Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

postseason 2016Yesterday was apparently all about reminding baseball fans that things happen in short series that you just don’t expect.

In fact, the Cubs losing their game to the Giants – even the way it happened – was probably the least surprising of the three game outcomes.

  • Consider that, in Boston, the Red Sox, who were probably the best team in the American League this year when you consider everything, were swept by the Cleveland Indians, a team that was supposed to face a quick exit after their rotation was ravaged by injuries. They’ll now face the Wild-Card-winning Blue Jays in the ALCS, after the Blue Jays pulled off a sweep of their own, taking down the best-record-in-the-AL Rangers.

  • And in Los Angeles, the also-injury-best Washington Nationals blew out the Dodgers to go up 2-1 in their NLDS series. It was a one-run game heading into the top of the 9th when elite closer Kenley Jansen came in to keep things close. He got just one out and was tagged for four runs in the process. Hey, I guess lots of closers don’t like those non-traditional/non-save situations, eh?
  • Now the Dodgers have to decide whether to go with Clayton Kershaw on short rest for Game Four, or youngster Julio Urias. The Nationals are choosing between Reynaldo Lopez and Joe Ross, while saving Max Scherzer for a potential Game Five. Your rooting interest is probably that the Nationals close things out, since they would seem to be a slightly better match-up for the Cubs in the NLCS, if they get that far. While I do think the Cubs’ pitching can match up well against the Dodgers’ lineup, I think the prospect of facing Kershaw and Rich Hill four times in a seven-game series is more concerning than Max Scherzer twice (and whoever else the Nationals throw out there). Throw in the Nationals’ injury issues, and that’s where I land.
  • … ultimately, though, both teams are good. The Cubs won’t have a cake walk either way. And, of course, the Cubs actually have to get there before any of this matters at all. They’ll try to clinch the NLDS tonight at 7:30pm CT, as John Lackey will face Matt Moore.

  • Also, in closing, this is not that long ago!

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