Ex-Cubs Making a Hard-Hitting Mark in October – NBC Chicago


New ex-Cubs factor? Find out who is the original October headliner on NBC Sports Chicago

Who knew the Cubs could leave such a big mark in the playoffs despite missing out on a playoff berth by 19 games?

As the Cubs sit at home in October after a 91-losing season, the former Cubs show up and have decisive influences in the opening rounds.

Heck, one of their former managers, who missed his World Series qualification by five strikeouts, has already clinched his second consecutive spot in the ALCS.

With five teams remaining, heading into Game 5 of the NLDS, 12 ex-Cubs remain in the playoffs, including three that had major impacts on the teams still alive.

Kris bryant is 6-for-13 with a homerun in the NLDS for the Giants – tied with 2015 for his third most hits in a single playoff. He started at four different positions in the NLDS: the three outfield spots and first base.

Kyle schwarber is 6-for-19 with a pair of circuits. The former helped the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game; the second came in Game 3 of Boston’s ALDS victory over the Rays.

Joc pederson almost exclusively pinch-hit this playoff for the Braves, but made the most of those home plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two homers.

He provided the Braves’ full offense in their NLDS Game 3 win over the Brewers via a three-run homerun.

Then there is Dusty baker, whose Astros have reached a fifth consecutive ALCS this week. He’s on the hunt for his first World Series title as a manager in a career that already has it in the Hall of Fame conversation.

Maybe ultimately breaking the Billy Goat Curse also broke the ex-Cubs jinx made famous by Mike Royko – if you had more than two Cubs on your roster, you were doomed.

Now it seems the more ex-Cubs in October the happier.

And that’s not even close to all the ex-Cubs who might have more to say this fall.

-San Francisco Tommy La Stella reached base in half of his four-game NLDS plate appearances, going 3 for 8 with a pair of walks.

-Atlanta Jesse chavez allowed no runs and one hit in two NLDS appearances. Jorge soler, who tested positive for COVID-19 this week, could be back in the NLCS.

-Left-handed brakes Drawn Smyly did not pitch in the NLDS. He missed out on all of 2018 with the Cubs as he recovered from Tommy John surgery,

-Atlanta Terrance Gore has five stolen bases in 10 career playoff games, including one in the 2018 NL Wild Card Game in which he went on to score the tie late.

Kendall graveman, who missed all of 2019 with the Cubs because of Tommy John, is the Houston setup man in a reliever box also featuring Brooks raley.

Martin Maldonado is influential in the Astros’ run prevention and achieved an RBI single in Houston’s win over the White Sox

And then there’s the old Cubs who’ve already been knocked out, a roster that includes players who have made the Division Series headlines.

Antoine Rizzo went 1-for-4 with a home run in the loss to the Yankees’ AL Wild Card Game. Pederson hit a home run in the NLDS with one of Rizzo’s bats.

-Former Cubs prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan ceases were eliminated in the ALDS with the White Sox. Another former Cubs farm worker, Billy McKinney, is on the Los Angeles NLDS list.

Ryan tepera made headlines in the ALDS for controversial comments, but allowed just one run with three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings with the Sox. Craig kimbrel fought in the series against Houston.

None of this counts for a potential future Hall of Famer Jon lester, who was not on the Cardinals’ roster when they lost to the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card Game.

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