Friday, September 25, 2015


Cubs clinch a Wild Card spot with a Giants loss late at Oakland after a tough loss earlier today vs. the Pirates.

Some words from our CMN posters:

RFBleachers says:

I've been a Cubs fan for as long as I can remember.  Although I can remember watching the '72 World Series, the first Cubs season I can really remember is '73, when I was 7.  That means this is the 43rd season I've been avidly following the Cubs.

In those past 43 seasons, they've finished over .500 only 12 times -- and 7 of those happened after 2000.  (Those '73-'83 seasons were pretty bleak, even if they did manage to finish exactly .500 in '77.)  That makes seasons like this one even sweeter, and the future on the North Side looks bright.  Go Cubs!

89Cubs says:

Absolutely fantastic to see the Cubs back in the playoffs after a LONG 7 year wait. Hopefully this time they'll win at least one game as I'm still waiting to get REALLY involved after that happens per my post in 2008 after their playoff sweep.  I'm also still hoping for a road game vs. Pittsburgh in the Wild Card if we're not going to win the division out right.

This team is fun and exciting and they have a very bright future.  If that future trickles into the present this year, all the better.

Mr Pickles says:

I'm just glad I got to a game this week with 89Cubs. It's been a while since the magic number has been relevant for our Cubs. I'm excited about not just this year, but the next few. One of them, we'll really see great things. Here's my personal account to the clincher in 2008.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


The Padres beat the Giants in the bottom of the 9th at Petco! One more Cubs win or one more Giants loss and the Cubs make the playoffs!

The Cubs start a three-game set against the Pirates at Wrigley tomorrow, the Giants head to Oakland for a three-game weekend series, and the Cardinals play three more in Milwaukee this weekend.


Giants lost to the Padres early Thursday morning. The National League Wild Card Magic Number has dropped.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Jake Arrieta became MLB's first 20-game winner of the 2015 season as the Cubs beat the Brewers 4-0 at Wrigley. Jake is the Cubs' first 20-game winner since Jon Lieber's masterful 2001 season on the North Side. Arrieta's line: CG, 9 IP, 11 K, 0 ER. The guy is nails!

Kris Bryant had a big night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a 2-run HR and 3 RBI, and Kyle Schwarber  went 2-for-3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored.

Meanwhile … the Nats lost at home to the O's, the Giants are at the Padres, the Bucs are at the Rox, and the Redbirds beat the Redlegs.

So, here are the Cubs Magic Numbers as of 9:30 pm CDT:

Wild Card

Home Field Advantage in the Wild Card Game

NL Central

Mister Pickles and Sean Gill in the RF bleachers at tonight's game!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Cubs beat the Brewers 9-5 in a slugfest at Wrigley. Rizzo went 3-for-3 with 3 R, Castro 2-for-2 with 2 RBI, Fowler 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, Bryant 3-for-5 with 2 R, and Soler had a pinch-hit 3-run HR to put the game on ice for the North Siders.

Cards also won, and the Pirates are up 6-3 over the Rockies late. Here are the Cubs Magic Numbers as of 10:20 pm CDT:

Wild Card

Home Field in the Wild Card Game

NL Central

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Cubs beat Wacha and the Cards 5-4 in a heartstopper! The bullpen combined for a great group effort (nevermind the 9th before Strop entered the game), an UNBELIEVABLE game-ending play by Russell, and another great game by Bryant that included a moon shot HR into the wind, 2 R, 2 RBI, and a defensive gem at a key moment.

Props to Travis Wood, who started the game and has a line of 2 ER and 21 K in his last 13 IP.  Clutch!

The win moves the Cubs 0.5 GB of the Pirates, who play tonight at LA. The Giants lost to the D-Backs Saturday, so they are now 10 GB of the Cubs for the second wild card spot.

The Cubs Magic Numbers are:  5 for a wild card berth, 16 to clinch home field advantage in one-off Wild Card game, and 20 to win the NL Central.

Interestingly, the Cubs lead the season series with the Bucs 10-6 with three head-to-head games remaining. So, they've locked up the tiebreaker for home field advantage in the one-off Wild Card game: if the Cubs & Pirates finish with identical regular-season records, the Cubs would host the NLWC game.

Hat tip to Rachel G and KnoxvilleCubsFan for getting this post rolling and the idea to expand to three CMNs, respectively.


