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NLDS mailbag: Cubs trying too hard?

NLDS mailbag: Cubs trying too hard?

I love the fact that all the Cubs players are saying, "I think everyone is trying too hard." Pitcher Ted Lilly says, "I think I was overthrowing." Well, what's wrong with this picture? I thought the Cubs have the experienced players who have been to a series championship or been in the playoffs before. The Diamondbacks are a team with young, inexperienced players who should be the ones trying too hard. Why should we expect so much from this "trying too hard" team?
-- David S., Auburn, Ind.

I say try less. Give 38 percent. Only push yourself so far. Hey, can it really hurt the Cubs at this point? Only kidding, of course, as I'm sure the Wrigley Field faithful on Saturday will be looking for much more effort. Honestly, though, I think the "trying too hard" line is baloney. It's about producing, and Chicago hasn't done much of it while Arizona has. It is really that simple. This is a short series (best-of-five), and you have got to produce right away. For the record, I gave a solid 68 percent on this reply. Yes, I can do much better.

I coordinate the baseball section of the newspaper Diario de Yucatan in Merida, Mexico. Do you know if Edgar Gonzalez was included on the Diamondbacks' roster for the series against the Cubs? What is your opinion about him? Also, what do you think has been the key for them in this successful season, and what do the D-backs need to do to finish the Cubs?
-- Antonio Bargas, Yucatan, Merida, Mexico

Hola, Antonio. Thanks for writing. Gonzalez did make the postseason roster. From what I understand, the Diamondbacks really like his arm and his ability to start or pitch in relief. I'm not sure how many opportunities he'll get to pitch in these playoffs, though he does have more than just a strong right arm going for him -- he might have the best hair in the playoffs. Have you seen his mop? It's impressive. It's kind of a throwback cut -- free flowing, not much product. Not really my style but, hey, whatever works, right? As for what Arizona needs to do to put away the Cubs, I would say stick with the plan. Getting good starting pitching and a few timely hits seems to have worked just fine.

I'm a Diamondbacks fan. I was wondering how they got to the playoffs. Where did they get the good players?
-- Chris Z., Phoenix

Let me tackle these in order so I don't miss anything.

1. Hi back, glad to hear you're a fan of the D-backs. I'm a fan of Guster, peanut butter toast and Marriott points, just in case you're wondering.

2. How did the Diamondbacks get to the playoffs? It's talent, and I don't really care if the players are 22, 42 or 82, though that might be a little weird. I get tired of the whole thing about this team "arriving too soon" or their "lack of experience." Again, who cares? They're here, and who is to say they'll ever get back?

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3. Where did they get the good players? Through free agency and trades, but most of all, and this is what impresses me the most: A lot of these players are homegrown, the products of good scouting. Other teams should take notice of what they've done.

Hi, I am 13 years old from Interlachen, Fla., near Gainesville and Palatka. I have been a Cubs fan forever and I was just wondering what your opinion was on how much of a chance the Cubs had of coming back to the win the NLDS.
-- Karmen E., Interlachen, Fla.


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Who's going to win this series? Who's the best player? Why'd the manager make that move? If game stories and features aren't enough for you and you want more, e-mail MLB.com's Corey Brock at corey.brock@mlb.com. After the game, before it, even while the action is going on. Send in your question (make sure the subject line contains NLDS Mailbag), and Brock will answer selected queries in a mailbag right here on MLB.com.

Hey Karmen. Thanks for clearing up where Interlachen is, as here I was thinking that it was in the Swiss Alps. Silly me. Anyway, glad to hear you're behind the Cubbies. They need your support right about now. I hate to burst your bubble, but down 2-0 in the best-of-five series, well, it doesn't look promising. Best-of-nine series? Maybe, though that would mean facing Brandon Webb more.

Someone get this message to Lou Piniella. I know he plans on starting Rich Hill in Game 3. After the Cubs win Game 3, Lou needs to surprise everyone and start Kerry Wood in Game 4. We all know that Kerry is a big-game performer. I know he hasn't started all year, but I know he has one in him.
-- Terence S., Chicago

Sure, I'll run that right over to Lou right now, as I'm sure that he is open for suggestions from the public or from a reporter like myself. I'll get back to you on that. As for Wood on the mound, I completely agree. But only if it was 2003 and not 2007. Maybe Lou has a time machine. That might be a better question to ask him.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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