentially facing a slight retool. Which is why I’m all on board for bringing back Dexter.

    (2)

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  12. Author
    berselius

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Yeah, with the uncertainty with Rondon and Joe seemingly trying to avoid using Strop, I think the Cubs really have to try pretty hard to keep Chapman. They also gave up a ton to get him and I don’t want that to become an annual occurrence.

    I’m not worried about Rondon for next season, fwiw. I think he’s just rusty, he’ll have time to find his slider again in the offseason.

    (2)

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  13. Perkins

    After seeing Chapman do his thing in the postseason, it would suck to see him do it against the Cubs in years to come. I have to think the Cubs will spend what’s necessary to retain him or get Jansen. Money probably isn’t a huge factor for the front office at this point.

    (3)

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  14. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: Chapman was impressive.

    It was. He actually pitched too. Forget who it was, but Chapman tossed three straight sliders with a man on third. Only threw one of them for a strike, but it was enough so he couldn’t sit dead red, and once Chapman brought back the fastball, dude was cooked.

    (4)

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  15. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius: I’m not worried about Rondon for next season, fwiw. I think he’s just rusty, he’ll have time to find his slider again in the offseason.

    All the better. If Maddon can regain trust in Strop, then with Chapman retained (or Jansen signed), games are 6 innings.

    (0)

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  16. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning: It was. He actually pitched too. Forget who it was, but Chapman tossed three straight sliders with a man on third. Only threw one of them for a strike, but it was enough so he couldn’t sit dead red, and once Chapman brought back the fastball, dude was cooked.

    That was Lindor—a good fastball hitter who has killed the Cubs this series.

    (1)

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  17. cerulean

    Chapman’s usage is interesting. If it takes him a while to warm up but he’s brought in at the start of the eighth, a six out save might be something he can do on a regular basis. That would make him nearly as valuable as a starter.

    Could he handle 120 innings? I think so.

    (0)

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  18. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean:
    Chapman’s usage is interesting. If it takes him a while to warm up but he’s brought in at the start of the eighth, a six out save might be something he can do on a regular basis. That would make him nearly as valuable as a starter.

    Could he handle 120 innings? I think so.

    I think he could too, but I think the need for it in the regular season wouldn’t be that high if the Cubs are getting good stuff from the rest of their arms.

    But starting in September, I’d definitely start ramping him up for the postseason.

    (0)

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  19. cerulean

    I would like to see the Cubs groom the likes of Bailey Clark and Jose Paulino for two-inning stints like that—guys with stuff that don’t have an arsenal of pitches.

    (0)

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  20. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean:
    I would like to see the Cubs groom the likes of Bailey Clark and Jose Paulino for two-inning stints like that—guys with stuff that don’t have an arsenal of pitches.

    Don’t tell me what you’d like to see the Cubs groom.

    (3)

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  21. Smokestack Lightning

    Bleh, BN is a dumpster fire again. Big argument about how Baez should get all the starts at 2B just because he tags good, and you’re “fucking crazy” if you think otherwise.

    I’d ignore over there more but you lazy fuckers don’t post enough here. (dying laughing)

    (4)

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  22. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I go back and forth. Next year, if they were to do this, they should start in August to ramp up his innings. But if that worked with no adverse side effects, why wouldn’t he just do it all year. He would probably win the Cy Young. Imagine his value doubling his production. He is worth about a win by fWAR every twenty innings.

    (0)

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  23. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean,

    That’s the thing, adverse side effects. I really don’t know how his arm would handle a doubling of workload for an entire year, which is why I’m more for splitting the difference and ramping up during the stretch run and into the postseason.

    (1)

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  24. dmick89

    Maybe it’s been said here (didn’t read every word), but one thing to consider with regards to Chapman and Jansen is that Jansen will also cost the Cubs a draft pick. Because of that, I’d rather have Chapman.

    (0)

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  25. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    For sure. Ramp up over two or threes years.

    The one horrible downside during such a transition, however, would be all the “will his arm fatigue because blabbering” narratives. But I am becoming convinced that the one-inning save prevents teams’ best players from playing, so I could tolerate that. He has a lot of strength and life in that arm.

    (1)

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  26. dmick89

    berselius: I’m not worried about Rondon for next season, fwiw. I think he’s just rusty, he’ll have time to find his slider again in the offseason.

    I’m worried because forearm injuries often seem to be precursors to elbow ligament injuries. Also, as dominating as he was in the first half, the Cubs still shelled out a ton to get a closer.

