Hey, the Cubs actually fixed their lineup. For a day, at least.
And two of my all-time favorites are now in the Utility Tunnel of Fame
It took 144 games and a stretch where the Cubs lost three crucial games while scoring a total of four runs, but yesterday, they played a game where Ian Happ was in the lineup, but he wasn’t hitting third.
And in the very first inning, the new third hitter, Seiya Suzuki, doubled in a run from that spot. The Cubs had a 1-0 lead. Will wonders never cease?
After sweeping the Giants to start the homestand, the Cubs had four games with the team closest to them in the wild card race, the Arizona D’bags. They will play their entire seven game season series with the D’bags in a ten day span, and let’s just say that things didn’t get off to a great start.
On Thursday night, the Cubs were breathing down the necks of both the NL Central leading Brewers and the team in the top wild card spot, the Phillies. A good showing against Arizona would not only sure up the Cubs’ wild card prospects but could get them closer to Milwaukee and Philadelphia and a precious first round of home games.
Well…about that. The biggest issue with the Cubs dropping three of four to Arizona is that unless they sweep the series in the oddly lit, oddly shaped airplane hanger they play in this weekend, they won’t have the tiebreaker against them and that could be very bad.
It’s unlikely the Cubs will put their playoff spot in peril (though as you pointed out in the comments the other day, the dumbest manager in the game is leading this quest), but if, say, the Marlins go on one of their annoying, out of nowhere, late season hot streaks, the Cubs don’t own the tiebreaker against them, either. Or the Reds. They only have it on the Giants, and, well, that’s probably not going to matter.
Distressingly, the Cubs wasted one of the rarest of all things…a competent Jameson Taillon start. Taillon dueled the D’bags’ Zac Gallen pitch for pitch…well for six innings and then big Jimmy got all tuckered out and had to go take a nap. But he shut them out for six innings and left the game tied. And then the Cubs lost.
And then they wasted another good Justin Steele start.
And what you really worried about was if the punchless offense (which had to give you flashbacks to postseasons past) was a preview of what the offense might well look like when pitched too carefully, by actually good pitchers.
And that’s why Ross moving Seiya up in the order is a big, fucking deal.
Granted, knowing Ross, he won’t stick with it, or if he does, it’ll only be against lefties.
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