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This You Gotta See: Cubs-Cards, Sox-Tribe and Bears (hopefully) running all day on Skins

The only thing worse than the Redskins’ 30th-ranked rushing offense? Their 31st-ranked rushing defense. Where we come from, that sounds like a heck of an easy game plan for X’s-and-O’s wizard Matt Nagy. It goes something like this: Hut, hike, handoff. Run the ball, man! [Cue another 45 passing attempts by Mitch Trubisky.]

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Nico Hoerner and bullpen additions have impressed, could be in mix for prominent roles in 2020

Cubs extra: Is Wick a future closer? Are Ryan and Wieck reliable enough setup men?

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Longtime Wrigley Field organist Gary Pressy reflects on more than 3 decades worth of Cubs memories

After all his years of service, Gary Pressy, 61, has decided to take his final bow and will retire after this season.

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Finding the Cubs’ 2020 vision through 2019 disappointment

Failures to adequately address frontline roster needs last winter, along with several late-season injuries, have led to discovering important — if unexpected — keys for the Cubs’ roster plans for next year.

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Cubs right-hander Alec Mills shines in defeat

On a tense Friday at Wrigley Field when his manager hoped to squeeze anywhere from three to — absolute best case — five innings out of him, Mills, a 27-year-old still largely unfamiliar to Cubs fans, delivered with 4 2/3 scoreless innings. The Cubs lost 2-1.

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Will Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo keep playing in pain? ‘I play baseball. Leave it on the field.’

The good news for the Cubs was that Rizzo got to Cardinals starter Michael Wacha right away with a leadoff walk in the first inning. The bad news was that it left Rizzo at first base, a long, lonely way from home for a guy playing on a sprained right ankle.

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Cardinals drive another nail into Cubs’ coffin with 2-1 victory at Wrigley Field

A Cubs team that’s about a million miles from its best self played a game it had to win Friday at Wrigley Field. It didn’t go so well.

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Storybook interrupted: Anthony Rizzo’s dramatic return, 9th-inning comeback not enough for Cubs

Matt Carpenter’s 10th inning homer off just-activated closer Craig Kimbrel lifted the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory in the opener of a four-game series that could define the Cubs’ season.

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Anthony Rizzo pulls off shocker, returns to Cubs’ lineup four days after ‘season-ending’ ankle injury

The first baseman was cleared to play and added to the lineup less than an hour before the Cubs opened a critical four-game series Thursday against the Cardinals.

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‘It’s never easy,’ say Cubs after making road to playoffs steeper with 10-inning loss to Reds

Marty Brennaman’s fourth-place Reds got six one-hit innings from a pitcher with a 5.11 ERA and a run in the 10th off shaky Cubs rookie James Norwood for a 3-2 victory that gave the Reds their fourth series win in six tries against the Cubs this year.

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Deal him in? ‘Strong possibility’ Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel will be activated for Cards series opener

After a heavy bullpen night in Wednesday’s 10-inning loss to the Reds, the Cubs expected Kimbrel to return to the bullpen Thursday after being sidelined more than two weeks because of a sore elbow.

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High stakes Cards games: Looks like all or nothing for Cubs and Cardinals down stretch

With seven of the last 10 games of the season against division-leading St. Louis, the Cubs have a chance to win the division if they do well — or get knocked all the way out of the wild-card chase if they don’t.

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With the Cards coming to town, the Cubs need something special to make the playoffs. Anybody seen special lately?

Given the softness of the Brewers’ remaining schedule, taking three of four from the Cardinals at Wrigley seems almost mandatory.

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Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel appears close to return from injured list after an ‘encouraging’ simulated game

The seven-time All-Star hasn’t pitched since Sept. 1 because of elbow soreness. But he might be ready to pitch as the Cubs face the Cardinals in seven of their final 10 games, perhaps just in time to help a team that lost 4-2 to the Reds on Tuesday.

