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Cub Tracks Goes Bats

Barrel up, lumber down, and other bullets

MLB: NLCS-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Little things mean a lot.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Last time around, Cub Tracks played Big-Boy Games. We stole some signs, though it did little good, and dealt with out-of-sync body clocks. Today, we get a little morbid, but in a good way. Hallowe’en’s coming, after all. The scent of pumpkin spice is in the air, the leaves are turning, and the Cubs did some more raking. That ghost of a chance they had came up in a spirited game 4, and the series is all tied at 2. The rumors of the Cubs’ demise seem to have been a tad premature, as they buried the Dodgers in a barrage of baseballs.

A little gallows humor would seem to be in order, given that our Cubs came back from the dead last night. The bats are back. And all it took was a little small ball to get it going. And boy, did it get going. Josh and Al will have fully covered the proceedings by now. Russ will have the héros et les chèvres. It falls to me to deliver the mots juste, or, if you prefer, the chaud prend et fèves fraîches. I’m even speaking my “mother” tongue as that side of the family is Québécois. Pass the poutine!

I dunno about you, but I’m ready for today’s game to start already. I have no idea how I’ll make it to 7 o’clock CT. My stomach is in knots, my tongue is tied, my knickers are in a twist, and I’m sweating bullets. My nails are long gone. I started on my knuckles Tuesday, about the fourth inning. I still have Cthulhu on speed-dial.

Fortunately, I can use the bullets, and here they are. Some of them get the Michel de Nostre Dame badge of Augury. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • AP (via Fox Sports): : RIP? Not if you're a Chicago Cubs fan in a playoff year. “Wrigley Field has been the site of so much heartbreak that some fans who spend their whole lives waiting for a winner ask their families, if they can pull it off, to sneak their ashes inside to be scattered in the friendly confines, a final resting place to keep on waiting.”
  • DNAinfo: Wrigley Field West existed long before Cub fans invaded Dodger Stadium. “...there once was a real Wrigley Field West, from 1925 to 1966.”
  • Neil Payne (Five-Thirty-Eight): How much trouble are the Cubs in now? “A rare combination of sloppy pitching and punchless hitting was required to put Chicago in its current 2-1 NLCS hole, and neither of those trends (are) likely to persist going forward.”
  • Grant Brisbee (SB Nation): The Dodgers are up 2-1 over the Cubs, and here’s what recent history tells us. “The Dodgers are favorites to win the pennant, and the Cubs are hosed. But so were these other teams. “
  • Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Screw this slump, these Cubs will break the curse. We have a winnah!
  • Jayson Stark (ESPN*): The Cubs' moment of truth has arrived. And the team members uniformly speak of confidence.
  • Liam McGuire (The Outside Corner): Joe Maddon: Cubs ‘need to push back mentally’. “It’s more of a mental trend than a physical trend,” Maddon told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Joe Maddon: Addison Russell's miserable postseason won't cloud confidence. “I don't think any negative experience right now is going to linger,” the Cubs’ manager said. Heh.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Ben Zobrist breaks down why Dodgers have become a matchup nightmare for Cubs. “We got to find a way to out-execute them,” he finished.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Cubs' battle cry: Win the inning.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Remain calm, Cubs fans, all is well. The Cubs can and will play better.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Jon Lester ready to embrace the 'butterflies' again with Cubs in NLCS. "I'm always nervous," he said.
  • Jenifer Langosch ( Cubs put their faith in Lester for huge Game 5. “He's not intimidated by the surroundings,” Joe Maddon said.
  • Jeff Sullivan (ESPN-Insider {$}): The 'Defensive Enlightenment' era: Cubs ahead of the curve on position versatility. Success breeds imitation.
  • Doug Padilla (ESPN): Dave Roberts calls Joe Maddon's balk talk part of 'mental game'. “I think that it's telling when an opposing manager has to pull out certain stops to play the mental game. So for us, that doesn't affect us,” he said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): From Georgia to Wrigley, the Dexter Fowler-Jason Heyward bond runs deep. It has lasted since they were teenagers in Atlanta.
  • Steven Goldman (Today’s Knuckleball): Column to be named later: The future for Javier Baez. Goldman says Jose Hernandez.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN-Insider {$}): Youngest postseason starters: What does history suggest about Julio Urias' future? References Kerry Wood.
  • Wayne Cavadi (Today’s Knuckleball): Where does Jeimer Candelario fit into the Cubs future plans? He looks like a full-time player. But for who?
  • Alison Bowen (Chicago Tribune): Cubs fans barter 'Hamilton' tickets, pinball machines for Wrigley seats. You gotta do what you gotta do.
  • Justin Breen (DNAinfo): 'Pink Hat Guy' Wants Cubs To Clinch NLCS On His 72nd Birthday. Saturday is Jim Anixter's 72nd.
  • WGN-TV: These 5 vintage WGN-TV Cubs commercials will make you smile.
  • Ryan Fagen (The Sporting News): Cubs' curse is alive and well at the Billy Goat Tavern. Baaad article. The billy goat didn’t fall off the truck yesterday. Mass media narrative.
  • David Matthews, Kelly Bauer (DNAinfo): American Airlines is flying Cubs 'W' flags to LAX. "We're trying to fly the ‘W’ wherever we can," Leslie Scott, an American spokeswoman, said.
  • Phil Rosenthal (Chicago Tribune): Time for Cubs to react to Pete Rose's slight? Rose hardly exists, a gnomic figure with bad hair and a worse on-screen presence.
  • CBS Chicago: Chicago Cubs 1908 World Series team photo.

Food for thought.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Bob Uecker called some of the World Series? Does Randy Quaid even know? And why is Rick Vaughn on the Cubs in MLB: The Show 2016? Thanks for reading. See you Saturday.