Tonight’s NL Wild Card Game features two teams I saw in person last month. Actually, I saw the Pirates play once in Pittsburgh and then again in Milwaukee a few days later. They won the former and lost the latter, so I really can’t make any comments about how good or bad they are. As far as I’m concerned they’re just as likely to tie tonight’s game as win or lose. I’ve taken a few statistics classes over the years and the most important thing I learned was that you literally never can guess anything based on historical results. Hell, the entire nature of physics could spontaneously collapse and we’d never even notice. I digress.
The Pirates claim to be running out Gerrit Cole to start tonight’s game. In my experience that’s a very poor decision since I sat mortified as poor Gerrit got smacked around for 4 runs in the first two innings of the game in Milwaukee. I’ll get to the North Siders in a minute, but let me just say if the Cubs team I saw that week shows up to face ol’ Gerrit then, well, this might be the saddest athletic exhibition in history. Anyway, Pedro Alvarez hit home runs in both games I saw, so expect far more of that. My conservative estimate is 3 pinch hit homers from Pedro tonight. Andrew McCutchen homered in the game I attended in Pittsburgh so he might hit two or three tonight too. It depends on the wind and rotation of the Earth, so it’s always a possibility.
Now, the team you all came here to read about: the Chicago White Sox! Lord, I hope the team I watched pretend to be the home team at Wrigley Field was the White Sox because whoever it was has no chance tonight. Look at that box score! Aroldis Chapman (a fine athlete with very respectable speed, but still a relief pitcher) scored from first base after reaching on an error! Expect more of that tonight. 6 runs scored by Aroldis Chapman, minimum. I’m not sure how he’ll end up playing in tonight’s game, but I’ve heard the NL Central was incredibly strong this year. Regardless, this Cubs team is going to play baseball. They’re really just gonna go out there and play a baseball. Kobe Bryant had a pretty great year. In retrospect, it was a great idea to give him a couple of weeks to get used to playing baseball back in April before they called him up to the bigs. Kobe doesn’t strike me as the type to have played much baseball as a kid. Good luck tonight, Kobe. Hope that repaired Achilles tendon is still holding together.
There, you’re all ready to watch tonight’s baseball game.