Tagged: playoffs

NLCS Game 4: Hot Takes

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  • Unnecessary to say this, but if the Cubs lose this game I have very little confidence in a series win. A win tonight and I feel like this is a brand new series.
  • I like John Lackey but his antics on the mound make it hard to watch him sometimes. Especially when he is bristling about a pitch the was, in reality, called correctly.
  • The Cubs catchers are absolute beasts throwing out baserunners. I’ll never get tired of seeing that.
  • Once again, Adrian Gonzalez can’t run. Adrian Gonzalez has never been able to run. Is the Dodger third base coach unaware of this fact? That’s been two bad sends during this series.
  • Like it or not, there wasn’t a definitive enough angle to overturn the play with Adrian Gonzalez thrown out at the plate. If you have to slow a clip down 100x and zoom in 25x to try to find something, that play shouldn’t be overturned. It has to be clear and incontrovertible evidence to change a call. It was not there in that play. I feel like that is the case in most extremely close replays. That’s OK. That would be OK even if it went against the Cubs. I wouldn’t be thrilled with it, but that’s how replay works.la-dodgers-vs-cubs-live-updates-game-4-dodgers-don-t-score-in-second-after-1476925465
  • Oh thank God. The Cubs can indeed score.
  • This game is significantly more fun than the game I attended last night. ct-cubs-dodgers-nlcs-game4-score-20161019
  • I may or may not be more relieved by Anthony Rizzo’s home run than Rizzo himself. He needed that. The Cubs needed that.
  • Josh Reddick’s “Lambeau Leap” is my favorite thing I’ve seen the Dodgers do all season.
  • I can’t believe there’s still any thought that the Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw pitch in Game 5. Kershaw is a great pitcher, but there is no way he is ready to start a game tomorrow.
  • I actually kind of like Andrew Tolles. I don’t know that he’d be in my starting lineup, but I like him as a bench/utility piece.
  • With two walks to start the fifth I think Mr Lackey is done for the night if I’m Joe Maddon. This game is too important to lose with a pitcher losing his edge.
  • Well, the bottom of the fifth was rough, but the Cubs defense bailed them out. I don’t necessarily need a shutout. I just need the Cubs to end this thing with at least one more run than the Dodgers. However that happens.
  • I think Anthony Rizzo should buy all of Matt Szczur’s bats.
  • There have been more than a few plays tonight that look like they were choreographed by the Keystone Kops..not the least of which was the sacrifice fly that led to two runs and almost looked to be setting up a little league home run. From where I sit, that was a lot of fun to watch.
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  • Addison Russell has found his swing again even if they don’t always drop for a hit.
  • Hoping that the injury to Carl Edwards, Jr. is just a leg cramp or something minor. He has been too important out of the bullpen to lose him for the rest of the postseason.
  • Hey Anthony, I’m loving your production tonight, but you don’t have to make up the entire postseason in a single game.
  • Dodger Stadium is emptying out like the rats escaping the Wrigley Field bleachers. I realize that 10-2 is a rough score to swallow, especially on a weeknight, but leaving a game early is a sin to me.
  • Tonight was a big momentum shift and with the series now even at 2-2, the path to the World Series goes through Wrigley and I like the Cubs chances in that situation. I think tomorrow is definitely winnable and even if Kershaw pitches like Kershaw in the first game back at Wrigley, the Cubs can take Game 7. I’m feeling very good about this series.

