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Cub Tracks Pre-Postseason Edition II

Triple-digit losers, the West Side Grounds, ancient viruses, and other bullets

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Is it Friday yet?
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Postseason schedule, scores, and bracket. “All games telecast on MLB Network, TBS, FOX and FS1 will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider.”

By now the reason why I didn’t get into the postseason pitching rotation and roster in the first Pre-Post-Season Edition has unveiled itself...namely the Front-Page Staff Roundtable, an event we hope to hold a couple more times this year.

The hated Yankees have sneaked into the tourney once again. Last night the Diamondbacks got past the Rockies in an exciting heavyweight bout and joined the joust as well. Tonight the Red Sox square off against the Astros in the first non-wild-card postseason activity and the Yankees face the Indians. I think Houston vanquishes Boston, and Cleveland ambushes New York, but who wins the AL is relatively unimportant to me. I just want the Cubs to face whoever comes out on top.

Is it Friday yet? I want Cubs baseball.

Let’s get into the swing of things. As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1905 - The Beaneaters suffer their 100th loss of the season when they drop the first game of a Washington Park doubleheader, 11-5, to the Superbas, a team that has already lost 103 games. It is the first occurrence in major-league history that two teams with triple-digit losses have been opponents.
  • 1942 - Behind the outstanding pitching of rookie Johnny Beazley, the Cardinals stun the baseball world by beating the Yankees, 2-1, to win the World Series in five games.
  • 1953 - In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers win their record fifth consecutive World Series in dramatic fashion. Billy Martin, the Series MVP, collects his twelfth hit of the Fall Classic, a single which scores Hank Bauer, giving New York a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Dodgers.
  • 1971 - The Orioles overcome two Reggie Jackson home runs to complete a sweep of Oakland in the ALCS with a 5-3 victory.
  • 1979 - The Pirates completed a sweep of the NLCS, beating the Reds, 7-1. Willie Stargell, who homered, was named series MVP.
  • 2001 - The Braves maul the Marlins, 20-3 to clinch the National League East title and become the first team in professional sports to win 10 consecutive division titles.
  • 2010 - Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton breaks Ichiro's Japanese record for the most hits in a single season when he strokes his 211th hit of the year, a two-run single to center in a game against the Yakult Swallows.
  • Happy birthday, Rey Sanchez.

Cubs news and notes:

Joe Maddon on Daniel Murphy: "I wish he was still a Met."

Theo Epstein, on Jake Arrieta's Wednesday bullpen session: "Jake had a great day today." — Jesse Rogers (ESPN)

“Rizz and I go way back,” said Maddon, who managed the Class-A infielder in 1982 in Salem, Oregon, where the California Angels had a branch of their farm system. “There was also a really good urban legend about a player that was no longer heard from after Rizzo had been released in spring training. The guy that was chosen in front of him was no longer to be found right after that.”

That Godfather-style line drew laughter from the reporters gathered in the Wrigley Field interview room before Wednesday’s workout, Maddon just warming up for the national media he will love to see this October.

“So the next day, Rizzo was reinstated,” Maddon said. “So we’re trying to find him. If anybody knows where Dave Govea is living right now, please let us know.” — Patrick Mooney (NBC Sports Chicago)

  • Patrick M. O’Connell (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs last won back-to-back World Series titles at mostly forgotten West Side Grounds, now UIC. "Think of all of the great players who roamed this area. Imagine 120 years back into the past, and how it used to be here."
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): The Cubs are the least “home-grown” team in the playoffs — does that seem right? “I could go on to justify all of Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Addison Russell, Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon, and Mike Montgomery as homegrown, too.”
  • How to beat the Nationals. “Rival players offer inside look at facing NL East champions.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): How the Cubs plan to slow down Nationals speedster Trea Turner. “Contreras changes the landscape of the running game...”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Hmm — Max Scherzer skipped his bullpen session today. “We really haven’t determined what game we’re eyeing yet,” said Scherzer.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Scherzer’s devastating slider diminished as season progressed. “...the vast majority of Scherzer’s success with the slider came in first half of the season.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Breaking down Cubs' NLDS rotation decisions. "Had Jake been well the whole time, this order would've been different, no question," Joe Maddon said.
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Kyle Hendricks: Ace. “If Hendricks is the Game One starter, he’s earned it.”
  • NBC Sports Chicago*: Hendricks on Game 1 start: 'It's definitely an honor' [VIDEO].
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs relishing role of postseason underdogs. “...we have nothing to lose. We're still a really good team and we should win the World Series,” opined Jon Lester.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Jose Quintana on missing the White Sox — and loving life with the Cubs. “I feel like I’m pitching really good,” Quintana said, “and it’s funny, but I feel like I’ve been here for more than one year.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Jake Arrieta tunes up for Game 4 with 'pen session’. "We moved Jake to the back to make sure we give the leg as much time as possible to heal," Maddon said Wednesday.
  • Dustin Watts (Cubs Insider): Despite flaws, John Lackey good fit as bullpen arm. “Let’s take a look at some of the numbers to see why the fifth starter is a good fit moving forward.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Who does Maddon trust more between Carl Edwards, Jr, and Pedro Strop? “Maddon used the Stringbean Slinger during slightly more stressful spots than Strop, though both had their share of meaningful moments.”
  • Russell Dorsey (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Willson Contreras’ bat will be Cubs’ NLDS X-Factor. “...there will be no shortage of thump in the National League Division Series.”

Food for thought:

  • Mary Beth Griggs (Popular Science): 60 years ago, Sputnik shocked the world and started the space race. “...very few people knew how far along the Soviets were in their program.”
  • Peter Dockrill (Science Alert): A rare element from the edge of the periodic table is breaking quantum mechanics. “...berkelium looks to be even stranger than we realised.”
  • Carl Zimmer (The NY Times): Ancient viruses are buried in your DNA. “Altogether, they make up about 8 percent of the human genome. And scientists are only starting to figure out what this viral DNA is doing to us.”

Thanks reading. Cub Tracks will be back soon with more Cubs playoffs news and notes.