Chicago Cubs: The start of a quest – and a World Series hangover
The start of the 2017 season was unchartered territory for the Cubs and their fans. We were defending World Series champions and boy did it feel good. Now, most people would think after winning a World Series for the first time in 108 years that reigning atop the baseball world would be enough to appease a fan base for a while, but that was not the case.
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The expectations for the 2017 team were as high as they had ever been for any Cubs team. The boys opened the season in St. Louis, taking on the St. Louis Cardinals. But, like Opening Day 2015 against the Cardinals, the game did not fall in the Cubs favor.
Lester took the ball again and really ground his way through five innings of one-run ball. In the ninth inning, the Cardinals had a 3-0 lead when Willson Contreras came to the plate for the Cubs, blasting a booming home run to tie the game, but the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
A reset following a third-straight NLCS appearance?
The big question going into the 2018 season was who would be the leadoff hitter? Maddon tried out multiple guys in the role during Spring Training, but young outfielder Ian Happ who got the nod for Opening Day in Miami.
On the very first pitch of the 2018 Major League Baseball season, Happ hit a leadoff home run to give the Cubs the 1-0 lead right away. Rizzo and Schwarber both homered as the Cubs went on to win 8-4 against the Marlins. Really, that set the tone for the opener – and the club went on to win 95 games in the regular season.
Chicago opens the season on Thursday against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Jon Lester will get the ball for his fourth Opening Day start of his Cubs career. Who will make the memorable moment this Opening Day? Let us know in the comments below.