In Game 4 of the NLDS against the Giants, the Cubs found themselves down 5-2 heading into the top of the ninth inning in San Francisco with the offense stagnating against the Giants' pitching. While some fans and analysts were looking ahead to a rematch against Johnny Cueto and wondering aloud if the Cubs would be able to pull off a Game 5 victory, the Cubs' bats suddenly exploded, yielding four runs in the ninth inning to win the game and the series. The Cubs weren't about to quit when it seemed others had.
In the NLCS against the Dodgers, the Cubs started the series down 2-1 and found themselves in a stretch of 21 consecutive innings where the team's offense was shut out. It seemed like the offense had frustratingly hit a wall against Dodger pitching and wouldn't be able to break through with Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw looming again later in the series. Instead, the team found another gear as it scored four runs in the fourth inning of Game 4 and proceeded to beat the Dodgers like a drum for the rest of the series en route to a pennant. When it seemed like the team was losing its pulse, it came roaring back and reminded everyone that even if it looks like they're close to surrender, the only white flag these Cubs wave has a W on it.
In this World Series, the Cubs found themselves in the deepest hole they've been in this year. On Saturday night during Game 4, this team looked dead in the water after Jason Kipnis hammered a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to effectively put the game out of reach and eventually give Cleveland a 3-1 series lead. The next morning, Wrigleyville seemed like it was bracing itself for the 2016 Cubs' funeral procession later that night in Game 5. But this team wasn't dead yet—far from it. Instead, Game 5 injected hope and life back into the fanbase, and the team followed it up by clobbering the Indians again in Game 6 last night.
Tonight, the Cubs will play what is possibly the biggest game in this franchise's history, and certainly the biggest game most fans have been alive to witness. The time leading up to tonight's World Series Game 7—something I still cannot believe the Chicago Cubs are in—will be fraught with nervous energy and anxiety for fans, and the rollercoaster of emotions they will go through during the game will certainly do nothing to quell those feelings, no matter how many cans of Old Style they decide to drink.
But those feelings will be misplaced, because this team doesn't quit and it refuses to die. The offense will fight valiantly against Corey Kluber and the fantastic Indians bullpen. Hendricks will turn in another terrific performance, which has become routine for him. Should they find themselves down tonight, they will find another gear, as they have done over and over again this postseason. Where previous Cubs teams have failed and collapsed unto themselves, this one will rise to the occasion.
The Cubs will make damn sure that season of the century doesn't end in heartbreak and another proclamation that "There's always next year." Because this is the year. And tonight is the night. Cubs in 7.
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