Clinching a date with the Cleveland Indians will not, however, be a simple task as L.A. will send the best pitcher on the planet to the mound in Game 6 of the NLCS Saturday night in the effort to stave off elimination. Clayton Kershaw dominated the North Siders' offense in Game 2 while teaming with closer Kenley Jansen for the first of what would be back-to-back shutouts; but, regardless of his immense talent, repeating his performance and shutting down the Cubs for a second straight start seems unlikely. These Cubs are resilient, and the hitters seem to have regained their swings and confidence while scoring 18 runs over the final two games in L.A. They're probably not going to send Kershaw to the showers with his tail between his legs, but chances are they push a run or two across the plate; and with MLB ERA champ Kyle Hendricks going to the bump they stand a good chance of popping the Champagne and sending the Wrigley faithful into a frenzy.
Wrigleyville will be absolutely electric even before the game, and if Kris Bryant and company do manage to scratch out enough runs to beat Kershaw, the North Side neighborhood and much of the rest of the city will erupt into a celebration like few any of us have seen in our lifetimes. A berth in the Fall Classic would be rivaled only by the '85 Bears Super Bowl title in terms of the party that will follow. Neither the championships by the Bulls and Blackhawks, nor the White Sox' 2005 title will compare. It seems a bit silly that would be the case -- celebrating a mere berth in the World Series -- but mark my words, it will be true. Other than the Bears, the Cubs have the largest and most rabid fan base in the city, and no person under the age of 71 has experienced the joy of watching them play for the most illustrious title in American sports. Those fans will not wait until a World Series win to let loose. One need only look to last season to understand the love affair between Cubs fans and their boys in blue -- the vanquishing of the Cardinals in the Divisional Series was celebrated and hyped beyond what would be considered 'normal.'
And, really, is there anything wrong with that? Fans, of course, want their team to go all the way, and the even-keeled among us keep our eyes on the prize; but we have no business being fans if we don't revel in the good times that winning brings. Nothing is guaranteed beyond is season, so enjoy every great moment while you can.