I like to do some prognosticating on this site. Sometimes I get it right because I know everything worth knowing, and sometimes I get it wrong because — like the Beastie Boys — my crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear. And this time I was right on the money.
Two weeks ago, in a piece bemoaning the high strikeout rate for the Cubs this year, I wrote the following:
This means that at some point — probably the last week of the season — the Cubs will hit the 1,000 differential, for the first time in the National League’s long history.
Like Rod Stewart once sang, tonight’s the night for that to come to pass. The Cubs are sitting at a +995 differential between strikeouts and walks, and fanning five times (or six or seven, if there are some walks involved) should be child’s play for the Cubs tonight.
As the Cardinals are trying to wrap up the divisional title that I also foresaw back in March, they still have something to play for. They won’t let up on the Cubs, by any means. I’m thus expecting double-digit strikeouts tonight, and one of those ones will push the Cubs into a region where no National League team has ever been before.
So I’ve decided to have some fun with this event. If anyone reading this wants to play along, please do. In the comments section, leave the name of the Cubs player who will be the victim of the +1,000th strikeout this year, which inning it will happen in, and whether it will be swinging or looking. I’m taking Arismendy Alcantra, in the fifth inning, swinging. It has a bit of a Clue feel about it, doesn’t it? And “Alcantra in the fifth, swinging” sounds like either a bet at the racetrack or a funky mixed drink, too.
If anyone gets it right, or even comes reasonably close, I send them some fun baseball things from my personal collection. It won’t have much in the way of monetary value, but it will be a little something for your trouble and your prescience.
I have created a hashtag on Twitter for the event, as well. Follow #Cubs+1K tonight, as I try my hand at live-tweeting the historic moment. It’s sad that I’m going to these lengths to essentially commemorate the most basic failure there is in baseball. But when a pennant race isn’t available, you do whatever you can, and hope that it will never happen again.