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Reflections On The Cusp Of Wrigley Field Postseason Baseball

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How does it feel to you as the Cubs return home for Game 3?

David Sameshima

Later this afternoon, I will step into Wrigley Field for the 15th time in my life for a playoff game.

The previous 14 are all the postseason games played at the ballyard at Clark & Addison since the 1945 World Series, and truth be told, the Cubs' record in them is pretty dismal: just 5-9, and just 3-9 since winning the first two games of the NLCS against the Padres in 1984.

I don't mean to depress you by quoting those numbers, nor do they have anything to do with this year's team, only wanted to note briefly that previous postseason success for the Cubs in Wrigley Field in the divisional-play era has been fleeting.

I'm going to stop looking back now and start looking forward. This team seems and feels different, from its manager to the way it's come back and won games to the way it's posted its two postseason victories so far this October. The national media can have its narratives about Cubs history, but you won't see me writing about those here -- just the facts, as above, and the knowledge that October 2015 is a fresh playoff start.

I have already personally witnessed at least two things I hadn't seen for a long time, or ever:

  • The Cubs breaking their nine-game postseason losing streak in Pittsburgh
  • For me personally, I had never seen them win a division-series game on the road before (the other three DS games I had attended before Saturday's win: the two losses in Arizona in 2007, and Friday's loss)

Especially with Jake Arrieta on the mound Monday evening, this Cubs team finds itself in unfamiliar, but pleasant, territory: they are the team that's being feared by its opponent, and its opponent's fanbase. It's nice to be on that side of the equation, for once.

Of course, baseball being baseball, anything can happen. Don't want to get too overconfident nor cocky about this one, as there's always the chance this might not work out the way we want it to.

But after seeing the Cubs' performance in Pittsburgh and St. Louis in person, I'm certain you feel the same way I do: this team can compete with anyone.

I've been rambling a bit here, I know. The thoughts don't collect the way they sometimes do before a game; there's hope mixed in with apprehension mixed in with excitement mixed in with utter fatigue, as I've put in nearly 24 hours of driving time over the last six days.

Wouldn't change it for anything. Beyond excited for tonight. Wrigley Field will be rocking perhaps as it never has before. Go Cubs.