Chicago Cubs: Dodgers have made winning a long-held expectation
Since Epstein and Hoyer (and subsequently, manager Joe Maddon) took over in Chicago, things have changed for the better. There’s no debating that fact. Winning is no longer a far-off hope, but the expectation from year to year.
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With a month left in the regular season, the Cubs held a five game edge in the division. And a lot of fans, myself included, never panicked. We expected them to close it out and finish the fight, regardless of their offensive inconsistencies that spanned all season. We’ve just come to believe in these guys and what they’re capable of.
But, as we all know, that’s not what happened.
Chicago went 16-12 in the season’s final month. That culminated in their losing a tiebreaking Game 163 to the Milwaukee Brewers, who played out-of-their-minds ball in September. The Cubs went 2-5 against Milwaukee in their final seven matchups of the year – culminating in a heartbreaking end of the season.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles played catch-up for the overwhelming majority of 2018. But, when it mattered most, the Dodgers showed up. After a shoddy 14-13 month of August, Dave Roberts‘ club dominated down the stretch, going 18-9 in September to overcome the Colorado Rockies and win the National League West.