If I may quote Robert Frost:
This is the way the season ends; not with a bang, but a whimper.
I've been through too much to ever say that I'm embarrassed to be a Cubs fan, and I'm not about to say it now. Well, that was quick. Wednesday night, 9 PM, I was giddy with excitement. Seventy-two hours or so later, it's gone.
The Diamondbacks didn't just sweep the Cubs, they obliterated them. I think if the teams played twenty more times, Arizona would win 'em all. So it's kind of hard to feel that bad about a team that got dominated. I've felt this type of feeling before.
(See: Atlanta Braves, NLDS 1998)
The only thing I struggle with is the decision that Lou Piniella made in Game 1. His stud starting pitcher was cruising, dominating the Arizona hitters. Unfortunately the Cubs weren't doing much on offense, and the game was tied 1-1. Piniella pulled Carlos Zambrano before the 7th inning, and the D'Backs scored two runs right away, winning that game 3-1, and essentially ending the series, since the Cubs never recovered. After the game Piniella said that he pulled Z because he was bringing him back for Sunday's Game 4 on short rest.
Tomorrow is Sunday. There's no Game four. How's that decision going for you Lou?
Of course, there is no guarantee that if Zambrano had remained in the game that the result would have been any different. We'll never know.
Forgive me if I am repeating myself, but I never expected this, not in 2007. This year was all about getting rid of the stench of the Dusty Baker years. The Cubs over-achieved this year. I am not making excuses. They rolled over and died in the playoffs. Faced with the chance to do something that it seems half of the world is waiting for, they collectively wet themselves. Ugh.
I anticipate next year already. Perhaps the world is supposed to wait for the Cubs to end their long championship drought so that my to-be born son is around to see it.
(Of course, should the Cubs win it next year, he won't remember it, much like anyone born in December of 1907 doesn't remember the last time the Cubs won the World Series)
I have discovered something about the Cubs in the playoffs: as soon as they lose consecutive games, they are toast. They've made the playoffs five times in my life now, and every single time, as soon as hey have lost two games in a row, they go on to lose the series:
1984: Up 2-0 against San Diego, lost the next three to lose the series 3-2
1989: Lost first game in Chicago to San Francisco, won the next, then lost three in row in SF, losing the series 4-1
1998: Swept 3-0 by Atlanta in first round
2003: Beat Atlanta 3-2 in the first round (won, lost, won, lost, won); then lost first game of NLCS to Florida, won the next three to go up 3-1 and need just one more win in three possible games to go to the World Series, but lost the next three, and the series 4-3 to the Marlins.
2007: Swept 3-0 by Arizona in the first round.
That's unbelievable. Every time the Cubs have made the playoffs in my life, they managed to get knocked out by losing three in a row.
(I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit)
That's life. I'll be back next year. In the meantime, I am pulling for a Cleveland-Colorado World Series.