Aren’t we silly and funny creatures? We as fans all headed into that NLDS against the Nationals knowing full well that they were the better on-paper team. And then we headed into this NLCS knowing full well that the Cubs were very lucky to win that series against the Nationals. And then we knew how tired the Cubs were thanks to a rainout, a slobberknocker of an NLDS, a cross-country flight, a flight diversion and a several hours wait on the tarmac, and a late arrival into Los Angeles. We knew all of these things and we knew that if you were betting, you’d bet heavily on the Dodgers.
Yet here we sit today, deconstructing how it is possible that the Cubs have fallen behind 0-3 in this series and feeling like poop about it. Fans are dumb. We’re all dumb. This is what we do.
- To the extent you want to continue being dumb – sincerely, I say that with 100% affection – you can read about the 2004 ALCS in which the Red Sox came back from an 0-3 deficit against the Yankees. You remember the Dave Roberts (fitting) stolen base and the David Ortiz walk-off in the 12th inning of Game Four, but do you remember how the rest of the series played out? That it took 14 innings the next game? That the Bloody Sock Game was the next one? That the Red Sox then blew out the Yankees in Game Seven?
- About all that: given Roberts’ pivotal role in that comeback, you better believe he will be letting his Dodgers know that they can’t afford to take the foot off the gas tonight against the Cubs.
- Wade Davis remains extremely well-rested, and here’s hoping he gets a chance to pitch tonight, if for no other reason than it probably means the Cubs have a lead in the 9th inning. I found this read at NBC interesting on how the Cubs managed Davis all year, being very careful not to overuse a guy who missed time with injuries twice last year, and who was so integral to the Cubs’ bullpen this season. You can’t help but wonder now if, despite their best efforts, Davis is simply physically fading at this point – or, as Patrick Mooney’s piece asks, “Is Cubs manager Joe Maddon taking the heat and covering for Wade Davis while the All-Star closer deals with atypical soreness in his right arm?” The answer offered by Maddon is a firm no, for what it’s worth.
- The way this postseason has played out has only served to complicate what was already going to be a challenging free agent decision with Davis, who figures to cash in big time, but whose future long-term effectiveness as he heads toward his mid-30s is an open question. The Cubs’ bullpen could be a disaster next year without someone like Davis, but how much are the Cubs willing to spend? And how much do they know about his arm at this point?
- Well, it’s pretty clear on the strategy for tonight – whatever you do, guys, don’t hit any homers:
#Cubs fluky postseason trend continues:
0-4 when they hit a HR
3-1 when they don't hit a HR
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) October 18, 2017
- You’re not imagining it: not only are game lengths skyrocketing in recent regular seasons, they are doing it even moreso in the postseason. Jeff Sullivan has the writeup here, including charts that look like start of a really boss roller coaster.
- These may very well continue falling throughout the day:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 18, 2017
- Ah, the highs and lows of having a little fun:
Whoa, Bryce Harper getting pretty bold in his latest Instagram post. pic.twitter.com/qN2M7r9l7i
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 17, 2017
- I don’t know how I missed this play earlier this year, because wow:
WHAT the WHAT?!
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) October 17, 2017
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