3 keys for the Chicago Cubs to advance to the World Series

At some point watching the game last night, I questioned if the Chicago Cubs could win the next 108 World Series’ in a row. I don’t really think that’s possible, but I also wrote them off during the game and they ended up winning. More on that in a second. Anyway…

Here are three things the Chicago Cubs need to do in order to advance past the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Keep tapping into Cubs Magic

Here’s the thing. At one point in the game, the Cubs are down to the Washington Nationals 4-2, I think it was the third inning but I also don’t feel like looking to see.

Notable Nationals good pitcher Gio Gonzalez is on the mound has a runner on second and Willson Contreras is on third. Jason Heyward is at the plate for the Cubs and there are two outs. As you can tell, this is a clutch situation. And as you may have guessed, Heyward struck out.

Here’s the thing though, a wild pitch during that at bat from recently mentioned good pitcher Gio Gonzalez allowed Contreras to score despite Heyward being the one trying to make it happen.

The point is, the Cubs won 9-8, and who are you to tell me what the most important run was? The Cubs have gone through 108 years of garbage and now there’s a chance they win 108 World Series’ in a row. If Heyward is scoring on strikeouts in clutch situations there’s really nothing anyone can do.

Don’t start the series 0-2

One game will be a Kershaw start, so you’re realistically working with one game here unless Heyward keeps scoring with strikeouts.

If the Cubs can grab a game in LA before returning home to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field for games 3-5, and then win a couple at home, you could force the Dodgers to bring Kershaw back out on short rest/relief.

Either way, that never tends to work out for the Dodgers. Even if it does, if business was handled at home, you’re asking an extremely talented lineup to score against a tired pitching staff late in the series. I like the Cubs chances there.

Bats have to heat up

Nine runs to close out the series is nice, particularly in a winner-take-all elimination game. What highlights the importance of the Chicago offensive outburst even more is that in the first four games of the series, the Cubs managed only eight runs.

They hit .180 for the series and only Albert Almora (2-6, .333) hit above the .300 mark for the series.

They won’t make it to a winner-take-all game against the Dodgers if Kris Bryant, Contreras and Javier Baez go a combined 7-for-48 (NLDS totals) in the first five games of the NLCS.

photo credit: Mike Boening Photography Game Day – Chicago Cubs via photopin (license)

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