The Cubs are heading home after losing four games to one against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Throughout this series, you can’t put the blame on one particular person, or one facet of the Cubs squad. There was so much wrong, including;
- An inconsistent offense, with star players being non-existent (Bryant, Rizzo)
- A starting rotation that, although effective, didn’t go long enough in games.
- A bullpen that completely imploded.
But they needed this. The Cubs needed to be humbled on one of the biggest stages in baseball.
The Cubs are a young team that became successful very early in their careers. They won it all in 2016, some of them as young as 22, and 23 years of age. Then, it seemed to get to their heads the very next season with the dreaded “World Series Hangover.”
Through the first 88 games of the 2017 season, the Cubs finished with a 43-45 record, and tied for second in the Central Division. It seemed like they were so caught up in last years successes, they sort of “coasted” through the first half.
But, they did pick it up in the second half of the season, where they finished 49-25 in the final 74 games of the season.
But once the playoffs started, they went back to their first half selves. They were brought to the brink against Washington, having to go the full 5 games in order to move on. And now, the champions have been knocked out after only 5 games in the NLCS.
It wasn’t close from the start against the Dodgers. The Cubs couldn’t anything going offensively; scoring a total of 8 runs through all 5 games. That, combined with an imploding bullpen, resulted in what can only be described as “Devastation in Five Games.”
Now granted, they did show signs of life in Game 4, it still was too little too late. Arrieta had to have the game of his life to keep his squad in it, and the extent of their offense was on 3 solo homers (Baez 2, Contreras 1).
But once LA went up 7-0 in Game 5 tonight, everyone in Chicago knew that it was time to revisit that old, familiar saying; “Wait till next year.”
But they needed to be humbled in the playoffs like they were. This team had been riding high ever since their title win; visiting talk shows, being on SNL, getting sponsorship deals, etc… They needed to be brought down to earth. They needed a loss like this to bring them out of that “World Series Hangover.”
Hopefully, after a loss like this and a majority of their roster coming back next season, the Cubs will be back better than ever! But until then, let’s enjoy the offseason and everything that it entails.