Chicago Cubs: The much-needed missing piece to a postseason run
Immediately, Sutcliffe made his prescience felt on the mound. After his sub-par start in Cleveland, he finished the 1984 season going 16-1 with a career-best 3.97 strikeout-to-walk ratio with his new club, helping the Cubs win the National League Eastern Division crown.
With the Cubs now chasing the National League pennant, only the San Diego Padres stood in the way of their first World Series appearance since 1945. To no one’s surprise, Sutcliffe got the ball to start Game 1 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. The Cubs trounced the Padres 13-0 with Sutcliffe continuing right where he left off in the regular season, tossing seven innings of two-hit shutout ball, earning the victory. Perhaps more impressive, Sutcliffe added a home run in the third inning.
Despite opening the series with a commanding 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series, the Cubs eventually lost the remaining three, ending their magical ’84 season in disappointment.
After the season, Sutcliffe was unanimously awarded the National League Cy Young Award, beating out the Mets’ Dwight Gooden and former Cub turned Cardinal, Bruce Sutter. He also finished fourth in the MVP race.
He re-signed with the Cubs that winter, hoping to help the young and talented Cubs compete in more postseason play.