    (1)

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  27. Perkins

    I wonder how much the past domestic abuse allegations will tamp down some of Chapman’s value relative to Jansen. While Jansen costs a draft pick, you can easily make the case that Chapman comes with far more risk. And while I certainly hope all of that will remain in the past (especially for his family’s sake), it’s not like that type of thing is usually a one-off. That has to be a serious consideration in any contract negotiation, even if he’s been a model citizen since then.

    (4)

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  28. dmick89

    Perkins,

    It has to be a factor. Definitely, but I think that sort of thing is best left to those who have more knowledge about what’s happened before and since. If the Cubs re-sign Chapman (and I still think it’s been their plan all along to re-sign him if possible), I’ll assume they’ve determined it’s worth the risk.

    It will surely cost him some money. He’ll be cheaper than Jansen. He’d also not cost the Cubs a draft pick.

    (0)

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  29. cerulean

    Also, using a guy two innings at a time means that he would go on average once every three games, but let’s be honest, there will be a few games that are blowouts or that the Cubs might be down in where Chapman wouldn’t get a decent opportunity to come in the game, or the opposite where he would need to go two or three days in a row. That’s why they have Edwards and Strop and Rondon and whoever else. Hell, Edwards may be a good candidate to also stretch to two innings. I don’t know about Strop and Rondon though.

    (0)

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  30. Myles

    Smokestack Lightning:
    Is it weird that one of the happier moments of last night’s game for me was seeing Heyward blast the ball foul a couple of times before managing another hit?

    Man, if he would just snap out of it for 2 games…

    No. It was the first time he looked like vintage Jason Heyward in a long fucking time. It was a great PA.

    (0)

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  31. Author
    berselius

    Smokestack Lightning:
    Bleh, BN is a dumpster fire again. Big argument about how Baez should get all the starts at 2B just because he tags good, and you’re “fucking crazy” if you think otherwise.

    I’d ignore over there more but you lazy fuckers don’t post enough here. (dying laughing)

    Brett deciding to not have the comments autoload was an MVP decision that pushed BN forward to being the 57th best Cubs blog.

    (5)

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  32. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Sorry man. Once I had the neck/back injury a couple years ago, it’s been difficult enough just doing the minimum amount necessary. I’m like a lazy Latino except I’m a privileged, middle aged white man.

    (dying laughing), no worries, man. I could always find something productive to do when this place goes quiet, and not lurk in meatheadville. I just can’t help myself sometimes.

    (1)

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  33. Smokestack Lightning

    Myles:
    Josh Tomlin sucks. Let’s beat his face in.

    I agree with this analysis and the recommended course of action. Cubs must atone for game three.

    (0)

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  34. Smokestack Lightning

    I figure, if we get to seven, it will be a low-scoring ass-clencher the likes of which we’ve never experienced. Which is why I would like, one last time, to see the 2016 Cubs offense in all its glory against substandard starting pitching in game 6.

    Plus, Tito has gotten away with chucking-out-crap-SP for far too long this postseason. A reckoning is in order.

    (5)

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  35. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius: Brett deciding to not have the comments autoload was an MVP decision that pushed BN forward to being the 57th best Cubs blog.

    Brett seems like pretty good people. Al Yellon as he should have been.

    Unfortunately, he cannot police his comment section without wrecking the site.

    (1)

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  36. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins:
    I wonder how much the past domestic abuse allegations will tamp down some of Chapman’s value relative to Jansen. While Jansen costs a draft pick, you can easily make the case that Chapman comes with far more risk. And while I certainly hope all of that will remain in the past (especially for his family’s sake), it’s not like that type of thing is usually a one-off. That has to be a serious consideration in any contract negotiation, even if he’s been a model citizen since then.

    What’s craziest about the allegation is that without it, he’s probably a Dodger right now and the Cubs aren’t in the World Series.

    (3)

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  37. Rizzo the Rat

    I wish Soler were good enough to move Zobrist to second (making Javy a valuable bench piece), but I don’t think he is.

    (1)

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  38. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat,

    It would be one thing if the “bad week” was so out of character for Baez, but we’ve seen this from him plenty of times before. It’s still too much a part of who he is right now.

    He should have a big role on the 2017 Cubs, but he shouldn’t get the lion’s share of 2B starts and PAs until his bat can force the issue more. That said, I really, really want it to happen. We’d have another 5-6 WAR player under 25 then.

