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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:36 AM (#5322472)
I'm definitely guilty of some pessimism in the chatters over the past 24 hours.

I think the marathon last night/early this morning was more draining that I first realized, because I was feeling pretty chippy right away during tonight's game. Really glad I unplugged and went for a long drive during the endless fifth inning. I put my phone on airplane mode and was toying with the idea of just trying to go to bed and check the score in the morning. So glad I didn't.

That comeback in the ninth was like a souped up version of some of the comebacks we've seen from this team all year, but for obvious reasons, it's going to be etched in our minds for a long time to come.

Overall, quite the eventful series, and I'm just glad we can now stretch out a bit in the confines of a seven-game series.
   2. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:41 AM (#5322474)
I put my phone on airplane mode and was toying with the idea of just trying to go to bed and check the score in the morning. So glad I didn't.


I did that, more or less, in 2005 when Illinois went down big late, to Arizona in the elite 8 game. I missed one of the great comebacks. I didn't miss it tonight. But unlike 2005, this was not an elimination game. Sure, I didn't want to go to a game 5, but tonight wasn't do or die, and that was comforting. Even so, I have vowed to not get too worked up. It's been an awesome season, and I assume we will lose sometime, and if we don't, all the better.
   3. Ardo Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:49 AM (#5322476)
Wow, did Bruce Bochy mess up the 9th. Pick your guy and stick with him. Strickland was their best option, but - having chosen Derek "I wanna be a cheerleader" Law - one single was no reason to yank him just to bring in a LOOGY against the slumping Rizzo.
   4. Cabbage Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:49 AM (#5322477)
Is Spahn alive?
   5. Cabbage Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:51 AM (#5322478)
Also, I missed the comeback. And I dont care.

Baby started crying and I went get him. Walked by the monitor holding him and it was 5-5. Put him back to bed and it was the bottom of the 9th.

Dont care! Cubs win!
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 12, 2016 at 02:26 AM (#5322479)
Wow, did Bruce Bochy mess up the 9th. Pick your guy and stick with him. Strickland was their best option, but - having chosen Derek "I wanna be a cheerleader" Law - one single was no reason to yank him just to bring in a LOOGY against the slumping Rizzo.


This madness made the comeback all the much sweeter. Part of the reason I dipped out earlier was because I just couldn't handle more pitching changes. Last night was an exciting game, but when you factor in the duration, the highs and lows, the pitching changes, and the replays, it was just such a taxing experience.

It was crazy what pulling myself away from the game and detaching for a half hour did for my psyche. Had I been tuned in the entire time, that #### in the ninth may have made me keel over in madness before I could see the full comeback.
   7. Meatwad Posted: October 12, 2016 at 02:35 AM (#5322480)
what a come back and win. so glad this isnt going 5, need a few days rest after this series
   8. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 12, 2016 at 08:09 AM (#5322497)
Yes, alive and well, and glad to see the Cubs are too. I won't pretend I was trying a reverse jinx, because I was genuinely convinced the Cubs were spitting the bit. They wanted it more than I wanted to not see the opposite outcome, if that makes any sense, and good on them. That I missed the 9th inning is my loss and mine alone, and I'm happy for those who stuck it out.

And, too, I was more afraid of the LDS than anything beyond it, whether that's rational or not. Combination of that, lack of sleep and frustration from the night before, and decades of negative history equalled blind rage, and I couldn't deal.
   9. Covfefe Posted: October 12, 2016 at 08:22 AM (#5322498)
The key, I find, is learning how to wear self-loathing/pity in comfort, like velour sweatpants.

I think belief for me stirred after KB's single, after Rizzo walked - I was thinking yeah maybe... and Zo's double, I figured we got this.
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2016 at 08:37 AM (#5322503)
Strangely, I came into the ninth feeling like it was going to happen. As the rally started, my only pessimistic thought was concern about another stretch of extra innings. So no feelings of shock from me at the outcome, and kind of a dampened exhilaration; I didn't really get the magnitude of what happened until I saw the look on Ross's face.
   11. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 12, 2016 at 08:46 AM (#5322509)
Look guys, I love Theo and this is a team that as a neutral I can easily root for. But you HAVE to start winning some games at a reasonable hour. You're killing me here! #westcoastbias
   12. Covfefe Posted: October 12, 2016 at 08:55 AM (#5322517)
THAT'S up to the Nats... oust the Dodgers and we can safely return east of the Mississippi never to return.

