Although the 90-win plateau felt awfully special given the circumstances that preceded it, the Cubs weren’t content to stop their, even as they trailed by two runs in the 8th inning yesterday against the Reds.
Ian Happ stepped to the plate with two on, and clubbed the Cubs a lead (CSN):
Ian Happ heating up at the right time with the postseason right around the corner pic.twitter.com/FGXUX74G8p
— Cubs Talk (@CSNCubs) September 29, 2017
That was Happ’s 24th blast of the year, 104.8 mph the opposite way off of a 97 mph fastball. Sure, the pitch caught too much of the plate, but that’s still a special bat that can do that.
Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen was not pleased:
When Ian Happ goes oppo off you in the 8th inning to erase your two-run lead. pic.twitter.com/DFcuULY3y9
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) September 30, 2017
Happ seems to really be heating up as the season comes to a close, hitting .389/.476/.889 over the past 10 days. Will it translate to more playing time in the postseason? It’s hard to say, given the presence of Javy Baez at second base and Jon Jay frequently in center field. Happ could see some time in left field, though platoon arrangements and the hot bat of Kyle Schwarber could cause issues there.
It’s a good problem to have, of course, as a lot of Cubs batters really seem to be clicking right now.
Those Nationals pitchers, though, will be quite a bit more challenging than what the Cubs have faced for most of this month.