Cubs Road To Repeat – Game 2 Live Blog
Fun fact: The Chicago Cubs are undefeated in the playoffs ALL TIME when I live blog them. Here’s another fun fact: the Cubs are undefeated ALL TIME when you get a chance to read my live blogs so that’s nice too. Basically what I’m saying is here comes another live blog by the half inning because that’s the kind of effort it’s going to take to repeat as World Champions. I’m in this. Big Cat is in this. You’re in this. Ronnie Woo Woo is in this. Literally everyone with a pulse and two brain cells to rub together is in this right now.
Pregame thoughts: I wanted Almora to start game 1 but my guess is Maddon & Co. thought Strasburg might have been too much to have the young guy play so they went with Heyward/Scwharber instead. Simply put, I think Almora has a great game tonight. I’m not guaranteeing great results but I can promise fantastic at-bats. Wake up on Albert Almora if you’ve been snoozing so far. He is a pro’s pro’s pro and the envy of Baseball Guys everywhere.
In addition to Almora for Heyward, we’re seeing Happ in the lineup for Schwarber too. Makes sense with Gio Gonzalez being practically impossible for lefties to hit with a 35 OPS+ against. Righties fare much better at 84 OPS+ even though that is admittedly below average. Nevertheless, it makes sense to make these moves and we should be excited to see Almora and Happ perform in their first big moments in October for the Cubs.
Outside of them, I think Lester is ultra aggressive with his fastball on the side part of the plate to left handed hitters throughout the game. He will go right at Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy and that will be appointment television IN MY HUMBLE APPOINTMENT SETTING OPINION. Trea Turner will be a nightmare if he gets on base but let’s cross that bridge when we get there. For now, let’s hope the Nats continue to be afraid of the Cubs.
First pitch in 90 minutes.
T 1st: Gio Gonzalez loves strikeouts and good for him. He’s always overthrowing and trying to get swings and misses. Good clean inning for him on paper, but he already showed every pitch he throws. I’ll take a bullshit strikeout looking for Rizzo if that means he gets to see 9 Gonzalez pitches early in the game. Gonzalez looks good but it doesn’t look repeatable if that makes sense. He looks loopy. I like loopy. So do you.
Coming up Lester needs to be POUNDING the cut fastball for strike 1 consistently if he wants to keep it close. That’s the key tonight. Strike one for Lester.
B 1st: Here’s a constant theme throughout this series = getting Trea Turner out will dictate the Cubs’ success. His lazy flyout lets Lester eat Bryce Harper ALIVE with 4 seam fastballs and big slow curveballs. And as I type this Rendon hits a solo dinger to right field to take a 1-0. Again, point remains – this is a 1 run inning and not a 3 run inning and that’s how you beat the Nationals. Limit the damage guys like Rendon can do so I’ll move on a-okay.
Need some quality at bats.
T 2nd: YABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO from Contreras to respond 1-1 right away with no one on and out. Yes, I understand I just minimized Rendon’s solo dinger and now I’m fist pumping through my (future) in-laws roof. IDGAF bring me Gio Gonzalez’s first born son and let’s rename him carl. In other news, the Cubs go down in short order after Contreras leaves the yard. I don’t care though because it’s 1-1 and the momentum is 50-50 which means I’ve already forgotten about Rendon’s dinger. LFG.
B 2nd: Yawn city from the Nats and this is what I’m talking about. 1-4 this lineup is nasty. 5-9 is a laugh fest. I respect Ryan Zimmerman but his swing is so fucking long. Jon Lester did exactly what the lineup needed. Bottom lineup matched up on bottom lineup. Wouldn’t mind some pressure on Gio in the 3rd even if it doesn’t result in a run. I just want to pressure that soft pile of shit.
T 3rd: Happ just drilled Wieters in the head on his 0-0 backswing and I love it. Matt Wieters is a pussy. I might have mentioned that last night but want to be E X T R E M E L Y clear. In the meantime, Gio Gonzalez is getting the biggest strike zone I have ever seen. He got a few inches outside on Happ then a few inches upstairs on Lester. I get Lester is the pitcher but show the man some fucking respect as he is a cancer survivor and that’s the least we can ask.
Huge inning coming up from Lester as it’s 1-1 and the Nats are at the bottom. No funny business here just go right at them because the Cubs have 2-3-4 coming up in the 4th. Major shut down inning. (They all are btw.)
B 3rd: Jon Lester’s smoothly shaved balls are dragging all over Washington’s mound. He and Hendricks like this moment. That was the absolute perfect inning for Lester. Quick and painless. Now it’s time to go 2-3-4 and try and do some damage.
Also, again, the strike zone has been complete fucking bullshit so far. Like this is not backyard baseball. This is the National League Division Series. We are not here to fuck around and look at strikes INCHES outside the zone. Figure it out and bring your best
T 4th: That’s why KB is the best in the business. And that’s why Rizzo is the best on the team if that makes sense. It doesn’t, but it does to those who know what I mean. Rizzo is such a fucking killer I don’t even know where to start. I said on RLR throughout the week that if the team wins, it’s because Rizzo and Bryant make it happen. So far so good right? Cubs up 3-1 with Dusty complaining for a review now. HAHA suck on that Dusty The Protester.
Anyways, this is usually where Gio starts to loose it and SHOCKER he walks Contreras after giving up back to back piss-rods to KB and Rizzo. He pitches around it with a bullshit strikeout and a broken bat single from a guy who shouldn’t be in the lineup (Zobrist, sorry Jesus just saying). That’s good for him but in the long run of this game, I can say 100% that Gio Gonzalez is screwed.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THIS STRIKE ZONE SOMEONE ANYONE BUELLER
B 4th: My future father in law just screamed HUUUUUGGGEEEEE play when Harper one-hopped to Addison Russell and I tend to agree. He’s not as drunk as I am (yet) but that’s not the point. The point is Bryce Harper had a chance to get momentum going for the Nats and he failed. So did Rendon. And did Daniel Murphy.