I'm sorry Spahnie missed it - maybe if they're up 3-0 or something, they can do another comeback to win game 4 -- but for my tastes, I would be perfectly fine with a lot of easy, efficient 4-0 and 5-1 wins from here on out.
   13. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:11 AM (#5322526)
As results go, I approve of this one.

The Cubs could lose the NLCS. That's always possible. But I feel pretty dang confident that they won't choke. If they lose, it'll be because they got outplayed. And that's possible - but it sure is tough to outplay this club.
   14. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:17 AM (#5322531)
Missed Game 3 events from the 8th inning because I had to work early the next day. Had to start Game 4 at work and missed the middle innings as I was driving home. Got in to see the Cubs score their second run. As the night went on I thought for sure the Cubs were going to lose. An amazing 9th inning with Bochy's 5 moves seeming to me to be very stupid. Fun inning.

Will now be hoping the Nationals beat the Dodgers. If so I'll try to head up to a game in DC.
   15. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:20 AM (#5322532)
I think belief for me stirred after KB's single, after Rizzo walked - I was thinking yeah maybe... and Zo's double, I figured we got this.

When Zobrist doubled and the Cubs got only one I thought for sure the Cubs missed a real chance to tie the game. I was thinking, alright a strikeout/popup and ball in play gets you one run but now you got 1 out and the need to score 1 more run.
   16. Covfefe Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:23 AM (#5322535)
As frustrating as plenty of innings were --

The Giants ARE a good pitching team - even with the bullpen flambe they were serving up for about 6 weeks late in the year (I think they were 3rd in the NL). Everyone - rightfully - gives Baez the MVP, but Bryant swung the stick well, too (in fact, he outhit Baez purely by the numbers). Contreras also quietly had a nice series in limited time. A single and a couple walks may not be reason to proclaim Rizzo "fine now" -- but they all came against LHPs and I feel like he had really good PAs to get there. The only guy who's still stuck in the icebox is really Russell. Even Heyward actually hit a line drive(!!!).

The pen had its moments, to be sure -- but Rondon got the win last night, Edwards was nasty, Monty was a hero... Coughing up runs never feels good out of the pen, but it's not a pen being held together with bailing wire.

I feel good going into the NLCS. That was probably as tough a series as a 3-1 series win can be, but we won 3 of 4. We had moments where every part of the team - the starting pitching, the bullpen, the defense, AND the offense did look like peak 2016 Cubs. It just never all seemed to happen, simultaneously, in a single game. The lack of a 12-0 laugher where your starter goes 7 strong and the pen looks unhittable, with everyone in the lineup contributing doesn't mean the pieces aren't all still there.
   17. Brian C Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:41 AM (#5322548)
That was insane, but yet ... not unexpected. This team has given us maybe half a dozen games this year that would have been the unquestioned Game of the Year any other year. I checked out for a couple innings after they went down 5-2* but came back for the 8th and 9th.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a Nats win. I don't have any idea whether the Nats or Dodgers would be an easier opponent, and that's not why I have a preference. I just think the Nats would be more fun. LA is just a boring sports town, with a boring team and a boring (on TV anyway) ballpark. San Fran is great. DC is great. LA is just dull.

* - It was all just too much for awhile. On top of how stressful this series was on its own terms, I'll always associate it with Hurricane Matthew. I was visiting my parents down in St. Augustine, FL last week when the storm hit and rode it out at their place. Everyone was fine in their part of town, but we were mostly without power for both Games 1 and 2 and I spent that time frantically trying to follow the games with a weak cell signal while conserving phone battery. First world problems, I guess.
   18. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:02 AM (#5322563)
@SLGreenberg: Baez on why he celebrated a little extra after that last hit: "Their pitcher was staring at me for no reason." #Cubs
   19. Russ Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:10 AM (#5322571)
As a Pirates fan, it definitely seems like it is the Cubs' year. The team is insanely talented and they have that "magic" that teams need to be able to push them over the hump in the postseason. And they are really, *really* hard to dislike (trust me, I've tried). With the exception of Chapman, everyone of their players seems to have at least a boring story, if not a good one. Even a guy like Heyward makes you want to root for him given how hard he plays.

