For the first time since 2008, the Chicago Cubs are heading to the postseason. This year, the Cubs will be playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card game.
Close to two months ago, I wrote an article saying that I do believe the Cubs will make the postseason, but I do not believe they will make it to the World Series this year. During the course of those two months, the Cubs have definitely exceeded my expectations. In the beginning, I thought they were going to be a Wild Card team that was going to win 85ish games, get a Wild Card spot, and surprise some people in the playoffs.
Now, as of October 1st, the Cubs have the third best record in the majors, but are only third in the National League Central. I am just shocked at how tough their division actually is, and the fact that they could be leading ANY OTHER division in baseball right now. Their relatively young team has outplayed some of the game’s best, showing the world that they are coming and they are going to be good for years to come. One of those teams included in there is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who the Cubs will be competing against in the 2015 National League Wild Card game.
Most likely, we will be seeing Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs going up against Gerrit Cole of the Pittsburgh Pirates. These are two of the best pitchers in the game going against each other under the bright lights of postseason baseball, and matching them with two high powered offenses, this will surely be “Game of the Year” material. But if I had to pick a winning pitcher to come out of this game, I would have to pick Arrieta because of the incredible run he has been on. Jake Arrieta has an ERA of 0.43 and 0.45 in the months of August and September respectively, and has an ERA of 0.75 against the Pirates this year. Not taking anything away from Gerrit Cole, because he is a phenomenal pitcher, but Arrieta has without question been the more dominant pitcher of the two. When it comes down to it, I see Jake Arrieta walking into the NL Wild Card game, under the bright lights, and showing the world why he should be mentioned among the leagues best.
But Arrieta can’t do it alone, the Chicago Cubs bats needs to get after Gerrit Cole early and not let up. If not, Gerrit Cole has the talent to shut games down AND the postseason experience that will “hopefully” keep him calm under pressure. One key player that will need to help contribute to this game for the Cubs is Jorge Soler. Soler, who just recently came back September 18th after a stint on the DL, has only been hitting .217 in the month of September. This .217 average of his is significantly down from his average during the month of August of .284. Now depending on how Joe Maddon decides to play Soler and his fellow outfielder Chris Coghlan remains to be seen, but Soler needs to be ready whenever his number is called and bring that “August” Jorge with him. He’s got great power to make an impact in the game, but he needs to show it when it matters.
Overall, with the way the Cubs have been playing this year, I can definitely say that I believe! I believe that this game is going to be a classic, and I believe the Cubs have a great chance to make a serious impact in the playoffs. The intensity of this game will be electric, and the players will surely be fired up. All in all, the Cubs have the talent and the ability to beat the Pirates, they just need to bring it. So, to all of the baseball fans out there, get ready for Wednesday!
Elias Sports Bureau. “Gerrit Cole.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/32081>.
Elias Sports Bureau. “Jake Arrieta.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/30145/jake-arrieta>.
Elias Sports Bureau. “Jorge Soler.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/gamelog/_/id/32558/jorge-soler>.