It may be hard for fans to believe, but this is the first time the Cubs will be featured on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball this season. Generally, even in years where the team is struggling, they are featured on the national broadcast at least once or twice by virtue of playing in the most picturesque and historic ballpark in baseball. Alternatively, they often find themselves on the show because of their rivalry with the Cardinals, who are well-known perennial contenders.
But this season the Cardinals really never pulled it together and despite the Cubs playing at beautiful Wrigley Field while outpacing projection systems for most of the season, they just never found themselves on the national Sunday night showcase — until tonight.
The Cubs will try to snap a four-game losing streak that has made the National League Wild Card race much tighter than it needed to be as they face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Arizona is one of four teams within a game of the Cubs for the last two Wild Card spots. After last night’s disappointing loss in extra innings and with six games against division leaders still looming for the Cubs it doesn’t feel like a stretch to call this a must-win game for Chicago. The drama quotient alone makes it a no-brainer for ESPN’s feature game of the week.
Y’all know what that means here at Bleed Cubbie Blue: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Bingo.
The Bleed Cubbie Blue Bingo game dates back to 2019 as a small attempt to bring levity to a broadcast that was guaranteed to put its foot in its mouth at least once. I mean, who can forget the time A-Rod suggested Javy needed to get more boring? Or the time Matt Vasgersian ranted about bachelorette parties in the bleachers with all of the energy of Grandpa Simpson yelling at clouds?
Credit where it is due, the broadcast team at ESPN has improved considerably since those days. However, I still get a kick out of following along with my card at home. As always, if you want a real challenge make it a blackout game. I really don’t recommend making it a drinking game, but I admit I’ll likely be playing along with a glass of rosé.