Laurila: Chemistry, the Cubs, and a key series at PNC Park

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on September 15, 2015:

A pivotal series in the National League playoff race got underway today, with the Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the Chicago Cubs in the first of a four-game set. The two clubs play again tonight, with the home team now holding a five-game lead over the visitors for the top wild card spot. The St. Louis Cardinals are currently two up on the Bucs for the Central Division lead.

Theo Epstein fielded questions from the Chicago media prior to this afternoon’s affair. The subjects of chemistry and character came up, and – despite his saber chops – the Cubs president of baseball operations didn’t downplay their value. In his opinion, the youthful club he oversees is ahead of the curve when it comes to both.

“It’s impressive that they’re unfazed by the length of the season and the fact that they’re in a pennant race,” Epstein told the throng. “It’s a testament to their character. The norm is that young players — no matter how talented, no matter how great a start they get off to — tend to wither and just fade away.”

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Originally published: September 15, 2015. Last Updated: September 15, 2015.