I hate to say it…
To my 9-year-old son who’s just learning about the ebbs and flows of following a professional baseball team.
To all of you fans of Chicago’s lovable losers.
But here goes…
It’s over, Cubs fans. It’s over.
I know it. You know it. Marty McFly knows it.
Despite winning 97 games this season – who’d a thunk it? Despite Jake Arrieta’s masterful mound performances. Despite the six home-runs to bury your more successful nemesis from St. Louis in the NLDS game at Wrigley. Despite the good feeling you had – we all had – about your team, 2015 is not the year you break the Curse of the billy goat and – good golly this is ridiculous – forgive Steve Bartman.
Tonight the Cubbies face elimination from the NLDS and this magical season. The Mets – yep, the Mighty Mets of Gotham with the Dark Knight and Thor and whatever super hero nickname you want to assign to Jacob deGrom and Daniel Murphy – are poised to take the series in only four games. And they’re making it look easy.
The situation is dire for the Cubs.
In trying to grasp some hope, you can think back to 2004 when the Boston Red Sox, who in a similar situation of trailing three games to zero to the Yankees in the ALCS – roared back to win the next four games and ultimately the World Series, breaking their 86-year curse supposedly put on by Babe Ruth.
(With the Babe, I’m guessing there was a woman who gave him the idea. George always had a woman involved, and I don’t think he could have thought of cursing the Sox on his own. Am I right?)
Just win the next one, we’ve heard Cubs Manager Joe Maddon say after each defeat. “We need to put together several one-game winning streaks,” Maddon repeated after Monday night’s Game 3 loss.
Now, the Cubs have to win the next one, which is tonight in Wrigley, or there is no next one. Not until spring training in March. And then, who cares?
I want the Cubs to win tonight to, if nothing else, keep the dream alive for excitable Cubs fans, like my son, and the series going for one more day. Heck, if the Mets win and the Royals are victorious in the Junior Circuit championship today, we’ll have to go five days without a game until baseball resumes with the World Series next Tuesday.
And, of course, there’s one more way the series can extend to another day: Yep, a rainout.
It looks like there’s a small chance of delaying game 4 until Thursday. The forecast is calling for a 50 percent chance of showers in Chicago when the first pitch is thrown tonight and a 35 percent chance through midnight.
Midnight could be interesting for Cubs fans tonight. When it strikes, will their team have survived to play another day or will their Cinderella season turn into a giant pumpkin?
Or, will the game be called because of rain?
Either way, as the great Phil Collins used to sing: “Give me just one more night.”