Image result for cubs keith moreland

Cubs beat the Wacha and the Cards 5-4 in a heart stopper backed by a great bullpen performance (until the 9th) an UNBELIEVABLE game ending play by Russell and another great game by Byrant with a moon shot HR into the wind onto the street, 2 R, 2 RBI and a defensive gem at a key moment.  The Cubs gave everybody a bit of a scare in the 9th but hold on for the win to move .5 games back of the Pirates for home field advantage pending their game late tonight at LA.  The Giants are currently playing at home vs. the D-backs where with their loss the CMN drops to 5.


Giants lose late.  CMN for the NL Wild Card drops to 7.

Are the Cubs better off on the road for a one game Wild Card playoff berth than being at Wrigley?

NL Central number remains at 22.

Friday, September 18, 2015


With today's beating of the Cardinals at Wrigley, the National League Wild Card Magic Number for the Cubs has dropped to 8! There's another chance for the number to drop tonight if the Giants lose later tonight.

Are the Cubs better off on the road for a one game Wild Card playoff berth than being at Wrigley?

When the Cubs beat the division leading Cardinals, the National League Central Magic Number drops by two. It's now


Thursday, September 17, 2015


Cubs with a great slug fest win over the Pirates to win the pivotal road series in Pittsburgh: 3 games to 1.  You know it's a high powered offense day when your lead off hitter gets 6 ABs and Rizzo hits his 30th HR.  Not a strong performance by Hendricks, but it doesn't matter.

The win lowers the CMN for the Wild Card berth to 9 with the Giants idle today and the Cards playing tonight in Milwaukee.  Cubs start up an equally important series tomorrow at home against the Cards for a three game set.

While we here at CMN are always rooting for a Cubs win and a playoff berth anyway the Cubs can get it, some of us (89 Cubs mostly) have proposed the following question:

Are the Cubs better off on the road for a one game Wild Card playoff berth than being at Wrigley?

Before you dismiss this out of hand, here me out here.  The Cubs recent history of home playoff games has been dismal and having home field advantage in the 2008 NLDS and in the 2003 NLCS proved not to help.  You have to go way back to the tie breaker game in 1998  (which wasn't technically a playoff game as it was 163rd game of the regular season) to see a positive outcome for the Cubs playing with home field advantage in a postseason series.  In fact, since 1998 the Cubs playoff home record (including the '98 tie breaker) is 3-8.  To take it one step further, their home record in playoff games since '98 (including the '98 tie breaker) in clinching and win or die games is 1-5 with the lone win coming from that tie breaker game.

Why is this?  If you have attended any of Cubs home playoff game at Wrigley you know the answer.  The tension in the air as a result of the Cubs fans' negative air and imminent fear of calamity clearly affect the Cubs players and managers.  I've personally witnessed this at the 2003 NLCS as I was there for both games 6 & 7 (I won't remind anybody what happened then), at the one 2007 NLDS game vs the Diamondbacks and at one of the two home games in the 2008 NLDS.  The air was thick with the expectation of disaster and I KNOW it had an effect on the team and the managers.  

Dusty and Lou both underestimated this and ultimately fell victim to it and I fear the same for Maddon. I think the world of Joe and I think he's the best man for the job presently.  If anybody can buck this trend, he can.  However, I also don't think the team really understands what playoff baseball in Wrigley is all about....yet.  Can this inexperience on such a young team be an advantage? Possibly. And I hope it is.

However, think of the alternative. Why not have the one Wild Card game in Pittsburgh where their fans' expectations are even higher than Cubs fans presently based on their results last year?  They are EXPECTED to win.  Additionally they lost their Wild Card game at home last year, thus even further ratcheting up the pressure on them not to do it again.  

The Cubs this year, let's be honest, are in a bonus year.  We were not supposed to be here until a year or three down the road.  50% of the current roster wasn't even on the opening day roster.  

The Cubs are also an outstanding road baseball team and have just proven they can win in Pittsburgh. I'll take Arrieta starting on the road against any team, anywhere, any time.  Arrieta in the Wrigley postseason pressure cooker?  I'm just not quite as confident.

Can the Cubs win at home for the one winner take all Wild Card game?  It's baseball, so anything can happen.  Do I think their chances are slightly better on the road for this same game?  I think I do.

I say, let the kids stay loose on the road and continue to exceed everybody's expectations and beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh before taking on the Cards.

What do you think?  We'd love to hear your comments.

Go Cubs!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Cubs beat the Pirates 3-2 in 12 to drop the Magic Number for an NL Wild Card berth to 10! Jake Arrieta tossed another quality start and Kris Bryant went 3-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored.

