You’ll hear no complaining from me, but when these playoffs are over, I sure hope to get several consecutive nights of solid sleep. Late nights plus hectic travel plus tons of writing plus three kids including newborn equals hilarious sleep deficit. Don’t try to talk to me about anything other than baseball right now, because my brain could not process it.
- After last night’s game, Jake Arrieta admitted he probably had his foot a little too on the gas out of the gate against the Indians (Cubs.com), which undoubtedly contributed to the early command issues. From there, he was more in the zone, inducing weak contact, notching strikeouts, and keeping the Indians off the board – including hits – until the sixth inning. That was actually the deepest a no-hitter has gone in the World Series since 1969, when Jerry Koosman (yes, of those Mets) threw six innings of no-hit ball. It was abbreviated by the pitch count, but it was one of Arrieta’s best games in a good long while. Right time for it, too.
- Arrieta wasn’t just good last night, he had a good post-game press conference, where he answered his questions with accuracy and insight – as fact-checked by August Fagerstrom.
- The strike zone was pretty fair again last night, though the Cubs appear to have lost more strikes than the Indians – as many as nine balls that could have/should have been called strikes for Cubs pitchers, and only about three for the Indians. Still, the zone was basically consistent. (Missing out on some just-barely-in-the-zone strikes feels like something we’ve seen before in the Arrieta-Contreras pairing, by the way. That will improve over time for Contreras, generally, and then also as he continues to work with specific pitchers more frequently. I can only imagine it’s very difficult receiving those nasty Arrieta pitches on the edges of the zone.)
- Additional and deserved love for Mike Montgomery and Willson Contreras from last night’s game. Montgomery is up to 11.2 innings this postseason, by the way, with a 3.09 ERA, 11 strikeouts, and allowing 12 hits and 4 walks.
- I loved this read from Jeff Passan for a number of reasons, but you’ll want to key in on the exchange between Kyle Schwarber and David Ross after Schwarber’s first RBI single last night. If you saw Schwarber excitedly shouting into the dugout after the hit, it was apparently directed at Ross, who’d jokingly challenged Schwarber after Game One (double and a walk) to “Do something to help the team. Drive in a run or something.” Schwarber drove in a run, and then let Ross know what he could do.
- Speaking of Schwarber, one of those sort-of-silly, small-sample, arbitrary-cut-off type stats, but really fun nonetheless:
— ESPNChicago (@ESPNChicago) October 27, 2016
- These things can change, as you well know, but the current forecast is for *extreme* winds blowing out at Wrigley Field tomorrow night. Could be an adventure for the pitchers, though it would theoretically be a big advantage for the Cubs: Kyle Hendricks gets far more groundballs and strikeouts than Josh Tomlin, and also induces much more weak contact. Of course, when the wind is howling out at Wrigley, even some seemingly weak contact will leave the park.
- The Chicago Police Department responded to the Cleveland Police Department’s taunt in kind:
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) October 27, 2016
- The Chief Wahoo logo is so plainly and obviously racist to me that I almost find it difficult engaging in a serious conversation with folks about why it is so disgusting – I find myself retreating to, “Seriously? It isn’t obvious to you?” Which, by the way, is a completely useless rhetorical strategy. More usefully, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain wrote for ESPN about his experience, the many ways the United States has failed and betrayed Native Americans, and why the Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo is extremely problematic. If you have any inclination whatsoever to defend the logo or to retreat into the equally ineffective “derp derp you’re just being a PC bro derp derp” line of argument, I implore you to please at least read and consider the article. Like, actually allow yourself to consider it for just a moment, and then think about what you’re fighting so hard to defend. To be clear, I am not saying Indians fans or baseball fans who like the logo – presumably because it takes them back, makes them think of, and identify with, history, etc. – are themselves racist. Given the extraordinary volume of fans I saw last night sporting the logo prominently (more than 50%), however, it’s clear that there isn’t enough critical thought being given to the issue.
- Is Mike Trout secretly an evil person? A monster? Hated by everyone who ever meets him? I struggle to come up with a reasonable explanation for this, so I’m left with irrational possibilities:
In a vote of 341 players, Sporting News player of year: Altuve. Trout is 6th, behind 2. Betts; 3. Ortiz; 4. Bryant; 5, Murphy.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 27, 2016
- Some American Tourister sets are on a big sale at Amazon today if you’ve been considering new luggage.