Before I go any further, you have to tip your cap to the Washington Nationals. They played one hell of a series and pushed the defending champions as far as they could be pushed. This was one of the most bizarre series in recent memory, but the bottom line is the Chicago Cubs are heading the NLCS for the third year in a row. That is not a typo, THE CHICAGO CUBS ARE HEADING TO THE NLCS FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW!
Great teams find a way to win come October and the culture of the Cubs has completely shifted. For the first time in history we are not the team choking away our postseason, we are the ones coming out on top. The Cubs still have a lot of work to do against the Dodgers, but we live to fight another day.
We could pinpoint many issues from this series (mainly the bullpen) but the Cubs continue to find ways to win games that matter most. We could’ve hung our heads after the rain delay that gave Stephen Strasburg an extra day of rest. We could’ve hung our heads after failing to close out at home in game 4. We could’ve hung our heads after getting down 4-1 in game 5. I have to admit it’s strange to watch a Cubs game expecting everything to go against you, yet strangely everything falls into place perfectly.
Both teams made a lot of mistakes last night but the Nationals errors proved more costly. The Cubs did not pitch a clean game, but neither did Washington. It takes guts to bounce back against a guy as good as Max Scherzer, yet the Cubs did just that. Although they did what they could to give the game back to the Nationals, the Cubbies were able to ride their closer for the last seven outs to get the job done. Wade Davis clearly did not have his best stuff, but he was able to grind out a seven-out save and lead the Cubs past the Nationals.
I wrote an article about Theo Epstein a few weeks ago so I won’t go into a ton of detail about him, but we can’t ask for anything other than a chance to win every year and Theo has positioned us three years in a row to have a chance.
Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it doesn’t and this time the Cubs live to fight another day. I truly enjoy watching the Cubs because they have a close knit culture and never quit. This team was ruled out on numerous occasions this year and continue to prove everyone wrong.
I haven’t looked into any predictions for the NLCS, but I guarantee you not a lot of folks are picking the Cubs to come out on top. The Dodgers will be our toughest test yet as they made quick work of the Arizona Diamondbacks and come in fresh. Not to mention they won 104 games this year.
At the end of the day the Cubs have a fighting chance come October and will continue to try to prove the doubters wrong. If the Cubs have a pulse, they aren’t going to go away easily. I can honestly say that I am just grateful to sit back and watch good baseball come October. As much stress as the Cubs cause me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I will ride or die with my Cubbies forever. Let’s #FlyTheW some more, Cubs nation! Enjoy every second of it.