I rarely find myself rooting for division rivals, but I'm definitely there.
   20. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:24 AM (#5322578)
It's worth noting that Chapman threw 13 pitches in striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

According to Gameday, every single one was a four-seam fastball.
   21. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:33 AM (#5322588)
With Max Scherzer pitching tomorrow, I think it's more likely to be the Nats than the Dodgers. Despite losing Strasburg, the Nats scare me more, although it's helpful to have Scherzer unavailable until a game three.
   22. Charles S. hopes his opening day is b4 opening day Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:35 AM (#5322591)
You can point to the flurry of crazy pitching changes in the 9th. You can point to 2 shocking errors by the best shortstop in the NL. You can point to the maturity of Baez and Contreras just doing what they could with the pitches they were thrown. But as the wise man once said, the key to winning baseball is TWTW. Nothing more, nothing less.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:42 AM (#5322600)
Is there any reason why MLB isn't announcing a game time for Sunday? It's the only game on the schedule. I have tickets and need to know if I need to cancel previous afternoon plans. I would think it's a 7:00 start, right?
   24. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:56 AM (#5322615)
It's worth noting that Chapman threw 13 pitches in striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

According to Gameday, every single one was a four-seam fastball.


This is something that's long fascinated me. What is the fastball speed at which a major-league pitcher needs no secondary pitches or fancy movement? Obviously, all major-league hitters can hit a straight 90 mph fastball if they know it's coming. And all major-league hitters except for Jason Heyward can probably consistently hit a 95 mph fastball if they know it's coming - which, frankly, amazes me. Going back to the bad old days, Kyle Farnsworth could hit, what, 98, but he was still vulnerable to getting lit up when he had nothing but that big straight heat.

Obviously, Chapman's vulnerable to being hit - as we just saw two days ago - but if he were to just abandon the slider completely and do nothing but rear back and throw heat, are major-league hitters good enough that they can sit on a 103 mph fastball consistently? Or could Chapman still be an elite closer simply by virtue of the pure speed of his fastball? And how fast does his fastball have to be for that to be true?
   25. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:59 AM (#5322619)
Despite the eleventy-billion pitching changes and what have you, that may have been one of the best postseason series I've ever seen. Every game was close. Both teams have really, really good defense. Lots of lead changes. And an insane comeback to end it all. What more could you want?

Of course, as a Cub fan, I was feeling the stress, and told my wife to be ready to drive me to the ER if I started feeling chest pains.
   26. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:02 AM (#5322623)
Serious question -- in the bizarre, hypothetical universe where the Cubs get to the World Series (with hoverboards and Miami in the AL, presumably), in games where Arrieta or Hendricks pitch on the road, do you use the DH on Heyward?
   27. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:04 AM (#5322627)
The key, I find, is learning how to wear self-loathing/pity in comfort, like velour sweatpants.

See, I still think this is bullshit. I mean, there's objectively no wrong way to root or feel for a team. Yeah, I know I can come off as lecturing, especially in the game chatters, but for me, this is just f'in fun.

This may sound corny or dumb, but whatever. For me, the key to enjoying this year has been watching my son fall in love with baseball. Last year, the Cubs were a very carefree fun, not having expectations, and being exciting and enjoyable to watch; sure, there was some stewing during/after the NLCS but it was so different than 03, or 04, or 07/08. Coming into this season, I was half excited/half dreading. I was not expecting struggles, but I was afraid of how I'd react if they did falter. But then my son starting coming to games, played tball, and turned into the biggest baseball fan seemingly overnight. So I've almost had to temper my reactions; I can't get too excited or to upset no matter what happens. He cried yesterday morning when I told him they'd lost the night before. He's only in kindergarten, so he isn't staying up late for every game. But you can bet he'll be up for any future potential clinching games. So having him, has kept me level headed, and also just forces me to look for the good, fun parts and I'm much more forgiving of #######.
   28. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:06 AM (#5322631)
in games where Arrieta or Hendricks play on the road, do you use the DH on Heyward?


I'm fairly sure you're only allowed to DH for the pitcher. But if you weren't, Hendricks is not a good hitter, his Game 2 single notwithstanding. Hendricks' career regular-season batting line is .099/.135/.106. Although his 3 postseason RBI in 4 career PA almost equal his 4 regular-season RBI in 162 PA.
   29. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:12 AM (#5322638)
Is there any reason why MLB isn't announcing a game time for Sunday? It's the only game on the schedule. I have tickets and need to know if I need to cancel previous afternoon plans. I would think it's a 7:00 start, right?

