The Cubs finish the regular season riding an eight game winning streak and finishing the season with 97 wins. The last time they finished with 97 wins was 2008. Going into the 2015 post season the Cubs are the best team in baseball or at least the hottest team.
The good news is that they play really well against Pittsburgh boasting a record of 11-8 but of course, you can break it down any way you want it but the simple truth is that the Wild Card game is one game, winner moves on and loser stays home.
“We’ve played well there, we know this team, they know us, they know we’re good, we know they’re good,” David Ross said. “It’ll be about who goes out there and plays the cleanest game. It’s all about the starting pitcher, too, and we have a really good one.”
Yes, the Cubs have not just a really good one but an amazing pitcher in Jake Arrieta who is poised to be a leading contender for the Cy Young award. Will he win it? Well, that depends on how voters look at it. If they only look at his post All Star break numbers, well then yeah, hand Jake the award. On the other hand, if they look at the full season then that other amazing pitcher on the Los Angeles Dodgers will win, Zack Greinke.
I’m biased. Going with Jake Arrieta.
This has been a season to remember. No fan was expecting this kind of outcome except a chance to compete. The Cubs have done that and then some. Joe Maddon was brought in with the expectations that he was the best manager in the game. He’s proven that.
“You put it all together and it’s hard to beat,” Maddon said. “I often talk about how I feel fortunate to be here because all the heavy lifting was done prior to me coming here. They took a beating for a couple years doing the right thing and all of a sudden guys are playing like they are. It was a combination of all that. It’s played out pretty good the first year.”
Maddon set a franchise record with first year managing the Cubs beating out Jim Frey in 1984 who had 96. Yes, it’s been an historic run but there’s just one more concern;
Should the Cubs fail to win it all, how will fans react?
- “I’m just glad they made it”
- “After a season like that, they should have won it all”
- “I wasn’t expecting much”
Win or lose, the Cubs accomplished something that is special. They played well together, they didn’t carry that “Cubs chip on their shoulder” and most importantly the goal of every sports franchise,
They gave fans a chance to believe.