With the win, the Cubs are 3 GB of the Pirates for home field advantage in the NL Wild Card game and 7 GB of the Cardinals for the NL Central lead.

Up next: the series finale vs. Pittsburgh tomorrow, followed by a ten-game homestand starting Friday with three against the Cards. Go Cubs!

The Cubs Magic Number for the NL Central is



Giants late night, extra innings loss combined with Cubs DH split with Pitt brings the Magic Number down to 11.

Two more games in Pittsburgh, then a three-game set against the Cardinals at Wrigley starting Friday. The Cubs Magic Number for the NL Central is


Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Cubs split the doubleheader in Pittsburgh today, so the Cubs Magic Number for an NL Wild Card berth drops to 12.

They remain 4 GB of the Bucs for home field advantage in the Wild Card game, 6.5 GB of the Cards (who are at Milwaukee tonight), and 7 games ahead of the Giants (who are hosting the Reds tonight).

Two more games in Pittsburgh, then a three-game set against the Cardinals at Wrigley starting Friday. The Cubs Magic Number for the NL Central is


Go Cubs!


at least

Sunday, September 13, 2015


The Cubs came up short at Philly Saturday while the Giants won, so no progress was made on the Cubs Magic Number for the NL Wild Card. But...

Good news for Cubs fans: the Cards dropped two games at Cincy on Saturday, lowering the Cubs Magic Number for the NL Central to 27 with 21 games remaining.

The Cubs have an 8.5 game lead over the Giants for the second NL Wild Card berth, and the Pirates have a 3 game lead over the Cubs for home field advantage in the one-game Wild Card playoff. The winner of that game will advance to the NLDS and play the NL division winner with the best record (St. Louis at this point).

HUGE week coming up: series finale at Philly today, followed by a four-game set at Pittsburgh and then a three-game set vs. the Cardinals at Wrigley that kicks off a ten-game homestand (STL, MIL, PIT, and a makeup game with KC).

That's right, thirteen of the Cubs' next seventeen games are against the Cards & Pirates. Let's go!

Friday, September 11, 2015


Let's WIN two! Cubs take the doubleheader from the Phillies behind strong starts from Arrieta (MLB-leading 19th win) and Hendricks. Firepower from Schwarber (2 HR), Castro, and Bryant (1 HR apiece). That's 8 wins in their last 10 games and 30 of 42 since being swept by the lowly Phillies back in July.

Cubs Magic Number for the NL Central is 29 28 after the Cards lost 4-2 to the Reds early Saturday in the completion of Friday's suspended game. Nice to get a little help from the Redlegs.


Early game is a W for the Cubs. Game 2 coming up.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Cubs got rained out tonight, so let's play two tomorrow in Philly! Cards got shredded by the Reds 11-0 today, so the Cubs Magic Number to win the NL Central drops to 31.

To clarify: the Cubs Magic Number to earn an NL Wild Card playoff berth is 15. Each Cubs win or next-best-team's loss (currently the Giants) drops this magic number by 1.

The Cubs Magic Number to win the NL Central is 31. Each Cubs win or division leader's loss (currently the Cardinals) drops this magic number by 1.


Both Washington and San Francisco lost last night, bring the number down again. Cubs begin a 4 game series in Philadelphia tonight.

NL Central Wild Card sits at 32.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


What a game.  St. Louis made it close, but the Cubs fought hard to quiet the Cardinals in the 8th.  Let's go Cubs!!  I want to see the sweep tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, September 7, 2015


Wild card here we come. The Cubs dominated the Cardinals today and the Pirates lost. NL Central Magic Number is 34.


With a sweep of the Diamond Backs, the Cubs move closer to the post season.  On to St. Louis and Philadelphia,  and hopefully more wins to secure a playoff spot.  Go Cubs!

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Cubs beat the dbacks again. Arrieta with another fine performance and made his 18th W on the year. One more game against the dbacks and then the cubs are off to STL. Cubs divisional magic number is 38. When we play STL, every win will cut that by two.


Wildcard Magic Number. Cubs are leading dbacks again today. Go Cubs!

Friday, September 4, 2015


Wild Card Magic Number. The Cubs are entering the holiday weekend against the DBacks at home. They need some wins. They're off to STL on Monday. Divisional magic number is 41.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


We're switching it up. 26 is the # for the Wild Card. Post season play. First since 2008. Let's go CUBBIES!!! The division is likely our of touch at 42. Let's focus on the realistic.