It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. The Cubs are down 3-1 in The World Series after dropping Game 4 at Wrigley. The Cubs have a game to play Sunday night (7:08pm CDT) with Jon Lester on the hill. And the Cubs are looking for a one-game winning streak.
A win on Sunday and the Cubs will fly back to Cleveland for games six and seven where anything is possible, especially with Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks scheduled to start those games.
First thing is first. Relax. Have fun and just win Sunday.
The Cubs had 18 winning streaks of three or more games this year. And according to Jon Paul Morosi, that was the message in the Cubs clubhouse. These Cubs have won three straight games before and Jason Heyward pointed out, “We’re not trying to do anything impossible.”
Six teams have comeback from a 3-1 deficit in The World Series to win it. The ’85 Royals were the last team to accomplish the feat. And Willie Stargell’s ‘We are Family’ Pirates of 1979 were the last team to win games six and seven on the road.
The Cubs have not lost three games in a row since early July (July 5-9). The Cubs lost five in a row at the end of the 24 games in 24 days stretch leading into the break. The Cubs won on the Sunday (July 10) in Pittsburgh to snap the skid, which was the last game before seemingly half the team flew to San Diego to play in the Midsummer Classic. The Cubs did not lose more than two games in a row in the second half and through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Kris Bryant and David Ross put Game 5 into perspective. Bryant said, “It’s one game at a time, don’t change anything, have fun, smile, just be ourselves.” And Ross pointed out, “There are worse places to be than Wrigley Field in Game 5 of The World Series.”
Tonight is the last home game of what was an incredible and unforgettable season that at the very least the Cubs won the National League Pennant and earned a trip to The World Series. The National League Champions were the best team in baseball throughout the season. Now the Cubs have to just prove it tonight.
World Series News and Notes
Here are the post-game reports, news and notes from The World Series …
• Comcast SportsNet reported in big boy game, John Lackey can’t stop Cubs from reaching brink of elimination. And sitting on the brink of elimination, Cubs were dealt another dose of misery according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Kris Bryant is playing catch-up as Cubs face World Series elimination according to Comcast SportsNet.
• ESPN explained how the Cubs can get back in contention in The World Series.
• The Cubs had a .577 OPS against curveballs during the season and a .555 OPS in the postseason. In The World Series … a .299 OPS with a .121 batting average. The Indians have thrown the Cubs curveballs 18.9 percent of the time. Corey Kluber used his fastball to dominate the Cubs in Game 1. In Game 4 it was the curveball and he threw it a career-high 43 percent of the time according to ESPN Chicago.
• Javier Baez has taken 17 swings at pitches outside the strike zone with men on base without putting them in play during The World Series according to ESPN Chicago.
• Dexter Fowler became the first Cubs player to homer during a World Series game since Phil Cavarretta (Game 1, 1945) when he took Andrew Miller deep in Game 4. Fowler’s longball was the first by a Cubs’ player at Wrigley during a World Series game since Chuck Klein (Game 5, 1935).
• Comcast SportsNet reported with the power of positive thinking, the Cubs are not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
• The Sun-Times reported Corey Kluber and the Indians push the Cubs to brink of elimination with 7-2 win.
• Jason Kipnis became the first player to hit a three-run homer at Wrigley Field during The World Series since Babe Ruth and the famous called shot.
• Terry Francona said after Game 4 that he might flip Cody Allen and Andrew Miller in Game 5. Allen would be the ‘fireman’ and pitch multiple innings and Miller would close.
News and Notes
• According to Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs understand there’s still a growing process with Javy Baez despite playoff breakout.
• Paul Sullivan told the remarkable tale of two clubhouses on the Tribune.
• Joe Maddon wants players to stick to game plan according to a report from Carrie Muskat.
• Major League Baseball announced its 2016 Relievers of the Year … the Orioles’ Zach Britton and the Dodgers’ Kenley Jensen.
• National ratings for Game 3 of the World Series were the best they’ve been in 12 years. According to Eric Fisher, 19.4 million watched Game 3, up 47 percent from a year ago. The best World Series Game 3 since 2004.
• Game 4 posted a 30.1 Chicago market rating with a peak audience of 1.14 million according to Jeff Nuich.
• The last team shutout twice in the first three games of The World Series to win The Series, the ’45 Tigers over the Cubs.
• According to Christopher Kamka, Anthony Rizzo (2) has the second most stolen bases by a Cubs’ first baseman in postseason play behind Frank Chance (10) and ahead of Mark Grace (1).
And last, but not least, no matter the outcome of Game 5 of The World Series at Wrigley Field, today is the last Sunday with baseball until March.
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Cubs granted free agency to Ryan Kalish and Carlos Villanueva
2011 – Cubs granted free agency to John Grabow, Reed Johnson, Ramon Ortiz, Carlos Pena, Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood and Rodrigo Lopez
2009 – The Ricketts family was introduced as the new owner of the Chicago Cubs
2008 – Cubs granted free agency to Ryan Dempster, Bobby Howry, Jim Edmonds and Chad Fox
2007 – Cubs granted free agency to Jason Kendall
2006 – Cubs granted free agency to Juan Pierre
2003 – Cubs granted free agency to Shawn Estes, Mark Guthrie and Kenny Lofton
2003 – Cubs released Will Ohman
2002 – Cubs granted free agency to Pat Mahomes
2000 – Cubs granted free agency to Rick Aguilera and Mark Grace
1998 – Cubs granted free agency to Mike Morgan
1992 – Cubs signed free agent William Brennan
1982 – Manny Parra, born
1959 – Cubs signed free agent Del Rice
1934 – Cubs released Riggs Stephenson