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Cub Tracks Gets To The Point

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I don’t believe in goats, Javy’s animal magnetism, and other bullets

All you need is glove.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Last time around, Cub Tracks went bats, after Game 4 of the NLDS, in which the Cubs tied the series. The Cubs did it again in Game 5, and now are a victory away from the World Series. I’m not going to wash myself in yesterday’s tears. The future is what is important, and the future holds a whole lot of Clayton Kershaw. Let’s see what happens. I have good feelings about today. I also have a little blond voodoo doll with a bad beard, and a hatpin.

Got to stem the evil tide...this ain’t about me so I’ll spare you the eyewash. Here’s a few good reads for before the game. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).



  • Neil Paine (Five Thirty-Eight): The Cubs’ curse is now more likely to end than to continue. Mathematically speaking.
  • Ruth Ravve (Fox News): Magical summer has Cubs fans hoping for a curse reverse. Someone help me find my eyes. I think they just rolled right out of my head.
  • Tyler Kepner (The New York Times): Cubs Are Hitting, Winning and Defying the Ghosts. “Ernie Banks never made history like that. Neither did Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, Andre Dawson or Sammy Sosa. With one more victory, these Cubs will.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Game Six of the 2016 NLCS will be its own story. “...it’s the last thing we want to discuss.”
  • Barry Svrluga (The Washington Post): With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, Dodgers expect to beat Cubs in Game 6. I’m sure they do.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Beating Clayton Kershaw is Cubs' biggest barrier to 1st pennant since 1945.
  • James Neveau (NBC Chicago): 'They Can't Cheer Any Louder': Adrian Gonzalez challenges Cubs Fans at Wrigley. Heh. Heh heh heh. This guy.
  • Tim Bannon (Chicago Tribune): Flying the W flag after a win is tradition — but now it's changing. It’s an everyday flag now.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How game-changing Kyle Hendricks deal came together for Cubs team on brink of World Series. “It was bizarre,” general manager Jed Hoyer admitted. “I’ve never been a part of something like that.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Hendricks excited, but mindset won't change. It shouldn’t.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Comparable Cubs: Kyle Hendricks through the eyes of Greg Maddux. “Velocity is nice, but command and movement are better,” said Maddux.
  • Sean Gregory (Time): How the Chicago Cubs built an unlikely ace.
  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): Why they don’t run like mad on Jon Lester. “There’s too much freedom for players to be able to comprehend.”
  • Jack Magruder (Today’s Knuckleball): Cubs’ Lester doesn’t sweat the small (ball) stuff. “It is unusual for a pitcher to ignore runners, but Lester has found that the best option.”
  • August Fagerstrom (Fangraphs): The math behind Jon Lester’s harmless oddities. Go figure.
  • Dave Cameron (Fangraphs): Jon Lester should have Madison Bumgarner’s reputation. They have comparable numbers.
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Underused Contreras helps spark Cubs hitting revival in Game 4. Willson Contreras is playing a sub role very well as the skills and acquaintances of his older counterparts have played larger parts in the series so far.
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Willson Contreras channeling emotions to provide postseason spark for Cubs. "I'm a really emotional player," Contreras said. He leads the team in batting so far in the postseason.
  • Jenifer Langosch (MLB.com): David Ross' storybook career nearing its end. No turning back.
  • Tom Ley (Deadspin): I'd Watch Javier Baez Read A Book. Javy draws the eye as surely as any thespian.
  • Mike Imrem (Daily Herald): Cubs' Russell introducing himself to the world. “Addison Russell is an example of how incorrect a sports writer can be.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): 'Designated yo-yo' Ben Zobrist an asset for Cubs. He’s done this stuff before. And you’re not going to hold Javy back.
  • Steven Goldman (Today’s Knuckleball): Column To Be Named Later: Jason Heyward is fascinating. Better Gil Hodges than Wayne Garland.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): It's time for Joe Maddon to sit Jason Heyward.
  • Phil Rogers (MLB.com): Heyward should start Game 6 in RF.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): No roster spot? no problem: Matt Szczur still an NLCS star. Really admirable guy.
  • ESPN (Insider-{$}): MLB Insiders Roundtable: Long games, short starts and impressive performances.
  • Asher Klein (NBC Chicago): Bill Murray crashes White House press briefing to talk Cubs. The man has the balls of a gopher. I hope he gives them to Kershaw.
  • Gregory Korte (USA Today*): Barack Obama meets Bill Murray, calls his Cubs jacket 'a little troubling'. Murray himself is a little troubling. But he’s ours.
  • Cheryl Corley (NPR): 101-Year-Old Chicago Cubs Fan hopes beloved team grants her Birthday Wish. Virginia Wood has seen lots of games, but no championships.

Food for thought.

  • Meghan Rosen (Science News): Ancient armored fish revises early history of jaws. Placoderms were freaky fish with head like a dolphins and bodies like tanks that evolved during the Devonian period. They also had modern maxilla.
  • Emily Underwood (Science): Mice feel each other's pain. The experiment isn’t very nice for the mice. I hope they have a 12-step program.
  • Kate Murphy (The New York Times): The fake laugh. “It’s a hall of mirrors of inferences and intentions every time you encounter laughter,” said Sophie Scott.

Thanks for reading. Many razzberries to Christopher Russo.