No, this is not a Whitney Houston quiz. (But feel free to sing to yourself. I said to yourself! Stop bothering everyone else in the house). As always, our quiz is about baseball, which has more great moments than all the other sports put together. I was thinking about the fans in Seattle, Philadelphia and Cleveland who experienced the long-sought and, in some cases, unexpected moment of hosting a postseason game.
And it got me thinking about the 42,386 fans who, on this date just six years ago, were at Wrigley Field when the Cubs defeated the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS and sent their team on its way to the World Series for the first time since 1945. That’s how I got thinking about that team and other Chicago players and managers and great moments that are part of baseball’s rich history.
So while the rest of baseball is focused on the postseason, let’s enjoy our head start on the offseason and seize that one moment in time. As I said to my kids every day as they left for school, “Have fun, and learn a lot.”
1. The Cubs beat the Dodgers 5-0 in that Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS. Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman were magnificent, combining to face the minimum 27 batters in nine innings. Who was the losing pitcher for the Dodgers?
a. Julio Urias
b. Kenta Maeda
c. Joe Blanton
d. Clayton Kershaw
2. Dick Donovan pitched for the White Sox in the 1959 World Series and was the last Sox pitcher to have a postseason hit. Pitcher Mike Montgomery had a hit for the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS. But was he the last Cubs pitcher to have a hit? If not him, who was it?
a. Mike Montgomery
b. Jon Lester
c. Jake Arrieta
d. Jose Quintana
3. In the 2016 postseason, Jason Heyward came to the plate 50 times. He drew one walk and was hit by a pitch. He also was a menace on the basepaths. In his 48 at-bats, did he have more hits or more stolen bases?
a. More hits
b. More steals
c. The same
4. Since the 2016 season, who has more regular-season wins, the Cubs or White Sox?
5. In 2016, Todd Frazier led Chicago with 40 homers for the Sox. Right behind him, Kris Bryant had 39 for the Cubs. Since that season, who has led Chicago in homers?
a. Kris Bryant
b. Jose Abreu
c. Javy Baez
d. Anthony Rizzo
6. Who was the World Series MVP in 2016?
a. Kyle Schwarber
b. David Ross
c. Anthony Rizzo
d. Ben Zobrist
7. David Ross played his final game in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Rossy homered in his final at-bat (he walked in his final plate appearance). He hit the homer off a former teammate. Who was the pitcher?
a. David Robertson
b. Andrew Miller
c. Bryan Shaw
d. Jake Peavy
8. In 2016, David Robertson led Chicago with 37 saves for the Sox. Hector Rondon led the Cubs. Since that season, who has led Chicago in saves?
a. Liam Hendriks
b. David Robertson
c. Alex Colome
d. Wade Davis
9. Speaking of closers, which Chicago reliever won the Cy Young Award, is credited with perfecting the split-finger fastball, became the only pitcher to lead the National League in saves five times (1979-1982, 1984) and was the first pitcher ever elected to the Hall of Fame who had never started a game?
a. Bruce Sutter
b. Bruce Sutter
c. Bruce Sutter
d. Bruce Sutter
1. Clayton Kershaw won Game 2 (1-0) but lost Game 6.
2. On Oct. 18, 2017, Jake Arrieta singled, and that might be the last hit ever by a Chicago pitcher (unless we get Shohei Ohtani).
3. In the NLDS, Heyward went 1-for-12 (.083) with no steals. In the NLCS, he went 1-for-16 (.063) with no steals. In the World Series, Heyward went 3-for-20 (.150) with four steals. He totaled five hits in 48 at-bats (.104) with four steals.
4. Starting in 2017, the Cubs are 450-421 (.517), and the Sox are 410-459 (.472). Together, they are 860-880 (.494).
5. Starting in 2017, Aaron Judge has led all of baseball with 216 homers. Kris Bryant has 95 home runs. Anthony Rizzo has 105 homers. Javy Baez has 116 dingers. Jose Abreu has gone deep 152 times.
6. Kyle Schwarber hit .452. David Ross hit .400. Anthony Rizzo hit .360. My favorite Swiss Army knife, World Series MVP Ben Zobrist, hit .357, without a home run, but with two doubles and a triple. One of those doubles delivered the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of the Cubs’ deciding 8-7 victory over Cleveland.
7. Thank you for indulging me, but I love questions like this. Ross homered off Andrew Miller of Cleveland. They were teammates with the Red Sox in 2013-14.
8. Starting in 2017, David Robertson totaled 27 saves for the Sox. Alex Colome had 42. Wade Davis had 32. And Liam Hendriks has totaled 75 with only 10 blown saves.
9. In 1977 with the Cubs, Bruce Sutter had an ERA of 1.34. In 1979, he won the NL Cy Young with 37 saves and an ERA of 2.22. With the Cardinals, his best year was in 1984, when he set the NL record with 45 saves and had a 1.54 ERA. His former manager Whitey Herzog said of him, “He was the Sandy Koufax of relievers.” Sutter died Oct. 13 at age 69.
Coming next week, filled with scary numbers and people, my annual Halloween quiz. Because it would be silly to do it twice a year.