The Cubs got in the playoffs even losing yesterday with the Giants losing to the Oakland Athletics. And this is great, because really I could not stand another year of the Giants getting their boring roster group into October and forcing me to watch three series of it.
The Cubbies are going to be our playoff horse we think. We would still really like to see the Angels weasel in in the American League. But overall, this is really good for baseball and we felt from the onset of the year that the Cubs would be left standing when the dust settled.
Now you just have to hope they get through the Wildcard game (sorry Pirates fans) and bring a long series or two to that historic cathedral Wrigley Field. It would be fun to watch this young group of players try to break the curse of the Billy Goat. Plus, Anthony Rizzo.
The numbers are there: 28 home runs, 83 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .285 average and .927 OPS. The Cubs are entrenched firmly in the second wild-card spot, 7.5 games up on the Giants (thank goodness). Today’s win was their 76th of the season.
Rizzo has been the best lynchpin on the best team in the race. I cannot think of another guy (Harper and Goldschmidt need to be omitted because their teams simply aren’t in it) whose team would be more affected without him. Rizzo is just the guy who stands out to me in the middle of it all, and his 5.6 bWAR is right in line with that (he could very easily finish around seven).
Harper has been still spectacular but many measures, but has been pretty quiet the last several weeks and has been pitched around to no fault of his own. Goldschmidt is a monster – everyone knows this – but over his last 18 games is hitting .214 for the .481 DiamondBacks.
We often don’t talk enough about a guy like Rizzo, but he’s quietly been a really special part of a great Chicago Cubs season. It’s one of the best stories in baseball right now and he’s got our vote.
The latest reports have him in a flurry of trade rumors around baseball. If this was his last start as a Phillie; he’s sure to have given them a parting gift that Phillies fans will remember for life. It’s a special thing when a no-hitter comes to us all on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the summer, especially at such a legendary ballpark.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of this. I was on daddy duty from 9 AM to 6 PM and Disney Junior graced my television screen. When I saw what Hamels had done, I had to get this post up.
Jay Bruce isn’t helping the Reds win games with his bat (currently hitting .218). He took one directly out of the loss column and put it in the win column to kick off the weekend at Wrigley Field yesterday with this play above. The Reds won the game 5-4.
It is so nice to see in a lost season; a guy going all out on a play where it would have been easier to call it a day. There’s nothing worse than when you aren’t hitting and you have to go out and play defense. Jay Bruce showed he’s playing with pride right now with this play.
It seemed like it had been a little while since Bryce Harper homered in a game – in actuality it had only been about seven games played. He’s still killing the ball, hitting over .330 playing every day. Today, Jason Hammel had his ‘A’ game and carried his start into the ninth inning at Nationals Park in DC.
It was a shot to the opposite field that didn’t need wind, just like Harper said when the series started. It was his 18th home run of the 2015 season, this time he was the one tying Nelson Cruz (who earlier in the afternoon hit his 18th of the season as well) – how many times have these two guys homered on the same day this year?
We continue to marvel at the power Bryce Harper has to the opposite field. He’s now on pace for 62 home runs on the season.
.@Bharper3407's 13 home runs this month are the most in a single month in #Nats history (2005-pres). Alfonso Soriano had 12 in May, 2006.
Winds were flying out at about 17 MPH on Tuesday night, when Harper came to bat against Kyle Hendricks who held a 1-0 lead. Harper gets a ball in the air with some backspin, it looks like your garden-variety pop out; and Harper shucks his bat aside in disgust. Except, look at Coghlan the left-fielder. He just keeps drifting and the ball keeps going.
It lands in the bleachers for Harper’s 17th home run of the season and 12th in May. It is referred to as a ‘towering home run’ by the guys doing the play by play.
This tied the game at 1-1, and the Nationals would add one on a Denard Span home run to make it 2-1. And then Kris Bryant hit one out to tie the game. From there, Addison Russell would win it in the bottom of the ninth with a gapper. Nice little ballgame with a couple homers from the young stars.
There is no better way to start the weekend than a matinee game at Wrigley Field. Sometimes when the Pirates and Cubbies lock horns, wild things happen. And today, the Cubbies Cubbie’d the shit out of things.
We won’t document every Kris Bryant home run here like we do for say; Bryce Harper. But we’ll definitely run the big ones. And the first one of his career the other day off Kyle Lohse was definitely a milestone.
