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The Cub Factor: Joe Blows!

Is the magic man with the Midas touch managing tight?

Sure seems that way!

After sitting Jason Heyward against Madison Bumgarner in the Giants series in a game the Cubs seemed a bit wigged out about, Joe Maddon let Heyward bat against Clayton Kershaw with two on Sunday night in the only shot the team had at breaking through against the Dodgers ace.

Hey Joe, try to not let the pressure exceed the pleasure!

Maddon also continues to stubbornly misuse Aroldis Chapman, insisting the otherwise-dominant closer enter dirty eighth innings for which he clearly isn't built.

Hey Joe, try not to suck!

This is not time for Joe Cool to lose his, um, cool.

Hey Joe, try not to be John Fox!

I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but break out the onesies! Stick with the formula. It works. And the only way to keep your players and your fans from panicking is to not do so yourself.

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The Week in Review: The Cubs closed out the Giants in Game 4 of the league division series after losing Game 3, and opened the league championship series with a split of games against the Dodgers at Wrigley. So they went 2-2 for the week. That's kind of middling!

The Week in Preview: Three games in LA before coming home to break fans' hearts at Wrigley.

Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. In fact, Szczur isn't even on the roster for this series, giving way to the relatively surging Albert Almora. In the Cubs' 13-inning loss to the Giants in Game 3 of the NLDS, Jorge Soler started in left, to be followed by Ben Zobrist, who started in right, Chris Coghlan and Willy Contreras. In right, Zobrist was followed by Jason Heyward and Albert Almora. In Game 4, Zobrist started in left and moved to second; he was replaced by Contreras. Heyward started in right and moved to center; he was replaced by Soler. Almora then pinch-hit. Or something like that. In Game 1 against the Dodgers, Zobrist played the whole game in left and Heyward played the whole game in right. Same for Game 2 against the Dodgers, when Maddon inexplicably didn't pinch-hit for Heyward with two on in the one opportunity the Cubs had to break through against Clayton Kershaw, even though Maddon sat Heyward against Madison Bumgarner in the Giants' series.

Annoying Former Cub of the Week: Dusty Baker.

Annoying Current Cub of the Week: Joe Maddon.

Mad(don) Scientist: When the mad scientist goes too far.

Kubs Kalendar: The first 45,000 fans attending Sunday's Game 7 at Wrigley Field will get a free helping of heartburn.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the Cubs are quite capable of losing this series.

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