MLB Postseason Rundown
After Jon Lester’s stellar seven innings of work led the Cubs to victory in Game 5 of the NLCS, Chicago now sits just one victory away from getting to the World Series for the first time since 1945. That is the longest any franchise has failed to make the World Series, and Cubs fans are hopeful that they can avoid the demons of the past and find a way to win at least one more game.
How They Got Here
The Cubs hold a 3-2 NLCS lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first game of the series was a blowout 8-4 victory for the Cubs. The game was close until Miguel Montero came through with a grand slam in the eighth inning to break the game wide open. The Dodgers won the next two games, shutting down the high-powered Cubs offense completely with stellar performances from Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. The last two games, the Cubs offense has gotten back to business as usual. They are slugging the cover off the ball and scoring runs in bunches. Their bullpen, led by flamethrower Aroldis Chapman is also in top shape.
On the other side of the bracket, the Cleveland Indians rolled through the Toronto Blue Jays. They needed just five games to take out Toronto, and now they get to rest as they wait to see who comes out the victor in the NLCS. The first game of the World Series is not scheduled until next Tuesday in Cleveland. The Indians rode to victory in the ALCS by leaning heavily on their bullpen, and so this extra rest is a real benefit for them.
Predictions for the Rest of the Postseason
While it may appear like the Cubs have a ticket to the World Series within their grasp, Cubs fans have been here before. They were only five outs away from knocking off the Florida Marlins in the 2003 NLCS before Steve Bartman thwarted a catch by Moises Alou in one of the most notorious moments in MLB history. Cubs fans will be likely holding their breath as Chicago tries to put away the Dodgers.
It won’t be easy. The Dodgers have one of the best starters in baseball history to lean on in Game 6. Clayton Kershaw will try to carry the team to victory again, and the pressure will ramp up exponentially on the Cubs if they are forced to play a Game 7.
One Set of Fans Will Be Ecstatic
If the Cubs can get past the Dodgers, this will be a World Series matchup of the two longest-suffering franchises in baseball. The Indians have not won the World Series since 1948, which is the second-longest dry spell in baseball behind the Cubs 108-year streak. Whoever wins this potential matchup, it would be a well-deserved treat for their fans.