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You’d have liked to score a little more off of Charlie Morton, but he’s actually pitching quite well this year. On the Cubs’ side, the pitching was just fine.

The game had an exciting ending, with Nate Schierholtz aggressively trying to score on a muffed ball in the outfield. It took a fundamentally-sound backing up job by Andrew McCutchen, and a well-executed cut by Justin Morneau to get Schierholtz at the plate and end the game.

With it, the Pirates clinch a playoff spot (though they’d like more), which is what all the cool teams do at Wrigley Field.

sept 23 box

Full box.

  • MichiganGoat

    I’m sure we can find fault in Gregg.

  • Soda Popinski

    It’s concerning to see Shark’s K/BB trending in the wrong direction. 2.69 on the year isn’t just awful, but it’s down from 3.21 last year. Here’s to hoping he works on his command this offseason so he can really step into the role of a #1 or #2. I guess it’s encouraging to know that he has the stuff to pitch out of jams, though.

    • Voice of Reason

      Shark is what he is, a number 3 or 4 starter. He’s s young enough to develop into a 2, but my senses tell me he’s a 3 at best.

  • cjdubbya

    Rondon’s looking quite sharp as of late. Wonder if he’s found something. #RondonFanClub

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I like his stuff. He was a decent starter in the minors & seems to be adjusting well ro the relief role after all of his injuries.

      • mdavis

        i think i read he was lighting the gun up at 98 mph. svuem mentioned wanting to see him in back to backs, im going to the game tonight so hopefully i can see how he looks now. he’s held his own for the most part i think, all things considered

  • Die hard

    Beat the Cubs clinch a playoff spot — Cubs have become everyone’s 🐩🐩🐩🐩

    • baldtaxguy

      Need to step up your game. You’re better than this.

  • baldtaxguy

    Great at bat by Murphy last night. Scrappy?

    Great night for Samardzija and the bullpen – 11K’s. Shierholtz and Rizzo simply look fatigued.

  • Eric

    I can definitely find fault in Gregg giving up the go ahead run in the ninth inning.

    • Jimbotron

      Don’t be a downer, are you not smart enough to appreciate the plan, can you not have patience, etc. etc.

    • baldtaxguy

      He needs to work on his timing. The 3K’s were needed before the HR.

    • baldtaxguy

      Actually, I’m disappointed Gregg was out there. After his little foot stomping, I’d prefer him sitting on the bullpen bench the remainder of the season. Rondon or Parker or even Villanueva can close as an alternative for Strop these final games.

      • Blublud

        Right. Because a player is not allowed to make a mistake and continue playing.

        • willis

          I don’t care about his foot stomping tantrum to the media as much as I care about the fact this is two straight games he has come into a tie game situation and blown it for the cubs. He’s been very good most of the year, lately he’s been crap. I’d like to have seen one of the younger arms I there to try and hold that tie.

        • baldtaxguy

          Wrong. Because the Cubs are developing their bullpen and putting others in the closer role should be part of that in these last handful of games. I question whether Gregg “made a mistake.”

  • Stevie B

    Someone tell me this year is rock bottom…

    • beerhelps

      This year is rock bottom. Glad i could help.

    • Die hard

      Next year is the projected bottom and then like one of Ricketts beaten down stock funds set to rise on good news– at least that’s the plan etc.. Problem is they won’t be able to score more than 3 a game while any decent pitchers will finally give up due to lack of run support — so the fund will break the buck before 2015 Jumbotron

    • Blublud

      Last year was definitely worse then this year. Any time Chris Volstad is pitching on your team, that is definitely rock bottom.

      • C. Steadman

        agreed last year was rock bottom…this year is a little bit off that bottom, because we were competitive before the firesale, next year hopefully will be even more competitive with a free agent or two and hopefully done with the firesale at the deadline

        • Cyranojoe

          Exactly. Hoping for .500, maybe a surprise above that next year. If next year is as bad as this, that’ll be an indicator to finally start to get anxious about the Plan. Anyone who’s losing their minds over anything this year — Sveum, Castro, Shark, anything — is not able to stick to the Plan, or never bought into it. Respect to those of us who hold fast and believe in the logically defined and constructed Plan, including Jed & Theo. It’s less about faith and more about comprehension of the goals, strategy, and risks.

    • Brains

      I think the plan stipulates that we’re supposed to lose for 5 years straight and then miraculously win the world series with our 4 minor league prospects. And it must be true because Theo is some kind of psychic genius. So get ready for an even worse year next year, followed by 2 terrible years, followed by sports religious catharsis.

    • Kyle

      Two years ago was rock bottom. The crawl back up is just very, very slow.

      • Blublud

        You mean like watch UV ink dry with no UV light.

    • Funn Dave

      Last year was rock bottom.

    • Cyranojoe

      Last year was the rock bottom. This year’s better than last year.

      • jon

        When only about 30-50% our top prospects actually ‘hit’ and we are still only a 75 win team 3 years from now, that will be rock bottom.

        • Cyranojoe

          Ha! Yeah, that could happen, sadly. Thaaaat would suck.

  • Voice of Reason

    Valbuena is brutal.

    The only thing he brings is his ability to play multiple positions.

    • auggie55

      He’s just not an everyday player. His numbers show that. Of course guys like Barney and Schierholtz aren’t everyday players either. That’s why the Cubs suck so much.

