The Rundown: Weather Worries Postpone Cubs-Marlins Game, Lester Hoping for Game 3 Start, White Sox, Reds and Brewers Eliminated

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about that.” – Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh, Bull Durham

Somebody didn’t want the Cubs and Marlins to play yesterday, and it wasn’t Mother Nature. Game 2 of their Wild Card series was postponed by MLB about two hours before game time while there was just a 30-40% chance of rain showers for Chicago. A quick check of local hotels showed that Kevin Costner was likely nowhere near Wrigley Field, unless under an assumed name. A couple of conspiracy theories quickly made the rounds on social media, however:

  • The game was postponed because of a failed COVID-19 test; or
  • Results of previous tests were delayed; or
  • MLB realized their scheduling gaffe left the league with no playoff games all weekend, so by enforcing a weather-related postponement, the powers that be could hope the Cubs tie it up today and force a primetime, Saturday night, winner-take-all matchup.

Miami was taking batting practice under sunny skies when the game was pushed back, so the postponement announcement must have been quite the shocker. At any rate, the one-day pause helped to pull most fans of the North Siders in off the ledge. At times, Chicago’s social media fandom can sometimes feel like a meeting of Odd Fellows digging the hole while the infirmed is still breathing.

I was optimistic heading into yesterday’s game because Yu Darvish was pitching, but even I admit to waking up feeling a little “Casey at the Bat” about the prospects for a potential Marlins sweep. A three-game playoff series means Game 2 is an elimination contest for one team – in this case the Cubs – and yesterday arrived with a bit of a foreboding feeling that the 2020 season was coming to an end for the beloved men in blue. Perhaps it’s a good idea to stay off Twitter after a Cubs’ loss, where almost everybody sounds like De Wolf Hopper at his gloomiest.

Maybe it was just the weather. It was dark and rainy yesterday, right?

Cubs News & Notes

Apropos of Nothing

If Lester gets a chance to pitch on Saturday, it would be kind of cool if John Lackey was there to throw out the first pitch.

Odds & Sods

Clayton Kershaw told his manager to grab some bench.

Postseason Potables

The A’s ended 14 seasons of playoff futility when they knocked off the White Sox 6-4 yesterday, their first postseason series win since sweeping the Twins in the 2006 ALCS. Fan of Chicago’s South Side team have nothing to be ashamed of, other than some poor in-game decisions by manager Rick Renteria. Eloy Jiménez left the game early due to injury, and flame-throwing rookie southpaw Garrett Crochet was lifted after recording two strikeouts because of diminished velocity. Rookie sensation Luis Robert hit a mammoth home run, but the A’s were not to be denied. Oakland will face the Astros in the ALDS, and the Pale Hose may be looking for a new manager.

The Cardinals looked they were on the verge of a sweep before Wil Myers and Fernando Tatís Jr. erupted. The pair combined for four home runs and nine RBI in San Diego’s 11-9 win. St. Louis will send ace Jack Flaherty to the mound in today’s win-or-walk contest, though San Diego manager Jayce Tingler has yet to name his starter. The winner of today’s 5 PM CT tilt will take on the Dodgers in the next round.

Kershaw kept Milwaukee hitters off-balance all night thanks to supreme command of his breaking ball as the Dodgers eliminated the Brewers in a 3-0 win. The veteran lefty notched 13 strikeouts on the night, all on curveballs, and Mookie Betts broke the game open with a two-run double in the sixth. The Dodgers managed just 12 hits in the two games, but never trailed.

The Reds came into the postseason with high expectations, but Atlanta pitchers had something else in mind. Braves’ starters Max Fried and Ian Anderson, who had zero postseason starts between them, combined to throw 13 shutout innings in Games 1 and 2. The Braves won 5-0 yesterday to complete the sweep, using an equally dominant bullpen to completely shut down Cincinnati. Check out Atlanta’s series pitching line:  22 IP, 13 H, 0 R, 28 K. The Braves, who won their first playoff series since 2001,  will battle the winner of the Cubs-Marlins series on Monday.

How About That!

The upcoming A’s-Astros series may be one of the best things about the playoffs, especially when Mike Fiers takes the mound.

The Astros’ bus driver has been placed on health leave after testing positive for COVID-19.

The home run by Roberts was the longest ever hit at Oakland’s colossal stadium.

ESPN picked a bad time to mic up A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano.

Braves DH Marcell Ozuna added a little bit of flair to his home run trot.

Major League Baseball completely severed its ties with MiLB after the two sides failed to reach an agreement.

Francisco Lindor said the Indians should have no problem extending his contract. “It’s a billion-dollar team.”

Extra Innings

Let those damn kids play for the love of Mike Trout!

They Said It

  • “Helpless — there’s no other way to describe [watching the playoffs]. You’re aware that success and failure and careers are altered by individual plays. You know that intellectually, and watching those games can be at times excruciating.” – Jed Hoyer
  • “To get Jonny [Lester] out there to pop it off, to show his leadership, to lead by example, that’s something I’m looking forward to have happen. But we gotta take care of business [Friday] first.”Jason Heyward
  • “If this is it here, this is it. I have to move on with it. The organization will definitely move on. You see it over the years. If somebody leaves or goes down, you fill it in with another person. I’ve definitely appreciated everything that this organization has done for me. I hope it’s not it. I hope we can figure something out for next year and these conversations are null and void.” – Jon Lester

Friday Walk-Up Song

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head by BJ Thomas – Rain? What rain?

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