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Cub Tracks lives to fight another day

Cubs’ division championship Counselled, and other bullets

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I refuse to post a picture of the Brewers celebrating at Wrigley Field.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports


Wow! There’s certainly no need to deploy my advanced sense of story to this narrative, is there? The Cubs broke out the one-solo-homer offense and lost to the ugly ducklings Brewers, and that means that they play in the Wild-Card Game, today. This isn’t the story we signed up for.

Anthony Rizzo came up big, Jose Quintana came up good-enough, ESPN was almost-not-annoying, but the Cubs pitched to Christian Yelich, and Orlando Arcia had a big day, and so did Jhoulys Chacin, and this is the result. Len Kasper said it best, I swan:

Kris Bryant echoed those sentiments:

USA Today rests the blame on Joe Maddon’s shoulders. Whatever.

Len continues his fine Twitter game:

One more chance to add to the story, Today, 8 p.m. ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT on ESPN. Go Cubs!

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

“We’re not dead in the water. We have another opportunity. I’ve been involved in Wild Card teams that have gone all the way. You’ve got to throw this away very quickly. They won the division, bully for them. We have to move on and get ready for tomorrow.” — Joe Maddon

Jon Lester vs. Kyle Freeman for the universe.

  • ESPN: More Ditka than you need [VIDEO].
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): No joy in Cubville: 95 wins equals disappointment (so far) for World Series-or-bust Cubs. “Cubs fans, the sensible ones at least, aren’t upset because the Cubs are “only” a wild card team.”
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports*): For one day, the small-market Brewers got the best of the big-market Cubs. “It was a very Brewers day in Wrigley on Monday.”
  • Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis, and Mike Rosenbaum (*): Here’s how the 10 postseason teams were built. “The Red Sox and Cubs built two of baseball’s best teams in similar fashion. They mostly used homegrown hitters to fortify their lineups and trades and free agents to construct their pitching staffs.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs not worried about fate because playoffs are playoffs. “I think people around here are ready to jump off bridges about us just getting into the playoffs and not winning the division. So I mean, the playoffs are the playoffs,” said Lester.
  • Grant Brisbee (SB Nation): The Brewers are NL Central champs because they tried this offseason. “Last winter was dumb. The Brewers were smart, and they might win the World Series because of it.”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): One pitch: How a hanging slider to a No. 8 hitter was an October moment to forget for the Cubs. “We’d like to have one pitch back to Arcia,” Maddon said. “That kind of set the whole thing up.”
  • Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune* {$}): For Justin Wilson and Cubs, loss ‘centered around one pitch’ to Arcia. “I hung a breaking ball,” Wilson said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs not ‘dead in water,’ will start Jon Lester for WC. “We’re not looking at it as a disadvantage,” Cole Hamels said as the Brewers were celebrating in the visiting clubhouse. “There’re a lot of teams that are home right now. They would love that one more opportunity to play a meaningful game. That’s the way we have to look at it.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Jonny on the spot: Cubs turn to Lester to save the season against the Rockies. “It’s comforting,” Maddon said. “Jon’s been there, done that. Jon will be ready to roll.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Carl Edwards Jr just displayed lowest velocity of career. “Edwards has looked like a shell of his former self.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Cubs edged in tiebreaker, head to WC Game. “The game came down to the best bullpen matchups, and the Brewers definitely had the edge.”
  • Steve Rosenbloom (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Quick, someone tell the Cubs that hitting in October is not optional. “As they have done all season, the Cubs hitters proved mystifyingly inconsistent.”
  • Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times*): How Ben Zobrist got back to ‘old times’. “A lot of it has to do with the extra rest, I think that’s helped a lot,’’ Zobrist said.

Food for thought:

Thanks for playing along! Go CUBS Go!