The Cubs begin what experts would describe as a PIVOTAL 3 game series against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight at Wrigley Field. For several reasons not worth mentioning, the playoff picture is much closer than any rational Cubs’ fan would have expected on September 10th:
I’m including the Cardinals only as a futile reminder that they suck.
Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll take a 2 game 1st place lead with 20 games left of the year every single season for the rest of my life and not look back. Professional championships are difficult for a reason. If anything, this season should serve as a pleasant reminder of the sincere grind behind a 162 game schedule… A grind that becomes significantly more brutal when you lack reliable bullpen depth (again) and 100% of your free agent starting pitchers are completely inoperable: Darvish, Chatwood, Smyly. This is piece meal baseball folks, and guys like David Bote, the ghost of Daniel Murphy and 37 year-old Ben Zobrist get to be major players in it. Wins are being saved by PEDRO STROP right now I repeat PEDRO STROP. It’s not perfect, but you’re on the edge of your seat and if things go according to plan you’ll be a better person for it in the long-run. Or something like that.
Let’s get to the series notes:
Lester, Hendricks and Quintana Will Start For The Cubs and that’s good news because those are some battle tested arms that eat Milwaukee’s lunch for breakfast at home in September. Think about it. And while you do, let me also remind you that these are the guys everyone had penciled in for this kind of spot to start the year. Should the Cubs be in a playoff hunt, these are the 3 swinging dicks we’d trust with the ball in September. No disrespect to Cole Hamels and him presumably starting Game 1 of the NLDS, but right now we need the OG hometown Boyz and I couldn’t be happier we are getting them in this spot.
Tonight’s lineup is about as good as it will look against left handed pitching, and idk how I feel about that right now. I’m not trying to bring you down. I’m just saying if Kris Bryant isn’t Kris Bryant, and Willson Contreras and Addison are going to combine for a .540 OPS in the second half, and Ian Happ is hitting .193 and not even playing against a guy he should fuckin DESTROY in Wade Miley, then maybe we need to reset expectations. Someone has to get hot in the lineup not named Anthony Rizzo or Javy Baez if this bird is going to take off before October. And honest to God I could not script a better pitcher than Wade Miley to be that guy.
Wade Miley sucks. At Wrigley in his career, he’s gotten his shit rocked over 19 innings to the tune of 4 dingers and a 5.21 ERA. This is a guy who needs a large outfield and several hungover opponents. Fingers crossed the usual suspects are keeping their heads clear for the next couple games but honestly at this point do whatever. If you have to get brunch at the Horsehoe in famous Northwest Indiana and hit Pole Katz in Bridgeview on the way to the field for fucksake do your thing. Just do it.
The Brewers are starting two other pitchers that should go home in body bags if the Cubs are serious about turning it around and playing good baseball. No disrespect to Chacin or Chase Anderson but fastball slider shouldn’t cut it this time of year in Wrigley. I don’t want to be that guy but I’m going to be that guy. I just can’t imagine a world where this Cubs team lets a group of overwhelmingly mediocre starting pitching get the best of them in this most important 3 game series of the year.
Final verdict: Cubs sweep in clean crisp fashion otherwise I’ll be at the bottom of lake Michigan looking for my dignity.