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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Cubs Newsbeat

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dodgers turn once again to Clayton Kershaw, this time fully rested but with no margin for error - LA Times

If you are a Dodgers fan, who better to keep your team alive?

Kershaw tends to pitch better on regular rest. In his career, he has a 2.31 earned-run average in the regular season on four days’ rest. His ERA rises to 2.61 when he receives five days off.

But these are unique circumstances. His output has been extraordinary these past two weeks. He started Game 1 of the division series against Washington on Oct. 7, and pitched on three days of rest in Game 4. He helped the team avoid elimination, then two days later he collected the final two outs of the clincher at Nationals Park in Game 5.

Three days after that, he took the ball at Wrigley Field. He emerged victorious, allowing just two hits in a 1-0 win, though his effectiveness appeared to wane during the sixth and seventh innings. Kershaw acknowledged that the Cubs might feel more comfortable seeing him pitch again so soon.

“There’s no secrets, anyway, in the game right now,” he said. “There’s so much information. They know every pitch that I throw and every count and every situation. So it’s just a matter of not really focusing on that and just trying to compete every single pitch and execute every single pitch. You maybe have a little less margin for error facing them the second time, but just be better, I guess.”

At a news conference Thursday, a few hours before the Dodgers dropped Game 5, a reporter asked Kershaw about his “excitement” about the challenge that awaits him.

“I don’t know if excitement’s the right word,” he replied.

What is the right word?

“I don’t know; that’s such a deep thought,” Kershaw said with a wry smile. “I don’t know if I have a word for it. But I think you do everything you can to try and keep it just like another start at the beginning.

“Then, obviously, the magnitude and the situation of the game kind of raises everybody’s adrenaline and things like that. But I’m trying to keep it the same right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, cubs, dodgers

In Cubdom, the anticipation is brimming, the eagerness palpable - Chicago Tribune

After the Red Sox, I’m a Cubs fan. Unlike a true Cubs fan, I’m not feeling the angst that I felt with the Red Sox. The tips I can give are: keep the faith, keep a paper bag handy, and have something you can destroy in the backyard, just in case.

“It’s within our reach right now,’’ Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re not going to run away from anything.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Beating Clayton Kershaw is Cubs’ biggest barrier to 1st pennant since 1945 - Chicago Tribune

I’m not sure the word “advantage” applies to Clayton Kershaw.

“I always think the advantage goes to the hitters when you’re seeing a guy (in back-to-back starts),” Anthony Rizzo said. “But we’ll have to execute and capitalize on every detail.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bill Murray Bernie Macs the Cubs

Celebrities declaring the Cubs the champs is never a good thing.

bunyon Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:28 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, world series predictions

What we learned: The Dodgers can’t hit Jon Lester

It was a good, tense game until it wasn’t. After back-to-back shutouts, the Chicago Cubs have now scored 18 runs the past two games of the National League Championship Series after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5 on Thursday. The series heads back to Wrigley Field, and we all know what’s at stake.

at the end you will see why I posted this.

Meatwad Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:20 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The unique role Hazleton, Pa., plays in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series push

Nice take on Joe Maddon’s hometown, his sprawling Italian family tree, and a new outpost of Cubs fans.

sotapop Posted: October 20, 2016 at 04:40 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hill’s biggest start works out just fine - LA Times

He carved them up with curveballs.

“It’s interesting,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said. “Of the starts I’ve seen him this year, that wasn’t his best stuff. I think that curveball command wasn’t as I know he would like it. But that just shows he goes out there and competes.

“His preparedness, his guts really kept those guys at bay.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2016 at 09:16 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Slumping Cubs looking at shattered dreams | FOX Sports

“It ain’t over till it’s over”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pop culture has always treated a Cubs championship like a far-out fantasy

The thought of the Cubs getting to—let alone winning—the World Series, had entered the realm of outlandish fantasy. After all, the team’s current 107-year championship drought is the longest in not only professional baseball but also football, hockey, and basketball. The Cubs taking the pennant seemed like a sure sign of the apocalypse, as when W.P. Kinsella, in his short story collection The Thrill Of The Grass, has the Cubs finally triumphing… right before Armageddon. The team couldn’t even get a break in science fiction: Although the Star Trek novel Articles Of The Federation suggests a fresh start for the franchise as the New Cubs, the perennially losing team comes last in its division in 2380. The 1993 movie Rookie Of The Year proudly ended with a Cubs championship, but had to enlist a 12-year-old pitcher who’d had a miraculous accident to get there. And of course, 1989’s Back To The Future II famously featured the Cubs winning after defeating only-too-appropriate 100-1 odds in 2015 (another year where, in the real world, the Cubbies got tantalizingly close—but not close enough).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2016 at 03:32 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pop culture

Cubs’ curse is alive and well at the Billy Goat Tavern

Primate reviews?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2016 at 11:39 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Cubs’ defense delivering at elite level |

Chicago also boasted the NL’s DRS leader at four individual positions—first base (Anthony Rizzo, 11), second base (Javier Baez, 11), shortstop (Addison Russell, 19) and right field (Jason Heyward, 14). That defensive core should be together for some time, too, as all are 27 years old or younger.

