The Chicago Cubs entered the postseason with baseball’s best record, giving them their best chance to win their first World Series Title since 1908.
This past weekend the Cubs continued their winning ways by taking the first two games of their NLDS series against the San Francisco Giants and looking good while doing it.
The Cubs are seeking their first World Series title since 1908, the longest stretch between championships in sports history. The City of Chicago has endured heartbreak after heartbreak while dealing with their beloved Cubs. From losing over 100 games just four years ago to winning 100 games this year, it has truly been a rollercoaster ride for the franchise and their loyal fans.
Last season was magical. The Cubs won 97 games and came within one series of making it back to the promised land, just falling short to the New York Mets. But this season… this season feels different. This is the season that the Cubs break the curse.
If you ask the Cubs themselves, they don’t believe in any curse:
Via Bill Pennington/New York Times: “There is no curse; that’s crazy talk,” the chairman of the Chicago Cubs, Tom Ricketts, said the other day in his office.
To be honest, we might have to believe them. The Cubs won 103 games this year and from start to finish, dominated Major League Baseball with dominant pitching and hitting while doing it with a flare and allure that has long alluded “The Loveable Losers.” They were clearly the best team in baseball from day one, and now is their time to prove it.
The team boasted a .256 collective batting average (14th in MLB), hammering 199 home runs (13th in MLB), driving home 767 RBI’s (3rd in MLB) and scoring 808 runs (3rd in MLB).
The hitting was consistent and great, but it’s the pitching that not only put the Cubs at the top of the Regular Season standings, but will also have the Cubs hoisting up the World Series at the end of the Post Season.
Led by standouts Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, the Cubs touted the best pitching staff of 2016 and made some late season additions such as adding dominant closer and fireballer Aroldis Chapman that will only make it that much worse for opposing hitters this Postseason.
Cubs pitching led baseball in wins, ERA (Earned Run Average), shutouts, batting average against, and gave up the least amount of runs.
Lester and Arrieta were baseball’s best 1-2 pitcher punch this season combining for 27 wins, but the rest of the rotation with players like Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey have held their own and will be tough to crack.
Hendricks enjoyed a breakout season this year and back it up Saturday Night in Game 2 of the NLDS versus the Giants by going a strong three innings before getting knocked out of the game after taking a ball to the forearm off an Angel Pagan swing. Lackey is a proven playoff performer with 8 career wins, a 3.15 ERA, over 127 playoff innings pitched and most importantly, two World Series titles. Lackey’s veteran presence and World Series experience will allow the Cubs to be more than ready to complete the task at hand.
So, up 2-0 in their opening 2016 playoff series and with Arrieta on the mound for a close-out Game 3, the Cubs are conducting business as usual. Whether winning Game 1 1-0 off a timely home run by Addison Russell or winning Game 2 5-2, both games had a similar formula: Timely hitting plus strong pitching equals a Cubs win.
Judging from their consistency and poise this season, the Cubs look more than ready to reach the promised land and give the Cubs faithful the moment they have been waiting 108 years for:
The final out is recorded, gloves, hats and hands fly in the air, tears stream down the face of millions of Cub fans who are hugging anyone they can find and the city goes into an uproar because for the first time in 108 years, their team is the one they are watching celebrate winning the World Series. Life as a Cubs fan couldn’t be better right now.
Is this the year the Cubs win it all? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.