December 2, 2022

How the new playoff format informs Jed Hoyer’s vision for the Cubs

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The first round of MLB’s freshman playoff format had just ended when Cubs president Jed Hoyer sat down with the media on Monday to discuss the 2022 season and what comes next for his team.

He watched most of it with his sons, he said. And he certainly has some thoughts on the teams and matches added at the start of a format that now features three wildcard teams per league and a best-of-three wildcard round instead of the two wildcard, one-round elimination game.

Pretty much the only thing he knows for sure right now is that when his next Cubs playoff team is built, he wants it built well enough to get one of the premier passes. National League round.

And it goes back to his original opinions on the new format.

“It’s early, so we’ll see if my answer is right or not,” Hoyer said. “But my first reaction when I saw it was, ‘Oh, getting a pass is a huge plus. And I probably still support that.

“We’ll find out now if that’s the case.”

Only one of the four wildcard series over the weekend has gone the full three games. The winner of that one, Philadelphia, lost their closest (former Cub David Robertson) to a celebration-related injury, then nearly lost a big lead on the ninth Tuesday before securing a 7 win. -6 of 101 wins at Atlanta.

The Mariners, who upset the Blue Jays in Toronto after an epic Game 2 comeback, also opened up a big Game 1 lead over the Astros by 106 second-round wins – then blew it to ninth on the Yordan Alvarez three-point out. homer against ace Robbie Ray, who was pressed into high pressure relief.

“I think fatigue is going to be a factor, whether it’s in [this] round or round after that,” Hoyer said. “To win these series, you have to tax your bullpen, tax your starters. The journey is going to be real.

“We’ll see if I’m right or not.

Again, he offered those thoughts the day before those crazy Game 1 endings after Seattle traveled from Toronto to Houston and the New York Phillies to Atlanta.

It’s no wonder he talked about what his “next big Cubs team” needs to exemplify when he answered an hour of questions about his plans.

“The focus has to be on building a team that you think can play through October – starting pitcher, relief pitcher, offense, defense, a full team.

“When the streak is shortened, you definitely don’t need to have a perfect team to win the playoffs. We’ve seen that year after year,” he added.

“Our goal must be higher. Our goal should be to create one of those teams that you think has the better luck in October.

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