This is gonna be a short one, folks. Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I’d said that…I’d probably be able to buy something really cheap. You know what’s not cheap? Elite bullpen arms. Which is why the Cubs gave up four players, including their top-rated prospect, to acquire Aroldis Chapman. I’ve already written a lot about that whole situation and if you would like a balanced take on the move in terms of baseball and beyond, you should peruse the rest of the stuff on the site. I don’t want to link everything here, but you giving me lots of clicks means I don’t have to earn money by using innuendo.
Anyway, the idea behind adding Chapman to an already-solid back-end (there I go again, cha-ching) was to shorten the games into 6-inning contests. While Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Chapman aren’t infallible, there’s no question that being able to roll that trio out there is pretty much death to an opposing lineup. It’s also a pretty nice sight for Cubs fans (with the obvious exception of those who can’t embrace the new closer), who have an even stronger sense of security when entering the late innings with a lead. Perhaps, then, it’s fitting that one of the countless anagrams generated from the three men’s names is “A phantom cordons porn.”
I don’t think that even means anything, but it’s got to have more substance than the ubiquitous Harambe memes ping-ponging across the interwebs.
In any case, the Cubs got a pair of games back from the White Sox to salvage a tie in the overblown Crosstown Cup series and set many a blue-clad mind at ease in the process. By so doing, they’ve increased their playoff odds to 98.8% and still boast a 6.5 game lead over the always-dangerous Cardinals. I’ve got a feeling though, and I’m going to share it even though my predictions are known for having negative karmic influence.
I’ve got a feeling that the Cubs are about to go on a run that will put the Central out of reach. The team is healthy and they’ve made a pair of moves to solidify the bullpen. The rotation is looking good and we’re not seeing second-half Jason Hammel. Jake Arrieta has yet to be great again, but the potential for him to do so is still there.
As for the postseason, Matt Harvey is out and Clayton Kershaw’s return is still uncertain. That doesn’t make either the Mets or Dodgers walkovers, but seeing Jeurys Familia blow consecutive saves provides proof that the guy is fallible. Then again, the fact that he’s now dropped a pair might mean that he’s about to embark on another streak of perfection. But never mind that.
This Cubs team is poised to do big things over the next couple months, which could also mean adding at least one more piece. Whether that comes via trade or simply the return to health of one or more players, we’re going to see a complete roster here shortly. Less moving around, more moving forward. Sound good?