Boy am I glad playoff baseball was on last night so that I could watch that instead of any other things.
• In celebration of the greatest, loudest, most-foundation-shaking home run in Chicago Cubs history, Cubs Productions put together a fantastic breakdown video of Miguel Montero’s NLCS Game One Grand Slam. Hear from the men themselves, in depth, about how it went down:
• It’s truly incredible to remember how Montero almost didn’t even get a chance to bat at all, and he really wasn’t even supposed to because he’d just gotten an epidural a couple days before. He was available to actually hit only in an emergency.
• With Aroldis Chapman already in the game, the Dodgers were willing to load the bases with two outs to bring Chapman’s spot to the plate (which they didn’t have to do), so Chapman was gonna be out of the game when Joe Maddon pinch-hit Miggy … but Maddon did that expecting that the Dodgers would then go to a lefty, and then Maddon was going to pinch-hit Willson Contreras. But Dave Roberts decided instead to leave Joe Blanton in there, and Montero’s fake AB became a very real one. And the rest is history.
• That history, of course, includes Dexter Fowler’s back-to-back shot that almost nobody in the dugout even saw because they were still celebrating.
• Top Cubs draft pick Ed Howard got his first action in a Cubs uniform this week at Instructional League, and how about this? His mom was in attendance, and she shares a look at his first at bat:
First Game, First at Bat, First Pitch, First DOUBLE!!!
Let’s Go !!!💪🏾⚾️❤️ pic.twitter.com/dbYHagBFNJ
— Calandra Howard (@MzHoward5) October 15, 2020
• Not only is that just heartwarming goodness, it’s also clear video evidence that Howard is a future MVP. Obviously.
• This factoid is a ride:
Clayton Kershaw has given up three go-ahead hits in the 6th inning or later since the 2013 postseason, tied with Justin Verlander for the 2nd-most over that span.
Only Aroldis Chapman (5) has given up more. pic.twitter.com/D5oInwZ9wm
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 16, 2020
• The craziest part in there to me is that Chapman has given up five go-ahead hits, and that *doesn’t* include Game Seven of the World Series, because that was only a game-tying shot. In fairness, Chapman has pitched in every postseason for a half-decade, and virtually every appearance took place with a lead in the 6th or later. So it’s kinda stacked against him. But still – that’s three tremendous names on that list.
• I can’t lie, I really want to get an Oculus Quest (#ad). But I’ve never actually played one yet, so I guess I should try it out before I pull the trigger … so, like, anyone wanna have me over for a socially distanced VR session? I think Michael has one, actually … maybe I can just crash his place … HI, MICHAEL!
• A note on Yu Darvish’s Cy Young quest – he doesn’t merely get a $2 million bonus this year for winning, it’s that each remaining year of his contract is *escalated* by $2 million:
Yu Darvish deflected Cy Young questions, focusing on team goals and the next pitch, but winning the award this year would mean a $6 million raise: https://t.co/n6tVuMcvCG
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) October 15, 2020
• And if it tightens the budget further, then so be it. If Darvish earned it, he earned it. And escalators like these are put in precisely because a guy is maybe not getting the size of contract his talent merits (in his case, for reasons tied to the market, to his World Series performance, and past injuries). To me, Darvish was the best pitcher in the NL this year, so that’s that.