    (0)

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  39. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat:
    I wish Soler were good enough to move Zobrist to second (making Javy a valuable bench piece), but I don’t think he is.

    True. Ftr, I’m assuming the Cubs are going to make a push to keep Fowler right now. And a resurgent Heyward will be in RF again.

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  40. Rizzo the Rat

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Right, we know he’s not a great hitter. We’ve learned nothing we didn’t already know. I think his overall game is strong enough to justify starting him on the current roster, though.

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  41. cerulean

    I love a roving Baez. Give him time at second when Lester and Arrieta are on the mound and against lefty-heavy lineups. Have him at third when Hendricks and others are on the mound. Give Russell an occasional day off. Keep everyone fresh.

    Hell, move him around the infield based on the individual batter spray chart.

    (0)

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  42. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Right, we know he’s not a great hitter. We’ve learned nothing we didn’t already know. I think his overall game is strong enough to justify starting him on the current roster, though.

    Right now I don’t think there’s much choice, so yeah. I’m thinking more about next year when Schwarber takes LF. For the last two games, I think you just take what Baez brings defensively and hope he runs into one at the plate.

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  43. cerulean

    While we’re at it, the org should groom some LOOGYs and a ROOGYs and have them work really hard at outfield defense.

    (Or convert defense-first outfielders with good arms)

    (1)

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  44. Author
    berselius

    My own guess at the Cubs squadron to-morrow

    Fowler
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Schwarber
    Russell
    Contreras
    Heyward
    Baez

    (2)

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  45. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning: What’s craziest about the allegation is that without it, he’s probably a Dodger right now and the Cubs aren’t in the World Series.

    The Cubs are sans Soler and Jimenez and Torres but plus Miller. So it evens out.

    That Red Sox team sure is tough though.

    (0)

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  46. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean:
    While we’re at it, the org should groom some LOOGYs and a ROOGYs and have them work really hard at outfield defense.

    (Or convert defense-first outfielders)

    Fuck it. If Maddon is going to hit them anyway, teach ’em to actually do it. They barely pitch so there’s time. Then you have a legit 12 man bench, which I think is what Joe really wants.

    (1)

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  47. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean: The Cubs are sans Soler and Jimenez and Torres but plus Miller. So it evens out.

    If Theo were ever amenable to doing that, he would have done that regardless of Chapman’s availability, I think.

    (0)

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  48. BVS

    Re: Baez starting.

    I’m for Zobrist at 2nd tomorrow. Let Baez come in as a defensive replacement/pinch runner. Soler can start in LF. Soler has a little more patience at the plate and more power. His O outweighs the losses at D in LF and 2nd. It’s not like Zo is unable to turn a double play.

    With Tomlin pitching, I load the offense up.

    But this is the very reason I wish TLS had been on the WS roster instead of Coghlan. TLS at 3rd, Bryant in left, Zo at 2nd.

    (0)

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  49. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    BVS: Argh. Autocorrect. But you probably know what I meant. Unless the reference is after your time.

    Don’t sweat the autocorrect, I think we’re all familiar with 1980s AM talk radio legends Bemis and Butler.

    (6)

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  50. dmick89

    I don’t mind if Baez starts, but he’s going to get nothing but shit pitches 10 feet off the plate and he’ll swing at most of them. He’s in one of those zones where he has to swing at every fucking pitch regardless of where it is. Tomlin could throw it to the center fielder and Baez would swing like he’s trying to hit it 65,000 feet.

    (4)

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  51. SK

    dmick89,

    I’d be happy with him being in the lineup but banned from swinging. He’d get at least two walks. From what we’ve seen, Cleveland’s catchers aren’t throwing anyone out stealing so that’s like two doubles.

    Alternatively, tell him he’s not allowed to decide to swing until he actually sees the ball is heading for the strike zone. That won’t eliminate all the breaking ball whiffs, but it should decrease them by 85%.

    (1)

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  52. SK

    Honestly, he’s swinging before he even sees where the pitch is going. It’s a form of the yips, just manifested in a different way in the hitting environment.

    (3)

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  53. Rizzo the Rat

    I think, as usual, that people are making too big of a deal out of what has happened recently. Baez has always been a free swinger. The past few games, Baez has swung at a higher percentage of bad pitches than usual. That doesn’t mean it’s going to continue.

