Shutout: Cubs Win The Wild Card

Unknown-1UnknownYes, it has happened. The Cubs shut out the Pirates 4-0 just minutes ago. For Cubbies, this has been long in coming. Years of all of the ribbing and jeering about the “lovable losers.” Well, there is a wave of Cubbie blue heading for the St. Louis Cardinals and this is going to be one heck of a series.

I was pretty ticked about what seemed an intentional hit on Arrieta. I was really worried that he might be thrown out when the players storm the field. That pitch just missed his elbow. Ross and others did a great job in controlling emotions.

For some of us lifelong Cubbies, this is an incredible moment. As I have discussed in past columns, I grew up near Ernie Banks and my friends would see him on the weekend. (He actually showed me how to prepare my new mitt after one Christmas and I worshipped him). I lived near Wrigley and could hear homeruns from my backyard. My friends and I would go outside of Wrigley with radios and mitts to catch balls like by the likes of Banks and Williams. Despite living in McLean, my kids have remained Cubbies and we hoist our Cubs banner every year outside of the house. Even when we were losing, it did not matter. I would tell the kids that anyone can be a Yankees fan but being a Cubs fan demands character. But, truth be known, it sure feels better to win. A lot better.

I will be in Chicago to watch the Cards game (on television) with my family (as well as the Bears game) before heading to Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City for speeches. I cannot wait. Billy goats be damned. The Cubs are moving forward.

22 thoughts on “Shutout: Cubs Win The Wild Card”

  1. Juris, Condolences on the loss. I think you are the kind of guy that can be happy for JT. Yes, the Texas guv screwed the pooch!

  2. Nick, I got that sick feeling like I did when we played the BoSox in 2004, that feeling that it was just the other team’s time. Wind or no wind, those Cubbies are blasting HRs like nobody’s business.

    I haven’t had a chance to look yet. Did I hear correctly that the Texas Governor pissed off the baseball gods last night by not abiding by Yogi’s mantra–It ain’t over til its over?

  3. Juris, I lived on the 2100 block of Waveland Ave. back in the 80’s. That’s the street that borders left field. It is unusual for the wind to be blowing out in October, although seldom are games played in Wrigley this time of year. The wind will probably be blowing in tomorrow. Cards will need a good performance tomorrow, Cubs are looking hot.

  4. So much for a pitcher’s duel. Ball is flying out of Wrigley tonight. Arrieta just got taken out and Cubs bullpen is not proven. Cards!!

  5. Redbirds pissed on both legs in the 2nd inning. Very unCardinal like. We got us a series now. I love 5 game series.

  6. Juris, Ankiel always had a place in my heart. His father did Federal time for drug smuggling and was abusive to his mother. When I worked @ Leavenworth one of my details was the visiting room. Seeing kids visiting their fathers was heartbreaking for me. Ankiel overcame a lot to make it to the majors.

    You know, it just came to me, and I am going to research this. All the case of yips I’m aware of are short throws. 2nd base to first, or pitchers mound to home or first, are both 60 feet. Ankiel as far as I’m aware had no yip problems when he came back as an outfielder? Intriguing.

  7. Yes, Steve Blass was before my time, but after learning about him a little, he seems to be the original modern day yipster. I was also too young for Sax but looked him up, during which I came across this guy. This was the first I witnessed live someone in the MLB having the yips. I remember like it was yesterday, and being a former left-handed pitcher myself, it was tough to watch.

    Great to see the Royals battle back yesterday. Hoping the Redbirds can blank the Cubs again today!

  8. Juris, I remember Knochblaugh and also Steve Sax. Maybe before your time was Steve Blass, a good pitcher for the Bucs in the 70’s. Blass was a control pitcher like Maddux, then he just lost it. Couldn’t throw strikes. The brain is something we understand very little. It can work for you or against you. Now, players are less afraid to see a shrink to work on these psych issues. Back in the 70’s, it almost unheard of to get psych help. We got some commenters here w/ more than the yips and need inpatient therapy.

    Lester’s yip almost got him tonight in the 7th, but he made the play on Reynolds. He pitched a good game, Cubs just couldn’t get their bats going. In a 5 game series, if you are the visitor, you need to split. So, Cubs NEED tomorrow’s game, and then go back home and run their beast out on the mound.

