Every time the Cubs play in San Diego, the Padres’ pay tribute to the 1984 team that pulled the rug out from beneath the Cubs. Last night, the Padres paraded the throwback uniforms reminiscent of 1984 in hopes of keeping their playoff hopes alive.
That was their first mistake!
They say, what goes around, comes around. This time it was the Cubs turn to crush the other teams’ postseason dreams. With the win last night, the Cubs took 3 of 4 games from San Diego and virtually stripped the Padres from contention. Although San Diego could pull off a miracle and sweep the Giants to force a one game playoff, it is doubtful. The Padres have a better chance at the wildcard race in which they find themselves 2 games back of the Braves. Atlanta will play Philadelphia but the Phillies will most likely rest their starters so they are ready for the playoffs, so it is unlikely that the Braves will have the same fight on their hand that they normally would.
Bottom Line: The San Diego Padres will be fighting for their lives in San Francisco, and even then, it may be too late.
The Cubbies outpitched an outstanding San Diego staff, handing Heath Bell his first blown save in 38 straight save opportunities. The Cubs’ pitching staff has been remarkable down the stretch. The combination of Cashner, Marshall, and Marmol has worked like a charm. Tom Gorzellany pitched six shutout innings and deserves credit for keeping the Cubs in the ballgame. It was another team effort and a job well done all the way around.
The younger players may not care too much about what happened in 1984 but that horrible image of the ball bouncing through Leon Durham’s legs in Game 5 of the NLCS still burns in my brain. Last night’s game was sweet, sweet revenge. I have been saying that it’s payback time for 1984 and indeed, the Padres have been paid in full! Now, San Diego can feel my pain of the past 26 years. Maybe next time, San Diego will reconsider throwing 1984 in the Cubs’ face.
If San Francisco can hold on to their 4-1 lead against Arizona and the Cubs win at San Diego tonight, the Padres will fall to 3 games back in the NL West and 2 games back in the wildcard race.
The Padres would have to sweep the Giants in the final 3 games in San Francisco just to get a one game playoff to decide the West. Highly unlikely, which means that the Braves would have to fall to Philadelpia when they are most likely to rest their best players while they prepare for the post-season. The Braves will be highly motivated while the Phillies take it easy. The Padres would still need to take two of the three games in San Francisco to have a chance. It doesn’t look good for San Diego at this point and time.
The Cubs’ bullpen, in the last 21 games, have a 1.38 ERA (9 earned runs in 58 2/3 innings), so although the Padres have a solid pitching staff, the Cubs’ pitching staff has come around and promise to put some pressure on the Padres in a must win game.
Then, there is the trip to San Francisco. The Giants have the best pitching staff in the National League. The Padres have their work cut out for themselves, that’s for sure.
Casey Coleman went seven innings, his longest outing as a starter, to outlast Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals as the Cubs won 7-3. Coleman gave up 3 runs while, allowing only 5 hits and striking out 4 for the victory.
Among four of the Cubs’ top rookies this season, Casey Coleman, Andrew Cashner, Tyler Colvin, and Starlin Castro have shown a great deal of promise for the future for the Cubs.
Casey Coleman is coming along in the starting rotation. He is 3-2 with a 4.68 era in 7 starts.
Andrew Cashner is 2-6 with a 5.22 era in 49 games. While the stats do not seem overly impressive, both rookie pitchers have demonstrated a great amount of poise and promise for years to come. Cashner could strengthen the Cubs’ bullpen with a little more experience.
Finally, other two C’s are Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin. Both have had impressive rookie seasons and will receive due consideration for Rookie of the Year honors.
Starlin Castro has struggled at times defensively at shortstop, but has shown good range and has, at times, made some impressive defensive plays that have earned him spots on Baseball Tonight’s Web Gems.
Castro, in 438 at bats, currently is batting .306 with a .352 OBP. He has 9 stolen bases and 30 doubles in 119 games this year. Starlin is sure to rank among the top vote getters for Rookie of the Year.
Finally, Tyler Colvin, prior to getting struck by a broken bat to end his rookie season, batted .254 with 20 homeruns and an OBP of .316.
Colvin did an outstanding job this season. There has been discussion, depending on possible offseason trades or free agent signings, about Colvin possibly moving to first base, a position he hasn’t played since his college days at Clemson.
The 4 C’s of the Chicago Cubs have had a fine rookie season. Congratulations to each of them on their performances. They have proven that they have what it takes to be a Major League ballplayer. Cubs’ fans look forward to next year as the experience and insight gained this year will prepare the rookies for the Cubs’ quest for a world series championship. We hope the 4 C’s continue to work hard in the offseason and keep improving. Good job, guys!