Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

September and contenders make for good tests

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The adage in baseball says not to judge players by what they do in spring training or September.
But this September is all about judging Cubs players as the team tries to move forward in developing a contending team for 2013.
What makes this September evaluation valid is the schedule and contending teams as opponents.
``When you're playing people who are contending, you see how they're handling situations,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``You're facing pitchers with `stuff' like a Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright or Kyle Lohse [with the Cardinals]. Or you're facing good hitters. You get to evaluate against some of the best because contenders aren't relying on September call-ups.''
Since the start of September, the Cubs have played the San Francisco Giants (going 1-2), the National League East-champion Washington Nationals (0-4), the wild card-hopeful Pittsburgh Pirates (5-2), National League Central-champion Cincinnati Reds (0-3) and wild card hopeful St. Louis Cardinals (1-0 before Saturday). They didn't match up well with the Nationals but played close games with the Reds. They dominated the Pirates and helped deflate that team's fading playoff hopes.
``You're evaluating how they handle situations--men on base with less than two outs, game-winning situations, two outs and two strikes,'' Sveum said. ``When it's all said and done in September and October with everything on the line, you want players you can trust, so it's nice to see guys coming through in these situations.''

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on September 22, 2012 10:56 AM.

Cubs spoilers for Cardinals in 11 innings was the previous entry in this blog.

Cardinals need 10 innings to get 5-4 victory is the next entry in this blog.

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