The Cubs are after the prize. Only three more victories and they’ll have 100 wins. It’s monumental, it’ll be their first 100 win season since 1935. Now, I’m not one for hexes or curses, Superstitions, yeah. The Cubs made the World Series in 1935. So, after last night’s 9-2 series sweep over the Cincinnati Reds, they’re one step closer to destiny.
“That’s a number I’ve never achieved on the win side,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the goal to reach 100. “I’ve achieved it on the loss side. Achieving that doesn’t feel good. That was my first year as a manager with the Devil Rays. We exceeded 100 that year.”
Well, if it makes you feel better Joe, the Cubs have reached that total too and it doesn’t feel good for the fans either. The Cubs’ magic number is 2 after last night. The thing that was really impressive about last night’s win was the plays of Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero. Zobrist who had three hits and an RBI. Montero contributed with his hot bat getting three hits and three RBI’s, these two players are peaking at the right time.
“This is where you talk about September provides its own energy,” Maddon said. “These guys are not fatigued. They’re actually very excited and they’re really doing a lot of good things.”
The win was good for John Lackey. The veteran hurler is slowly finding his groove and the Cubs will need his presence in October to back up the big three in Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta.
“Lackey’s pitched in a lot of big games,”Maddon said. “John’s definitely not afraid of it. John kind of likes it. I’ve been there and seen it, both sides. He’s the kind of guy that, if you’re around him, he’s going to promote courage or fearlessness among the people he’s around.”
The big guy will intimidate and hunker down this fall. There’s been many warnings about the Cubs playoff chances, one being the Toronto Star but this year feels different. Most of the players don’t know about the curses. They’re here for one job and one job only.
“For me, this year is a completely different attitude from last year,” Kris Bryant said. “To clinch so early and have this time to work on stuff and just kind of tune up for what we hope to be a long playoff run, we’re very fortunate for that. Me, I’m just trying to stick with a good approach and not let the numbers on the scoreboard get to me.”
Bryant collected his 38th home run of the season and his race for Home Run King against Nolan Arenado.
“I don’t really watch the home runs, where they go or anything, but certainly this is one of the best parks to hit a home run in, just because you can hit it onto the street there,” Bryant said. “It’s been a really fun year, so to say that any home run onto Waveland, you get used to it, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. It’s a lot of fun.”
If the Cubs finish first, there’ll be a lot more fun on Waveland.