Who knows how many more he has in his bat before the final chapter is written. It would not shock us one bit if he’s a sub-400 home run guy by the end of his career. The guy he’s most commonly compared to is Troy Glaus, who ended up with 320 in his career. That would be a pretty remarkable career.
This was a lot funnier until I saw the game-time temperature at Wrigley was 43 degrees. Still, by looking at Soler today you would have thought the Cubs were playing in 12 degree weather with some windchill.
This kid is from Havana, Cuba; where those tobacco fields he grew up playing on hit 88 on a cool day.
This was a magical little matinee for the Cubbies, where Kris Bryant was on base five times and collected his first big league hit. He got another key infield hit in the bottom of the 11th off Craig Kimbrel to keep the line moving. Cubbies walk-off with a win 7-6 in a game they blew a 6-2 lead in the top of the ninth. The winning hit came on a Starlin Castro single to left field. Anthony Rizzo stole two bases; baseball is odd.
The cold Soler went 1 for 6. He just wasn’t comfortable today out there. Now he can head across the street and rob the nearest convenience store.
The miserly-for-no-reason Cubs get to save that year of arbitration eligibility and now Bryant is up for the long haul.
As we do any time one of the generational talents to be debuts, we have a post in his honor. Hopefully after nine innings, ‘Go Cubs Go’ is playing on the loud speakers at Wrigley and Bryant does something to make this day even more memorable. It’s going to be a good decade plus of watching this ’80’ scale power in afternoon slates at Wrigley.
First off, happy easter. Second off, HAPPY BASEBALL SEASON!
In just a few short hours, the standings will no longer be stuck on all those goose eggs. I keep thinking about how great it would be to be present at historic torn up Wrigley Field tonight. Getting to see two rivalry teams who I feel will be pretty solid kick things off.
Opening Night has always kind of felt like Christmas Eve to me – even though the first one I remember was Ray Lankford leading off the top of the 1st in 1994 with a bomb off Jose Rijo! How many Reds fans out there remember the Ray Lankford game? He ate them up that night.
And then there was my favorite Opening Night game of all-time, 1997 Yankees-Mariners at the old Kingdome (don’t try to tell me the Kingdome wasn’t beautiful looking on the inside). To an awkward 14-year old kid at the time, Ken Griffey Jr. was a God in baseball cleats. He hit two moonshots that night off David Cone to start the season on a nice even ‘2’ out of the gate. I remember doofus Chris Berman remarking ‘so Ken is on pace for a solid 324 home runs, decent’ or something stupid that Berman says and actually believing that Ken won’t of course get there, but he could hit 100!
Today, I’m sitting at my mom’s house celebrating Easter. I’m thinking about some of the things I like about tonight’s game; I’m pretty excited about Anthony Rizzo getting a piece of Adam Wainwright tonight and getting that rabid Cub crowd fired up. There’s a great read about Rizzo over on ESPN’s newly-designed baseball site that they’ve rolled out just in time for the new season.
I just can’t believe that; yes we’ve made it, and there will be a real game to react to and recap tonight. And every night following for the next six months. And tomorrow will be even better! But we still have tonight! And my mind starts to spin out of control from there.
So for those out there who are like me, enjoy Easter with your families and when that ends; enjoy tonight. Opening Night in baseball is really about celebrating the year to come in the sport that we all love. There’s nothing like it in any sport.
We continue the 2015 Team Previews today with one of our favorite teams in baseball for the coming year, the Chicago Cubs. They haven’t won a world title since 1908 – we just feel like this veil will be lifted at some point in the near future with this current core. And that would be good for the game of baseball and this poor tortured die-hards who follow this team as their first love.
On October 12, 2011, the face of the Cubs franchise became forever changed. That was the day that Theo Epstein was named the President of the Chicago Cubs. You ask the common fan what Theo Epstein is up to, and they’re going to probably say ‘he’s the General Manager of the Cubs’. He’s not. He’s actually the GM’s boss, the GM is Jed Hoyer. Theo is making the overriding calls of this roster, and since he’s taken over they have an absolute haul of good young players and have made steady improvement.
The questions remains: are the Cubs ready to take the next step from respectable and lovable team to contenders in the National League Central? We believe they are, and if you click ahead we’re going to tell you why.