The Rundown: Cubs Can’t Capitalize on Opportunities, Yadi Molina Injured on Play at Plate, Magic Number Stays at 5
It was good to be a Cardinal in Chicago on Sunday. The group from Arizona absolutely dismantled the Bears, while the folks from St. Louis managed to come away with a sweep-stopping win at Wrigley. The good news, however, is that the Cubs are in a very different position from their former housemates.
Actually, the Bears are where the Cubs were a few years ago, struggling through a new regime and trying to rebuild. I only wish I could trust Ryan Pace as much as I did Theo Epstein when he blew into town with a big vocabulary and bigger plans. Despite the loss Sunday, we are seeing those plans come to fruition. Even down 2 runs late in the game, the Cubs seemed like the looser team.
The Cards can still boast an 11-8 record against their rivals to the north, but the Cubs have now taken 4 of the last 6 games in the series and appear to be hitting their stride. Regardless of what you think of the Cardinals or their fans, you have to be excited about the possibility of this once again being a meaningful rivalry for years to comes.
With the Cubs down a run in the bottom of the 8th, Anthony Rizzo tried to tag and score from 3rd on an Addison Russell fly to short right. Jason Heyward came up with a perfect one-hop throw to the plate, where Yadi Molina fielded and applied the tag as only the best catcher in the history of the game could. He made the play the right way, proving once again why he’s the real MVP.
But sometimes being so inimitably awesome can be a burden, as Yadi realized when he suffered a sprained left thumb as Rizzo’s foot caught him and jammed his hand back. If only he didn’t perform his duties with such perfect fundamental soundness, he might have stayed in the game.
I am actually hoping the Cardinals backstop doesn’t miss much time, as his absence undoubtedly means Tony Cruz will turn into the second coming of, well, Yadi Molina. Heck, he already made an impact in his single inning of duty, throwing out the speedy Quintin “Not Chuck’s Cousin Marvin” Berry on an attempted steal of second. It was the first time Berry had ever been thrown out in the majors in 26 attempts. Satan just stroked his beard and laughed.
Giants win, magic number unchanged
The Cubs weren’t able to help their own cause and the Giants got a win as well, so the magic number for a playoff berth still stands at 5 with 13 games to play. I’m selfishly hoping for it to be at 1 on Friday, when I’ll be paying a long-overdue visit to Wrigley. Let me know if you’re going to be there so I can act like I’m interested in meeting up with you before inevitably blowing you off.
Seriously though, I would love to meet up with anyone who’s going to be there at the game. My time, however, is not my own; I’ll be there as a guest and will be hanging out in the Assurance Club. But who knows, I may deign to mingle with the unclean masses.
I’ll be heading to Cincinnati on Thursday, October 1st too, and I’ve got 2 extra tickets. Anyone wanna taxi me there and back for a free seat? Pretty exciting to be talking about seeing the Cubs play for a chance to clinch a postseason berth.