The Cubs will rest today after finally traveling home to Chicago, where they last played on Wednesday – a makeup game that cost them an off-day, which was followed by a marathon thriller in Washington the very next day, and then a trip across the country to Los Angeles that included a significant travel delay. Were we in the excuse-making business, we’d have them available in spades.
But, the facts are the facts, and the fact that takes paramount import this morning is that the Cubs are down 2-0 in the NLCS to a good Dodgers team.
Interestingly, there are narrative parallels to each of the past two NLCS, depending on how optimistic you’re feeling this morning.
In 2016, the Cubs – after winning a thrilling Game One – were dominated by Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, going down 1-2 in the series before winning Games Four and Five, and then returning to Wrigley Field to close things out. In other words, after losing back-to-back Kershaw-Hill starts, the Cubs won three straight games en route to turning that series around. The Cubs now get three at home, so maybe that’s your history?
Or maybe you’re less optimistic, and you see the 2015 NLCS parallel. There, an upstart Cubs team that won an exciting NLDS – which felt like THE win – went to New York and lost two straight to the Mets where the offense was a non-factor. Then the Cubs returned home to Wrigley Field, lost a heartbreaker in Game Three (remember the Trevor Cahill strikeout that got away and then the Jorge Soler dive and faceplant?), and then had nothing left in a blowout Game Four.
Maybe this year’s series will turn out like one of those two. Or maybe it’ll be its own new tale to compare again in future years.
We get a somber off-day to ponder it, as the Cubs get a much-needed off-day to rest.