Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kyle schwarber featureEnjoy your Labor Day. It’ll be a normal day around here, but hopefully more of you will have a chance to take in today’s matinee against the Cardinals.

  • The Cubs aren’t going to tip their hand on Kyle Schwarber’s availability for the huge series in St. Louis any earlier than they have to. When asked yesterday, Joe Maddon offered some thoughts on Schwarber’s progress, but essentially said he’s planning like Schwarber won’t be available … which he might not be … but he might be … but he might not be (ESPN).

  • The Cubs will face three righties in St. Louis – Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, and Carlos Martinez – but they don’t all feature the same splits. Although Lynn and Martinez are tough on righties and are very susceptible to lefties, Wacha has been harder on lefties this year than righties. In that respect, it’s too bad that Wacha isn’t going in the first game this series (he pitches Game Two), because the Cubs could give Schwarber today off with less concern for the lineup impact. As it stands, there’s really no predicting how this goes. Schwarber could be in there today, and I wouldn’t be shocked, given that he’s said he feels good. Schwarber could miss the whole series, and I wouldn’t be shocked, given that there are probably more important games ahead for the Cubs.

  • On that last point, even as we acknowledge that this is a huge series for the Cubs, keep in mind: BP puts the Cubs’ odds of winning the division at just under 1%. FanGraphs generously has them at 1.3%. How much should the Cubs risk with respect to Schwarber to try and win these games, as opposed to, say, any other game down the stretch? I suspect that, if Schwarber is in there today (or later in the series), it’s because he is completely 100%, and not because the Cubs are pulling out all the stops against the Cardinals.
  • Random: Now that I think about it, it’s also too bad Wacha isn’t going on Wednesday, when Jon Lester pitches with righty David Ross behind the plate.
  • There’s no innings limit in place for Jake Arrieta, who figures to top 200 innings (and then some) for the first time in his career, but Joe Maddon offers interesting thoughts – in light of the Matt Harvey/Mets stuff – about how you want to make sure everyone’s on the same page about innings long before you get into the heat of a pennant race (CSN).

  • A great read from the Tribune on Chris Coghlan’s journey and importance to the Cubs.
  • If you missed Kris Bryant’s incredible homer yesterday, un-miss it. Then read the quotes in this piece from his manager and teammates.
  • Also:

  • There was a field runner during yesterday’s game, because people are really stupid, and the guy got taken out. “Momma! Momma! I’m comin’, Momma!”:

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