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.”
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.”
The Chicago Cubs (50-26 1st NL Central) are looking to take the final game of a series against the Cincinnati Reds after taking games one 11-8 and last nights hard earned 15-inning 7-2 win off a Javier Baez Grand Slam.
“The grand slam obviously was huge just to really build that cushion to permit us to more comfortably go into that last inning, because I had no idea what was going on,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The series against the Reds ends today and the Cubbies will be heading back home to take on the New York Mets in a four game series that will last through the holiday weekend.
After reeling off 20 total runs in three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates (to their eight runs) the Chicago Cubs (47-20, 1st AL Central) are looking to repeat the process against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals beginning tonight thru Wednesday.
Last night, SP Kyle Hendrix was on fire, striking out a career high 12 batters with no walks over six innings becoming the first Cub starter to do so since Matt Garza in 2011. The win put the Cubs a full 12 games ahead of the visiting Cardinals. Wilson Contreras also had his first home run of his MLB career.
“He [Hendricks] was really, really good,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Great location, great movement, kept repeating his delivery, nice plays defensively.”
The Chicago Cubs (14-5, 1st place NL Central) rebounded from a 14-5 thrashing at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday with a 5-0 shutout Sunday before jetting out of town and back home.
The Cubs will now host the Milwaukee Brewers (8-11, 5th place NL Central) for a three game stand followed up with a series against the Atlanta Braves. The extended home games will give the team an opportunity to feel out their new clubhouse, a 30, 000 foot palace, which they have not had much time to enjoy.
“It’s like we’ve never been there,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said about playing at Wrigley Field. “It’s like we saw the clubhouse briefly, and we left. You combine Spring Training and one week at home, it’s been a long time.”
Starting tonight’s game for the Cubs will be Kyle Hendrix (4-1, 1.45 ERA) and Jimmy Nelson (0-3, 3.60 ERA) for the Brewers. Also, expect Dexter Fowler, who had a couple days off, back in the lineup tonight.
“Dexter is playing so well.” Madden said. “I did not want to run him into the ground.“
The Chicago Cubs have been on a little bit of a roll as of late, beating the Reds in two games and matching the same against the Pirates with a chance to sweep tonight at home.
The 6-2 win last night was the 4th straight win for the Cubs and were led by Dexter Fowler and Travis Wood as the Cubbies scored six runs while sitting on two outs.
“I love two-out runs,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “They really hurt the other side badly. Conversely, when it happens to you, you’re constantly [thinking], ‘Can we make a better pitch right there? Did we call the right pitch right there? Did we execute the pitch right there?’ The two-strike knocks can really bum you out a little bit. When you get them, there’s nothing more glorious than that.”
After taking two of three games against the Colorado Rockies last week, the Cubs have taken game one of three against the Cincinnati Reds, 6-7.
The Cubs rallied late once again, this time behind Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara, the latter delivering a walk off RBI Single with one out in the 10th inning.
“When you start doing things like this, you believe you can win late, and that’s really important,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s also really important to feel you can come from behind, which we’ve done two days in a row late. Those are two of the best things you can possibly get across to a young team. Yes, I’ve enjoyed it.”