YOUR WORLD CHAMPION CHICAGO CUBS
W - Chapman (2-0), all of us.
L - Shaw (2-1)
S - Montgomery (1), my faith that sometimes things work out.
Things to Take from This Game:
1. Cubs get to Kluber, Miller
Fowler got things started right with a leadoff home run. Kluber consistently left the breaking stuff up in the zone, and struck out no one in four innings. A Russell sacrifice fly and Contreras double plated two more in the fourth.
2. Baez, Ross, atone for defensive miscues
Baez made a couple of errors of youth and enthusiasm, first throwing away a grounder he went to his knee for, and then missing on an attempted barehand turn of a double play. But he made up for it by chasing Kluber from the game with a solo home run at the top of the fifth. Similarly, David Ross entered the game with Jon Lester, and had a throwing error and then let a wild pitch clang off his facemask that scored two runs. He promptly homered off of Andrew Miller.
3. Hendricks solid, Lester heroic.
Hendricks was functional if not especially dominant, but got the quick hook from Maddon after he walked Santana with two outs and no on in the fifth. Lester suffered from a squibber, a wild pitch, and some rough defense from Ross to give up two runs with two outs in the fifth, but then settled down and pitched masterful relief. Maddon pulled him with two outs in the eighth and one one, bringing in Chapman. Guyer promptly doubled to bring the game to 6-4. And then....
4.Rajai F'ing Davis
With 4 outs to go and Cleveland at a 3.5% Win Expectancy, Davis golfed a home run out down the left field line, tying the game at 6.
(We somehow survived that, and then, with 1 out to go in the bottom of the 10th and a 4.5% Win Expectancy, Davis again tormented us with a lined single to center to bring Cleveland to within a run, at 8-7. However....)
5. The 10th...
After a rain delay postponed the start of the tenth, Schwarber singled, Bryant hit a sacrifice fly to advance the pinch-runner Almora, Rizzo got an IBB, and then a go-ahead RBI double by Zobrist and RBI single by Montero gave us an 8-6 lead. Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Montgomery nail down the save, in a nail-biter, as we hang on to win 8-7. A 10th-inning, Game 7, World Series victory on a rally started by a guy who missed the entire season from game 3 to the start of the world series, and saved by a couple of untested young relievers. But perhaps most indicative of what this year has been all about, eight different Cubs drove in an RBI, in a true team effort. After the game is over we learn the players called a meeting during the rain delay. David Ross gets carried off the field on Rizzo's and Heyward's shoulders, after the preliminary on-field celebrations.
All your best-team-in-the-world details, below...
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
W - Hendricks (1-1), patient Cubs fans.
L - Kershaw (1-1), insufferable talk of curses.
Things to Take from This Game
1. Kyle Hendricks, Cy Young Worthy.
We saw Peak Kyle tonight, with masterful, easy dominance working an 89-90 fastball all over and keeping the changeup darting. He was backed up by our usual, superior defense, save one harmless error from Baez, who more than made up for it on other plays, including the game-ending double-play turn.
2. Leadoff XBH and two-strike RBI.
The Cubs led off the first and second with doubles, and the fourth with a home run. They drove in several runs on two-strike pitches from Kershaw. This was a dominating offensive performance against Kershaw, being able both to jump on him early in the count, and also to work counts. Kershaw struggled to put anyone away.
3. Vintage Cubs.
Tonight, the Cubs were the superior defensive team, with the superior starting pitching, a relentless offense and a valuable home-field advantage. It was a game worthy of the time capsule for representing what we've been about this magical year.
W - Nelson (8-14), Clubhouse attendants who don't want to clean up after champagne parties
L - Grimm (1-1 ), Dummies who stay up late when they should be preparing to teach tomorrow.
S - Thornburg (10)
Things to Take from This Game
1. Montgomery looks good.
Mike Montgomery pitched a fine 6 innings with just 1 earned run, two more coming in unearned, walking one and striking out seven. For a sixth starter in September it was an encouraging audition for the post-season, or 2017. He even knocked in a run with a single back up the middle, for his first career hit.
2. Russell with some yips.
Hopefully it's just a one-off thing, but Russell sailed throws high, wide-right, and wide-left tonight, for two errors. One of them resulted in two runs. Stay tuned.