I think delay is in adjusting the start time for a West Coast versus East Coast opponent.

My guess is 8:00 or 8:30 Central if the Dodgers win, 7:00 if the Nationals do, and that this will be established after tomorrow's game in Washington.
   30. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:19 AM (#5322650)

I'm fairly sure you're only allowed to DH for the pitcher.


Oops. What made me think otherwise? Stupid AL.
   31. Covfefe Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:30 AM (#5322657)
See, I still think this is bullshit. I mean, there's objectively no wrong way to root or feel for a time. Yeah, I know I come off as lecturing, especially in the game chatters, but for me, this is just f'in fun.

This may sound corny or dumb, but whatever. For me, the key to enjoying this year has been watching my son fall in love with baseball. Last year, the Cubs were a very carefree fun, not having expectations, and being exciting and enjoyable to watch; sure, there was some stewing during/after the NLCS but it was so different than 03, or 04, or 07/08. Coming into this season, I was half excited/half dreading. I was not expecting struggles, but I was afraid of how I'd react if they did falter. But then my son starting coming to games, played tball, and turned into the biggest baseball fan seemingly overnight. So I've almost had to temper my reactions; I can't get too excited or to upset no matter what happens. He cried yesterday morning when I told him they'd lost the night before. He's only in kindergarten, so he isn't staying up late for every game. But you can bet he'll be up for any future potential clinching games. So having him, has kept me level headed, and also just forces me to look for the good, fun parts and I'm much more forgiving of #######.


Oh, I get that -- when you've got a kid, it's always and in all things important to set the right example. I don't - so I can wallow in self-aggrandizement of many varied colors as I see fit :-)

For the record, I was mostly trying to be humorous in my eeyoring -- but I'll admit that my mood would have been FAR different in a game 5 of the same sort.

I'm down with the whole 'curses are stupid' and whatnot... but also repeating what I said in the chatter, a 108 year monkey is one hell of a big monkey and I just want to get it off our backs and be done with it. When this illnesss of Cubs fandom seized me in 1984, I just never imagined it would manifest as it did. Sure, sure - even then, I heard all the older Cubs fans talk about it... and as a kid - 39 years/76 years seemed like an eternity. However, now in my 40s -- I've suddenly found myself older than what seemed like an eternity and STILL no friggin title.

It's become for a lot of us, I think - a coping mechanism. Nothing ever stings like your first one - so 1984 is forever seared - but I still remember game 6 in 2003, watching with a bunch of friends at the bar, and (this is NOT about the dude whose name I won't even say because I'm very much among those who find it horrifying how he was demonized) telling my buddy next me on the Alou foul ball "Uh oh... this is how it starts".

Bad habits are tough to break -- and while I could embark on a rigorous course of mental health well-being and wellness... it would all just be easier if the Cubs would just make it happen this year. I am 100% confident I'd be over it for the rest of the my baseball lifetime, even if it leads to another century drought that I only witness as a cyborg.
   32. Rally Posted: October 12, 2016 at 11:46 AM (#5322670)
Serious question -- in the bizarre, hypothetical universe where the Cubs get to the World Series (with hoverboards and Miami in the AL, presumably), in games where Arrieta or Hendricks pitch on the road, do you use the DH on Heyward?


It's already been pointed out the DH rule specifies batting for the pitcher, but it's a real shame. I would really like to see the occasional game, maybe when Bumgarner starts an interleague game, where someone else gets DH'd for.

In all seriousness, you would not DH for a weak hitter like Gregor Blanco instead of Bumgarner. Blanco had a 67 OPS+ this year, terrible for an outfielder. But Bumgarner, great for a pitcher, had the same OPS+. Bring in career numbers, you can forget about it.

But what if the Giants had Terrance Gore on the roster? Can't hit at all but fast enough to catch anything hit to the outfield, if only there was a way to get him in the outfield. I could definitely see that working.
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 12, 2016 at 12:13 PM (#5322688)
I think delay is in adjusting the start time for a West Coast versus East Coast opponent.

My guess is 8:00 or 8:30 Central if the Dodgers win, 7:00 if the Nationals do, and that this will be established after tomorrow's game in Washington.

