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i am a happy wreck and other bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

How the hell did we do this last year when the weight of history was on the line?


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My word.

I got exactly 3.75 hours sleep last night – when it’s that little, you tend to know precisely – thanks to the extreme nervous energy build up and slow dissipation, the post-win online celebration nerdery, and The Littlest Girl waking up and wanting attention. I am so very wrecked this morning.

But I’m happy! You’re happy! Everyone is happy! The Cubs area headed back to the NLCS for the third year in a row, and life is good.

  • Speaking of wrecked, the Cubs’ pitching is all over the place right now, and I expect there will be some feverish discussions between the front office and coaching staff over the next 24 hours about how best to put together the NLCS roster to face the Dodgers. Given the obvious extreme lack of trust Joe Maddon has in Justin Wilson, you do have to wonder if that spot will remain his, or if the Cubs will reconsider not carrying Hector Rondon. Elsewhere in the bullpen, it’s hard to say you want to see changes to the personnel, even if you want to see rapid changes to their ability to throw strikes.
  • What about John Lackey? Well, given how short some of the outings were in the NLDS, I still would be nervous about not having that extra starting pitcher on the roster, though I still don’t know how comfortable Lackey is coming out of the pen (or how comfortable Joe Maddon is in trusting him). He’s still an option to start Game One, though it sounds like Jose Quintana is more likely.

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  • How crazy was last night’s game, especially when you consider the context of it being a winner-take-all playoff game? Well, I wasn’t going to make the comparison, but Anthony Rizzo did it for me – when asked if he’d experienced anything like that, Rizzo told NBC, “Yeah, Game Seven of the World Series.” He was laughing, so I’m sure he was half serious, half joking … but truly, that game was so very wild. If you could strip away the WORLD SERIES context and just say it’s a clinching game, then yeah, that was right up there with Game Seven. No doubt. (But you can’t strip away that context, because come on … World Series.)
  • Joe Maddon on the win (Cubs.com): “That’s one of the most incredible victories I’ve ever been part of. Under the circumstances, in the other team’s ballpark, after a tough loss at home [in Game 4], to come back and do that, give our guys all the credit in the world.”
  • I’ll gladly take this as the image that sticks with me from this one:
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • That unbelievable fifth inning was historically unbelievable. Not only has there never been a four-batter sequence that went intentional walk, passed ball strikeout, catcher interference, and hit by pitch, those four things have never happened in ANY order in ANY inning in history until last night:

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  • Sam Miller did the math, and the odds that those four things would play out as they did were about 1 in 2,183,406,113. Lulz.
  • Lots of thoughts from Theo Epstein here at ESPN, including proper props to video guy Nate Halm for noticing Jose Lobaton come slightly off the base on a pick-off throw in the 8th inning. He also dropped this incredibly appropriate sarcastic quote: “We had to get 27 outs without throwing strikes, seemingly.”

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  • Wade Davis was a part of that contingent, but he had just enough to account for seven of those outs. Love for him here at Cubs.com, and the grind of those 44 pitches.
  • Cubs are too reliant on the home run:

  • A pretty wild stat, but it also feels entirely correct:

  • Whatever the Cubs told Carl Edwards Jr. the last time he totally lost it in Washington (remember, it was before they headed out to San Francisco and he totally turned his season around?), I hope they’ve got that same speech prepared. If the Cubs want their best chance against the Dodgers, a good Edwards would be a huge part of it.
  • Comin’ for you, Clayton:

  • It doesn’t mean it’ll be the same this time around, but holy smokes this kinda blew my mind [EDIT: part of the reason it blew my madness-addled mind is because I suck at math, and it’s actually 10 rematches, not 19]:

  • Obviously we are happy today and enjoying the win, but the flip side is how crushing the loss had to be for a Nationals club that has now lost the NLDS four times in the last six years. These two sum it up:

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  • Dusty Baker is not under contract for next year, so it remains to be seen whether the Nationals will re-up with him after another postseason loss. That’s 10 straight postseason games lost in a row by a Dusty Baker-led team in which the team had a chance to clinch. I can barely believe that. And then I think about how Baker challenged Jon Jay’s double to lead off the game – an absolutely terrible challenge – forcing his pitcher, who’d just started the game, to stand there for five minutes before throwing his next pitch, which went to the backstop, ultimately yielding the Cubs’ first run.
  • Make sure you check out the new postseason gear at MLB Shop and Fanatics:

  • And, in the end:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.