As the Chicago Cubs near closer to the post season, the hype that surrounds them builds and builds. It is almost as if on the most beloved teams in baseball hasn't won a world series in 115 years. As the playoffs get closer, I will analyze games, players, and any kind of news I see note-worthy. Since this is my first post of this blog, there will be a lot of random facts and ramblings, please bear with me.
As of right now, the Cubs' magic number to clinch the best record in the league is 3. That has a good chance to go down tonight, since the Cubs are playing the Cincinnati Reds, and the Nationals are in a series with the surging the Miami Marlins.
Over the last few games against the Brewers and Reds, Joe Maddon has been resting a lot of players since the Cubs have clinched the NL Central and have been in series with 4th and 5th place teams. However, for last nights game, we may be getting a good look at the current state to a potential playoff lineup. Joe squeezed in Baez in at 3rd, pushing Bryant to left field. Joe is really finding Baez to be an important part of the in-field, and it is not hard to see why. Len and JD commented on his "snag and tag" technique, which has helped cut down 31 base runners by tag this season. Although Kris Bryant is in his element at 3rd, it has been proven time and time again that he can play other positions, like the diving catch he made last night against Reds.
It is very rare that you see any signs of David Ross's age (well, besides the grey in his beard). Last nigh was one of those few occasions. With Ross on 1st, John Lester (of all people) nailed a double into the right field gap, allowing Ross to run from 1st to score. If you looked at hime after the slide into home, you would think that he just completed a marathon. Len Kasper joked "Get some oxygen for that man!"
The final was Cubs 6, Reds 1, improving the Cub's record to 96-55. It is the 11th time in franchise history that the Cubs have won 96 games in a season, and there are still 11 games to be played. The Cubs have hit all kinds of historical landmarks this this season, and they may hit a few more over the course for the next few weeks.
Tonight, the Cubs will face the Reds at 7:05 CT for the series finale. John Lackey, who has struggled against the reds, looks to improve his 3.42 ERA against rookie Robert Stephenson.