Hot Takes: NLCS Game 2

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  • Sitting a half hour before game time I’m not going to lie. This is the matchup that most gives me pause. Kyle Hendricks has been ridiculously good at home this year and I expect the trend to continue. However, Clayton Kershaw is still Clayton Kershaw. I’m hoping that the short rest/relief appearance against Washington may have him off of his game. While I do realize that this is a best of 7 series and I can’t expect to go undefeated, coming to LA with a 2-0 series lead will be HUGE. It means that the road for the Dodgers to eliminate the Cubs, come what may in LaLa Land, HAS to be through Wrigley. I like the way that looks. That being said, I like the pitching matchups for the Cubs in the remainder of the series. Certainly Rich Hill is no slouch, but versus Jake Arrieta? Plus having Game 4, as of now, looking like a bullpen game looks mighty good to me.
  •  I like John Smoltz. He seems knowledgeable, but I’m just not sure he should be a commentator.
  • In the first inning Kyle looked like Greg Maddux light. Not so much in the second. I don’t know if the Adrian Gonzalez home run shook him up, but I hope he calms himself down.
  • That was an “old Javy” swing on that high pitch. I thought we were over that.
  • Well, that was a stressful third inning but ultimately Kyle wound up doing what he has been doing all year.
  • Maybe I haven’t seen enough of Kershaw, but I don’t like his double leg kick delivery. Seems to me that it is a balk just waiting to happen.
  • That long ball that Anthony Rizzo hit foul by a few feet would have meant so much more than the 1 run that it would have scored. If that ball stays fair, I think Rizzo would have officially shaken his slump.
  • Hendricks wound up pitching a lot better than I was afraid of in the early innings. He picked himself up and worked out of some self-inflicted trouble. That resilience is going to benefit the Cubs going forward.
  • Gotta admit. I love the Mike Borzello fact of the night.
  • Thank God this perfect game nonsense is over. And yes, of course it was Javy Baez that did it.
  • Oh…and Mr. Baez can play defense too. He is showing some serious baseball intelligence tonight. First with his base running to try and draw a bad throw and then on the double play to get out of the inning. I’ve always like him from his minor league days and even I am getting more and more impressed with him this postseason.
  • I don’t know what to say. Hendricks and the bullpen were good. Really good, but Kershaw was Kershaw and that’s that. I was hoping he’d be off his game and not as sharp as usual. I was wrong.
  • Evidently my FS1 feed has a slight delay. I really need to remember not to go on Twitter during the game.
  • Where is Joe Blanton when you need him?
  • I have a number of issues with Aroldis Chapman, and I wish there was some way the Cubs could have gotten Andrew Miller instead. I honestly don’t feel like I can trust Chapman in these high pressure situations.
  • I can’t argue over individual balls and strikes, but that first pitch in the 9th to Kris Bryant shaped that entire at bat. That was ball 1. No question.
  • Next up, let’s go ahead and sweep the 3 games at Dodger Stadium and get that World Series berth. The Cubs need to go 7-5 for the rest of the post season. The Cubs can do that.
  • I wish Pete Rose’s suspension extended to commentating on baseball games as well.

Hot Takes: NLCS Game 1

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  • I’d hardly qualify Javy Baez as the every day second baseman.
  • Lots of solid contact early against Kenta Maeda. With the wind blowing out, this could be a very good thing
  • Dave Roberts has my vote for NL Manager of the Year.
  • Sending Adrian Gonzalez home with 2 outs and Howie Kendrick coming up was just a dumb move.Unless something catastrophic happened with the relays to the plate there is no way Gonzalez scores.
  • I think Javy Baez took the lesson to heart about hustling in every at bat. His hustle is currently bordering on dangerous…and I like it.
  • If Justin Turner makes a better throw to the plate (i.e. lower) Javy is nailed.img_2302
  • “Even the mistakes seem to go the Cubs way” is not a phrase–or sentiment–that I am accustomed to during my lifetime.
  • It takes a lot of guts for Joe Buck to mock other announcers.
  • Jason Heyward has erased at least a month of crummy regular season tonight alone.
  • It looks like Dexter Fowler has been eating his Rizz-Os for breakfast!
  • Justin Turner looks like the AMPM mascotimg_2300 img_2301
  • FS1 sure has a lot of gratuitous crotch shots.
  • During the in-game interview (which I hate) I love the fact that Jake Arrieta would stop the interview to react to what was actually going on around him and on the field.
  • I just noticed that the standings flags atop the scoreboard have been removed, leaving just the flags for the Dodgers and Cubs. Very cool little touch.
  • Anthony Rizzo’s glove is more than carrying his lack of offense, and that’s ok, if not ideal.
  • I think this Javy Baez kid may be good at baseball.
  • Watching Pedro Baez pitch is painful. He is the reason that a pitch clock is going to be instilled.
  • Jon Lester pitched a good game, but that “wind-aided” home run cancels out a few of the times the Cubs defense bailed him out. It is a hard call, and in years past I would criticize it pretty heartily, but with the current bullpen, I think things will be OK. Until they’re not.
  • (^See? Still a classic Cubs fan at heart)
  • Evidently Joe Maddon didn’t learn about using relievers for more than a batter in Game 3 of the NLDS. Things look OK…for now.
  • The 8th inning is where the dark thoughts come from.
  • The reference to Bartman on the foul ball to Anthony Rizzo was completely unnecessary. The fans literally played no park in whether it was caught or not.
  • Joe Blanton lost enough Angels games that I attended, I feel like he owed me one. Or five.
  • I questioned the move to bring in Miguel Montero rather than Willson Contreras. What the heck do I know?
  • The Cubs need to go 7-6 at this point to win the World Series. That is absolutely doable for this team!
  • Despite the score, this game was saved by the Cubs defense!
  • If tonight is any indicator, I may not survive the next few weeks. I think in the grand scheme, I’m ok with that.

