The World Series begins tomorrow night in Cleveland, and if you weren’t already aware, the Chicago Cubs will be taking part it in.
We haven’t seen it in 71 years. We thought we might never see it again in history. The last time the lovable losers won an NL pennant, Hawaii and Alaska were not states, sliced bread wasn’t invented, Harry Truman was President and the Super Bowl did not exist.
And here we are, with infamous Curse of the Billy Goat one step closer to being broken as of Saturday night, a step that hasn’t been taken in more than half a century. Wrigley Field will host a world series game. Somehow.
And maybe it’s time that all the doubters, myself included, begin to believe that Murphy will be butchered for once and all within the next nine days.
That’s because the Cubs haven’t just beaten the odds by going to the World Series. They’ve beaten the odds the entire postseason when it looked like World Series title drought was certain to extend to 109 years.
Rewind back to the NLDS two weeks ago. You know the drill. 100 win teams always get upset by the wildcard. The Cubs were playing the Giants. It was an even year. The Cubs failed to sweep after closer Aroldis Chapman surrendered an uncharacteristic blown save. And one night later the Cubs trailed the Giants 5-2, about to be forced to a game five after leading the series 2-0. The Cubs were going full Cubs.
And somehow, the Cubs got to face the Giants bullpen in the 9th rather than Matt Moore returning to the mound with a pitch count of 120. Somehow, the Cubs tied the game before even making a single out. Somehow, Javy Baez did it again with a go ahead single. Somehow, the Cubs won the game 6-5 and the series 3-1. Somehow, the Cubs killed the Even Year Giants. Nobody kills the Even Year Giants.
So when the NLCS rolled around, it looked like the Cubs finally might run out of luck, repeatedly. Because you know, the Cubs can’t ever go to the World Series with their curse.
In game one, it was Anthony Rizzo dropping a pop up against the wall in foul territory in the 8th inning of a game where the Cubs led 3-0. The Cubs didn’t have a lead when that inning ended. Whoa.
Miguel Montero hit a grand slam. The Cubs won the game 8-4.
But surely the Cubs luck ran out when they were shut out in back to back contests to go down 2-1 in LA. That had only happened less than five times. No team to ever have suffered that embarrassment has won the World Series. Bye Bye Cubs.
Nope. Anthony Rizzo finally began to hit. Addison Russell finally began to hit. The Cubs got a generous call on an out at home plate. Kenley Jansen was no longer Kenley Jansen. Clayton Kershaw went full postseason Kershaw. The Cubs won three in a row, culminated with a Jon Lester shoutout in game six.
The Cubs did the impossible. Or at least the first of two impossibles. And what a sight it was.
So should we still be skeptical of the Cubs now that they only have one hurdle separating them and their first title in 108 years? I don’t know. But from all that we have seen, you have to like their chances. Plus, it wouldn’t feel quite right for the Cubs to break the pennant drought but not the title drought. That’s not how curse reverses are supposed to work.
Are the Indians a good team, much less an underrated team? Absolutely. It will also be interesting to see how the Cubbies react to not having home field advantage for the first time this postseason. If anything, the Cubs can just hope the series doesn’t go seven games, because only once in the past 36 years as the road team won a game seven in the World Series. Nonetheless, it just happened two years ago, with the Giants beating the Royals to win it all.
Now it looks like even year magic has shifted its way over to Chicago. Get ready everyone.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo sports