  9. I do remember and was rooting for KC. I watched Bumgarner bamboozle the Cardinals before the WS. I would love to see an I-70 series. Hopefully the Royals can bounce back today and make it a series.

    I just learned something interesting about Lester that I had no idea of – his recent case of the Yips in throwing the ball to bases. I imagine we might see a few more bunts from the Cardinals and maybe a few more stolen bases. How crazy is that? A guy can throw a 90+ mph fastball whereever he wants but can’t throw a ball to first base? Do you remember Chuck Knoblauch’s issues?

  10. Juris, It’s all about “mo” in the postseason, no matter the sport. I lived in KC and the Royals are my team. They are getting beat by a Houston team coming off a big wildcard win. If you remember, KC rode that wildcard win last year all the way to Game 7 of the WS, then ran into a southpaw throwback pitcher named Baumgarner. I thought a few weeks ago it might be an I-70 Series but now I don’t think so. Good talking baseball w/ you, dude. Lot’s of trash political talk going on w/ other threads. I much prefer this.

  11. Nick, I am hoping Lackey has one more classic Lackey-like postseason in him. Will also be interesting to see how Waino does out of the bullpen, having just come back from injury. But the Cubs definitely seem to have the momentum. I am looking forward to a great series.

    By the way, I am with you on the time of year. Add to your list the weather here in STL, 60s-70s during the day and 40s-50s at night. Turn that thermostat off.

  12. Juris, I agree w/ your solution to the injustice. I appoint you commish! You are correct, unless there are rainouts, the Cards should only see Arrieta once. But, I see Lester being strong and they will have to face him twice.

  13. Nick, I must disagree that the 5 game series favors the Cubs, only because that would ensure that the Cards face Arrieta twice. I doubt he will pitch twice in the game series.

    I posted a similar comment on the other, now dead, Cubs thread in response to your post about Bucks elimination, so am reposting it here.

    Indeed it is a shame that the Bucks got eliminated. Neither the Bucks nor the Cubs should have to play a 1-game wildcard playoff with those records. I wonder if this result will cause the MLB to rethink its playoff format. The NBA recently changed its format to go on best regular record alone, regardless of division, I believe. I think I am for that type of format in the MLB in that it will make the regular season matter more. It will also foreclose the possibility that the 2nd or 3rd best record in baseball will be subject to a one-game elimination, as happened last night. Get rid of that and just go to top [enter number of teams] best regular season records regardless of division and seed them accordingly.

  14. I am going to Saint Louis and will see the first game and then I am off to Frisco. There is a rumor that some guy with a Cubs hat got shot in Ferguson. I am looking into it.

  15. Go Cubs! But oh itShay, they are playing the Cards. Well, I will root for the Cards but if the Cubs win then they are my team thereafter in the rest of the series.

  16. 12 years is a long time coming?(the last time the Cubs won a post season series) or the 7 since you last made the playoffs? or the 107 since the last championship…on second thought that last one is a long time coming

  17. JT, That’s hardball. Arrietta got hit in the ass. You seem queasy when sports get a little rough. Arrietta was a man among boys, but when he got hit he should have just trotted down to 1st. I know, Arrietta did not appear to have been throwing @ the 2 Pirates he hit. Harrison got hit w/ a breaking pitch. Harrison knew it wasn’t intentional. But, Arrietta hit 2 Bucs, the Bucs were losing 4-0, so he’s going to get plunked. The Bucs pitcher didn’t throw high. Hitting Arrietta in the ass is a gesture of good will, it hurts the least getting hit in the ass. Tempest in a teapot, JT. A nothingburger. Let it go.

    I’m happy for you and some other Cub fans I know. It is a shame the teams w/ he 2nd and 3rd best record[Bucs/Cubs] had to play an elimination game, but that’s just the way it worked out. The Cards are beatable, but I would bet on them. A 5 game series does slightly help the Cubs. They’re hot, and can maybe steal one or even 2 games in St. Louis. This is the best time of year. Baseball, football and hockey.

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