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Twins’ Ryne Harper (yep, he’s named for him) enjoying life as a first-time big-leaguer at 30

A boy was born and given the name Ryne. Against all odds, that boy made it all the way to the Show. What’s left? A ring would be amazing. Another few seasons in the majors would be the ultimate. And a moment — just a handshake and a few words — with the Cubs great Ryne Sandberg? That would be mighty fine, too.

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After getting hit in the head by a pitch, Addison Russell is hit in the pocketbook by the Cubs

By putting him on the concussion injured list, the Cubs won’t have to pay Russell a $100,000 contract bonus.

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Cubs ride bullpen to victory as they await possible return of closer Craig Kimbrel this week

The seven-time All-Star has a simulated game scheduled Tuesday that could be the final step in returning from the injured list in time to face the Cards this weekend.

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Cubs expect to be without Anthony Rizzo for rest of September push for playoff berth

The three-time All-Star appears to have avoided surgery after Monday’s MRI on his right ankle, but he’ll be in a walking boot until next week.

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Kris Bryant’s first five seasons are impressive, but let’s put them in some perspective

His numbers and where they rank on the Cubs’ all-time list at this stage of his career merit a closer look.

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is likely done for the regular season

He won’t need surgery on his injured ankle, but the most realistic timeline would have Rizzo return for the National League Championship Series, if the Cubs get that far into the playoffs.

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Kris Bryant surpasses Ernie Banks’ five-year home-run mark

Bryant has 138 career homers, the most by any Cubs player in his first five seasons in the majors. Ernie Banks had the previous record with 136.

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Cubs gain ground on Cardinals but lose Anthony Rizzo to sprained ankle

The first baseman will undergo an MRI on Monday to learn more about the severity of the injury.

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo leaves game with right ankle injury

Rizzo will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Initial X-rays did not reveal a fracture, Cubs say.

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Cubs’ offense a hit again in rout of Pirates

The Cubs have now scored 31 runs in the two games since team president Theo Epstein called their play "uninspired" and "unacceptable."

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Cubs rookie Nico Hoerner continues hot start

The shortstop has 11 RBI in his first six games, the most by a Cubs player in that span since at least 1908.

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Cubs leadoff spot problems a case study in closer-like uniqueness of mental side of role

Ben Zobrist has a .370 on-base percentage in 21 games there this year. Until Rizzo the last two games, everyone else for the Cubs had a miserable .269 OBP there.

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Ooh, ooh, that smell: Cubs play like their hair is burning in 17-8 rout of Pirates

With their playoff hopes on the line, their individual reputations at stake and their manager twisting in the wind with regard to his employment beyond 2019, the Cubs began a can’t-screw-up stretch against the Pirates, Reds and National League Central-leading Cardinals.

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Sure, why not? Cubs’ Nico Hoerner homers on first pitch he sees at Wrigley Field

The 22-year-old shortstop has made an enormous first impression, becoming the first Cubs player to drive in eight runs in his first five games since Andy Pafko in 1943. "It’s not really what I expected I’d be doing this week," he said, "but it’s the best week of my life."

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Who needs brains? Cubs reliever Rowan Wick is too locked into ‘attack mode’ to think a lot

There’s a secret to Cubs reliever Rowan Wick’s success, you know. "I’m not very smart," he said before the Cubs’ 17-8 rout Friday of the Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. No, that’s not the end of the explanation.

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‘Whatever it takes’: Cubs beat Padres to keep share of playoff position, focus on 16-game sprint

By salvaging the four-game split with the otherwise belly-up Padres, the Cubs open a 10-game homestand Friday tied with the Brewers for the National League’s second wild-card position.

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Second chance? Nico Hoerner’s unexpected opportunity could mean 2020 vision for Cubs

With veteran Ben Zobrist’s contract expiring and Addison Russell’s future with the club in doubt, Hoerner could be in play for at least a share of next year’s second base job.

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Cubs fans have until Monday to register for postseason tickets

A random drawing will be held for the opportunity to buy single-game tickets for the NL wild card game and the National League Division Series. A $50 refundable deposit is required.