3. Soler hit a ball very hard.
Soler's laser-beam 2-run HR and a couple of Heyward doubles down each line were the offensive highlights of the night.
The deflating details, below
Marmol entered a 3-1 game and allowed the six runs on five hits and a walk before being yanked having recorded just one out. The last time a Cubs pitcher allowed six runs in the ninth inning with Chicago leading entering the frame came in 1911.
Also it seems that Q-Ball doesn't have the respect of everyone in the clubhouse...a response to Z breaking a bat over his leg last night.
‘‘I don’t like that,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I’m glad he’s OK. I get his frustration, but he can do something else. I cringe because he can hurt himself.’’
‘‘I work hard. My legs are strong,’’ said Zambrano, who was upset at himself because he missed a hanging breaking ball he thought he should have hit. ‘‘It’s nothing to worry about. If you want to see how I can break bats over my legs, come back tomorrow and watch me lift weights.’’
But what about the manager’s concern?
‘‘What manager?’’ Zambrano said.
Don't forget that Dempster was picked over Z for Opening Day and Dempster couldn't have been more vocal about wanting Q-Ball to get the manager gig. It could be nothing, could be something....
A nice night for the Golden Boy last night as he throws 5.2 shutout innings against the fading Cardinals to further deter their playoffs hopes. Samardzija did give up six hits and four walks against just one strikeout, so he was constantly working out trouble, but he got 8 groundballs and two timely(as if they are never not timely for a pitcher) double plays by Pedro Feliz to help the cause.
Addendum: In cycling through Cub no-hit history, ESPN's Jon Miller mentioned that the Cubs have not been on the short end of a no-hitter since Sandy Koufax tossed a perfect game against the Cubs back in 1965. That was the game that saw Cub loser Bob Hendley allow the Dodgers just one hit. Joe Morgan intoned that he heard the ninth inning of that game on the radio as he and his Houston Astro teammates drove into the city from the L.A. airport; they were scheduled to play the Dodgers the next night. Morgan said he specifically remembered Koufax striking out Ernie Banks in the 9th to preserve the perfect game. Would it surprise you to know that Morgan was wrong? Nope. Didn't surprise me either.
The Cubs held on to beat the White Sox, 1-0, Sunday night at Wrigley Field. The game saw Ted Lilly and Gavin Floyd locked up in a double no-hit duel until Alfonso Soriano collected the game's first hit, a double inside the leftfield line with two out in the Cubs seventh. Chad Tracy then followed with a sharp ground-ball single that plated Soriano with the game's only run.
The Cubs squandered another superb start, this one by Ryan Dempster, and lost 3-2 to the Astros in 10 innings Sunday afternoon. To make matters worse, the bullpen culprits on this day were the Cubs' two relief studs so far this young season, Carlos Marmol, who surrendered the tying run in the 9th, and Sean Marshall, who took the loss after allowing a double by Jason Michaels and a sacrifice fly by Pedro Feliz in the 10th.
I Returned to TCR to recap THIS?!?!
W- Lowe (1-0), calls for instant replay, people making their team or career debuts
L- Zambrano (0-1), dignity. 3 hours of my life
Things to Take from This Game
1. Not So Good: Zambrano, Samardzija
Zambrano got knicked by a series of softly hit singles before giving up a 3-run home run to Neo Heyward. Some throwing mistakes and a McCann homer in the second chased Zambrano from the game, having given up 8. The fourth reliever in, Samardzija, walked three in a one third of an inning.
2. Good: Byrd, Marshall, Russell.
Byrd gave the Cubs a very early and short-lived lead with a 3-run homer in the first. Marshall and Russell gave the Cubs a chance to get back in the game with a Ramirez 2-run Homer, as they pitched 4 and 2/3 of scoreless relief, before turning things over to Samardzija, Berg, and Grabow
3. McLouth Lies like a Dog. And Fakes It. And Just Isn't Very Nice.
Down 8-5 with Ramirez on 1st, Byrd smoked a liner to left center. McLouth made a diving catch with the ball popping out on contact with the ground. But McLouth faked the catch, threw it in, and the umpires, missing the call, declared Ramirez doubled off of first. We went from having the tying run at the plate with no outs, to no on and two outs. After Soriano predictbly ended the inning; it was all downhill from there.
The gory details, below