#Cubs close series vs Cards

Jon Lester takes the mound Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Kyle Schwarber is starting for the first time since Sept. 1. He’s been sidelined with a right rib cage strain (but did pinch-hit on Tuesday). Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber LF

Coghlan RF

Rizzo 1B

La Stella 2B

Baez 3B

Ross C

Lester P

Russell SS

Kris Bryant gets the day off. Bryant is 2-for-9 in the first two games of this season, and batting .235 this season on the road compared to .299 at Wrigley Field.

At 80-57 (.584), the Cubs are on pace for 95 wins and currently have the third-best record in the NL, fourth-best in the Majors. In the last 75 years, the Cubs have finished a season with a better winning percentage three times (1945: 98-56, .636; 2008: 97-64, .602; 1984: 96-65, .596).

With 80 wins this season, the Cubs have surpassed their win total from last season when the club finished 73-89. The 80 wins are the team’s most since going 83-78 in 2009.


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Have been listening to the St. Louis announcers. They have been talking a lot about Lester and Madden. Fun to hear their views. Apparently they chatted with Madden this morning and learned about his life growing up, etc. one fun fact is that his dad was the actor Jack Palances plumber. His mom was a waitress who absolutely refused to retire when Joe became wealthy enough to care for her. She said her customers of many years needed her and she was not about to leave them. Sounds like Joe learned a lot from his mom – determination and being there for the team!

Good game today, looking like Strope cant handle the pressure, but two out of three from the Cards is nice.
Lineup didn’t look good without Bryant, but he needed a break.

Yup, didn’t handle it. Time to go to Philly and take game one! Go Cubs!

Phillies swept the Cubs at Wrigley, time for payback.

Aloha White, jasper, Tom, Bruce, fonzie, jhosk, petrey, doug and more Cub fans. Well, it was good to go out and breath the fresh air! Jasper I have said it before and I will stick with this, I looked forward to season where this team could get to .500 and end there anything more is “gravy.” I am enjoying this season. You all know that I try to be very encouraging as a fan for the whole team and at times can “constructively comment” on play. I have commented on Lester in the past, not keeping runners in check and not making mistake pitches that go out of the park. I said he had to bring his A-game today and check the runners. He did and when he left he gave 7 very good innings for his team on the road, kudos to him today. The team should have scored more runs but did get double-digit hits. I give Maddon credit with how he works with players, case in point Castro. Castro understands his new role and is maturing and playing much better. And there is an investment from the organization’s stand point in him. I am curious if the FO will give Maddon the same green light with Strop? Be it if there is an investment in Pedro or not I think Maddon has to sit him down and have a cut and dry conversation just like he did with Castro. I would not be bothered in Lester is upset after today’s game, I think part of my frustration was for him. This team does not give him a lot of run support, like Shark last year and various years for Matt Cain with the Giants. But he left the team in good hands after the 7th inning. At the beginning of this new season I thought the team’s strongest asset was the pitching. And I have to say with this non-consistent bull-pen I am amazed at how well this team has done! It is amazing how many games this year, this bullpen has not held the line, given up the lead and lost the game. Dare I say with a good bullpen, this team is in second place possibly in first. But I go back to my original expectation that knowing the amount of hard work it takes to reorganize an organization, build the farm system, groom potential prospects and put together a strong management team and coaches, .500 for me is amazing and this team has surpassed that. Going forward, you have to prepare for that 1-game playoff called the Wild-Card and Maddon has to be thinking now if they can get there who to put on the roster and who does not make it. You can change it per series. Right now I see a lot of folks in that bullpen that I do not think merit getting chosen. That could change and I hope it does. I give past managers credit like Bochy where he understood that Lincecum was having some issues as a starter but could see his strength in longer relief coming out of the bullpen. Bochy also used Madbum in relief too. Of course you have Lasorda in 1988 making decisions to both start Orel Hershiser as well as to use him in relief appearances and it worked. So, who knows what Maddon may do but I do not see things out of the ordinary if he calls upon a starter to do some relief in that W.C. game. Again, kudos to this organization to have the team in position at this point in the season to even be talking post-season. Gunbatene Cubbies! Mahalo!

Yes, White, that`s very plausible that Joe`s daddy was the actor`s plumber, as they all came from that Hazleton area of Pa. Joe`s mom, Beanie, is still a waitress at the `Third Base Lucheonette` in Hazleton these days, to my knowledge. When it was first rumored that Joe could become the Cubs` manager back in October of 2014, Beanie was interviewed on local television while performing her job at that eatery. I suppose it`s possible she could have retired between then and now, but it`s more likely she`s still active at that location. Btw, Jack Palance was the actor`s stage name. He was born Volodymyr Palahniuk of Ukrainian immigrant parents.

managed out of that game! Y DOES LESTER LEAVE? y does catcher hit for himself in 8th, can hit it off tee!! Most of all why Stroop?? He is batting practice pitcher

Just curious, but how were they managed out of the game today when Maddon done about the same yesterday?

