The Rundown: Wet Weekend Puts Cubs in Tough Spot, NL Races Getting Tighter, Morrow Throws Off Mound in DC
What a wet, frustrating weekend in D.C. I don’t know why the Cubs have to make up yesterday’s game on Thursday instead of at the end of September, but my gut feeling is that the National League may have two divisions and a number of wild card scenarios come down to the last day of the season and Rob Manfred simply wants to keep all of that drama contained within a single four-hour window.
The Marlins and Pirates were rained out yesterday and both have off days this Thursday, but their game was rescheduled for the end of the season. Of course, that game that likely will not be played since both teams are well out of contention for a playoff spot.
So the Cubs now do not have a day off until September 20 and this week is a rough one. They have to play a night game Wednesday at home against the Brewers, then fly to D.C. for a 3:05 game Thursday, followed by a home game against the Reds the following afternoon. As an added bonus, the Cubs will face Max Scherzer in the makeup.
I’m all for this suggestion:
If the Cubs sweep the Brewers, they should just not show up on Thursday. Stay home. Take the forfeit.
— IDontCareAboutTheLuxuryTaxCountTommy (@FullCountTommy) September 9, 2018
The forecast for pretty much the entire East Coast looks shaky at best for Thursday so maybe MLB will have the foresight to call the game before the Cubs attempt to fly to our nation’s capital. I wouldn’t count on that, however.
Cubs News & Notes
Jeff Burdick posted an excellent article for Cubs Insider yesterday. Rather than tell you about it, just go read it. Fantastic insight.
Cubs players wore NFL jerseys for the trip home yesterday.
Cubs players are wearing NFL jerseys on their trip
Cole Hamels throwing a curveball here. He chose… Carson Wentz
He knows an Ace when he sees one#FlyEaglesFly
? @Cubs pic.twitter.com/Axj87jFpZz
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 10, 2018
Sunday was the ninth postponement of a Cubs game this season, almost as many as the previous three years combined (12) and the most in their last 15 years.
The Cubs will play 16 of their final 20 games in Chicago, starting with Monday night’s series and including the September 21-23 interleague series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Brandon Morrow threw 25 pitches off the mound Sunday. The Cubs bullpen looks to be somewhat of a weakness without the team’s closer. Maybe Justin Wilson is the answer.
Is it just me, or has Steve Cishek given up some monumental hits this month? I have little, if any, confidence in the reliever. Cishek has allowed four runs in his past 2 2/3 innings with two losses.
How About That?
The biggest series of the weekend was the Dodgers visiting the first-place Rockies in Coors Field, with the Dodgers taking two of three to make a closely contested race just a little tighter.
Meanwhile, the Braves stormed back against Diamondbacks’ closer Brad Boxberger in what may be the most pivotal 9th inning of the year for both teams. The Braves’ lead in the NL East moved to 4 1/2. The D-Backs fell to 2 1/2 behind in the NL West and they are three back of the second NL wild card.
J.D. Martinez hit his 40th home run of the year yesterday, but it was Mitch Moreland who provided the heroics in Boston’s walk-off win over the Astros last night. The Red Sox magic number is now 11 in the AL East.
Mitchy one bag. #Walkoff #SeptemberBaseball pic.twitter.com/GqVoBNGQsn
— MLB (@MLB) September 10, 2018
Indians third baseman and AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez became the 61st player in the history of MLB to join the 30-30 club. Specifically, that’s 37 homers and 30 steals for Ramirez in 2018. He is the first to go 30-30 since Mike Trout and Ryan Braun accomplished the feat in 2012. Ramirez has an outside chance to pull off a rare feat — leading the league in both categories.
Madison Bumgarner, what were you thinking? The Giants ace deliberately threw high and tight on Ryan Braun three consecutive times with the third pitch nailing Braun in the elbow, loading the bases and getting Milwaukee heated. Why stir up a hornets nest when he could have simply intentionally walked the guy? The Brewers got their payback the best way they could when Jonathan Schoop blasted a grand slam to send Milwaukee toward a sweep of the Giants.
The Tampa Bay Rays are now a season-best 14 games over .500 after winning their 11th straight home game. Kevin Cash’s club is 7-1 in September and 24-11 since the start of August.
Sundays Three Stars
- Jonathan Schoop – The Giants purposely put Ryan Braun on base to face the Brewers’ second baseman with the bags loaded yesterday and Schoop made them pay dearly. He finished the day with five runs batted in.
- Edwin Diaz – The Mariners closer earned his 54th save yesterday and is now just eight saves shy of the major league record.
- The Brewers – A three game sweep and a horrendous schedule for the tiring Cubs has the Brew Crew poised to capture the lead in the NL Central if they can sweep the Northsiders at Wrigley Field.
If you haven’t seen the Showtime documentary about Lynyrd Skynyrd, I highly recommend it. I spent the rain delay watching “If I Leave Here Tomorrow” and it was excellent. The description of the plane crash by survivor Gary Rossington is harrowing, to say the least. “It sounded like the plane was being hit by thousands of baseball bats at one time.”
The Astros are attempting to become the first back-to-back MLB champions in 17 years. Though they lost the finale in Boston last night, the ‘Stros did take 2-of-3 to win the series in Boston.
From Elias, re: Astros — No team has repeated as World Series champion since the Yankees from 1998 to 2000. This streak of 17 straight seasons (2001–17) without a repeat champion is the longest in major-league history.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 9, 2018
They Said It
- “This is a first [for me] with this intensity throughout the entire weekend, especially at this time of the year. Normally, by this time, the weather seems to straighten out. That fall weather becomes a little bit more stable. The bright side is just getting through (the weekend). We’ve done really well through this stretch. I’ve been really pleased with it and it’s not easy to do what we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks and how well we’ve actually played.” – Joe Maddon
- “Something we’ve been talking about [is] ‘Don’t think about the wild card — think about the division. We have the chance this week. It feels really important now.” – Jhoulys Chacin
- “It seems like we’ve been away from home for two weeks, and whenever we go back to Chicago, the fans are electric and always supporting us. There are big crowds, even on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays, showing us love. That’s something we take pride in.” – Addison Russell
Monday Walk Up Song
Have You Ever Seen The Rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival