Because of family considerations, I had to head on home late last night, and I won’t be able to go to the makeup game today. The timing is a definite bummer, but it’s always good to see the family after being gone for five days. I miss these buggers.
Relatedly: The Littlest Girl had a therapy appointment this morning, and The Wife took The Little Girl to school, so there was a stretch when it was just The Little Boy and me, though I was still sleeping, having only arrived home at 1:30 am. He came upstairs before I was quite ready to get up, and roused me from my slumber. Couldn’t wait to see old dad, I bet. Ah, you scamp. I missed you, t …
“Dad, are flamingos a type of bird?”
“OK.” Door closes.
- I don’t want to act like the Cubs are guaranteed to hit Tanner Roark, who has pitched well against them in the past, and was not abysmal this season. It’s just that he was nowhere remotely close to as effective as Stephen Strasburg, so the apparent unavailability of Strasburg today due to mold allergies(?) is pretty shocking. And I wonder what his teammates are thinking about it right now – can you imagine Max Scherzer not pitching because he was under the weather with allergy issues? (This is not *me* criticizing Strasburg, by the way, because I have no idea how ill he is. Instead, I’m just wondering how his teammates feel.)
- Here’s how David Ross put it:
David Ross on "Baseball Tonight": "If I'm his teammate … I can't look him in the eye." #Strasburg
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) October 11, 2017
"As a teammate, it's like rule No. 1. I can't take the ball? It's like, What?"
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) October 11, 2017
- For what it’s worth, the Nationals are pushing the illness very hard:
Mike Rizzo tells the Junkies Strasburg "looked bad, looked under the weather, looked sick" on Monday. Very depleted. No energy or endurance
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) October 11, 2017
- As a serious allergy sufferer myself, I do know that it can be horrible when at its worst. But I also know that there are a lot of medications available to jack your body up (legally!) if necessary. Is this all entirely from a mold allergy? Maybe. Maybe not.
- In any case, whatever the reason, the Cubs will now still have a chance to close out this series without having to face Strasburg a second time, or having to return to Washington. You wouldn’t call today’s game a “must win,” but it feels a lot like Game Four last year in San Francisco: a good chance to finish things off before having to face that ace again. Last year, it was Johnny Cueto, who’d dominated the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Game One, save for a single heroic Javy Baez homer. This year, if healthy, it’s a guy who didn’t just no-hit them into the 6th inning, it was a guy who got an almost unthinkable 17 whiffs in 81 pitches. That’s a 21% swinging strike rate in his Game One start against the Cubs, exactly DOUBLE the league average of 10.5%. Strasburg was utterly filthy, and, mold or no mold, I’d prefer the Cubs didn’t have to see him again.
- (Bonus: if the Cubs finish things off today, Kyle Hendricks would be ready to go for Game One of the NLCS if the Cubs wanted to go that route. Remember his Game Six dismemberment of the Dodgers last year?)
- After so much rain yesterday, and Wrigley Field’s uneven track record with quick cleanup, hopefully the field can be in really good shape by this afternoon.
- One upside for the Cubs with the rainout is that Jake Arrieta gets one more extra day of rest for his hamstring.
- To shut down a rumor that circulated yesterday: no, it was not TBS that unilaterally said no to an earlier start time yesterday (Tribune). Real discussions about moving the time apparently never came up.
- Let’s call this a credit to the Cubs’ pitchers, not a debit on the Nationals hitters’:
I know Stras/Roark is going to dominate. But, of 414 teams w/100 postseason PA, '17 Nats have 5th-lowest ever OPS. That's the real issue.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 11, 2017
- It’s a hard knock life, for them:
Margin of defeat for the Nationals' past 9 postseason losses, going back to 2012 NLDS Game 5.
Nine losses by 12 total runs … oof. pic.twitter.com/bdZGwp6gdX
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 10, 2017
- The Arizona Fall League kicked off yesterday as Luke noted, and the Cubs saw three of their pitching prospects get into Mesa’s first game: Alec Mills started and got knocked around in his three innings of work (including a three-run homer by former Cubs prospect Billy McKinney), while Adbert Alzolay pitched a dominating two innings, and Pedro Araujo allowed a solo homer but struck out two in his inning of work.
- Capturing the fun ending to Game Three:
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) October 11, 2017
- Great Deals of the Day today at Amazon, including 50% off a men’s shaver/grooming kit, and a range of bluetooth speakers. There’s also a 3D laser mapping robot vacuum. Yup.