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A Great Day at Wrigley, Grimm Saves the Game, Relocated Bullpens and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

So these are some really late bullets today, and I swear it has nothing to do with the fact that Brett, Luis, and I (I’m Michael) were up and out in Wrigleyville into, well, technically this morning.

We can’t exactly help it if the Cubs decide to host a walk-off win against the Dodgers after a rain delay and during the night of the World Series Banner raising, right?

There were things to celebrate, and celebrate we did. Although, finding out the coffee machine was broken this morning certainly did not help much. I’m gonna need to find some caffeine, like, fast.


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  • Speaking of Anthony Rizzo and that World Series celebration, he said he was fighting back tears: “That pregame ceremony, I wasn’t expecting to get hit with that many emotions, it was crazy,” Rizzo said via Carrie Muskat (MLB.com). Indeed, I have to say, while my World Series tear ducts may have long been emptied, I did feel a rush of joy and excitement when the final, 2016 World Series banner was raised by each of the players. There’s not much left to say that Brett didn’t already nail in his very long, very thoughtful and conclusive World Series piece, but it still hit me pretty hard. The Cubs are the 2016 World Series champs forever. Part of me still can’t believe it.
  • And the game, like our day, was an emotional roller coaster. Although the Cubs led during most of the day (indeed their win expectancy was up over 80% for a stretch), there were a few devastating turns:

  • In fact, the Dodgers actually had a better chance of winning the game (technically) even when they were down a run in the seventh, simply because they had loaded the bases with nobody out (two walked batters (Carl Edwards Jr.) and a catcher’s interference (Willson Contreras) juiced the bases for Joc Pederson).

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  • But Joe Maddon made the switch to Justin Grimm and he got Pederson to pop-up into shallow right field and Andrew Toles to ground into a double play to end the inning. According to FanGraphs, the run expectancy in that situation was up over two runs, so that was nothing short of game-saving. And the win expectancy swing was equally enormous: 38.6% chance of winning before the double play to 79.2% chance after. It took Grimm just nine pitches to get it done.
  • One of the strangest parts of last night’s game was the absence of the bullpens on the field. As you know, the bullpens were relocated underneath the bleachers and, despite the warning, I just couldn’t resist (don’t worry, this was the Dodgers’ pen):

  • At CSN Chicago, Jon Lester discusses the “different atmosphere” created by the bullpen relocation. “When the doors are closed, it feels like you’re in a offseason training facility throwing a bullpen with ESPN on the TV,” Lester said via JJ Stankevitz. With that said, Lester did acknowledge the benefits of warming up in a warmer environment, he just concedes that it’ll take some getting used to.

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  • Here’s a look at the four banners that were raised in center field yesterday:

  • Moving away from the game, it looks like Kris Bryant’s going to have some fun in the city today:

  • Yeah, there’s way too much glass in that picture for Kris Bryant batting practice, right?

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  • Ever wonder what three bloggers look like when they’re caught in a bar, but news happens to break:

  • And finally, I had a little bit of fun with lip reading this morning:


Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.