Having Fun in the Post-Clinch Period, Maddux Anniversary, Rondon's Hit, and Other Bullets

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Having Fun in the Post-Clinch Period, Maddux Anniversary, Rondon’s Hit, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

The Family is headed off to soccer behind me while I hurriedly type in the shadow of our car. Be there soon, fam …

  • It’s fun to be relaxed for a few regular season games, eh? It reminds me how spoiled we were last year, to have nearly a full month to watch and enjoy the games without the chest-tightening fear that things might slip away in historically awful fashion.
  • After getting two post-clinch games off, the Cubs’ regulars figure to be back in the lineup today, but it sounds like it’ll be a bit like Spring Training, with each seeing two or three at bats, and getting pulled at some point midway through the game (CSN). I like it. No sense in stretching anyone at this point, but you do want to get them those last bits of competitive action before the postseason begins.
  • Plus, there are some other guys who can have some fun:
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Before the Cubs took the field yesterday, they came out to celebrate their NL Central title with the fans, since they’d clinched on the road:

  • It took a replay review, but Cubs reliever Hector Rondon notched his first big league hit yesterday:

  • Just don’t pull anything, Hector. We knew we had it in him – remember his plate appearance earlier this year? He battled off pitch after pitch in that silly Brewers blowout game at Wrigley Field, eventually grounding out hard to shortstop on the 10th pitch of the at bat. Watch out, Shohei Otani. The next two-way star is already here.
  • Further underscoring how difficult the MVP race is in the National League, the spread between the top players in the league is the third smallest it’s been in the last 71 years.
  • Greg Maddux won his first of four straight Cy Young awards that year:

  • That was also his last year with the Cubs before he departed for the Braves in free agency in one of the worst blunders in Cubs front-office-decision-making history. Maddux did eventually return to the Cubs 12 years later, and he was still an above-average pitcher for them in 2004 and 2005, netting a total of 5.9 WAR between those seasons at ages 38 and 39. He was traded the following season.
  • John Lackey pitched for the Cubs in his age 37 and 38 seasons the last two years, totaling 3.6 WAR, almost all of it last year. It remains to be seen what he’ll do after this season, the final year of his two-year contract with the Cubs. Jon Lester toasted him after the Cubs clinched in a way that makes you think the show is over for Lackey, but we’ll see. If he wanted to come back as a 5th/6th starter on a one-year deal late in the offseason, if the Cubs aren’t otherwise able to land other targets, I wouldn’t see that as the worst thing in the world. He’s been very good in the second half.
  • Very cool moment at The Park at Wrigley yesterday:

  • Even Peter Gammons is contributing to The Athletic now! Here’s his first:

  • Jake Arrieta will not start on Sunday, and instead, Mike Montgomery will.
  • META: I thought this read was a lot of fun on “the Wendy’s Social Media girl,” who wound up going viral after injecting some personality into the hamburger chain’s Twitter account. It makes me think about the Cubs’ social media presence (and BN’s, I suppose), and that delicate balance they have to play between seeming fun and human and interactive, while also not going too far. One teeny, tiny slip can spread in seconds, and last forever. It can be really hard at times because there really is always an actual human behind that screen.
  • I am very excited to wear this for the postseason:


Author: Brett Taylor

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