Omigodomigodomigod, they’re gonna do it.
unintelligible yelling, followed by tears and the wet honk of a blown nose
The Cubs are going to the World Series and it’s almost too perfect. They were wire-to-wire division champs and took care of the Giants after being presumed dead in Game 4 of the NLDS. Then there was the 21-inning scoreless streak in the NLCS that razed the credibility they’d built over the previous 166 contests.
Even after taking two of three games in LA to regain control of the series, the best pitcher in the planet loomed in their path like a bearded bridge troll. It would be Clayton Kershaw vs the Cubs in a battle of bad October narratives to see whose mojo was stronger. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the Cubs against the Dodgers. Maybe the Cubs had their own great pitcher going and maybe they had left all the old stories out back in the dumpster with the cake and the memorabilia.
But that’s crazy talk, right, the idea that this team is guided by neither history nor destiny. It’s silly to think that by assembling youth and experience and depth and strong personalities, the Cubs are a team unbeholden to…well, whatever nonsense was being spouted about them in the runup to Saturday’s decisive game. Simply put, the Cubs are just really damn good.
Though it didn’t officially end until a couple more hours had passed, I knew the game was over when Andrew Toles biffed a routine pop off of Anthony Rizzo’s bat. The Cubs were hitting Kershaw and I thought was clear to me that they’d continue to do so. As the ball glanced off the heel of Toles’ glove, I looked to my friends and said, “That’s it, the Cubs are going to the World Series.”
From that point forward, it was almost academic. Hendricks owned the Dodgers and the Cubs owned Kershaw, just like the national media predicted. I watched from Chicago Cut, where I was told multiple times to remove my Cubs hat. And then the game was over and I high-fived the patrons and hugged my friend and texted family and cried a little. And then I thought of my Grandpap and the waterworks opened up.
I texted my wife repeatedly to ask permission to buy World Series tickets and was repeatedly told no. I woke to a call from my daughter, who told me that mommy had changed her mind. So here I am, enjoying a Daisy Cutter on the porch at Murphy’s and looking at the download of the ticket I just purchased while trying to keep my new merch from blowing away.
I will be there when the Cubs play in their first World Series game in 71 years and I can’t believe it. Wow. Thanks for taking this ride with me, friends.