    (1)

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  54. Rizzo the Rat

    Baez drew 12 unintentional walks during the regular season. It’s just who he is. He still had a pretty good year.

    (0)

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  55. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Baez drew 12 unintentional walks during the regular season.It’s just who he is. He still had a pretty good year.

    I agree. Good enough to keep the role he held this year. Not good enough, imo, to get the full-time 2B gig from the outset of 2017. If his bat continues to improve, I’m fine with him forcing his way into the everyday role at one spot. But until then, let him rove. He still got 450 PA this year (a few too many, imo). And I would like the Cubs to preserve their depth as well, which is another reason I think the Cubs should make a strong push for Fowler.

    (3)

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  56. dmick89

    I think Baez’s defense is good enough to keep him in the lineup for now, but against a right hander, I can easily see an argument that he could sit a day. That would be a lot easier if Tommy La Stella was on the roster, but that’s another discussion. Speaking of roster construction, why the fuck was Albert Almora on the WS roster? I can see it against the Dodgers with their lefty starters, but not the Indians.

    (1)

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  57. Author
    berselius

    dmick89:
    I think Baez’s defense is good enough to keep him in the lineup for now, but against a right hander, I can easily see an argument that he could sit a day. That would be a lot easier if Tommy La Stella was on the roster, but that’s another discussion. Speaking of roster construction, why the fuck was Albert Almora on the WS roster? I can see it against the Dodgers with their lefty starters, but not the Indians.

    I think the argument was more as late game defensive replacement, I guess for Zobrist or Fowler.

    (1)

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  58. Nate the old recalcitrant one from a long time ago

    I’m thinking Schwarber being back in the line-up definitely helps the offense, and that Tomlin isn’t going to be able to keep this up. I actually expect the Cubs to win game 6 now, and then who knows what happens.

    (4)

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  59. BVS

    The thesis I’m correcting right now reminds me of Baez at the plate recently. Swinging wildly, making little contact.

    But Baez doesn’t use 75 pages.

    Late night bitchfest.

    (9)

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  60. Ryno

    Man, the Cubs are really trying to torture you. They could’ve put you out of your misery two days ago, but they won just to make it hurt worse.

    (7)

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  61. SK

    Ryno,

    I liked this comment, but then I rescinded it (the system won’t actually let me change it though).

    If they lost game 5, I would have felt much worse. Similar to the feeling of getting swept in the NLCS last year.

    With the game 5 win, it won’t hurt as much to lose 6 or 7. There was a sense of vindication or redemption with that win and seeing Cleveland unable to score more than two runs (whatever about Cubs O-struggles).

    That’s my story and you can print it.

    (9)

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  62. Perkins

    SK,

    I’ll still be mad if they lose to Josh Fucking Tomlin again, but not as mad as if they’d lost in 5.

    Though I can’t get too pissed off about anything regarding this season. It’s been a hell of a ride.

    (9)

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  63. cerulean

    BVS:
    The thesis I’m correcting right now reminds me of Baez at the plate recently. Swinging wildly, making little contact.

    But Baez doesn’t use 75 pages.

    Late night bitchfest.

    Both are doing a service to overall entropy by not making connections.

    (2)

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  64. Author
    berselius

    SK:
    One happy coincidence is that Cubs World Series Game 6 day is the same as my annual eat candy all day long day.

    Game 6 fell on “Give two technical talks at a giant conference that you stayed up most of the night prepping for”, so at least I won’t be dwelling on the game, most of the day. The last one finishes up 15 minutes before gametime.

    (2)

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  65. EnricoPallazzo

    Ryno:
    Man, the Cubs are really trying to torture you. They could’ve put you out of your misery two days ago, but they won just to make it hurt worse.

    this ignores the fact that things like sunday’s game have made this the most enjoyable season of baseball i’ve ever experienced.

    a loss tonight would sting for about 10 minutes or 2 shots (whichever comes first) and then i would have nothing but fond memories from that point on. but they’ll win tonight so it’s moot.

    (2)

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  66. EnricoPallazzo

    berselius: Game 6 fell on “Givetwo technical talks at a giant conference that you stayed up most of the night prepping for”, so at least I won’t be dwelling on the game, most of the day. The last one finishes up 15 minutes before gametime.

    that actually sounds like it could have worked out much, much worse e.g. game 6 was last night and/or the last one was an hour later. but good luck.

