The Rundown: Division Series Entrants Set, Girardi Stumps for Managerial Opening, Stone Pony Chimes In

For those of you who don’t believe that the Wild Card tilts are truly playoff games, your field of eight is set. I don’t know who is going to win and I was dead wrong on both play-in games, but I can at least tell you which series will be the most fun to watch in order and why.

It will be interesting to see if any player can top Brian Dozier when it comes to locker room celebrations. This is his third straight season reaching the playoffs, all with three different teams, all of whom are participating in division series this week. That’s baseball.

  1. Twins vs. Yankees – Don’t believe the conspiracy rumors that Commissioner Rob Manfred has suddenly switched to “regular” baseballs for the postseason. This one should be an offensive explosion of sorts as neither team really has a lock-down starter in their rotation. And whether the “irregular” baseballs are used or not, Minnesota and New York may set a record for most taters in a division series. I’m hoping Nelson Cruz has a standout series and advances, but I’m not opposed to seeing the Yankees win a series just because its no longer a regular thing.
  2. Nationals vs. Dodgers – You’re likely to see a marquee pitching matchup in every game except Game 2. The series kicks off with Patrick Corbin battling Walker Buehler and the rotations of each team features certain Hall of Famers Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw. I expect Max Muncy to have a big series and it looks like Juan Soto is ready to show the world just how great he is.
  3. Cardinals vs. Braves – The Braves remind me a lot of the 2016 Cubs: Underrated starting pitching combined with a youthful lineup that is still discovering that they can dominate opposing teams. I don’t know which Cardinals team will show up, but if Atlanta can get into the Redbirds bullpen it’s going to get ugly for St. Louis pretty quickly. By the way, I’ve officially removed Dexter Fowler from my list of favorite ex-Cubs in baseball.
  4. Rays vs. Astros – Sorry, Tampa Bay fans, but this one probably ends in four, and I don’t think any of those wins are going to come against Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke. Even if a fourth starter such as Wade Miley seems possibly beatable, it’s improbable that anybody on the Rays staff can shut down that Astros offense.

Cubs News & Notes

MLB Playoffs

Yandy Díaz was a one-man wrecking crew last night, hitting solo homers to nearly the exact same spot in right-center in his first two at-bats and leading the Rays to a 5-1 victory over the A’s in last night’s Wild Card game. Though Oakland hosted the affair, they decided to play in their road greens for some reason. Perhaps they were trying to reverse an eight-game losing streak in win-or-go-home games, but that obviously failed.

Thursday Stove

Extra Innings

Don’t be so quick to trade Kyle Schwarber. He steadily improved all season and compares favorably with some of baseball’s best.

On Deck

I’ll post daily columns through Sunday when I leave for Dublin. I’ll be back on October 13 to resume my column with another edition of The Rundown that will include Sunday Baseball Notes. Sláinte!

Apropos of Nothing

The two division series feature four players named Max: Muncy, Scherzer, Max Fried, and Max Kepler.

They Said It

  • “If you like baseball, you love Wrigley Field, no matter who you are. I loved going to games there as a boy, I loved going there when I was in college and I loved going there as a player. It’s just a great place. I know this is an important decision for the organization, and I’m sure they’re going to do their due diligence in their search.” – Joe Girardi
  • “Managing is cyclical. If you have a peace and love dude manager, the next one will be a tougher guy. That’s the just the way it is. The perfect guy for the win now approach is Joe Girardi. Four series wins. Jim Hendry didn’t have the guts for the hire. Let’s see about Theo and Tom [Ricketts]”Steve Stone

Thursday Song

Different Drum by The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronsdtadt. Oh that Steve Stone, still trying to stir the Cubs’ pot. Maybe we can get some insight from the Hawkeroo as well. By the way, Mike Nesmith of the Monkees wrote this song if you are not aware.

Back to top button