Let's talk facts.
- Right now, the Cubs are losing Game 2, by a score of 6-0.
- Tonight, five of those six runs allowed by the Cubs scored in the second inning, an inning that will go down as one of the worst in the storied history of this franchise.
- The Cubs are cursed.
Whether you watched tonight's game or not, I think that's a list you can relate to.
If you weren't sitting there watching Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS, even if you didn't see it happen with your own eyes, you can at least believe it. Maybe you even expected it when you went to sleep last night--somehow, you knew the Cubs would screw this one up.
If you were watching, you would remember precisely what happened in the top of the second inning at Wrigley Field.
You'd have witnessed the hit-and-run. You'd have watched DeRosa's error. You'd have seen the error from our Gold Glove first baseman on the very next play.
If you were a Cubs fan, you would understand. But if you weren't, perhaps you'd need to hear it again, what everyone's been saying all year for so many years now, straight from One of Us:
The Cubs are cursed.
Coming into tonight's game, Game 2 of a five-game series, I was pumped up. Despite the loss in Game 1, as a Cubs fan I said to myself: if Big Z shows up and pitches well to start us off, we can win tonight.
I forgot to account for the past one-hundred years.
I forgot to consider the other aspects of the game that mattered just as much for the Cubs to have a chance in tonight's crucial matchup. Sure, pitching is important. But you've got to respond to good pitching with good defense. And you've got to support good pitching and defense with great hitting.
Despite what the final score (10-3, Dodgers) might suggest, in reality the pitching was there. Carlos Zambrano threw strikes (a vast improvement from last night's performance), and Dodger hitters kept rolling the ball right back to Cubs' infielders.
Unfortunately, the defense simply wasn't.
As for the hitting, it was never even close.
A week ago, things almost didn't make sense. As the regular season was coming to an end, the Chicago Cubs had somehow closed out the 2008 regular season with the best record in the National League. We had won the NL Central division, and we had clinched home field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The Cubs' success over the course of six months had convinced many baseball fans that this was the best team in the league. This team had the best offense, arguably in all of baseball; on top of that, this was the deepest rotation in the NL.
Fans across the country were all saying the same thing—that this might be the best Cub team they've ever seen in their entire life.
Next thing you know, our Gold Glove first baseman was committing the second error of the second inning in Game 2, and in an instant, the series was lost.
As I write, edit, and publish this article, I realize the 2008 NL divisional series is not technically over. I realize the Cubs are headed to Los Angeles, and have one more game to play before this thing is really over.
But I also know the history behind the concept of coming back from down 0-2 in a five-game series. And believe me when I say, I know all about the professional sports franchise that calls itself the Chicago Cubs.
I know that the Cubs are cursed. And really, at this point, so should you.
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