Chicago Cubs ready for more Opening Day moments under Joe Maddon

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Opening a historic season on the road in California

Going into Opening Day 2016, the Chicago Cubs were coming off a very active offseason signing two big name free agents, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist. Just a year prior, Zobrist had won a World Series championship with the Kansas City Royals and came to Chicago to reunite with his former skipper in Tampa Bay in Maddon.

Heyward, meanwhile, was no stranger to Cubs fans. His first career home run came in Atlanta against the Cubs back in 2010. When Chicago and St. Louis squared off in the 2015 NLDS, the then-Cardinals outfielder torched Cubs pitching to the tune of a 1.080 OPS in four games, so the excitement around his addition was palpable amongst fans.

Heading into that season, the lineup seemed to have few holes or even weak spots. After the unexpected run to the NLCS in the previous year, expectations were higher than they’d been in nearly a decade on the North Side. The Cubs opened up in 2016 playing in Los Angeles against the Angels.

Chicago came out swinging right out of the gates when Dexter Fowler hit a leadoff double, and then Anthony Rizzo had a two-out RBI knock. Jake Arrieta, coming from his Cy Young Award in 2015, took the ball and he was terrific, going seven innings and giving up just two hits and zero runs. The Cubs won the game 9-0, and we all know what happened when we closed the book on the historic season.

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