With the magic number now down to five, here's the latest from around the web.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Joe Maddon didn't have anything bad to say toward the umpires after being ejected in Saturday's game when Hector Rondon hit Greg Garcia to lead off the ninth. He also was ready to take anything that Cardinals fans were ready to throw at him. With a glass of Mollydooker wine, of course. (I had to look it up.)
- Anthony Rizzo, on being hit the second time in Friday's game: "Obviously at that moment, I want to kill someone because I know it was intentional."
- In non-plunking-related news, Maddon feels that Travis Wood has gained a lot of confidence as the season has gone on, with Thursday's outing against the Pirates being a perfect example.
- Miguel Montero, on the Cubs' chances in the playoffs: "We can win it all."
- Jake Arrieta isn't worried about 20 wins or a Cy Young; he just wants to pitch in October.
- [VIDEO] Kris Bryant is having a hard time being recognized. As a Lyft driver, that is.
- Phil Rogers writes that if there was any doubt as to how dangerous the Cubs can be in October, Addison Russell should have put it to rest with his diving play to end the game on Saturday.
- Neil Ramirez was pumped to be back on the mound on Friday. As for his role for the rest of the season: "I'm going to have to build that trust up."
- From the land of firsts: Starlin Castro received his first curtain call ever at Wrigley Field after his two-homer, six-RBI barrage on Friday.
- After hitting Matt Holliday in the head on Friday, the first thing that Dan Haren did when he got to the dugout was to apologize to... Anthony Rizzo. And in case you missed Joe Maddon's comments about the Friday actions, here they are.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Mike Matheny had his own comments on Saturday regarding the Friday game.
- As for the Thursday game and the hard slide by Chris Coghlan, when asked whether he thought the slide was dirty, Joe Maddon replied: "Anybody who wants to go there, you don't know the game at all."
- David Schoenfield felt that Coghlan's slide was "over the line". And that was a whole lot nicer than what Keith Law thought.
- Jesse Rogers writes about the emergence of Javier Baez, calling him a defensive stalwart at a time when pitching and fielding are paramount.
From CBS Chicago:
- Chris Emma writes that this season feels like it could be something special, and that it's only the beginning.
- Bruce Levine writes about the turnaround for Starlin Castro since moving to a part-time role.
- He also writes about Kris Bryant, saying that Bryant should be a runaway for the National League Rookie of the Year.
- Reason number -- I've honestly lost count -- to love Joe Maddon: His promotion of local charities during Friday home games.
- Mark Grote recently sat down for a Q and A session with "The Sarge" Gary Matthews.
- [VIDEO] Have you ever wondered just what the disco celebrations looked like inside the clubhouse after a Cubs' victory? Well, Addison Russell has you covered.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Whitey Herzog lauded the efforts of Joe Maddon this season, calling Maddon's personality "just perfect for all the young players the Cubs have."
- Paul Sullivan writes that "The Plan" has led to an amazing rebirth of the organization and looks back at 12 key decisions made during the execution of it.
- The Trib puts together its list of players for the Cubs' postseason roster and looks at how they were acquired.
- In case you know anybody who is looking to become a fair-weather Cubs fan, Mary Schmich has some information about how to join the club.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Dan McGrath writes that there could be a clean sweep of the postseason awards by the Cubs this year.
- Mike Olt made Chicago history earlier this week, becoming the first player ever to hit a home run for the Cubs and the White Sox in the same season.
From the Daily Herald:
- Connor McKnight also takes a crack at putting together the Cubs' postseason roster.
From Bleacher Nation:
- There's a change coming to the international free agency rules that might allow the Cubs to sign some more international talent. Or at least allow them to get a shot at it despite overspending this season.
- Michael Cerami takes a look at the peripherals behind the resurgence in offense from Javier Baez this season.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- MLB Pipeline announced its hitting and pitching prospects of the year for each team, with Kyle Schwarber and Ryan Williams winning the honors for the Cubs.
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman takes a look at some of the numbers behind the amazing second-half performance from Jake Arrieta.
Today's food for thought:
- Sad news from California, as a museum dedicated to the history of the telephone was destroyed in a wildfire that ran through the town of San Andreas.
- [VIDEO] It turns out that a piano can't be perfectly tuned, and here's the mathematics behind why it's so.
- And, finally... it's the new worst dive ever taken in college football history.