By Liam Day
The Chicago Cubs have once again found their way back to the National League Championship series in a rematch of from 2016 but is nowhere close to being identical. The Dodgers have established themselves as one of the most dominant teams to be assembled in a while, having won three more games than the defending champion Chicago Cubs won in 2016. However, with a lineup full of all the talent necessary to repeat, is it the Cubs fearing the Dodgers? Or the Dodgers fearing the Cubs?
The Cubs started off the season very slow with what was explained as a World Series hangover. Going into the All-Star game with a losing record and only one player on the All-Star roster. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were a no-show in comparison to last season. A Born Chicago Cubs fan, Tanner Malinowski said, “As long as Kris can find his stroke before playoff time, the Cubs will be fine.” However following the break, the Cubs went on a 7 game winning streak that set them right back on track. The second half of the season chicago went 49-25 to win the NL Central division by a longshot. Kris Bryant increased his average to batting nearly .300 along with 28 homers to lead the Cubs to the third seed in the National league.
Entering the playoffs, the Washington Nationals stood in the way of the defending champs with a better record of five games and home field advantage. The Cubs slowed up but relied on their pitchers to give them a 3-0 victory. Game 2 ended in a disappointing eighth inning after Carl Edwards gave up two homers that resulted in 5 runs giving up the lead. Game 3 was once again, an uneventful 2-1 win for the cubs that lead to a lack in bullpen depth in game 4 giving up 5 runs in a shutout loss to force game 5. Finally, the Cubs put together well rounded game in scoring 9 runs after going down 4-1 early in the second inning.
After four games of the NLCS, the Dodgers are up 3-1. Despite this deficit, the Dodgers have had their hands full. In each of the four games, the Cubs were leading going into the fifth inning. Chicago tribune reporter, David Haugh emphasized that “The Cubs will keep telling us that they were down 2-1 to the Dodgers in the NLCS last year and trailed the Indians 3-1 in the World Series and still rode in a championship parade down Michigan Avenue. It wouldn't be the first time the Cubs dug deep to come back from this deficit and its no doubt that they're thinking about repeating history against all odds.