World Series Match-Up Set, Rosario’s Breakout, Dodgers Fail, Late Late Games, and Other Cubs Bullets

The Littlest Girl loves to get wrapped up in blankets in her bed like a burrito, and then you kinda roll her side to side while she’s all wrapped up. She goes wild. It’s hilarious, and she’s happy, so I do it frequently. But this morning, the wrapping was such that her legs were not included in the burrito, and at one point when she went wild, she kicked up with her leg and caught me square in the nuts. Despite the name with which I affectionately refer to her, she is not ACTUALLY that little. Those legs are POWERFUL. I am not ashamed to say that I went down like a rock, and I have been feeling the painful reverberations ever since. Still love you, dear!

•   The World Series is now set, with the Atlanta Braves successfully dispatching the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, setting them up to face the Houston Astros:

•   The Braves, despite who they lost this year, and despite entering the postseason with the fewest wins of any postseason team, head to the World Series to be the NARRATIVE STOPPERS against the Astros. It’s the Braves’ first pennant since 1999, which I kept seeing folks say, and at first I didn’t think that was a big deal. That’s not THAT long ago. But then I suppose I remembered how good the Braves were for so long that it probably felt like an eternity to Braves fans (and also, it’s 22 years in a league with 15 teams, so I suppose if it were evenly distributed, it’s been a little while for them).

•   Eddie Rosario played hero last night with a three-run homer, just one of many in-season additions for the Braves who stepped up to make this postseason run possible. The 30-year-old outfielder will be an interesting free agent case as a super high contact guy who doesn’t take a lot of walks or hit for a lot of power, who doesn’t play elite outfield defense, and who mostly has to stick to the corner outfield spots. It’s kind of a weird profile for a guy who is, overall, only slightly above average at the plate. He sure did rake with the Braves down the stretch, though, and in the postseason. The power, in particular, really took off. It’ll make you wonder whether some team will hope he’s a Daniel Murphy situation (high-contact guy engages big change midseason around age 30 to unlock significant power, goes on to rake down the stretch and in the postseason) and might take a surprisingly large swing on him in free agency.

•   The World Series begins on Tuesday night in Houston. Every game starts at roughly 7:09/15 pm CT, which means – because of the way this postseason has gone – most of the games will not conclude until around or after midnight eastern. I know a lot of folks have been harping on this issue, but it’s because it figures to be a real problem in the long-term if it’s not addressed (well, it probably should’ve been addressed a long time ago). Having your marquee events last four hours and go waaaaaaay past a time when kids and parents of young kids could realistically watch? To borrow from the opening paragraph: You’re just kicking yourself in the nuts.

•   Here’s how Cardinals reliever Andrew Miller – notably a big voice in the MLB Players Association – discusses the issue at FanGraphs:

“Shoot, for me personally they end too late,“ Miller said of the 8pm ET starts. “I’m sure MLB and the networks…have their reasons, but yeah, I have a seven year old — he turns eight next week — and baseball is his No.1 thing; he’s obsessed with it, and we send him to bed in the early innings of most of these games. I’d love for him to be able to watch, because I remember watching playoff games in my formative years — watching the Braves in the early 90s — and really growing attached to those teams, and to the game because of that… He gets up at 7 o’clock in the morning and the first thing he does is turn on the MLB app to look at the recap, so they’ve still kind of roped him in, but as far as being able to sit up and watch a whole game… unfortunately he misses a lot of them, I don’t think that’s great as far as building a future fan base, because if anybody is going to [a fan], it’s a kid like my son. I hope we find a way to get [young fans] more exposure. I think MLB would do good by doing that.”

•   Nelson Velazquez did it again – another great game in the AFL, and another checkpoint in the now inevitable march toward the Cubs putting him on the 40-man roster next month:

•   Hey, we’ve all been there:

•   As for the Dodgers, I’m gonna be on an island when I say it, but I’m still gonna say it: they kinda got screwed this year. Situationally screwed, I mean. First off, they lost their division by a single game, forcing them into a Wild Card Game despite winning 106 games (six more games than any team in baseball aside from the ONE team ahead of them in the division). That Wild Card Game wound up costing their pitchers extra high-intensity work (most notably Max Scherzer), the impact of which probably showed up down the line. They also dealt with a rash of injuries at the worst possible time, losing all of Max Muncy, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Joe Kelley, and (for a game at least) Scherzer within the last few weeks. I’m not convinced that these Dodgers weren’t still the best team in baseball this year (maybe even by a lot when you really evaluate). But they get bounced by the 88-win Braves in the NLCS.

•   ALL THAT SAID! No, of course I don’t feel bad for the Dodgers. I’m just recounting the situation. This is postseason baseball. It happens. I remain down for changing the postseason format/size, but that’s wholly unrelated to anything with this season’s outcome.

•   Good read – well, that is to say it’s a well-researched and articulated read, even if one that makes me very angry – on the Texas Rangers’ affirmative efforts not to acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ+ fans/people:

•   The Bulls are 3-0, the first team in the NBA to get there:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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