One thing you should know about my views on the NLCS is I don’t really care about it. I have no skin in the game, other than I hate the Dodgers and don’t care much for the Cubs, but whoever advances to the World Series doesn’t really affect me one way or the other.
I’ve only viewed six innings of the entire series and from what I could see it’s anyone’s series based on the Cubs dropping 18 runs on the Dodgers in their two wins, but scoring none in their two losses. The drastic changes really make you scratch your head and wonder what team is going to show up each night. I have read recaps in the Chicago Tribune and listened to a ton of sports radio with swings in Cubs’ fans reactions providing a lot of laughs, but at the same time understandable based on the Cubs’ history.
Of all the games in the series, tonight’s game really intrigues me and I may actually spend some time watching it. The reason it intrigues me is the mental game that Dave Roberts is playing on the Cubs by sending Kenta Maeda back to the mound tonight versus sending Clayton Kershaw. I know brining Kershaw back tonight might seem like a taxing workload on a starting pitcher, but it really would give the Dodgers the best chance at a win tonight. This statement could also be viewed as I’m giving Roberts too much credit because he really can’t pitch Kershaw tonight, but based on Mad Bum’s post seasons he could if he wanted to.
Roberts’ approach is this game does not matter and it’s the Cubs game to lose thus putting all the pressure back onto the Cubs. Just when everyone exhaled the Cubs are presented with a game that they cannot lose. What I mean by that is that if I were in Vegas I would bet the Cubs tonight based on Maeda’s terrible results in the postseason. Roberts is saying to Joe Maddon and the Cubs, I dare you to beat us tonight; I’m saving the best I have for the two elimination games at Wrigley Field (as I type that a cool breeze blows of postseasons past).
What tonight’s game boils down to is are these Cubs the team that Maddon has preached about all season long or is the postseason pressure too much for their Zen-like approach. If it’s the later it will be more of the same tired narrative tomorrow morning.
I don’t know about you, but I’m even sick of that narrative and would prefer a new ending to Cubstober, a happy one. A win tonight would bring that one-stop closer.