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Schwarber Leads the Way, Astros Tipping Pitches(?), Zach Davies the Walk King, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

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•   The Red Sox took a 2-1 ALCS lead over the Astros by virtue of another obliteration of the starting pitcher, and then pouring it on from there:

•   Kyle Schwarber’s grand slam seemed like the this-is-over blow, and I still say good for him. I didn’t like the Cubs non-tendering him, I vaguely understood why it was “necessary” at the time, we can’t say for sure he would’ve had a year like this with the Cubs, etc., etc. There’s only so much you can say about a situation that feels half shitty, and half good-for-him.

•   Game Four is tonight at 7pm CT, and Game Three of the NLCS is today at 4pm CT.

•   Meanwhile, about those Astros pitchers getting blown up:

“This is a very good hitting team, and they’re very adept at picking up little things, much more so than most teams,” [Astros pitching coach Brent] Strom said. “We need to be very cognizant of the little things, tipping-type things, things like that, that they’re very astute at. We’ve just gotten behind hitters.

“We have to re-evaluate and see if they’re seeing things that are maybe tipping the scales a little bit in their favor. These are veteran (hitters). And of course, they have the ultimate guy (Alex Cora) as their manager, who … he’s just very good at it. We just have to do a better job of watching what our pitchers do and getting ahead in the count.”

•   While that would be a twisted kind of delight, since “they were tipping pitches” was the Astros’ excuse for how they pulled off their shenanigans in 2017 (poor Yu Darvish … ), you have to remember that the Red Sox had their own issues sign-stealing, and their manager is the guy who was a huge part of the cheating in Houston! So, rather than make me feel delighted that the Astros are getting some poetic comeuppance, it actually just makes me wonder if the Red Sox are doing something fishy. See what happens when you start cheating? It makes people question your success for a long time.

•   More fun with Schwarber:

•   Lighten up, Alex Cora:

•   Aaron Boone is not going to get the boot from the Yankees, despite all the fan and media clamor about quick postseason exits. He gets a big extension, even as it no longer aligns with the deal for his boss:

•   If there’s a better simple stat to convey just how off Zach Davies was this year, I don’t know what it is:

•   The guy was a 6.7% walk rate dude until he came to the Cubs, and suddenly the walk rate ballooned to 11.2%(!). Know how many qualified starting pitchers had a worse walk rate? NONE! Not a single pitcher in all of baseball this year threw at least 140.0 innings and had a walk rate as high as Davies. That from a guy who was previously an elite control guy. Something was just wrong all year with him, and I don’t know if it was the new baseball, if it was something physical, if it was something the Cubs tried to tweak, or a combination of a lot of stuff. But the command was never there, and heck, the control was never there!

•   Games, toys, Nerf, and more are your Epic Daily Deals today at Amazon. #ad

•   I chuckled:

•   Not holding back:



Author: Brett Taylor

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