Here's the latest from around the web.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Joe Maddon's goal for the playoffs remains the same as it has been during the push leading up to them: Don't overthink things.
- Even though Jake Arrieta will be making the start on October 7, Maddon does see a scenario where having Jon Lester on the wild card roster would be beneficial.
- When it comes to the National League Cy Young award, Tony Andracki knows one thing: one pitcher is going to win and two are going to get screwed.
- Why is Kris Bryant able to successfully move around the field, playing positions at will and on demand? According to Maddon, it's because Bryant only has one agenda: To win the game.
- Bryant's versatility could make him an X-factor in determining the moves that the Cubs make this offseason, writes Patrick Mooney.
- Just how good has Addison Russell been this season in the field? He currently ranks fourth in baseball in defensive runs saved... at both middle infield positions.
- Al had already listed the statistic that Chris Denorfia became the first player in history to hit a pinch-hit extra-inning homer to end a game 1-0, but here's a stat you may not have seen: The Cubs have eight wins this season in games in which they have four hits or less, twice as many as the next-highest team.
- [VIDEO] Just how do the Cubs go about picking their walk-up songs? They'll tell you in this video.
- [VIDEO] You've probably already heard that Anthony Rizzo became the second member of the super-elite 30/30 club, joining Don Baylor as the second player since 1914 to hit 30 homers and get hit 30 times in the same season. And what better way to celebrate Rizzo's 30 plunkings than with a video compilation of them.
- Carl Edwards Jr. made his hitting debut on Tuesday night... against Aroldis Chapman. He was given only one instruction by Joe Maddon: Don't swing the bat.
- Will Kris Bryant ever play all nine positions in a game for the Cubs? According to Joe Maddon: "Maybe 13 years from now we'll do it, but not right now." So you're saying there's a chance!
From ESPN Chicago:
- You probably also already know about the Cubs' woes with hitting when there's a runner on third and less than two outs. Just how bad is it? They're 45 batting average points worse than the next-lowest team. Yikes.
From CBS Chicago:
- Kyle Schwarber is one of many top rookies that will be making their postseason debut this October.
- Matt Abbatacola writes that the current wild card format is neither unfair nor unfortunate. He also says that baseball has never been about being fair, but instead about winning and losing within the format at the time, pointing back to teams from the 1980s and early '90s that won more than 90 games and didn't get a chance at the playoffs at all.
- Chris Emma looks at the joumey that Jake Arrieta has taken with the Cubs since arriving in 2013 and writes that if you don't know Arrieta by now, you've missed out on something extraordinary. And you've been living under a rock. (That's my quote, not his.)
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Kind of a bummer: The plans to show the wild card game at Wrigley Field on October 7 have been scratched.
- Mark Gonzales writes that a keen eye at the plate may be necessary to move further into the playoffs, especially against pitchers like Gerrit Cole.
- How many position players does one wild card roster need? The number could be as high as 16.
- Dan Haren regrets not pitching as well for the Cubs as he did for the Marlins. At least he's ending on a high note.
- Paul Sullivan takes a look at what it could take to finalize an extension for Theo Epstein, saying that whatever payday he gets will be good for everyone in the organization because he acknowledges the importance of everyone that works for him.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- This just in: Starlin Castro has been on fire in September.
- How should the Cubs handle all of the talk of curses, jinxes, and all other things past that will likely be part of everyone's talking points in the playoffs? Rick Morrissey doesn't have the answer.
- Addison Russell isn't worried about the past: "We're reminded every single day. But it's a new age. And today's a new day."
- If you're in the mood for a giggle, Baseball Prospectus re-published their 2009 analysis of the Orioles' farm system. It's a real shame that Jake Arrieta doesn't have the polish of Brian Matusz or the all-around skills of Chris Tillman.
- News from the rooftops: The federal lawsuit filed by the rooftop owners earlier this year was dismissed on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall.
- And from the files of sights that can't be unseen, we present Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
From the Daily Herald:
- Bruce Miles gives his take on the frontrunners for the four major postseason awards.
From Cubs Den:
- Similar to the Cosmological Constant from Einstein's Theory of Relativity, John Arguello ponders the theory of a "Baseballogical Constant" as it pertains to Joe Maddon's potential effect on the 2015 Cubs.
- Arguello also looks at the WAR of the players that have departed under Theo Epstein's tenure versus the ones that have been acquired, and to no surprise the ledger stacks pretty well to the acquired side.
From Bleacher Nation:
- [VIDEO] It's Anthony Rizzo... messing with fielders' minds on the basepaths. Again.
- Michael Cerami looks at three mid-season pitching acquisitions that have worked pretty well for the Cubs: Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill, and Fernando Rodney.
- The most effective pitch in baseball this season is the slider. And the Cubs are excellent at throwing them.
- Dave Cameron from FanGraphs thinks that the Cubs have a perfectly acceptable number three starter, and they should give Kyle Hendricks a chance to prove that it's him.
- From the "Where Are They Now" files: Sam Gardner from FOX Sports catches up with former Cub pitcher Danny Young, who jokingly referred to himself as "the black Randy Johnson".
Today's food for thought:
- [VIDEO] From the world of creepy animals, we present the chimaera, also known as the elephant fish, rat fish, rabbitfish, and my personal favorite... the "ghost shark".
- [VIDEO] Making a glass bottle from sand is not an easy task, especially if you're not an expert at it.