Posted by: thescoundrel | October 5, 2008

2008 Chicago Cubs Playoffs – Game Over – Season Over

Wait Till Next Year

The 2008 baseball season was a good one for the Chicago Cubs, which saw them produce one of the best regular season records in all of MLB. Unfortunately they exited the 2008 Divisional playoffs in three straight losses. I am both happy and sad. I am really-really happy because they generated a lot of excitement during their regular season games and I am really-really sad because for the second year in a row they exited the chase for the MLB World Series opportunity in the first round. It was a heartbreaking ending for Cubs fans. This year the early exit was particularly frustrating, as they had won the right to hold homefield advantage throughout their continued existence in the playoffs. Alas, it was not meant to be. I am sure there will be considerable finger-pointing at individual players for the quick exit. But in examination it was a team loss because of poor team performance. You could point to Ryan Dempsters pitching in the first game or the poorly executed infield play in the second game or the Dodgers momentum carried back to their home stadium in the third game. The Dodgers simply outplayed the Cubs on every level. But the crucial difference between the LA Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs in this series of playoff games was -that when the need arose- the Dodgers came through in run scoring opportunities. The Dodgers brought their bats to the plate and the Cubs left their bats in the dugout. When the Cubs pitchers executed properly and made pitchers’ pitches –>the Dodger hitters would find a way to get on base and/or score. When the Dodgers pitchers made pitchers’ pitches–> the Cubs’ hitters failed to execute, up and down the line-up. The game could best be summed up by two Manny Ramirez’ homeruns. Carlos Zambrano made a pitch that was up across the letters but was just barely within the strike zone. Where that pitch was located, most hitters would have popped it up, rolled it over for a groundout or at best a flyball to right field or right centerfield. Rameriz tattooed the ball out of the stadium. Then Sean Marshall threw Manny Ramirez a nasty looking pitch that was headed for the dirt behind homeplate. It was a great pitchers’ pitch. Most hitters would have let it go past for a ball or would have flailed at the pitch and struckout. Ramirez crushed it for a homerun! Great hitting. The Cubs on the other hand looked poorly at the plate. They had trouble getting on base and when they did they failed at what playoff teams have to perform- clutch hitting. It was a team loss: but if you are not scoring runs you cannot win games.

I have to admit I wanted more. I wanted the Cubs to win the World Series for the first time in One Hundred Years. It was not to be. And as I said over on a local Sports Blog, you just have to enjoy the season for what it is. And what it was; is a fantastic regular season that culminated with the first back-to-back MLB Playoff appearance by the Chicago Cubs in one hundred years that ended up short of the team’s goals and the fans desires and expectations! It was a great year of Chicago Cubs baseball!! It just was not as great as we fans sought. Game Over – Season Over!!! It was a FANTASTIC RIDE – while it lasted!!!! And I hate to use a tired one hundred-year-old Cub axiom but it is now truly a “Wait Till Next Year” moment for the Cubs’ fans.



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