The Chicago Cubs are heading to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2003 after defeating the St. Louis three games to one in the National League Divisional Series. The Cubs clinched a playoff series for the first time ever at Wrigley Field. For the Cubs, they will play the winner of the Dodgers and Mets series, while the Cardinals, who led the Majors with 100 wins this season, will bow out. The Cardinals steak of four-straight NLCS’s comes to an end.
The Cubs used three home runs in the decisive Game 4 to emerge victorious. Javier Baez launched an opposite-field, three-run home run to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Anthony Rizzo added another home run, a go-ahead solo shot, in the bottom of the sixth with two outs. Kyle Schwarber unloaded for a solo home run of his own to lead off the Cubs seventh inning.
After being shutout in Game 1, the Cubs were just too much for the Cardinals to handle. Chicago hit 10 home runs over the next three games, including a postseason-record long balls in Game 3. The pitching, most notably the bullpen made sure those home runs wouldn’t go without a win. Of the 17 earned runs the Cubs surrendered in the series, the bullpen accounted for just five of those earned runs. The entire pitching staff of Chicago struck out 48 Cardinal batters throughout the series.
The Cubs are on a mission to break the curse and win a World Series for the first time since 1908. Was Marty McFly right in Back to the Future, predicting that the Cubs would win a World Series in 2015? Time will tell, but for now, the Cubs have to like their chances.