As the Cubs have seen on the positive side this weekend, things in the playoff race can change quickly. But, for now, things are looking good: with yesterday’s win, the Cubs are up 2.5 on the Giants for the second Wild Card spot, and up 4.0 on the Nationals. Yesterday’s win ensured that the Cubs will win this four-game set against the Giants, and will thus have gained ground on them over the course of the visit. With such a tight race, that’s what you’ve got to do when you get the chance to face teams head-to-head.
- The win, by the way, was the Cubs’ 9th in their last 10. They’re 10-2 since that ugly series sweep against the Phillies back in July. The hope then was that it would be some kind of weird low point, and it sure is looking that way now. Then again, the Phillies have been on fire for a few weeks, so maybe it was partly just the Phillies being good.
- Playoff odds check? At FanGraphs, the Cubs are at 74.1%. At BP, the Cubs are up to 78.0%, and that’s after falling as low as 40.2% back on July 29. The Cubs have not only been blazing hot, the fact that they were blazing hot against the Giants was really, really significant. The Giants entered this series at a 51.1% playoff shot, per BP, and, three days later, they’re down to just 31.0%. Wow.
- Starlin Castro discusses the recent move to take him out of the regular lineup (Cubs.com, ESPN). He’s doing the best he can to be positive, and be a team player. I’m sure it’s not easy.
- Joe Maddon offers more praise for Kris Bryant, not just for the homer he hit, but for his overall game (Cubs.com). One of the better young players he’s ever had, says Maddon. No doubt.
- A great read in the New York Times on the Cubs’ playoff run, the atmosphere around the team, and the young guys who don’t know any better.
- Joe Posnanski is now pro clock in baseball because of the way he saw how it dramatically improves the pace of the game when he watched a minor league affair with his kids.
- Not sure how I never saw this amazingness before:
— Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) August 9, 2015
- I really appreciate that this guy grabbed the Brandon Belt homer and immediately went to throw it back. The execution was a little lacking, though:
GIF: Good job, good effort pic.twitter.com/8m7HoUzMdJ
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) August 9, 2015