Yeah, that makes sense I guess. Still, there's no reason they can't just say "7:00 or 8:00 CST" rather than giving no information whatsoever. Would probably help a lot of people.
   34. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 12, 2016 at 03:56 PM (#5322966)
It was nice to see the Cubs come back to tie it in Game 3 after blowing the lead. And it was nice to see them come back to win in the 9th in Game 4 after losing in extra innings. I remember a lot more meltdowns than comebacks, so a team that doesn't lose the will to fight still seems like a surprise.
   35. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 12, 2016 at 04:19 PM (#5323000)
Great summary of Baez's series, and how he demonstrated just about every skill possible. It's something we saw all season, and now he did it in front of everyone. I really am surprised at not just that he's developed like this, but *how* he's developed. I don't want to say I gave up on him exactly, but I was definitely all for trading him before last season because I wasn't sure he'd get to this point. Of course, this point isn't exactly what anyone expected, and there's still room for growth.
   36. Covfefe Posted: October 12, 2016 at 04:47 PM (#5323030)
I was most certainly in the "Baez as the odd man out" camp... indeed, prior to 2015, I might well have been leading the band in the "trade him NOW" camp because I feared his value was on its way to oblivion.

Talk about wrong.

We talked about it last night in the chatter, but one way or another - he needs to be in the lineup everyday. If he's OK being the Zobrist for a while - that's fine, mix-and-match as Joe will. It's gonna cost him a couple gold gloves, most likely - but be it at 2B or 3B, he's gotta be playing every day. He's just too... well, too "Javier Baez just might..." not to have in the lineup.

BTW - one thing I wanted to note from Theo's champagne-soaked postgame I saw on FSN --

The first question was obviously about Baez and the very first words out of Theo's mouth after the obvious "yeah, he's amazing, isn't he?" was to give Jim Hendry credit for spotting and drafting him. He also made a point of noting that Willson Contreras was also signed under the Hendry regime.

It's a minor thing - and the way the question was framed, it wasn't even necessary for Theo to go there (i.e., the question wasn't "Aren't you amazing for spotting these talents?") - but I really thought that showed an enormous amount of class and why this organization really does seem to work the right way, virtually from top to bottom.

If he had just given a standard spiel about the players, the player, yada yada - I'm not even sure anyone would have noticed... but I can't think I'm the only who notices stuff like that.
   37. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 12, 2016 at 05:08 PM (#5323057)
The biggest thing that differentiates these Cubs from earlier incarnations isn't so much heart or hustle, as they can win when they are not playing great. Lots of teams can win when they are playing average or better, but the Cubs have the talent to win even if they are playing below potential on offense or defense.
   38. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2016 at 05:41 PM (#5323083)
I was open to the idea of a Baez trade. Hell, I still am.

The question is what you get in return, and what the short- and long-term prospects are for the result of the trade.

Obviously, the best guys to trade are the ones who are overvalued, but it's not that simple.
   39. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 12, 2016 at 05:45 PM (#5323086)
Words cannot express how much I hate this:

But if they win the World Series, it means that if a franchise has enough money and a national brand and hires the best front office and the best manager and nails every high draft pick and every high-profile free-agent signing, it’ll win, no matter what curses stand in its way.

Maddon and Theo Epstein breaking the 108-year hex on the Cubs would feel like the apotheosis of sabermetrics, the final triumph of empiricism over hokum, and proof of concept that there’s no bogeyman we can’t outsmart.

The Epstein coalition isn’t the first to take on this Apollo program of metaphysical conquest, but we’ve accepted as a baseball culture that it’s a realistic possibility that they’ll succeed. To assault the biggest spiritual curse in American sports and even contemplate victory before it’s in hand feels hubristic, a rebuke to our shared history and mythology on the scale of the Tower of Babel. Without that mythology, baseball is merely throwing darts at a bell curve — it’s Yahtzee with a better literary tradition.

So when the best team in years, backed by unfathomable financial and intellectual wealth, came up against a fatally flawed opponent in line to take its fourth turn in seven years atop the medal stand, I wanted God to smite the humans for their arrogance, destroying their prized monument to themselves and scattering them to the four corners of the earth, unable to even understand each other’s speech. I wanted this to happen with such ferocity that their leader’s name became as much a synonym for idiocy as Nimrod is today.


