Chicago Cubs: Jake the Snake puts the team on his back
Jake Arrieta‘s performance in the 2015 Wild Card game was spectacular, and definitive of a Cy Young season in which he dominated opponents all year. But Game 4 of the NLDS that same year was truly special.
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First of all, it was the Cardinals. This is one of the most fierce and historic rivalries in baseball, and two franchises that were coming from very different places.
The Cubs had the feel of a team that had arrived ahead of schedule in the midst of their rebuilding process, while the Cardinals were the established holders of the NL Central crown. They were also coming off of four consecutive NLCS appearances.
But after losing Game 1, the Cubs won three-straight games to advance to the NLCS for the first time in 12 years. Game 4 itself was spectacular. An unexpected go-ahead homer from a young Javier Baez and a legendary Kyle Schwarber blast (which landed on top of the scoreboard in right field) had Wrigley Field rocking.
And when closer Hector Rendon shut the door in the ninth, it was an evocative moment of what was to come for the Cubs in the future