Chicago Cubs 2016 Central Division Champions!

Chicago Cubs

Congratulations Chicago Cubs on becoming the 2016 Central Division Champions!

It wasn’t the best way to clinch the National League Central Division but after the Cubs lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 they had to watch the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s right, the Cubs watched the Cardinals lose to the San Francisco Giants 6-2. There were no champagne corks bouncing off of the ceiling, no plastic laid on the dressing room floors and no goggle wearing Jake Arrieta shaking a bottle and spraying Jon Lester but they’re in.

“It would have been wonderful to do that for the fans right there,” Maddon said. “We were unable to do so. That’s part of the uncontrollable nature of the game.”

They’ll have to hold on to the celebrations for another day, that’s all. As for their loss to the Brewers, the Cubs played a good game despite the score. Jorge Soler was ready to party after sending a rocket into the stands for a take home in the second but the Brewers bounced back.

“Last year was exactly the same,” Cubs catcher Miguel Montero said after Thursday’s game. “Regardless, we have to come back tomorrow and win the ballgame. We’ve been playing good enough to not quit now. We want to keep rolling.”

There’s no need to rest on laurels after the the clinch. You see, one of the pesky parts about the now important All Star Game is that the winner gets home field advantage during the World Series. I like the idea,but the Cubs won’t have it this season because of the American League winning the summer classic. However, the Cubs have an opportunity to gain home field advantage if they can snag first overall. The magic number is 10 for that. Any combinations of wins/losses by the Cubs or the Washington Nationals will secure that advantage.

“The Cardinals won 100 games last year,” Lester said. “No matter what you do during the season, it’s nice, it’s fun, it’s the process, but what matters here is another month. What this team will be remembered for is next month, not during the season and how many wins and all that stuff.”

Leave it to Jon Lester to bring us down to earth. He’s right. Next month is a whole new ballgame. It doesn’t matter that the Chicago Cubs have been in first place all but one day this year. When the team that pops champagne at the end of October hoists that trophy, it’s going to be about what they did in October. The pitching, the offence and the error free defence that will get them to the end of the month. The acrobatic grabs Anthony Rizzo made this year mean nothing now.

“To be this young, to be this good, that’s the part that’s a little bit different to me,” Maddon said Thursday. “That’s the part that really stands out. … Everybody’s saying how good we are, and that’s wonderful, but I’m telling you, these guys are going to get better. They are that good. They deserve every moment they’re going to have this season, but they are going to get better. They just need more experience. As they gain more experience, we are going to get better.”

Believe it.

4 comments

  1. Michael Ferguson · September 16, 2016

    The experience factor could really be key here. Last year’s about face in the NLCS after appearing formidable against the Cardinals was a shock to the Cubs and fans alike. Dominant against St. Louis, meek and mistake prone against the Mets, it was such a disappointment.

    They will learn from that, and the celebration, should they make it to the NLCS, will be more tempered and more reserved, because that is but a stepping stone for a team with this much talent and potential.

    You spoke of the many excellent performances this year, and however they are parsed, it’s definitely a sign of the growth and focus the Cubs are displaying. I don’t think there will be a tendency to rest on laurels here.

    Everybody knows what the ultimate prize is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Gauthier · September 16, 2016

      I agree. The New York Mets were just hot though. I think they would have beat anyone in the National League at that point. Kansas City was clear and away the best team in baseball(Even though the umpires forget their glasses at home during the Jays/Royals series) The Cubs are a much different team this year. Imagine if Schwarber was healthy all year? Rizzo’s emerged as the true leader in the clubhouse and him and Bryant remind me so much of the Mantle/Maris tales I read about. In fact, I think this Cubs team is a throwback to baseball from years ago with their style. The imagination of Maddon has been a huge welcome on the North Side and he’s worth every penny. I hope he stays around for many more years. I can’t wait for October!

      Like

  2. mlblogscatlovesthedodgers · September 16, 2016

    Congratulations to your Cubs. I think Dodger fans will have to wait until the very last game as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Gauthier · September 16, 2016

      It’s been a great season and a long time coming. I’ve been a fan for years and six years with this blog and it’s been amazing(and frustrating) watching the team get to where they are. October, here we come.

      Liked by 1 person

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