Baseball’s Final Four is almost set. And by Thursday night, the Cubs will know if they are opening the NLCS in Los Angeles or New York.
The Blue Jays and Royals will square off in the American League Championship Series that begins Friday in Kansas City. The Jays beat the Rangers in what was a wild game and the Royals eliminated the Astros from the post-season. The Royals know how to win and like the Cubs, Kansas City does not quit.
Game 5 of the NLDS between the Mets and Dodgers is Thursday night (7:00pm CDT) with Jacob deGrom facing Zack Greinke.
Major League Baseball announced the starting times for the first four days of the League Championship Series.
Games one and two of the NLCS will begin at 7:07pm CDT. Game 1 is Saturday, Oct. 17 and Game 2 is Sunday, Oct. 18. TBS will carry the National League Championship Series. And the announcers for the series are Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Cal Ripken Jr., Sam Ryan and Matt Winer.
Joe Maddon had meetings scheduled with his coaching staff Wednesday at Wrigley and the team has a workout scheduled for Thursday. The Cubs will watch Game 5 of the NLDS between the Mets and Dodgers and fly to either Los Angeles or New York on Friday.
The Cubs have not announced the starting rotation for the National League Championship Series much less which pitcher will get the ball in Game 1.
Chris Bosio joined David Kaplan on ESPN 1000 on Wednesday afternoon and said Jon Lester will probably start in Game 1.
“Right now it’s probably going to be Jon [Lester] because it’s his turn. The way it’s laid out is probably how it’s going to be,” Bosio said. “Joe [Maddon] doesn’t want to change a lot of stuff. That’s why I don’t see us doing anything real crazy. There’s a comfort level with their work days, which for me is really important. Each of these guys has a routine.”
Jon Lester started Game 1 of the NLDS and had the only quality start in the four games. Lester would be pitching on extra rest if he starts Saturday and would give Jake Arrieta an extra day.
Jon Lester was 1-0 in two starts against the Mets this season with a 2.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. And Lester was 0-2 in two starts versus the Dodgers with an 8.10 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.
Jon Lester tweeted Wednesday, “Long way to go but certainly trending in the right direction. I promise you no one on this team is content! Back to work.”
Kyle Schwarber and the Home Run Ball
When Kyle Schwarber launched the home run off Kevin Siegrist leading off the seventh inning of Game 4, it was believed the ball left Wrigley and ended up on Sheffield. It was an epic blast and the ball disappeared as Schwarber reached first base.
As it turns out, the ball did not land on Sheffield but it landed on the video board and did not roll off. And the Cubs are going to leave the ball on top of what has been labeled ‘The Schwarboard.’
According to the Tribune, the ball will stay on top of the right field video board “until the post-season run has concluded.”
The Cubs put the ball on a pedestal and in a plexiglass case “to preserve it from the elements.”
The Tribune explained that a “security guard will escort anyone going to the top of the video board to service it so it won’t be stolen.” The team will decide what to do with the ball after the season. One possibility is that the ball could be auctioned off for charity.
Comcast SportsNet explained how Kyle Schwarber has become larger than life during Cubs post-season run. And according to the Tribune, Kyle Schwarber agreed to a contract with New Era to be a “brad ambassador” for the official on-field cap of MLB. Schwarber will be featured in ads through the 2017 season.
News and Notes
• Knock on Wood, Trevor Cahill has resurrected his career with the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• Former Rays manager Joe Maddon fulfills promise to Cubs fans according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. This is a must read, excellent report by Topkin from a different perspective.
• Comcast SportsNet reported chemistry matter for Cubs team taking the playoffs by storm.
• ESPN Chicago asked, who should the Cubs want to play in the NLCS, L.A. or New York?
• Cubs see World Series window opening now according to Comcast SportsNet.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs granted free agency to Darnell McDonald
2006 – Cubs granted free agency to Kerry Ligtenberg, Luis Montanez, Augie Ojeda, Michael Restovich and Mac Suzuki
2005 – Cubs granted free agency to Mark Johnson, David Kelton, Calvin Murray and Cody Ransom
2004 – Cubs granted free agency to Denny Hocking, Trent Hubbard, Russ Johnson, Fernando Lunar, Kevin McGlinchy, Bill Selby and Kevin Tolar
2003 – Cubs lost Game 7 of the NLCS to the Marlins 9-6 and the series four games to three.
2003 – Cubs granted free agency to Willie Banks, Midre Cummings, Craig Dingman, Mike Mahoney, Keith McDonald, Rudy Seanez and Justin Kaye
2002 – Cubs granted free agency to Kimera Bartee, Mark Budzinski, Mario Encarnacion, Ben Ford, Chris Gissell, Brandon Kolb, Mickey Lopez, Julio Zuleta and Marc Wilkins
2002 – Cubs released Wilfredo Rodriguez
2001 – Cubs granted free agency to Todd Dunwoody, Ben Ford, Rick Short and Rob Stanifer
2000 – Cubs granted free agency to Brendan Donnelly, Mike Mahoney and David Manning
1999 – Cubs granted free agency to Robin Jennings, Sandy Martinez, Bry Nelson and Brad Woodall
1999 – Cubs released Gary Gaetti
1997 – Cubs selected Jason Hardtke off waivers from the Mets
1996 – Cubs granted free agency to Brian Dorsett, Todd Haney, Hector Ortiz, Mike Perez, Carlos Pulido, Terry Shumpert, Taynon Sturtze and Roberto Rivera
1995 – Cubs granted free agency to Manny Martinez
1994 – Cubs granted free agency to Mark Grace, Todd Haney, Mark Sharperson, Craig Worthington and Mark Lee. Mark Grace re-signed with the Cubs as a free agent on April 7, 1995.
1990 – Cubs granted free agency to Kevin Blakenship and Pat Sheridan
1988 – Cubs granted free agency to Bob Tewksbury
1984 – Cubs granted free agency to Bill Earley and Tom Filer
1983 – Cubs granted free agency to Scot Thompson
1982 – Cubs traded Herman Segelke to the Giants to Alan Hargesheimer
1922 – Cubs selected Bob Barrett from Little Rock in the Rule 5 Draft
1922 – Cubs selected Ed Stauffer from Bridgeport in the Rule 5 Draft
1922 – Cubs won their first City Series in 13 years after Grover Cleveland Alexander shut out the White Six 2-0 in the seventh game in front of 32,000 at Comiskey Park. Hack Miller drove in Ray Grimes with the first and winning run in the sixth inning.
1909 – Cubs won the City Series, four games to one. Mordecai Brown held the White Sox to one hit and the Cubs held on to a 1-0 victory at West Side Grounds.
1885 – Cubs scored three runs in the sixth inning and took a 5-4 lead over the Browns in the second game of the Championship Series at St. Louis. The game is called after the sixth inning and forfeited to the Cubs 9-0 after the Browns stomped off the field in protest of umpire Dan Sullivan.