    (0)

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  67. dmick89

    Yeah, win or lose this series (lose seems far more likely), this was a great season. It was the best Cubs team in my life by quite a bit and was a lot of fun to watch. They we’re also easily the best team in baseball. I’ll be disappointed, but to be honest, I’m going to be a little disappointed if they win it in 7 games. Thrilled, but this series should not have taken the Cubs 7 games to win. I’ll be over a loss tonight or tomorrow the next morning. For that matter, I’ll also be over a win that quickly. It’s not like the cubs winning it all is going to change my life. It will have no meaningful impact.

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  68. cerulean

    dmick89: I’ll be disappointed, but to be honest, I’m going to be a little disappointed if they win it in 7 games.

    All your triumphs turn to ash in your mouth. Welcome fellow discontent. No wonder I feel so at home here.

    And by “at home”, I mean nettled and despondent to the point of (dying laughing).

    (2)

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  69. Edwin

    dmick89: Yeah, win or lose this series (lose seems far more likely), this was a great season. It was the best Cubs team in my life by quite a bit and was a lot of fun to watch. They we’re also easily the best team in baseball. I’ll be disappointed, but to be honest, I’m going to be a little disappointed if they win it in 7 games. Thrilled, but this series should not have taken the Cubs 7 games to win. I’ll be over a loss tonight or tomorrow the next morning. For that matter, I’ll also be over a win that quickly. It’s not like the cubs winning it all is going to change my life. It will have no meaningful impact.

    Wrong.

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  70. Author
    berselius

    Joe West behind the plate for Arrieta tonight is probably the thing that makes me most nervous (dying laughing).

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  71. Perkins

    berselius:
    Joe West behind the plate for Arrieta tonight is probably the thing that makes me most nervous (dying laughing).

    Could also hurt Tomlin as his stuff isn’t nearly as good as Arrieta’s. If he has a smaller zone to work with, his curve may not play as well. Though that assumes the Cubs resume being patient. So it could go either way.

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  72. Perkins

    Per NBC Sports, top of the lineup is Fowler, Schwarber, Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrist. Well, they didn’t say Fowler, but he’s probably a lock to lead off.

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  73. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: They we’re also easily the best team in baseball. I’ll be disappointed, but to be honest, I’m going to be a little disappointed if they win it in 7 games. Thrilled, but this series should not have taken the Cubs 7 games to win. I’ll be over a loss tonight or tomorrow the next morning. For that matter, I’ll also be over a win that quickly. It’s not like the cubs winning it all is going to change my life. It will have no meaningful impact.

    Agree on a lot of this. I’ll be momentarily speechless with joy should they win, might even get a little emotional, but a win won’t have the same impact on me it would have had had this org gotten it done when I was a younger man. All life problems will still be there when it’s over. I’ll enjoy a brief, very pleasant high for a few days, I imagine (I’d bet you’ll hang on to that nice feeling a little longer than a day, md), but the idea that everything will suddenly be different, life completely redefined in a way that means only awesome from here on out, well, that idea bit the dust a while ago (I know, I was silly to entertain it in the first place, but blame it on my youth).

    Also, the game has been demystified. I no longer think the same things about baseball I used to, for better or worse. And because of that I’ve come to feel quite meh about the postseason, despite its obvious necessity, as it is a deeply flawed way to determine who the best team in baseball is, and its presence unjustly negates the greater accomplishment of being the best over a six month period. The Cubs are the best team in baseball, and that question was settled a long time ago. But it’s about to be deemed not true and the season a waste because of six (or seven) games. That’s incredibly unfair. Cleveland stands to have two “champions” that were not really all that close to being the best teams in their particular sports.

    Maybe that’s sour grapes talking (and maybe I’m being premature), but even if the Cubs had won the WS last year, I would not have claimed they were baseball’s best team. Just the winners of a really weird fucking tournament that elevates the potential randomness of baseball (something the regular season is designed to weed out) above all else.

    And I would have been speechless with joy anyway. (dying laughing)

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  74. SK

    Smokestack Lightning: Agree on a lot of this. I’ll be momentarily speechless with joy should they win, might even get a little emotional, but a win won’t have the same impact on me it would have had had this org gotten it done when I was a younger man. All life problems will still be there when it’s over. I’ll enjoy a brief, very pleasant high for a few days, I imagine (I’d bet you’ll hang on to that nice feeling a little longer than a day, md), but the idea that everything will suddenly be different, life completely redefined in a way that means only awesome from here on out, well, that idea bit the dust a while ago (I know, I was silly to entertain it in the first place, but blame it on my youth).