Hot Takes: NLDS Game 3

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  • OK. New drinking game. Take a shot any time you hear “1908,””1984″ or “2003.” Bonus shots for “Bartman” or “Garvey.”
  • Madison is a girl’s name
  • I’m starting to worry less about Kris Bryant and his mini-slumps. Anthony Rizzo, however, is starting to scare me a little bit.
  • Yes, it would be hard for Jake to repeat his performance from last year…especially seeing as no one else was ever able to do it once.
  • 3 Ks in the first? I think Jake remembered he was pitching in California again.
  • Seriously, Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner are probably the 2 major leaguers that I like the least, especially if AJ Pierzynski retires.img_1531
  • JAKE!
  • I think the neighbors are getting concerned again. Who is this Jake and why do I keep screaming bloody murder at him?
  • I don’t need Vasgersian and John Smoltz literally repeating each other  mere pitches apart.
  • Matt Moore is incredibly unpersonanble and a pretty bad interview
  • It didn’t look to me like Denard Span was going full speed on his double. I think if he was, he could’ve had a triple.
  •  I hate to admit it, but Brandon Crawford has a great glove.
  • The audio of my game feed has been cutting in and out. I don’t consider this a bad thing.
  • Cub factor notwithstanding, I’d be rooting against the Giants just to kill off the stupid “even year” mythology.img_2282
  • No offense to the Nationals or Dodgers, but I feel like the Cubs can easily handle either of them in the NLDS. This series was the one that I thought might have a fluke chance to knock the Cubs out, but the team showed their resilience.
  • Bruce Bochy looks weird without facial hair. I may be wrong but I think he had the goatee in Chicago. Was this some sort of motivational move for the team?
  •  Javy always looks like he’s having so much fun on the field. I can appreciate that.
  • I think comparing the Arrieta-Strop deal to the Broglio-Brock deal is a bit premature.  Brock is a Hall of Famer. At least give us a few weeks so Jake can win the World Series before making such comparisons.
  • Things look good. Things look exceptionally good. However, this is only the NLDS and the Cubs came this far last year. I’m not going to say that this doesn’t mean anything, because it certainly does, but this is just another step on the path to the ultimate destination. Albeit a big step, but one step nonetheless.img_1609
  • When the Giants clinched the Wild Card spot, I immediately looked for available tickets for tonight’s game. The best deal I found was $200 for pretty decent seats in one of the lower levels. When I went back to look again the following day, the cheapest seats were well over $300 for standing room only. I guess I should have jumped on that first deal! Edit: Maybe not.
  • I’m uncomfortable with how much the Cubs are depending on the pitching to provide the offense. I certainly don’t mind 6 RBI from the pitchers, but can we get a few runs from 1-8 in the lineup too? I’d feel a lot more comfortable with that.
  • We get it. Law is clapping and waving a towel. I’m over it.
  • I don’t really know what happened in the bottom of the 8th. There was a red mist and then I woke up to see Kris’ home run.
  • I am so glad that Joe found room on the postseason roster for Albert Almora Jr.
  • Hey Matt. EVERY time the Giants come to bat is a chance for a “walk-off winner.” You don’t need to remind us every single inning.img_2292
  • I understand going for the knockout punch and using Travis Wood for only one batter, but losing his longevity when the game turned into a marathon hurts.
  • Hunter “Crazy Eyes” Pence has got to be one of the most pesky ballplayers in the league.
  • THESE games are why I currently have a bleeding ulcer.
  • Cubs only need one more win. We can do this.

