Playoff Prospectus: Put Away Your Brooms

The piece previewed here, written by BP Wrigleyville’s Clarissa Young, forms part of the main site’s comprehensive coverage of the playoffs, “Playoff Prospectus.” Additional Game Three coverage, exclusive to BP Wrigleyville, can be found here, under the name “Second City October”.

It was supposed to be a pitchers’ duel, and at the very beginning, there was a hint of that sheen. Game 3 looked early on like the sort of tight contest that perhaps would cause you to squint hard, watching for tiny hairline cracks to appear in each ace’s performance.

Jake Arrieta’s sinker and slider were dancing with a combination of movement and velocity he hadn’t commanded in a little while, and he wielded them to the effect of three fanned in the first. But you had to wonder: would the 21 pitches required of him prove too high a cost? Then, Addison Russelland Javier Baez reached base against a determined Madison Bumgarner in the second, working their way back from 0-2 counts. This seemed to portend that, through patience, the Cubs could chase the Giants lefty much earlier than the ninth inning this time out, right?

Toss those questions out. This was not a game of subtleties which culminated in the San Francisco Giants winning their 10th straight elimination game, tipping the series to 2-1. It was a wild evening of improbabilities and chaos.

A tiny crack became a fracture, which abruptly opened into a chasm in the night’s first defining moment, a soaring left-field home run off Bumgarner by none other than Arrieta, scoring Russell and Baez to put the Cubs up 3-0 and put to pasture every notion that this would be a normal game. In what has felt like an outright declaration of war against the DH, Cubs pitchers at that point were responsible for six of their team’s nine Division Series runs.


To read the rest of the piece, please head on over to the main site.

Lead photo courtesy John Hefti—USA Today Sports.

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