The Cub’s Way: Game 1 of the 2016 World Series

Cubs-way-Verducci-2017Yes, I am reliving last year’s Chicago Cubs’ World Series-winning season. Especially through the summer baseball book I am reading this year: Tom Verducci’s The Cubs Way; The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse (New York: Crown Archetype, 2017).

It has been a great read so far (I’m about halfway through it), and there are so many quotations from the book I would love to share. But I am going to limit myself to the chapters that treat the actual 2016 World Series’ games between the Cleveland Indians (American League champions) and the Cubs.

So we start with Game 1 (Chapter 4), titled “Game 1,” and which focuses especially on the return of injured Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who had torn his ACL in only the fourth game of the season. But I quote Verducci toward the end of this chapter, where he sets the stage for the Cubs’ loss against Indians’ ace Corey Kluber (6-0). here are a couple of gems:

So this is how Maddon would begin the World Series for the Cubs, their first World Series game in 71 years: with a rightfielder making only his 19th start at that position all year, his $184 million left-handed-hitting rightfielder benched against a right-handed pitcher, not talking to a pitcher who has a mental block throwing to bases [Jon Lester, the Cubs’ starting pitcher] facing a team that led the American League in stolen bases, and a designated hitter who was seeing major league pitching for the first time in 201 days. What could possibly go wrong? [p.72]

The Cubs has no chance against Kluber. None. He was that good. They lost 6-0.

Three men iced down after the game: Lester, the losing pitcher; Kluber; and Larry Vanover, the home plate umpire who practically strained a right rotator cuff calling strikes [p.73].

But Maddon, ever the upbeat manager, was still optimistic. He knew the Cubs had just faced Cleveland’s best pitcher (they would two more times yet in the series), and Kyle S had had four great at-bats – a walk, a double, and nearly a home run. Though down, things were looking up for the Cubs. Game 2 next time!

Published in: on August 11, 2017 at 7:31 AM  Leave a Comment