Your Chicago Cubs have been patiently waiting for this night to happen, the first World Series playoff game to be played at Wrigley Field since ’45 and the fabled Curse of the Goat.
Fast forward 71 years and now Bill, grand nephew of William Siani (, who was owner of Murphy the Goat that was turned away from Wrigley Field in Game Four of the 1945 World Series,) is watching the Cubs this year and wishing his uncle was there to witness the event, but the curse was still in effect.
“The curse is still in effect,” Sianis told Chicago Inc. before Game 2 on Wednesday. “They have to win it all.”
The 2016 Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are tied at one game apiece going into game three and the current odds have the Cubs at -200 mostly because of pitcher Kyle Hendrick (16-8, 2.13 ERA) is taking the mound for them.
“It’s going to be electric,” Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber said. “It’s going to be really, really loud.”
“I know that people have been waiting for this for a long time [and] are going to savor it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “And hopefully on our part, we can do something to really make it even better.”
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So the Chicago Cubs, who had the best record in Major League Baseball this season with a 103-58 mark, landing in the top 15 of MLB club records but behind their 1906 mark of 116 wins. They broke their own home win record with 57 won games and now they look to break the curse that has kept them out of the World Series since 1945. Between the Cubs and the Indians, they have waited a combined 176 years for this moment.
“Hopefully, they’ll be able to get this done,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of his club, “and at that point, you can really reflect on everything and interact with the folks, and really try to get down to the root of all this. But in the meantime, man, I really anticipate and expect our guys to stay right in the moment.”
“I think that stuff is for fans,” Tribe manager Terry Francona said. “I think fans enjoy talking or commiserating, however you want to put it. But I don’t feel responsible for the fact that my dad couldn’t win. That was his fault. We’re going to have our hands full playing against the Cubs. And trying to go back and win for years, that doesn’t help.”
Heading into the sixth inning of the NLDS, the Cubs and Dodgers were all tied up. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester struck out six, walked one and allowed a run on five hits in seven innings, leading the Cubs to an 8-4 win and a 3-2 series lead.
“It’s certainly a credit to [Pitcher Jon Lester],” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought that when we did get a little bit of traffic, I thought that we put a little pressure on him. But he’s a great pitcher. He’s a great pitcher who competes and finds ways to get outs when he needs to. So we had some opportunities, but those guys got the hit when they needed.”
“It’d be foolish for us to get ahead of ourselves, because any time you think like that, it never goes the way you want it to,” the Cubs’ Kris Bryant said. “We’ll be ready to go for Game 6.”
Game six kicks off tomorrow and taking the mound for the Cubs will be sending out RHP Kyle Hendrix (16-8, 2.13 ERA) to the mound while the Dodgers will start LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA). Clayton and Kershaw faced off in Game two, with Kershaw getting a rare 1-0 shutout against the Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs (103-58, NL Central Champions) won the most games in their storied history since the 1910 season where they won 104 games. The Cubs will host the San Francisco Giants (87-75, 2nd NL West) in the NLDS beginning tonight at 8:15. Don’t expect Manager Joe Maddon to do much differently than he did in the regular season now that the playoffs are here.
“There’s nothing different to do right now except play the game,” Maddon said. “It’s about whether your pitcher pitches better, if we catch the ball. I don’t want us to do anything differently.”
The journey for the Giants was a bit rougher but the team believes they have a solid chance if they take advantage of every opportunity the Cubs give them.
“It’s a great feeling to move on,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “All you want is a shot. … Just a shot. You never know with these guys. As you know, they find a way.
“So we’re looking forward to the next series, and it’s good to be moving on, trust me, because we had to scratch and claw just to get to this point. But it’s all about persevering, and this club has done a great job of that.”