      • Voice of Reason

        Don’t tell other people on this site that Valbuena can’t play everyday.

        There was a story about a month ago on this site that said Valbuena should be considered as the every day third baseman next year!

        There was another story that said Jackson hasn’t pitched that bad this year…

  • Chad

    I’m fine with the Pirates winning. I would love to see the cubs sweep the cards and give the pirates the central title. That would just be great. The one game playoff is just tough for those wild card teams.

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Whose our opening day guy? Shark? Wood? Jackson? I’m guessing it’s Wood but if you look beyond the classic stats like wins and ERA it doesn’t seem like there’s much differentiation between them. I wouldn’t mind those 3 guys in our rotation of we had two stellar guys in the mix… but if no politics or fan crazes stood in the way and the season starts tomorrow, who has been or best guy? Who do you give the nod?

    (Assuming you want to reward someone because outside ensuring the maximum number of starts possible there is little statistical reason to worry about order much.)

    • Blublud

      Tanaka

    • Funn Dave

      Personally, I’m hoping Travis, but it’ll probably be Jeff.

      Although of course Tanaka would be ideal.

    • C. Steadman

      if we get Tanaka i dont think they’ll throw him opening day for his first ever MLB start..heck the Rangers didnt throw Darvish till game 4 of the season after starting Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison…I agree with Funn Dave that I’m hoping its Wood but safe bet is Jeff

    • Scotti

      You let Spring Training competition decide it.

    • Cyranojoe

      Wood deserves it based on this year, but Shark will probably take it again, especially after ST. Agree with Scotti.

  • http://Bleachernation Oliver

    Can’t score, can’t win?
    Funny how that works out.

  • EB

    I know he was excited, but Russell Martin chucking the ball into left after they got Scheirholtz kinda crosses the line, especially when they hadn’t even clinched yet. Hopefully, the Cubs took note…

    • Blublud

      Hopefully they were more concerned about losing than Martin chucking a ball into left field.

      • mjhurdle

        agreed.
        i personally thought the Dodgers went a bit over-board in Arizona, but a team chucking a ball into left field is not something i would expect people to get all up in arms over.

    • Northside Matt

      Play better baseball and these things don’t happen.

  • Brains

    I think the Cubs are going to sign Granderson this offseason. He’ll come cheaper than before his injury and the potential upside is huge.

    • Chad

      I would be fine with that, but I don’t think he fits the ideal of what this front office wants. However, he may be a cheaper/fewer year type of deal. If Almora is good enough to play CF for the cubs it will be at least 2 more years so they do need a nice filler and I think Granderson would be a decent option.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      At 32 with a declining OBP… makes me nervous. I don’t know what she would sign for in terms of money or length of contract but I have to think he’s going to insist on something we are not willing to pay. Choo still seems like a better fit to me. if we could get Choo and we can get Tanaka then I think we could be extremely competitive until the young players come up midseason. and if there is a logjam at any position on the trade deadline we can use some prospects to fill a hole.and it is just possible that we could play for a wild card spot. If Choo were good for another 4 WAR… that’s a hypothetical swing of 8 games with the Reds. And they would have to work really hard to replace him.

    • Voice of Reason

      Brains,

      The Cubs MIGHT make a play for Granderson. It depends on if he doesn’t sign quickly because there are other outfielders in the pecking order that will probably get taken before him. That said, if he falls to the Cubs on somewhat of the cheap then they may do it. 3 years and 25 million??

      He fractured his finger so that’s nothing to get really overly concerned about next year. His age comes into play, too… again, if they can get him cheap they may do it. But the prior two seasons he did hit over 40 home runs so that may drive his price up knowing that it was just a finger injury last year. He can play left field and we don’t have anyone in the minors waiting to play the position. He is left handed so that is intriguing. However, he strikes out a ton and will never hit for average. I’m wondering if the heavy strikeouts makes him unappealing to our two geniuses in the front office?

      There’s a great story with Granderson as he is from Chicago!

      • Brains

        I agree, he’s worth it as a Chicago guy if the contract is good for the team. He has declining speed – no more 19 triples – and he’s had two rough years in a row. But I think he’s a smart player and could help the team in transition. If we have to force ourselves to suffer out of Theo’s religious penance vision, we might as well stock up with a couple power guys looking to redeem themselves at a discount.

  • Big Daddy

    Why not sign Grandy and Choo? Put Lake out there, and use Schierholtz as the 4th outfielder. Sign Tanaka. Sign Maholm cheap. Rotation of Tanaka, Shark, Ejax, Wood, Maholm. Let all the kids battle for 3B. That could be a .500 team.

    • willis

      Hahahahahahaha….you don’t really think they are going to spend to sign all three of those do you? They’ve been crying poor all season. I would be thrilled if they signed one of those three, I’d pee my pants in joy if two of those three. I’d probably die of shock if all three. I like the idea, don’t get me wrong. In fact I love it. You add all that to this team and pray someone steps up at 3rd…yes that’s an ok team. But the money isn’t there to spend according to Theo. And if it was, who’s to know if Ricketts would spend it until the renovation is way under way/completed.

      • Funn Dave

        Yeah there’s no way.

    • Cyranojoe

      Probably Grandy OR Choo; otherwise, I think it’s possible. And that would definitely be a team with .500 potential.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I don’t think they will sign another starting lefty in the OF

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