Thursday, October 22, 2015


Well, that NLCS was rough … although I'd say not as rough as 2003. If you'd told me in March that this 2015 Cubs club would make the NLCS, I would've jumped at the chance to see it, and it was a fun ride getting here.

No one was expecting this from a club starting four rookies for much of the season: Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, and Soler. The rotation was a question mark after Lester and Arrieta, and the bullpen was a question mark after (and some were saying including) Rondon and Strop.

Well, those four rookies combined for 65 home runs. That question mark of a bullpen had the fourth-lowest ERA in the NL, while the Cubs' starters had the third-lowest ERA in baseball. 

Other highlights:
  • Chris Coghlan hit a career-high 16 HR.
  • Anthony Rizzo drove in a career-high 101 runs.
  • Starlin Castro hit .343 in August, September, and October … after being moved to 2B. His best defensive month? September, with 1 error.
  • Kris Bryant lived up to the Rookie of the Year hype, hitting .275 with an OBP of .369, 26 HR, 99 RBI, and 13 SB.
  • Kyle Schwarber launched 16 HR in only 69 games played.
  • The Cubs' hitters led the NL in bases on balls.
  • Dexter Fowler hit a career-high 17 HR (and that's saying something for a guy who played five seasons at Coors Field).
  • Jorge Soler posted a .993 fielding percentage -- 1 error in 149 chances -- in Wrigley's toughest outfield spot.
  • Travis Wood closed out the regular season on a roll: 1 ER in 16 IP with 23 K and only 4 BB in September and October.
  • Jake Arrieta had a great start to the season, and was lights out in the second half, finishing with 22 wins (the highest win total since Fergie Jenkins used to take the Wrigley mound every 4th day) and these Cy Young Award worthy career-bests: a 1.77 ERA, 4 complete games (3 of them shutouts) and 236 strikeouts.
  • They were the best team in MLB in August & September, winning 43 of their last 61 regular season games.
  • They dominated the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game -- at PNC Park -- to advance to the NLDS.
  • They beat the Cardinals in the NLDS, three games to one, in a series that all Cubs fans can savor for a long time.
So what happened in the NLCS?

Well, the Mets' pitchers were locked in, and took full advantage of the expanded strike zone being afforded by the postseason umpires. Daniel Murphy was ridiculous, channeling his inner Barry Bonds and apparently forgetting that he hit only 14 regular season homers. David Wright and several other Mets played stellar defense, and their offense came through with clutch hits and heads-up base running.

Not so much for the Cubs. They hit .158 as a team in the NLCS, nearly 90 points lower than in the NLDS. They hit 3 HR versus the 10 they hit in the NLDS. Why? Who knows, but it sure looked like they ran out of steam. Few on the roster have ever played even a 162-game season, let alone in MLB postseason action. Finally, their youth and inexperience showed. Several Cubs defenders are playing new positions (Schwarber, Castro) and they, among others (Bryant, Soler) don't yet have the defensive chops that the Mets' veterans do.

Good news: they'll be much more experienced next October.

We at CMN are looking forward to many more opportunities to #FlyTheW in 2016. New Cubs Magic Number to make the 2016 postseason:


Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Cubs win and advance to their first LCS since 2003!  Gotta love these kids.  Schwarber hit a HR that still hasn't landed yet.  Rizzo comes through with a bit go ahead HR as well.  Bullpen does a good job as well.  Queue the party in Wrigleyville.

If you look really close in the front row with the #8 on his chest, you just might see 89Cubs.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Cubs win! A postseason MLB record SIX homers powered the Cubs past the Cards!

Fans around the globe are celebrating -- this shot, taken moments ago, is from a beachside bar in Maui!

Saturday, October 10, 2015


The Cubs beat the Cards 6-3 in what was a great team effort. Kyle Hendricks got the start, and Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, and Hector Rondon combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Rondon picked up the save and Wood got the win, continuing his late-season dominance: 1 ER, 25 K, 4 BB, and 7 H in 18 1/3 IP in September & October.
Back-to-back RBI bunts, an RBI single by Fowler, and a two-run HR by Soler -- all in the second inning -- gave the Cubs all the offense they'd need. Some spectacular defense and strong baserunning were the icing on the cake.

The Cubs-Cards NLDS now returns to Wrigley for two games: Game 3 on Monday at either 3:30 or 5:00 CDT and Game 4 on Tuesday. Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Cubs in Game 3.

Go Cubs!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015





The Cubs make their first postseason appearance in seven years Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. 22-game winner Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Cubs, facing off against the Pirates' Gerrit Cole.

The winner of this NL Wild Card game faces the Cardinals in St. Louis on Friday in the start of a best-of-five series.

12 = 1 (NLWC) + 3 (NLDS) + 4 (NLCS) + 4 (WS)