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The Cubs’ Invisible Offense, the ALCS Gets a Game Seven, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

A big thanks to Michael for holding down the fort yesterday as I travelled home from Chicago and recovered from … well … we’ll call it “the long season” and not the season-ending reverse victory lap I took at a few favorite haunts on Thursday night after the NLCS concluded.


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It’s good to be home, though I effectively tagged out The Wife, who left this morning for a work trip of her own. So my head has gone from spinning about the unpredictable baseball postseason to the unpredictable parenting of three kiddos. Thankfully, The Wife hooked me up with a schedule, detailed planning notes, and child care arrangements when necessary, so she’s basically being a star parent even when she’s out of town.

  • Thanks to the bats finally doing something and another dominating performance by Justin Verlander, the Astros beat the Yankees last night to force a Game Seven in the NLCS, tonight at 7pm CT. Given the snoozer that was the NLCS, I’m sure MLB is happy the Astros and Yankees are playing a long one.
  • The question is, “Will history repeat itself?!?!?!?” I have jokes:

  • Batting average, in isolation, only tells you so much, but it’s still ugly to see that the Cubs’ .156 average in the NLCS figures to stand up as the worst mark in any seven-game postseason series in history (NBC). Their .164 mark in the 2015 NLCS is in the top five, too. Without question, the Cubs faced stellar pitching in each of those series, and the rosters were slightly different, but still – power and walks are great, but you gotta get those hits, too.
  • Oh, and it wasn’t just the NLCS – the team’s overall .168 average this postseason was, by far, the worst among all teams that have played at least eight games in a given postseason (NBC). Oof. A total evaporation of the offense when they were most needed. It happens. But it stings.

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  • The Cubs somehow did even worse when they managed to get a runner into scoring position:

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Before the NLDS, all signs pointed to a happy marriage in Washington between the Nationals and manager Dusty Baker. Since the two are now parting ways, it’s fair to ask: did the Cubs kill Dusty Baker’s job?

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  • Earlier, we looked at Theo Epstein’s season-ending comments, so make sure to check that out if you missed it.
  • Also: the Cubs are reportedly parting ways with Chris Bosio.
  • A Washington Post columnist went out of his way to criticize Bryce Harper and compare him unflatteringly to Adam Lind. It’s just one uniformed piece in a sea of content, of course, but I’m going to take it as a TOTAL AND COMPLETE FACT that Washington no longer appreciates or wants Harper, who is a free agent after the 2018 season.
  • How about Cubs infield prospect David Bote crushing the ball in the Arizona Fall League:

  • Bote, 24, had a breakout offensive campaign at High-A in 2016, and followed it up with a solid, though unspectacular, 2017 season at AA. He currently leads the offense-friendly AFL with an LOL 1.490 OPS. It’s only been eight games, so, you know. But it’s still fun.

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  • I never thought I could play professional baseball until I saw Todd Frazier try to hit this Justin Verlander pitch:

  • A day later, and this is still incredibly fun if you missed it:


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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.