“That’s, I think, kind of a scary part for the rest of our league,” starter Jon Lester said. “For the next however many years, before these guys get to free agency and all this other stuff, we have got a really young team that is just continuing to get better at the plate and defensively. [It] just seemed like every start they got better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, defense, statcast

How NLCS spotlights the depth required in MLB’s new age | New York Post

“Having star players and depth should not be mutually exclusive,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers

Monday, October 17, 2016

Nobody promised Dodgers would be easy, but it’s not time to panic | Chicago Sun-Times

I’ve been there. Deep breaths and keep the faith.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dodgers vs. Cubs Preview | 10/16/16

Thanks to MLB for scheduling both games at the same time. They really don’t want me to watch.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2016 at 02:01 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dodgers’ Dave Roberts Isn’t Managing Like a Rookie - The New York Times

The man tasked with ruining the dreams of Cubs fans everywhere.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2016 at 09:20 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Friday, October 14, 2016

Joe Maddon confident his Cubs will be ready for the NLCS - Chicago Tribune

They are good enough. They are smart enough. And, gosh darn it, people like them.

“And you don’t want to see all these other dudes,” Maddon said. “So this time of year, you just see good pitching. That’s what this time of the year means.

“I honestly believe our guys will be equal to the challenge. I know they’re going to be ready. We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, joe maddon, playoffs

For Javier Baez, making acrobatic tags is ‘just natural’ - Chicago Tribune

Javier Baez, tagger extraordinaire.

“Because I’m a lefty,” the Cubs infielder said. “I write lefty, I eat lefty, I even can hit lefty. With that on my glove side, I have really quick hands. I let the ball travel, and as soon as I catch it, my hand goes down to the tag.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Thursday, October 13, 2016

That Was the Week of Javier Baez | FanGraphs Baseball

Javier Baez’s coming out party.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2016 at 08:21 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

The playoffs’ most important innings were decided in July | New York Post

Imagine a Cubs vs. Indians World Series. One fanbase enjoys the euphoria of victory; the other fanbase adds another miserable failure to its bag of despair.

The Indians last won in 1948. And, you might have heard about this one: The Cubs haven’t won since 1908, or the year the world first got the electric mixer.

If not now, when?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2016 at 06:47 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, playoffs

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Cubs changed the whole script with one exhilarating inning | FOX Sports

I fell asleep and missed the epic ending.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2016 at 06:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, playoffs

Cubs rally to defeat Giants, advance to NLCS |

After every game, the Cubs’ mantra is “We never quit.” They yell it together, like a college cheer, and repeat it, “We never quit!” On Tuesday night, that no-quit attitude carried the Cubs into the National League Championship Series for the second straight year, and they got there by toppling the team dubbed the “October giant.”

After being shut down by Matt Moore for eight innings, the Cubs rallied against San Francisco’s beleaguered bullpen for an historic four-run ninth inning and posted a 6-5 victory over the Giants to take the best-of-five series, 3-1. Next up will be Game 1 of the NLCS, set for Saturday at Wrigley Field against either the Nationals or Dodgers on FOX/FS1 with game time TBD.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2016 at 06:10 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, playoffs

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bruce Bochy: ‘One of the best, most exciting games I’ve ever been involved in’ - San Francisco Chronicle

Too bad I live in the East Coast and have a job. I had to tap out at 12:30 AM and missed the ending.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, playoffs

Giants rally, beat Cubs to stay alive in NLDS |

The Giants did not go quietly into the good night.

Maybe this was supposed to happen in a game pitting the Major Leagues’ winningest team of the season against the most successful one of the past decade. Neither would yield easily.

Joe Panik’s double scored Brandon Crawford to snap a 13th-inning tie and lift the Giants to a 6-5 victory over the Cubs on Monday night in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. When the thoroughly entertained AT&T Park audience of 43,571 finally departed, slack-jawed from amazement, the Giants had trimmed the Cubs’ lead in the best-of-five series to 2-1.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, playoffs

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