#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Iowa lost, 3-2, in 11 innings to Nashville. Chris Coghlan went 3-for-4 with three doubles and scored a run. Joe Smith also threw a scoreless inning in his second rehab outing. John Andreoli and Jeimer Candelario each hit a double and drove in a run. Josh Collmenter started, and gave up two runs over five innings.

Tennessee lost, 3-0, to Birmingham. Tyler Skulina gave up one earned run over 6 2/3 innings. Ben Carhart had two hits and has hit in seven straight games.

Myrtle Beach had the day off.

South Bend beat Great Lakes, 2-1. Connor Myers hit a solo homer in the third. Roberto Caro smacked a walk-off RBI single in the ninth.

Eugene won its franchise record 50th game, a 4-2 win over Tri-City. Tyson Mmiller gave up one earned run over five innings. Kevonte Mitchell had two hits, both doubles, and one RBI.

Mesa lost its final regular season game, 4-3, to the Athletics in 12 innings. Brian Matusz started, and struck out one over one inning.


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Mad Dog Chris Russo declared today on his MLB Network program that it will be a colossal failure on the part of the Cubs if they fail to reach the World Series in 2016. He argues that the Cubs will have virtually led all of baseball in winning percentage from wire to wire, and that record will have been wasted absent a WS appearance. Given all that, Mad Dog suggests it should not be all that challenging to win seven playoff games, which is what it takes to reach the WS. (Chris makes clear the Cubs do not have to win the WS to justify their remarkable season, but they do need to get there.) Is he right? {Discuss among yourselves.}

Thanks for all the replies to the above. I`m underwhelmed. On another subject, I want to compliment the Cubs` brass for declining to take Tim Tebow`s “showcase” in Los Angeles yesterday seriously. It was a publicity stunt, pure and simple. The Cubs were one of just two MLB organizations not to send scouts to the debacle, the other being Oakland. Also, I`ve lost respect for Harold Reynolds` baseball judgment. He predicted with a straight face today on the MLB Network that Tim Tebow will one day reach the majors.

I know you don’t really want to hear from me, but to address your topic anyway, the last 100+ win team to also win the World Series was the 2009 Yankees. Since then, two teams have won 100+ games and failed to win the World Series: the 2015 Cardinals and the 2011 Phillies. In fact, both of those teams even failed to win a single playoff series, falling in the NLDS to teams with lesser records. The Cubs need to go 16-15 the rest of the way, so there’s a decent chance they will win 100+ games this season. Sure, it would be a disappointment if the Cubs don’t win the WS this year, but it’s hardly a guarantee that 100+ win teams go on to win the World Series. And just for fun, here is how the 100+ game winners of the 21st Century did in the playoffs:

2015 Cardinals (100 wins, lost in NLDS)
2011 Phillies (102 wins, lost in NLDS)
2009 Yankees (103 wins, won WS)
2008 Angels (100 wins, lost in ALDS)
2005 Cardinals (100 wins, lost in NLCS)
2004 Cardinals (105 wins, lost in WS)
2004 Yankees (101 wins, lost in ALCS)
2003 Yankees (101 wins, lost in WS)
2003 Braves (101 wins, lost in NLDS)
2003 Giants (100 wins, lost in NLDS)
2002 Braves (101 wins, lost in NLDS)
2002 A’s (103 wins, lost in ALDS)
2002 Yankees (103 wins, lost in ALDS)
2001 Mariners (116 wins, lost in ALCS)
2001 A’s (102 wins, lost in ALDS)

By my count, there are 15 100+ game winners in the 21st Century. Of the 15 teams to do it, only the 2009 Yankees went on to win the World Series. The 2003 Yankees and the 2004 Cardinals won the pennant, but lost the World Series. The other 12 teams failed to win the pennant, with an astounding 9 teams failing to win even the division series. And of course, there is the 116-win 2001 Mariners, who lost in the ALCS to the Yankees. So as I said above, it would be a disappointment if the Cubs don’t win the WS this year, and if they don’t I’m sure the narrative will be something like “Cubs choke again” and we’ll never hear the end of it from Cardinals and White Sox fans. But as my list above shows, the Cubs would hardly be alone in the dominant regular season but fails to win the World Series club. And if Cardinals fans say anything about it, well, their team appears three times on that list, so they’re not exactly ones to talk either!

Mad Dog Christopher Russo on his weekday broadcast “High Heat” on the MLB Network Tuesday opined that the Cubs need to reach the Fall Classic in 2016, given all that has transpired to this point. Mad Dog never said the Cubs need to win that WS. In fact, he made it a point to say they do not need to win to validate their season. But they do need to get to the Fall Classic. (You seem to overlook that.) Russo`s point is that the Cubs` season will have been a colossal bust if the team does not reach the 2016 WS, given they`ve led the majors in winning percentage virtually the entire season. My question to other posters on here was “Do you agree with Mad Dog?” I happen to agree the Cubs need to play in the WS this season. Of course, we want to see them win.

I didn’t overlook that. I mention above that only 3 of the 15 100-win teams in the 21st Century have made the World Series. My greater point is just because a team is really good in the regular season doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to make the World Series. You and Mad Dog High Heat guy can think of a 100+ win Cubs team not making the World Series as a “colossal bust” if you want, but it’s not exactly a unique experience for a team of that caliber to not make the World Series.

I do give you credit for that research you provided on past major league teams which enjoyed marvelous regular seasons. If I may use a basketball analogy, we only need look at the most recent Golden State Warriors season. It was a record-breaking regular season they had. But they failed to win the championship. They did reach the NBA Finals versus Cleveland. Had they not, meaning had they been eliminated in an earlier round of the playoffs, I think it`s fair to say most fans would view that as a colossal bust. Sounds as if you are not all that familiar with Mad Dog. He`s a compelling guy. He knows the game, and always has interesting guests, and is opinionated, and provides food for thought. I recommend seeing his program from time to time.

True about the Warriors, but I feel like in the NBA, the top team wins more times than not. Or at least the NBA champion is one of the top two seeds from either conference. And since 8 teams per conference make the NBA playoffs, that means a top 25% playoff team usually wins. In baseball, it’s much more common for a team outside of the top 25% of playoffs teams (ie. the second seed or below) to get to the World Series. In the NBA, it’s rare for a, let’s say, 5th seed to knock off the top seed in the playoffs. In baseball a, let’s say, 3rd or 4th seed is no stranger to knocking off the top seed in the playoffs. So be careful when you compare one sport with another. On the surface it might seem like an apt comparison, but looking below the surface, you could find that comparing the two is apples and oranges.

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