By Jim Irwin
The Cubs shot themselves in the foot this whole postseason, with a bullpen ERA above 6.00, hitters batting .172, and living and dying by the long ball. Quickly, the Cubs found themselves down 3-0 in a best of 7. Actually bad. The only time a team has come back from this deficit has been, of course, the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS vs. the big bad Yankees. As Kevin Millar said before game 4 in that series, “Don’t let us win tonight. ‘Cause we got Pedro [Martinez] tomorrow, [Curt] Schilling in game 6, and anything can happen in a game 7,” an iconic interview that defined what has become one of the best postseason series in MLB history.
The 2017 Cubs narrative, however similar, is a little bit different. Our “don’t let us win tonight” game is tonight, game 5. Last night, the matchup was in the Cubs favor, with Jake Arrieta vs. Alex Wood. Tonight, the Cubs are extremely outmatched, going against the best pitcher on Earth right now, Clayton Kershaw. The bullpen is taxed, with Wade Davis throwing 2 long innings last night, so they need 7+ innings of 2 runs or less from Q tonight. The Cubs have one job, one goal, and that is to board a flight to LA on Friday. The flight to LA from Chicago is long enough as it is. Make this a flight for the Dodgers where they’re itching their necks, saying “We’re fine” when deep down they know the Cubs smell blood in the water. Don’t let the Cubs win tonight, because we got Big Jon Lester Saturday, and anything can happen in game 7.