I am hoping that Coghlan was not injured in that miraculous play. Hate to see him out for any length of time.

jhosk, Thank you for adding interest to Joe’s life before baseball. I bet his mom is still at the restaurant if she is able to be. Jack Palance had a doozy of a real name to spell! 😀. Kind of like our “Shark” when he was a Cub. I missed part of the game. Do you know if Coghlan is okay?

His life before Baseball? I wonder what his favorite food is?
This is beyond stupid. I get an email from Carrie telling me to keep it too baseball and complaining she has to police the blog taking up her time.
Then she lets you write stupid crap. Your a trouble maker White, now you can write Carrie another e-mail crying.
My next ID I will initial JJ to the end of each post so the real baseball bloggers know who is posting.

Hey White, have you heard of the elaborate fabrications early in Mr. Palance’s career explaining his “face”? Very interesting story. You may want to Google it if you are a fan of Jack Palance. BTW, I am not sure what Maddon’s favorite food is but I have read that the ”Holy (bleep) Batman” is his favorite drink, which he designed himself. The “Holy (bleep) Batman” is a Luxardo cherry liqueur-bourbon mixture with a little citrus flavor in it. Cheers! to life before baseball, during baseball and after baseball. Cheers! to life itself. (especially after a hard to swallow loss…)

Hi fonzie. I sure could use a “Holy(bleep) Batman” about now! 😀😀 But it does spur one’s curiosity to see what the next “take down” is going to be. Pretty hilarious at this point. Cheers to you on life before, during and after baseball – with my cup of coffee. jhosk mentioned (below) that it may be a rainout tonight. I hope not – look forward to the game all day!

I missed all of today`s game, White, and it`s just as well. I may have had a `cardiac event` had I been subjected to that eighth inning meltdown by the pen in real time. Pajama Joe commented that “we have to do better.’ I truly hope he`s including himself with that remark. He called on Strop less than 24 hours prior to today`s contest, and Pedro looked less than stellar then. Why utilize him at that precarious juncture today? I would not have done so. Anyone who questions that viewpoint, I suggest y`all go back and read what I typed yesterday regarding Pedro. But also keep in mind I`m just a stumblebum who`s not being paid five cents for my opinion, not the $5 mil per year the man who actually gets to decide receives. As for Coughlan, unfortunately I have no knowledge of his condition after that awkward tumble he took into the rightfield stands. You have to admire the effort; he placed his body at risk in that instance, and made the catch. I admire baseball players who hustle and make sacrifices for the team, and I know you do as well. But there is also a limit to those sacrifices. I do not recommend running into brick walls and thereby shortening one`s career, and there are many examples of players who have chosen that path. See Pete Reiser.

Just as well jhosk. The end of the game wasn’t pretty. It surprises me that there have not been even more serious injuries when the players go after hits, especially when they go over the railings. They are probably as physically fit at their young ages as they will ever be. And youth believes that all things are possible – even jumping over high walls and slamming into bricks. Unfortunately some have to learn the hard way with career ending wounds.

Jhosk and White, pardon the intrusion…It appeared Coghlan walked away from his acrobatic catch in good health. Regarding putting oneself in harm’s way when making a defensive play such as we have seen with Rizzo and now Coghlan as well as countless others and in regards to a brick wall….if it’s “in” the player to make such plays it is hard to imagine them changing their game plan. More than likely they are thinking of avoiding an injury while making such plays, but their adrenaline, desire, will, fortitude and instincts take over at the time. That is what separates them from others. Doesn’t make them better, smarter or more admirable…just makes them the kind of athlete that will do what it takes to get the job done for the sake of the game. Some may very well admire this kind of play while at the same time question it.

I’m with k.g. My thought, registered here, after listening to and watching all the preseason games was: “Looks promising, more wins than losses, move up in the division.” Yeah, sure, the bullpen collapse on Wednesday was disappointing. But we Cubs fans should be looking forward to many happy days in coming years.

And Bruce, this is one Cubs fan that is doing just that. Blown saves/games are a part of baseball. Bad teams and good teams suffer through “the ones that get away”. I believe the Cubs are on a well founded path to eliminate those type of games but this path continues into next season. For this season, if the players can shake it off, rebound with heads held high and the conviction of competing in the very next game for a victory…we should be able to accept that. Much success with your viewing of games!

Aloha Bruce- as fonzie said, it is a part of the game and this team will learn from it. Also, I should have checked my spelling-grammer, it was late and I put the thoughts down without reviewing. It is amazing how every series now is important because there are only so many games left in this season. I know every player on this team, including a Strop wants to be there. I felt for Welly the other day when Arizona came to town. I was happy for him that he is doing well and adjusting but how ironic he was traded to the AL and comes back to the NL, to the team that Montero came from. I hope the series in Philly goes well, this is a long road trip so I am sure Maddon is prepping his guys for every game and reminding them of the possibility of their season going longer, like deep into October! Mahalo!

Tonight`s game in Philadelphia may very possibly be postponed due to rain.

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