It’s the matchup I didn’t want but the Cubs will face the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow in the NLCS. The Cubs won the season series this year but they didn’t face Clayton Kershaw. These are both teams hungry for a pennant. Chicago hasn’t won a pennant since the war ended while the Dodgers last pennant was 1988.
With a team like the Dodgers who finished last in the league when it came to left handed pitching with .214 batting average. The Cubs will get that advantage in game 1 but when it comes to facing right handed pitching, well, they’re ranked second in the league.
“Experience matters,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Thursday. “Last year, a lot of us were doing it for the first time. We have a couple guys who are new, but we have a wonderful support group. At the end of the day, you learn how to win. What does that mean? It’s something you have to participate in daily, and there’s a support system in the group.”
That’s true. The Cubs were in this boat last year when they faced the New York Mets and as curses go, most Cubs fans will remember that Daniel Murphy almost single handedly destroyed the Cubs chances of going to the World Series. By the way, for those of you who are jumping onto the Cubs band wagon, the goat’s name in Cub history who got kicked out of Wrigley Field; his name was Murphy.
People can talk up experience all they want but it only makes a difference on paper. These Dodgers are dangerous and they’ve been to the post season the past four years. However, this is a different year for the Cubs and the Dodgers. They’re two very hungry teams wanting to move to the next level. This series can go either way. I’m leaning towards a long drawn out pitching duel. The key for the Cubs is to forget playing long ball. Get that pitch count up and exhaust the heck out of Clayton Kershaw. If they can do that, then they should be in good hands. Corey Seager’s first trip to the NLCS will certainly rattle his cages a bit.
“Pressure, expectations … I want our guys to thrive on those two words for the years to come, I want the organization to,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That means there’s a lot expected of you. Good. There should be. We should all have a lot expected of us. You’ve seen it all season. That’s actually … 106 wins … for the year. That’s pretty significant. So all those things, I want to have us channel in a positive direction.”
The Cubs bats are finally coming alive. I’m just lamenting those west coast night games. They’re going to make for long nights and even longer mornings.
“You’re sitting in the dugout, and when you get to the final four … there’s only one other game going on,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
Cubs in 7