Things are starting to get interesting on the north side of Chicago. Very interesting in fact. The Chicago Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908, have been on fire lately, finding themselves 3.5 games up for the second National League Wild Card spot after sweeping the defending-World-Series-champion San Francisco Giants this weekend. Not since Mark Pryor (Pictured above) took the hill back in 2003 have they been this interesting.
In At the Moment
The Cubs, who have not even sniffed the post season since 2008, have won 10 out of their last 11 games. Unfortunately for Chicago, the Cubs play in the same division as the St. Louis Cardinals, who currently own the best record in baseball, thus winning the Central Division crown is a longshot at best for the North Siders. With that being said, if the season ended today, the Cubs would be in a one-game play-in game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The winner of that game would advance in the playoffs. The loser would go home.
Between 1906 and 1945, the Cubs appeared in the World Series 10 times, winning only twice, back to back in 1907 and 1908. Before punching a playoff ticket in 1984, the squad had not tasted the post season since that 1945 season.
1984 Oh, No
Who can forget that 1984 season? Chicago rode the arm of Rick Sutcliffe and the bat of Ryne Sandberg into the playoffs, only to lose the five-game series to San Diego. Cubs fans can still see the ground ball, along with their playoff hopes, going through the wickets of first baseman, Leon Durham.
Since 1984, the Cubs have made the playoffs five times (1989, 1998, 2003, 2007,2008), all with losing outcomes with the last two seeing the Cubbies bow out in sweeps to the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, respectively.
I have been a fan of the Cubs for forty something years now. I have gotten my hopes up so many times before. I know it sounds cliché, but this team seems different. Maybe it’s because they are so young and I hope, if they make the playoffs, they are too young to realize they are supposed to feel pressure. The pressure of the 107-year World Series drought. The curse of the billy goat. The weight of Cubs Nation on their shoulders.
This team has such a great core of young talent, including Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler to name a few. Yes, these kids have been up and down most of the year, but have been up, lately. They have taken the Cubs fans on a fun roller coaster ride this year, with many of us holding on for dear life.
Sprinkle in a few veterans like Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Jason Hammel on the mound and Miguel Montero and David Ross behind the dish and you have a good mixture of youth and experience.
As I write this, the Cubs have 52 games left in the regular season, thus anything can still happen. I know I will enjoy watching this team grow over the remaining games and, hopefully, through a playoff run. Heck, The Back To The Future movie series predicted the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015, so it must be true!
Must Be This Tall to Ride This Coaster
Buckle your chin straps Cubs fans, this is going to be a wild ride down the stretch, but we are up for it. It’s time to end this World Series drought! I’m not getting any younger.