It’s Different This Time

Yes, I’m saddened that the Chicago Cubs season ended with a thud on Thursday night, but now that there’s a title in the bag, the ending feels different.

For one, their opponent was the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The question entering the postseason was whether the 91-39 Dodgers of the first 130 games or the 13-19 Bums of the final month would show up.  Ask any Diamondbacks fan to confirm, it’s the former.  .The Dodgers have now won seven of eight playoff games. 
 
For another, the Cubs are still very much a work in progress.
Consider the data.
 
Age 23
Albert Almora Jr. 1.0 WAR
Addison Russell 2.0 WAR
 
Age 24
Javier Baez 2.9 WAR
Kyle Schwarber 0 WAR (but 30 HR)
 
Age 25
Carl Edwards Jr. 1.5 WAR
Willson Contreras 3.9 WAR
Kris Bryant 6.1 WAR
 
And oh yeah, Age 22, Ian Happ 1.8 WAR
 
Other key performers like Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Hendricks, and Jason Heyward are all younger than 29.
 
All the position players appeared in 115 games or more.  Edwards, the principal set up man appeared in 73 games and Hendricks made 24 starts.
 
For another this is a season where lots of things went wrong.  Russell and Schwarber didn’t hit til August.  Baez struggled in the first half too.  Every pitcher in the rotation both struggled and spent time on the DL.  The team never really settled on a fifth starter until the Quintana trade in July.
 
And yet 92-70.  49-25 after the break.  
 
They just ran into a buzzsaw
Wait til next year isn’t defiant optimism anymore; it’s a logical projection.
Chicago_Cubs2
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About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at thejoyofcheese.blogspot.com. In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and www.theroot.com. I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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