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Cub Tracks Ups the Ante

Yes, sir, Senators, negligence is a strong suit, raccoons fracture fairy tale, and other pips

MLB: NLDS-Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs
2 down, one to go
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

CUBS WIN! Up 2-1 in the NLDS. #flytheW #LetsGo

It was in the cards. Sometimes you draw an ace. Sometimes you draw flies. Sometimes the flies wind up in the seats. Sometimes they just fall short.

On deck: Next game is 4:30 Central, today. Let the chips fall where they may.

The Cubs can clinch the division series with a victory behind Jake Arrieta. Anything else I would have to say would be redundant. Therefore we take you to the latest and greatest anecdotes, aphorisms, accounts and analysis. Read all about it! As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1920 - Indians' Bill Wambsganss becomes the only player in World Series history to complete an unassisted triple play when he makes a leaping catch, steps on second base, and then tags the runner arriving from first base.
  • 1924 - With the score tied at 3-3 and one out in the bottom of the 12th in Game 7 of the World Series, Senators' backstop Muddy Ruel lifts a high, catchable foul pop-up which Giants catcher Hank Gowdy misses when he stumbles over his own mask. Given a second chance, Ruel then doubles and eventually scores the winning run, making the Senators World Champs.
  • 1945 - The Tigers score five runs in the first inning of Game Seven and rout the Cubs 9-3 behind Hal Newhouser, who strikes out 10 to win the World Series.
  • 1963 - The Mets announce the club has 'traded' coaches with the Giants, bringing Wes Westrum to New York in exchange for Cookie Lavagetto, who is recovering from a serious illness and asked to be moved nearer to his home in Oakland.
  • 1968 - Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson sets the mark for total strikeouts (35) in a World Series, but loses the seventh and deciding game to Tigers, 4-1.
  • 2003 - With six hits in six consecutive at-bats, Kenny Lofton sets an NLCS record and ties the ALCS mark.
  • 2005 - Rafael Palmeiro is spared perjury charges when a Congressional subcommittee decides to not prosecute him following its investigation.
  • Happy birthday, Ramon Martinez.

Cubs news and notes:

Little things mean a lot in October. That showed when the Cubs beat Strasburg in the NLDS opener.

"That guy was the nastiest human on the planet for five, six innings, and we were able to get to him,'' Schwarber said. "That's how it has to be. There was no panic in our dugout. You just have to be able to stay focused, and when you get that pitch to drive, you have to do it.'' — Phil Rogers (

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the 2017 NLDS, 2-1, putting them within a win of yet another National League Championship Series. The Cubs had as many errors as hits (four), and they were being no-hit into the seventh inning.

They still won, and now you’re right to wonder if the Cubs are owed a century’s worth of good postseason luck. It would be only fair, but it’s still a chilling thought. — Grant Brisbee (SB Nation)

"I'm thinking, 'Don't pitch to me right there,' to be honest. I love this situation, with a base open. We have a history facing each other…I knew he was going to throw me a fastball. Obviously, it blooped in there, but that's what this game's about. Those situations, I love being up in. It's my job to drive in runs, and I came through there." — Anthony Rizzo

Well, okay. Intracontinental meatloaf.

The Angels have acquired right-handed reliever Felix Pena, who has shown talent and a 98 mph fastball, from the Cubs in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. — ESPN

  • Donna Vickroy (Daily Southtown {$}): Diehard fan says Cubs drive helped him defy 'weeks to live' diagnosis. "The Cubs are going to the World Series," Ron Lekavich said, "and I want to be alive to see it."
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports): A fan is suing the Cubs and MLB after losing his vision because of a foul ball. “James "Jay" Loos has filed a negligence suit.”
  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs investigating auction of World Series ring, question authenticity. "We are currently investigating how this ring landed on an auction site," Cubs spokesman Julian Green said in an email statement.
  • RJ Anderson (CBS Sports): The Cubs-Sammy Sosa relationship hasn't improved, and here's a towel to prove it. “There's room for debate on whether the Cubs snubbed Sosa or just couldn't include every notable player from their past...”
  • AP via ESPN: Dusty Baker falls on familiar Wrigley Field sword. “A town that already held bad playoff memories for Dusty Baker found a way to torment him again.”
  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune* {$)}: Dusty Baker dared Anthony Rizzo to beat Nationals, and that's what he did. “If this victory was about respect for Rizzo, for others it offered redemption — and, in Kyle Schwarber's case, relief.”
  • Mark Feinsand (*): Cubs ready as even NLDS shifts to Wrigley. "We've got to win two more games," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "Doesn't matter how we do it.”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Young Chicago Cubs used to handling pressure. "I think there's a biological age and then there's a baseball postseason experience age," Theo Epstein said. "Our guys have already played more postseason games than most people in Cubs history. They're really seasoned."
  • Eric Stephen (SB Nation): Scherzer, Nats look to ride momentum into Game 3 at Wrigley. Al gets a mention in this article.
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Cubs' pregame hug routine motivates, inspires. “Before the Cubs take batting practice, strength coach Tim Buss gathers the players together for a unique bonding moment that sometimes ends with tears but always involves laughter and hugs. And it may be a contributing factor to the Cubs' success.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): In defense of Joe Maddon’s pitching decisions. “Solid arguments can be made by each camp.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Joe Maddon has a trick up his sleeve with NLDS Game 3 lineup. “Maddon went with Jon Jay — who is 1-for-8 lifetime against Max Scherzer — in a move that stabilizes the starting defense a bit more than if Tommy La Stella was in the lineup.”
  • Patrick Mooney (NBC Sports Chicago): Jon Lester already delivered on free-agent promise with Cubs: Can Max Scherzer do the same for Nationals? “If your season depended on it, would you rather have Lester or Scherzer on the mound?”
  • Adam Berry ( Jake Arrieta declares himself healthy for G4 start. "Timing is really good. The stuff is good," he said. "The arm strength hasn't been affected, and if there's any effect there, I think it's in a positive way."
  • Patrick Mooney (NBC Sports Chicago): With time running out at Wrigley, Arrieta chases another World Series ring. “If I have to play somewhere else,” Arrieta said, “I’m going to try and remember as much as I can about Wrigley and Chicago. It’s a huge part of my life.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Anthony Rizzo surging on postseason's big stage. “'s the postseason now, and Rizzo seems to perform well under the bright lights.” Mark Newman reports that Rizzo has been nominated for the Hank Aaron Award.
  • Jacob R Misener (Cubbies Crib): Chicago Cubs should bring back the captain title for Anthony Rizzo. “The Chicago Cubs have not named a team captain since Sammy Sosa. But Rizzo has earned the distinction – for so many reasons.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Cubs State of the System Address, Part 1: Big Picture Themes. “...there are obvious things that you can see taking place...”

Food for thought:

  • Laurel Hamers (Science News): Ancient whale turns up on wrong side of the world. “The rarely seen pygmy right whale may once have cruised northern, pygmy right whales live in the Southern Hemisphere.”
  • Stephanie Pappas (Live Science): Man v. Snake: 26-Foot-Long Python loses epic battle. “A village in Indonesia enjoyed a snake-meat feast this weekend after a resident wrestled and killed a 26-foot-long (7.8 meters) python.”
  • Science News: Raccoons solve Aesop’s ‘Crow and Pitcher’ puzzle. “Raccoons learn to drop stones into a tube of water to retrieve a floating food reward.”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks doesn’t yet know the whenabouts of the next installment. You will no doubt be informed through the usual channels, unless your area is subject to blackout.