This is deconstructed mainstream curse bullshit turned inside out and shoved up its own ass.
   40. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2016 at 06:03 PM (#5323092)
Yeah, that's some sophomoric nonsense right there.
   41. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: October 13, 2016 at 01:25 PM (#5323575)
I was most certainly in the "Baez as the odd man out" camp... indeed, prior to 2015, I might well have been leading the band in the "trade him NOW" camp because I feared his value was on its way to oblivion.

Talk about wrong.


I thought at the time Starlin was the wrong choice for the guy to deal, especially for Adam Warren + loose parts in return. I guess I would've traded Baez before Castro, and now I think that was wrong. However, I would've traded Russell before either of them and I spent much of the season fearing the Cubs would be shown to have been burned by choosing to keep Russell. At this point, I think Russell has proven something, and for awhile there he seemed to really have a clutch ability (now ascribable to opportunity and random luck). But ultimately Castro outperformed Russell other than the bum hamstring at the end. I guess it amounted to a small loss in regular season production for a big savings in cash and a healthy IF for the playoffs.
   42. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2016 at 01:37 PM (#5323589)
But ultimately Castro outperformed Russell other than the bum hamstring at the end.


Wait, what?

Castro - 93 OPS+ 1.2 WAR, -8 fielding runs

Russell - 97 OPS+, 4.3 WAR, +19 fielding runs.

In what way did Castro outperform Russell?

Trying to cherry pick here:

HR - tied
RBI - Russell
Runs - Russell
Walks - Russell
BA - Castro

There you go. Castro had a higher batting average.
   43. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 13, 2016 at 01:59 PM (#5323615)
Yeah, it's not even close on Castro and Russell. You've posted some crazy things here before, but that takes the cake. That doesn't even account for the fact that Russell is a plus at SS on defense, and Castro was a negative at 2B.
   44. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: October 13, 2016 at 02:20 PM (#5323632)
Starlin wins on BA and OPS by a lot, and most of the counting stats PER Plate Appearance. He got less RBI opportunities so throw that one out. I didn't know Castro had a bad year with the glove, so maybe I can be convinced they were roughly equal on the whole. I still would prefer Castro's bat in a playoff game (but the hamstring injury, likely to have occurred regardless of team, negates that).

Edit: Wrong on OPS
   45. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2016 at 03:11 PM (#5323678)
Starlin wins on BA and OPS by a lot, and most of the counting stats PER Plate Appearance.


Now you're just being an idiot. Castro had MORE PA than Russell.
   46. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 13, 2016 at 03:13 PM (#5323682)
Who cares about counting stats PER PA? Even with a good edge in BA (.270 to .238), Russell still easily beat him in OPB (.321 vs .300); Starlin had a lower OBP than Heyward this season! In addition to defense (and position), Russell is a better baserunner and overall just less mistake prone.

Not close, in any way shape or form.

EDIT: Even if you didn't know about their relative defensive differences (and you should with how much Russell's been talked up this year) *or* account for the different positions, shouldn't the fact that the Cubs switched their positions last season, immediately got better, and then talked about that difference the last few months or the year/playoffs, at the very least implied that just maybe Russell was a better defender? So that, plus the younger/cheaper part, should have been more than enough to realize why the Cubs would do this, even with being completely wrong/oblivious to any sort of advanced offensive metric (including one as basic as OPS).
   47. Voodoo Posted: October 13, 2016 at 03:14 PM (#5323684)
Edit: Wrong on OPS


Laughably wrong about virtually everything.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2016 at 01:16 AM (#5324281)
Yeesh.

Anyway, back to more taxing questions than Castro vs Russell ...

This is something that's long fascinated me. What is the fastball speed at which a major-league pitcher needs no secondary pitches or fancy movement? Obviously, all major-league hitters can hit a straight 90 mph fastball if they know it's coming. And all major-league hitters except for Jason Heyward can probably consistently hit a 95 mph fastball if they know it's coming - which, frankly, amazes me. Going back to the bad old days, Kyle Farnsworth could hit, what, 98, but he was still vulnerable to getting lit up when he had nothing but that big straight heat.

