Alas, we are done with Major League Baseball for the year, and in due time we will be looking into how the Chicago Cubs go about defending their World Series title. In the offseason, we also have to look forward to some awards, like who will win the MVP, Cy Young, etc. The Cubs will of course be well represented there, as well as in the Gold Gloves and the Silver Sluggers, but I guess they also get to hang out in parades and liven up an otherwise terrible Saturday Night Live episode:
Now that we’ve had a few days to digest this great accomplishment, I figured we could do a sort of World Series roundup of all our favorite highlights. We did compile the NLDS highlights but didn’t do so for the NLCS because we were all still delirious with excitement that the Cubs actually won the pennant. I guess we should highlight Javier Baez‘s steal of home, though, but let’s save our energy at this time for the championship round.
Big Story: The Return of Schwarber
Given how unlikely it was, the return of Kyle Schwarber to the World Series roster after a devastating (but not career-threatening) knee injury was both incredible and very welcome. He was very important in the Cubs’ victory in Game 2:
And in Game 7, Schwarber’s presence was definitely felt, as it was almost as if his knee hadn’t exploded six months ago. That stolen base though! Beautiful. While the Cubs showed that they could weather his absence over the long regular season, the contributions of Kyle Schwarber towards the title cannot be discounted.
The Cubs ended the season as the best-rated defensive team in the majors. The run prevention, along with the prolific offense, led to the best run differential in MLB in years. You could even say that the Cubs were unlucky, as they won a handful of games less than they were expected to by run differential. Even in losses, the Cubs were making the plays on defense:
And when they needed it most, down 3-1 in the World Series, the defense continued to step up. Yeah, there were a few hiccups here or there, but the Cubs, even with their bats on the fritz, never brought it to the field with them.
Jason Heyward, he of the not-so-good bat this season, had several key defensive plays in this series, so remember that there are many ways to contribute to a victory, including being a good teammate and a timely leader.
The Dramatic Comeback
Having to go the distance, the Cubs needed to complete the comeback to secure their first World Series title since the dinosaurs went extinct. So why not start it off right?
And why not throw in a good bit of history, too?
What a wonderful last gift from the retiring Grandpa Rossy. And finally:
Which led us to the celebration of the century:
It wasn’t just the players who got to celebrate, as we got a heck of a parade, and realized that on any given day, something like 5 million people can call off work all at once.
What a season! Before we wonder whether some free agents will return or what trades will happen, let’s just remember that we finally got to see the Eamus Catuli sign get reset in our lifetimes!
To answer a few questions…no, we are not changing the name of the blog. One, I’m too damned lazy to change the domains and stuff, and two, we are always dreaming of more, starting next season. I’m sure the Cubs have no intention of waiting another century before winning again.
Go Cubs. Spring can’t come fast enough.