Hot Takes: Game 2 NLDS

  • I learned my lesson from last night and have the booze ready to go before the first pitch tonight.
  • I may regret this later, but I have little to no fear of Jeff Samardzija in this game. It ain’t Shark Week.
  • It’s funny how things work out. I was upset when the Cubs traded Samardzija during his All Star season and then failed to re-sign him. Now, I’m glad those pieces came together like they did, adding Addison Russell and, indirectly, Aroldis Chapman.
  • Oh really, Bob Costas? The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908? This is the first I’m hearing of it. Seriously though, this is why I hate ‘national broadcasts.’
  • I love Kyle Hendricks, but even I think the comparisons to Greg Maddux may be slightly premature
  • #YouGoWeGo!
  • 20+ pitches and a run in the first? Yeah, I’ll take it.
  • Hunter Pence has crazy eyes. I’m not sure he isn’t going to stab Anthony Rizzo when he’s standing on first.
  • Is there anything Kyle can’t do this season? ERA title, 2 RBI performance in the playoffs. This kid is good.
  • Uh oh. Looks like KB has found his stroke…
  • Samardzija has always reminded me of a cartoon coyote.
  •  When did Zobrist get new walkup music? I liked the old song, but “Bennie and the Jets” is fun too. I’m assuming it’s still being performed by his wife, Julianna.
  • Pretty pleased to be into the subpar Giants bullpen after only 2 innings.
  • Hoping it’s just a bruise on Kyle. This will be a scary few days until we get an official diagnosis.
  • TRAVIS WOOD!

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    Photo from the Chicago Tribune

  • I was unaware that Lee brand jeans were still a thing.
  • I don’t like Bumgarner coming in a pinch hitter. I like Kris Bryant making 2 errors on the play even less.
  • I think Costas may have just implied that literally anyone but the Giants and Red Sox would be an excellent World Series champ.
  • Javy Baez is, at this exact moment, the last guy the Cubs need to be hurt.
  • OK. I may be biased in this particular situation, but using replay to overturn a play where a baserunner is off the base for a fraction of a millisecond is ridiculous. I don’t know how to remedy this, but it’s definitely overkill.
  • That being said, Javy should have been running hard from the moment the ball was hit and it wouldn’t have been an issue.
  • Of the 8 top position players on the field, the Cubs and Giants are 4-4? I’ll admit that Posey is probably the superior catcher and that Crawford and Russell are pretty much even, but that’s about it. I’m very curious as to how John Smoltz justifies that.
  • Kelby Tomlinson looks like he was the last pick in a PE softball game, but one day will “make you pay for that…make you ALL pay.”
  • Literally inches from a Bryzzo Company souvenir.
  • How much longer until we can officially start stressing about Anthony’s bat?
  • Throwing at Javy? Don’t you idiot Giants know the Chicago way? Hit one of our guys, we hit 2 of yours. Be careful what you sow.
  • Sometimes I think it’s just not fair to send mere mortals to bat against Aroldis Chapman.
  • While the Giants bullpen was not nearly as bad as it has been throughout the season, I’m still confident with a lead in the later innings or even being down by a run or two.
  • Singing along to “Go Cubs Go” alone at home is not nearly as much fun as at Wrigley, but a lot more fun than not singing it after a game.
  • 3 RBI were from the pitchers tonight. Not a bad showing at all.
  • I was slightly more relaxed tonight as opposed to last night. I don’t think any domestic disturbance charges are headed my way any time soon. At least not until Monday night.

Hot Take: Game 1 NLDS

  • I spent a majority of my evening trying not to cry. Or vomit. Or both.
  • Holy Cow is Jonny Lester good, or what?
  • Grandpa Ross is insanely good behind the plate.
  • Neither of these are new revelations, but they deserve to be reiterated in light of this game.
  • I love that Javy got to be the hero. He has been viewed a lot this season for his glove, and rightfully so, but his bat was what first drew him to the collective Cub fanbase as a minor leaguer.
  • We all saw Bill Murray, yes?cunb8i4weaae2f2
  • It’s probably a good thing that I tend to watch these games alone. I’m sure my neighbors think there was some brutal domestic squabble in my home tonight.
  • I honestly find all of the Giants unlikeable with the possible exception of Bruce Bochy, but even he seems to have gotten grumpy in his old age.
  • 1908 was an even year too.
  • 10 more wins to go.