After being shutout in back to back games, and with the possibility L.A. could finish them without having to go back to Chicago, the Cubs looked like they were out on their feet.
There wasn’t a guy in that lineup other than Kris Bryant, who didn’t look overmatched. Who wasn’t scuffling. The whole freaking team went into a slow at the same exact time; and you can’t tell me that it was all Dodger pitching. It was Dodger pitching And the big stage. And the pressure of 108 years building.
It looked like the moment was too big for them. That they boatraced the N.L. this year and never had to overcome any adversity; and when the Dodgers punched them in the face, they took a knee. And looked like they weren’t going to get back up.
Just as they stopped hitting all at once, they started right back. And watching them the last two games, you remember how they won 103 games. And why they were the team to beat; why it was the Cubs and everyone else. The young talent they have assembled is unbelievable. And it’s scary.
It’s not a question of if but a matter of when Kris Bryant wins an MVP award. And the middle infield of Addison Russell and Javier Baez is electric. And they’re getting it done on the biggest stage now; and they’re just 22 and 23 respectively. And I know they’ve moved Baez around, but they’re one of the best young middle infield combinations you’ll ever see. And if they’re hitting like this and performing like this, in the postseason, at that age, look the hell out.
Everyone was asking what the hell is wrong with Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo. Now no one is saying that.
Now it’s just, when and how did Jason Heyward forget how to play baseball, and why the hell does Joe Maddon keep running him out there. And I don’t have an answer to that. But I know this: they’re loaded it doesn’t matter what Heyward does. He can’t win them a World Series, but he can’t cost them one either. Not with the way the rest of his teammates are rolling.
And the other thing is, while no one would ever question their talent, this is a team that has some dog in it. This is a team with some bleep in the dirt. They are dirty. They can grind. They’re as tough as they are talented. I’m not sure I would have said that after watching them cruise right through the regular season. But after seeing them the last two nights, I definitely can.
And they’re not just built to win it now, they’re built to keep on winning.