The Cubs 2-3-4 produced 2 runs in a critical moment while the Nats looked like chumps.
IN OTHER WORDS:
T 5th: Baez needs to slow the fuck down and cool it with the adderall/red-bull-vodka combo before the game. Allegedly. But as I type that he draws a walk which just goes back to Gio Gonzalez looking uncomfortable AF right now. He’s spent too much time complaining in the dugout I feel like.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THIS STRIKE ZONE. Serious. Happ 0-0 takes a pitch at his shoulders and that is not okay. Takes the bat out of his hands. Nice to see Lester get a SAC down but hurts to see Almora elevate again on a pitch inside. Whatever. This game is in Jon Lester’s hands right now. A 2-run lead in the bottom of the 5th is exactly what I want. LFG.
B 5th: Lead off singles up the middle are okay when you command your fastball against a lineup that is afraid of fastball command. In other words, Zimmerman leads off with a single and manages to steal second AND THIRD with 2 outs but the Nationals come up empty.
But not before giving us an absolute heart attack. We can’t pussy foot around and this 5th inning is next to pussy footing in Webster’s Dictionary. Jon Lester is embarrassed and he should be. Hopefully that means a clean 6th inning because we NEED NEED NEED him to put Bryce, Rendon and Murphy down in the 6th. We can’t give that to the bullpen.
T 6th: I said on Twitter last inning to get Monty going and people told me to shut the fuck up because Lester was at 55 pitches. Literally 30 seconds later the Cubs had Monty get up. So let me remind you, now and forever, that I am qualified. I know this shit. Leave the takes to me. I wouldn’t tell a plumber how to fix a toiler or an uber driver how to take a left or a state trooper how to issue a speeding citation so you can’t tell me how to do my job. When I say Monty get up I mean Monty get the fuck up.
Cubs go down in quick order against Matt Albers minus a Willson Contreras walk. Too bad Russell can’t do more than ground out against Albers who is so fat and sloppy that I have no choice but to respect how fat and sloppy he is. Go Cubs.
Ball is literally and figuratively in Lester’s court, which is why he gets $22m a year.
B 6th: Harper breaks his bat on a routine 6-3 and I’m thinking he looks like absolute dogshit. That’s a shame for Nats fans because without Harper this lineup is reduced to literally nothing. Rendon scorches one to SS and Russell makes the play as the best evidence of this being high functioning MLB baseball. This is what it’s all about.
In other news, Daniel Murphy looks overmatched against a totally gassed Jon Lester. And in other words, the pressure is exceeding the pleasure. Damn shame for a guy who has never had his dick touched once.
T 7th: I am officially drunk writing this and good for me because this is my 36th update on Live Blogs in the last 24 hours. You’d be drunk too. #ZombieDust #InLaws #Hardo #Jameson
In any event, Zobrist goes to confession in-between AB’s 2 and 3 for the sweet redemption that allows him to hit a liner in the gap. Baez and Happ and Jon Jay come up empty. It absolutely kills me that we couldn’t hit Matt Albers for a few runs.
On a related now, how awesome is playoff baseball? Legit best time of year not even close.
B 7th: Pedro Strop comes in for Jon Lester so let’s take a second or silence in honor of Jon Lester showing up when it counts. We love that. And it’s no surprise that Strop uses a plus-slider to get Zimmerman and Werth to make lazy contact outs. People hate Strop, but what you fail to understand is that his slider is perfect for this Washington Nationals team. It’s the ideal pitch for this exact 5-6-7 inning. And here we are relishing in his success because it’s such a filthy pitch.
Also, before you trash the way he wears his hat, it’s allegedly a tribute to his dad who used to wear a fishing hat tilted depending on where the sun was and that’s Pedro’s way of telling his dead dad that he says hi or some shit. Idk. I don’t care. Let’s get to the 8th.
Cubs up 3-1
Also, Stephen Strasburg is still a pussy much like the rest of this Nationals team.
T 8th: that was anti-climatic. Whatever. Cubs still lead 3-1 and the Nats look incompetent. Advantage Cubs.
B 8th: Adam Lind doesn’t stretch his lead off single into a very easy double. I CANNOT GET OVER THIS STRIKEZONE BTW. Some consistency, much less ANY GODDAMN CONSISTENCY would be nice.
Doesn’t matter though because CJ just threw a goddamn meatball to Bryce Harper on 3-1 because fastball command matters and that’s what happens when you fall behind. He hangs a dick high curveball down broadway and believe it or not the best left handed hitting power hitter in baseball hit it to the fucking moon.
CJ walks Rendon and now here comes monty.
Again, 3-3 ballgame.
B 8th updated: I’m puking up Miller Lite and Jameson right now but blaming it on the Cubs bullpen. Biggest moment of the season can we see Wade Davis with 1 out? Is that too hard to fucking ask this guy before an off day?
Doesn’t really matter though as Ryan Zimmerman scrapes the wall for a 3-run job and now it’s 6-3 Nats. I’m going to puke a lot more before this bender is over but let me be clear: I’m blaming it on the bullpen but also blaming it on Joe Maddon because….
WHERE THE FUCK IS WADE DAVIS JOE??????? WE HAVE AN OFF DAY TOMORROW
Cubs trail 6-3 lets go
T 9th: see you guys on Monday. Thanks for playing. 2200 words later and we still have home field advantage. The Nationals suck.
PS = Strasburg is still a major pussy.