Division Series NL4a: STL vs. CHC, NL4b: LAD vs. NYM — One down, three to go

Okay, so 3 of the 4 LDS are going to a Game 5. Just to keep things interesting, you know. Of the 8 teams in the LDS, we now know that the Cardinals will definitely not be World Series Champions this year. As to who might be? It’s really still anyone’s title to earn. And I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those really well-earned titles this year.

Game 1: NLDS 4a — Cardinals at Cubs

The last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945 (but their last championship was 1908), though the Cubs have been in the postseason as recently as 2008 (also 1984, 1989, 1998, 2003, and 2007). And now they have another shot at the National League title, which would be their first in 70 years. That’s a big drought, and the Northside of Chicago is ridiculously optimistic and they might have a reason to be. Tonight, they took out their division rivals and the best team in the entire MLB this season to seal their fate and advance to the NLCS.

But that’s not to say the Cardinals just gave up easily. In fact, there’s no way the Cubs were advancing without a thorough challenge. But it wasn’t like either starter was exactly on his A-game, both throwing just 49 pitches in the 3 innings.

In the 1st inning, the Cardinals led-off with a single and a 2-run home run to get things started this afternoon. The Cubs answered back in the 2nd with 2 out and 2 runners on base; a single scored the first run, and a 3-run home run doubled the Cardinals’ score giving the Cubs a lead to defend for the rest of the game.

So it boiled down to the bullpen versus the offense, which came to a head in the 6th inning. The Cardinals had 2 runners on base with 2 outs, and then a double scored one run and a single scored the other to tie up the game (and virtually silence the sea of blue-wearing fans). But the Cubs took the lead back at the bottom of that inning with a 2-out solo home run. And then they got that coveted insurance run to lead-off the 7th inning, an absolute monster solo home run over the big score board that takes up a good portion of the right field sight line.

The Cardinals just couldn’t poke through the bullpen after that. But then neither could the Cubs of the Cardinals’ bullpen. And that’s where it would land, with the Cubs taking the next few days off to gear up for the NLCS.

Final score in Chicago: 6-4 Cubs, Cubs win series 3-1 and advance to the NLCS.

Game 2: NLDS 4b — Dodgers at Mets

And while the Second City was in the throes of celebration, the “First City” (because what other city would Chicago feel “second” to?) was at the wrong end of what ended up feeling like a regular season game in the long run. No, seriously, out of all of the games in the postseason so far, this game was about a “regular” as you can get, especially for teams like the Dodgers and Mets.

Dodgers’ starter Kershaw was out to prove he wasn’t a postseason dud and did so with the kind of pitching that made him a Cy Young Award winner 3 times — 94 pitches through 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits, 1 run, and 1 walk, striking out 8 Mets batters. His lone run was a 1-out solo home run in the 4th inning for the Mets. And no other Mets got anywhere closer to adding to that.

The Mets’ starter had a more postseason run with just 5 innings, but his sole problem inning was the 3rd. With 2 outs and runners on the corners, a single scored a run, and then a double scored the other 2. But that would be it for the Dodgers’ offense really.

A low-scoring game in the postseason? It doesn’t really fit the pattern of this year, does it?

Final score in New York: 3-1 Dodgers, series split 2-2.

Okay, I promised my Cubs’ postseason opinion as it relates to Back to the Future. And since tonight is fairly short and in honor the Cubs’ NLDS win, I will expound my opinion. Okay, October 21, 2015. That is the day that Doc Brown and Marty McFly (and Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer) went into the future and messed up everything in their 1985 present in the 1989 sequel. On that day, Marty gets a glimpse of what the future will look like in 30 years, and for the last 26 years people have dreamed, discussed, and dissected the future predictions as made in the movie — from hoverboards and flying cars to flatscreen tvs and increased robotics.

But in the baseball world, everyone remembers the scene when the electronic billboard (we have those) announces that the Cubs win the World Series against Miami (with a logo that looks like a batting Gator). Now, what made Marty stop and stare wasn’t that the Cubs had won, but rather that they played against a pro-team from Miami as at the time of filming (and Marty’s present) there was no baseball team in Miami. The Marlins would not have their inaugural season until 1993. Plus they would be part of the National League, not the American to even have a chance of making this prediction come true. (Also, trivia nerds: the USA Today paper further reports that the Cubs won in 5 games over Miami in the Series.) And seeing as we have an official postseason schedule, we know now that we’ll be only about halfway through the LCS on October 21 this year.

So, I have thought this would be really cool to have a sort of prediction come true, especially in the baseball world. And I think I’d be more excited if Miami were actually in the LCS against them. And while it wouldn’t be a 5-game win (as they’d play the 4th game of the LCS that night, so too early for such a win), it would have been almost too close to the original prediction to not be excited about it. However, my basic fact is this — no Miami in the postseason and the schedule’s too off to line up. So, I’d put this future prediction more in line with flying cars and the overuse of fax machines than electronic billboards and the extreme 80s nostalgia (and the abundance of “active wear”).

Sorry, Cubs’ fans and BTTF nerds, I just can’t get behind the Cubs for the sole reason of hoping a 26 year old prediction could come true. I’m still holding out for cooler things like power laces and self-drying clothes. Though to be fair, I guess one could say that because Marty messed up the past and had to fix everything, causing a chain of events that led to many differences in the future (like not breaking his hand in the accident with the Rolls Royce at the end of the 3rd movie), that many of the things he experienced in the 2015 from the 2nd movie could be altered entirely — like a really weird case of the butterfly effect. But I think that’s stretching it a bit…

Go Yankees!

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