Matt Anderson was highly touted and supposedly sat upper 90s and touching 100. Straight as an arrow, career 89 OPS+ as a reliever ... also wild as heck which hurt a lot, was really his main flaw. (First three years was 235/361/388 against in the sillyball era so not bad other than the OBP but still far from top-flight closer territory based on a quick check.)
   49. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2016 at 01:39 AM (#5324287)
On Javy ... as far as I'm concerned, he's the starting 2B next year. Zobrist can hang out in LF most of the time. Given that lineup has been used in 4 of 4 NLDS games, I'm guessing Maddon feels the same. Still can do some of the Bryant/Zobrist/Javy/whoever flip-flopping when desired. Obviously there's the Schwarber question but he's running out of places to play ... well, Maddon loves a third C.

As a working template:

Baez -- 120 starts at 2B
Zobrist -- 40 at 2B (nearly all vs RHP); 40 starts in RF (all LHP starts); 40 in LF (120 starts total)
Soler -- 60 starts in LF (incl all LHP starts), probably DH vs LHP
Schwarber -- 60 starts in LF, 30 starts at C, DH vs RHP
Bryant -- everyday 3B
Heyward -- 120 starts vs RHP, mostly RF
Almora and ??? --

Obviously they'd work in some LaStella (or whoever) starts. With Schwarber back, Coghlan doesn't really have a role. There's an extra roster spot in here I think for the ??? so maybe Coghlan does have a fit with Heyward taking 40 or so CF starts vs RHP. And of course there will be injuries that will mess all of this up.

I admit to still being intrigued by the possibility of re-signing Fowler. He'll only be 31, he's averaged a 115 OPS+ over the last 5 years, he was fine defensively this year, we'd have Almora around to caddy for him during the 30-40 games he usually misses or sits. He likes it here, we like him, I haven't heard anything about clubhouse clashes. Good season sentimentality I know and he'll probably get a better offer anyway but I'm not scared about 3 years as much as I used to be.
   50. Charles S. hopes his opening day is b4 opening day Posted: October 14, 2016 at 11:07 AM (#5324384)
I think Fowler gets another QO. Assuming he doesn't take it, we get a pick. Heyward gets the 120 starts that Walt is talking about, but half of them come in CF. That means Soler plays some right field giving Schwarber more starts in left. Soler-Heyward-Schwarber is no one's idea of great defense, but at Wrigley that's not a huge deal, it makes for a scary line-up, and you've got Almora for defense late in games. For catcher, I'm thinking a 30-50-80 breakdown for Schwarber-Montero-Contreras.
   51. Brian C Posted: October 14, 2016 at 12:03 PM (#5324440)
Guys, I think Jerry's on to something. It's like when the Cubs got burned on that Ivan DeJesus trade back in the '80s. DeJesus went on to hit more HR, have a higher batting average, and get himself elected to the Hall of Fame while Sandberg didn't even stick at 3B. Some franchises just never learn.

EDIT: wrong on HR.
   52. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 14, 2016 at 12:21 PM (#5324450)
I have opinions on next year, but am trying to not think about it too much. If Fowler comes back, one of Soler or Schwarber is gone. I think the Cubs have much, much higher hopes for Schwarber than Walt's plan in 49.
   53. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 14, 2016 at 01:21 PM (#5324496)
If Fowler comes back, one of Soler or Schwarber is gone.


Even if Fowler doesn't come back, I think one of Soler or Schwarber is gone. Almora looks ready to be an everyday CF next season. And if Baez is playing nearly every day, that leaves Zobrist/Bryant, Soler, Schwarber, and Heyward to fill two corner outfield spots. Even being willing to slide Heyward into CF for 30-40 games or whatever and getting to use a DH 9 times only frees up so much playing time.

So, how about those Dodgers?

I saw some speculation on Twitter that the Cubs might add a 12th pitcher for the NLCS - because you can never have too many innings where you use 4-6 pitchers (never mind that the last three games I watched saw teams blow late leads using 4, 5, and then 6 pitchers in a single inning; in the long run, using that many pitchers is sure to start working!). That seems unnecessary and/or nuts to me, but what do others think? I see no reason to change the roster. The only reason I could see not doing so is if they're concerned that Hendricks is hurt, I could see maybe trying to add Hammel as an emergency starter. But all indications I've heard are that Hendricks should be fine.
   54. Charles S. hopes his opening day is b4 opening day Posted: October 14, 2016 at 04:20 PM (#5324650)
I see no reason to change the roster

Because it's the dodgers, I can see trying to find a spot for Zastryzny on the roster. One more lefty who can throw a few innings against a team that seemingly can't hit lefties. Reports are starting to surface that Montero's back is acting up so that might be the spot.

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