    Also, the game has been demystified. I no longer think the same things about baseball I used to, for better or worse. And because of that I’ve come to feel quite meh about the postseason, despite its obvious necessity, as it is a deeply flawed way to determine who the best team in baseball is, and its presence unjustly negates the greater accomplishment of being the best over a six month period. The Cubs are the best team in baseball, and that question was settled a long time ago. But it’s about to be deemed not true and the season a waste because of six (or seven) games. That’s incredibly unfair. Cleveland stands to have two “champions” that were not really all that close to being the best teams in their particular sports.

    Maybe that’s sour grapes talking (and maybe I’m being premature), but even if the Cubs had won the WS last year, I would not have claimed they were baseball’s best team. Just the winners of a really weird fucking tournament that elevates the potential randomness of baseball (something the regular season is designed to weed out) above all else.

    And I would have been speechless with joy anyway. (dying laughing)

    Nice snark.

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  75. EnricoPallazzo

    Smokestack Lightning: Maybe that’s sour grapes talking (and maybe I’m being premature), but even if the Cubs had won the WS last year, I would not have claimed they were baseball’s best team. Just the winners of a really weird fucking tournament that elevates the potential randomness of baseball (something the regular season is designed to weed out) above all else.

    BFIB official party line is that the only thing that matters is a ring. unless your team loses to a team with a shittier record, in which case the only thing that matters is the record. and if your team doesn’t make it at all, just start writing racist shit on other blogs.

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  76. Smokestack Lightning

    EnricoPallazzo: BFIB official party line is that the only thing that matters is a ring. unless your team loses to a team with a shittier record, in which case the only thing that matters is the record. and if your team doesn’t make it at all, just start writing racist shit on other blogs.

    (dying laughing)

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  77. Perkins

    To day’s base ball squadron:

    Fowler
    Schwarber
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Russell
    Contreras
    Heyward
    Baez

    Here’s hoping it’s not the last of the season.

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  78. Perkins

    EnricoPallazzo: BFIB official party line is that the only thing that matters is a ring. unless your team loses to a team with a shittier record, in which case the only thing that matters is the record. and if your team doesn’t make it at all, just start writing racist shit on other blogs.

    I believe they call that “the will to win.”

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  79. Myles

    Perkins:
    To day’s base ball squadron:

    Fowler
    Schwarber
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Russell
    Contreras
    Heyward
    Baez

    Here’s hoping it’s not the last of the season.

    Batting two pitchers in a DH lineup. Interesting tactic.

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  80. Perkins

    Myles,

    Has a team ever tried to use a DH to bat for a position player and let the pitcher hit as well (e.g., Heyward or Baez only plays the field and Arrieta hits for himself, with Schwarber as DH)? The rule seems to say specifically that the DH is for the pitcher.

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  81. SK

    Perkins,

    I don’t read the rules (uh, man), but I always thought it was not pitcher-specific. Which is moot, because until there comes a time when certain players are developed literally only for their glove, this implementation of the rule will never be needed.

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  82. Myles

    Perkins:
    Myles,

    Has a team ever tried to use a DH to bat for a position player and let the pitcher hit as well (e.g., Heyward or Baez only plays the field and Arrieta hits for himself, with Schwarber as DH)? The rule seems to say specifically that the DH is for the pitcher.

    In fact, Maddon accidentally DH’ed for Evan Longoria in a game and the pitcher bat. Best part: the pitcher singled in that game. Definitely true. I would have considered DH’ing for Baez and letting Arrieta bat if it wasn’t a psyche-crusher.

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  83. cerulean

    I seriously think that the hometeam should decide how many DHs can be used in the game. That number can be 0–9. There would be some fascinating consequences to this, but I think this front office could find some interesting ways to take advantage of it.

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  84. Rizzo the Rat

    Have we forgotten Baez’s excellent playoffs (and pretty good regular season) already? Having Jake hit over Javy is absurd.

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  85. Rizzo the Rat

    I can understand wanting a DH for Heyward. I disagree–emphatically–but I at least see where people are coming from since he’s struggled for a long time.

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  86. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Have we forgotten Baez’s excellent playoffs (and pretty good regular season) already? Having Jake hit over Javy is absurd.

    I haven’t forgotten, but he’s also swinging at everything in this series. We’ll just have to hope Cy Tomlin hangs a curve or leaves a fastball in the zone for him.

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