Chicago Cubs could clinch postseason berth this weekend
By David Miniel
Following an off-day, the Chicago Cubs will welcome in the Pittsburgh Pirates who just recently clinched their third consecutive postseason berth on Wednesday after defeating the Colorado Rockies.
While the Cubs failed to complete the three-game sweep of the last-place Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco’s loss to the San Diego Padres that night lowered their magic number down to two games.
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And now, it’s down to one.
It’s only a matter of time until social media and stations such as ESPN and or MLB Network begin talking about this young club who entered the year with high expectations.
And by talking about them, I mean mentioning the fact that they locked up their first playoff berth since the 2008 campaign. The same year they won the N.L. Central but fell four games to none at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Still, punching a ticket to October baseball is only the beginning — they still need to get past either the Pirates or St. Louis Cardinals in a one game playoff depending on how the rest of the season plays out. Who knows, they could end up winning the divisions themselves.
Taking a look at this weekend’s match-ups, the Bucs are not going to make it easy on Joe Maddon.
Today will feature southpaw Jon Lester going up against Gerrit Cole, Saturday will have Jason Hammel and Francisco Liriano and Sunday’s series finale will have Chicago’s ace on the mound opposite A.J. Burnett.
The last time Lester squared off against Pittsburgh, he threw his first complete game as a member of the Cubs and even recorded his first pick-off in over three years. Hopefully, that pitcher will show up as he’ll need to give it all he’s got and more with Cole on the mound for the Pirates.
You’d like to have the Cubs reduce their magic number to zero by Friday’s series opener against Pittsburgh, but San Francisco and Washington could make it easy for them as well.
Chicago needs to spark that offense that gave this team trouble in their previous three meetings. Anthony Rizzo and the rest of this powerful lineup failed to back Kyle Hendricks on Wednesday until Jorge Soler clubbed his 10th home run of the season.
Let’s wrap this up so we can all celebrate.
Here’s more from around the league:
‘Cubbies Crib seeks new writers, Cubs fans‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘BREAKING NEWS: James Paxton leaves game‘ – SoDo MoJo
‘Pittsburgh Pirates rally in eighth, sweep Colorado Rockies‘ – Rum Bunter
‘Spring Training in 2016 will be crucial for Oakland Athletics‘ – Swingin’ A’s
‘Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies‘ – Rox Pile