The Rundown: Eddie Van Halen Passes, Iapoce on Hot Seat, Astros One Game From ALCS, Stanton Goes Deep Again

Before I get started, I have to wish godspeed to Eddie Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020), the heir to Jimi Hendrix. His guitar riffs will always be a warm reminder of the 1984 Cubs, making that fantastic season all the more special. We all remember the Cubs running out to field their positions with Jump being played (yes, that was Eddie on that opening synthesizer, too), and though his solo on the bridge of that song is so on point, it was a far cry from the mastery he displayed in so many wonderfully loud and legendary performances.

The word “incendiary” is thrown around far too loosely by rock critics, but if any guitarist is the definition of that type of white-hot intensity, it’s Van Halen.

How about a six-pack of some of my favorite EVH guitar solos?

  1. Eruption/You Really Got Me
  2. Panama (a love song to his favorite car, a Plymouth Panama Prowler)
  3. Runnin’ With the Devil
  4. Girl Gone Bad
  5. Right Now
  6. Poundcake

As a guitarist, Mr. Van Halen ranks among the best of all-time, including rarified axemen Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The world is a sadder place this morning and, for all of us who remember that 1984 Cubs season so fondly, just a little bit smaller.

Cubs News & Notes

Apropos of Nothing

Did you prefer the David Lee Roth iteration of Van Halen or the years with Sammy Hagar? I’m probably in the minority but I thought Eddie and Sammy complemented each other perfectly.

Odds & Sods

We used to play a game called Would You Rather, a game familiar to many, I’m sure. Would you rather the Astros win the 2020 World Series or be forced to do a fully nude strip tease every time you hear “Take Me Out to the Ballgame?”

Postseason Potables

Yes, the Astros now have a commanding 2-0 lead over the A’s in their best-of-five ALDS and Oakland needs a win today to avoid elimination. Houston has reached the ALCS in three straight years, winning the World Series in 2017. George Springer hit two long flies in yesterday’s 5-2 win, passing Babe Ruth on the all-time postseason home run list.

The Rays and Yankees are tied 1-1 in their series after Tampa Bay outlasted the Bronx Bombers 7-5. Tyler Glasnow punched out 10 New York batters and the Rays got home runs from Randy Arozarena, Mike Zunino, Manuel Margot, and Austin Meadows.

Bad blood between the Marlins and Braves resurfaced yesterday as Ronald Acuña Jr. was hit by a Sandy Alcantara fastball in the 3rd inning with the Marlins up 4-1. The center fielder had homered to lead off the game in his previous at-bat and celebrated by flipping his bat. The Braves came back to win the game 9-5.

Thanks in large part to 10 free passes, the Dodgers jumped up 1-0 on the Padres in their division series with a 5-1 win. San Diego starter Mike Clevinger made it only two pitches into the 2nd inning before leaving with the same elbow injury that sidelined him during the first round.

How About That!

After the game, Acuña, who became the youngest player (22 years, 293 days old) in postseason history with a leadoff home run, tweeted that “they have to hit me because they can’t get me out.”

Giancarlo Stanton smashed two more home runs last night, the second of which was the hardest-hit tater in six seasons.

Houston starter Zack Greinke is hurt and will not be able to take his turn in the rotation for today’s potential clincher. José Urquidy will take the bump in his place.

Dusty Baker is a beloved manager leading America’s most-hated baseball team.

On Deck

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History special “Is Rock ‘n’ Roll All About Reinvention?” featuring Mr. Van Halen with Denise Quan is a must see if you have an hour to spare.

Extra Innings

This is genuinely unbelievable.

They Said It

  • “[Poor hitting] was not from lack of effort, it was not from lack of attempted adjustments or lack of creativity. We’ll go through our normal process. We have not had exit interviews yet. Given how hard it was on everyone to be away from their families, we didn’t keep everyone around a couple extra days to have exit interviews. We told everyone to get back with their families as soon as possible and as safely as possible and to take a week to digest the season. Then we would have some Zoom exit interviews going forward. We have to hear from Rossy. I know as a general rule he was thrilled by the work of the coaching staff while also recognizing where we fell short. We’ll put our heads together on that and move forward.” – Theo Epstein

Wednesday Walk Up Song

Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler – Somebody wake up and derail the Astros.

BTW, props to Tyler in this video for covering all the signature interpretive moves: two-handed reach for the sun, shoulder shimmy, semi-reverse waterfall, exasperating drop-to-the-knees followed by the salvation-lean-back, and the exploding supernova.

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