Chicago Cubs: Ranking all postseason series since 1984

Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Cubs History
Cubs fan, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

Cubs History: This set of series saw some of them end in brutal heartbreak, but at least the Cubs had their moments before bowing out

#10: 1989 National League Championship Series:

“The Boys of Zimmer” were an incredible fluke that won the 1989 NL East title. Though, dreams of a World Series were extinguished pretty fast when the Giants beat them in five games. The Cubs performance in the 89′ NLCS was pretty forgettable outside Mark Grace hitting .647/.682/1.118 with three doubles and eight RBI. Greg Maddux and Andre Dawson really struggled in the series, which was a major factor in the Cubs downfall. Meanwhile, Will Clark terrorized Cubs pitching with 13 hits and two homers in the series.

At least they won game two at Wrigley Field 9-5 when they chased former Cubs ace Rick Reuschel for five earned runs in the first. Them evening the series at 1-1 after that win at least gave hope to the North Side faithful that they had a shot at winning the pennant.

#9: 2017 National League Championship Series:

While defending their 2016 World Series title, the Cubs were looking to repeat in 2017 as they advanced to the NLCS for the third-straight year. By the time they got to the NLCS to face the NL-best 104-win Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs were running on fumes. Like 1989 they lost in five games, but this time they got their lone win in game four while trailing 3-0 in the series.

The series was pretty much over after Justin Turner’s walk-off homer in game two despite some still holding out hope when the series went to Wrigley Field. After falling behind 3-0, it was certainly over, even with the game four win. Los Angeles was just too good, and the Cubs were out of gas. In the end, it was just good seeing a defending champion Cubs team make another postseason run with an excellent final performance from Jake Arrieta. That is why the 2017 NLCS was ranked higher than the 1989 NLCS.

#8: 1984 National League Championship Series:

1984 saw the first postseason appearance for the Cubs in the NLCS era and first legit shot at a World Series title since 1945. A trip to the Fall Classic for the Cubs would go through the 92-win San Diego Padres. Back then, the NLCS was a best-of-five series that had the first two games take place at Wrigley Field and the final three in San Diego.

The pennant seemed like a sure thing when the Cubs demolished the Padres in the first two games of the series. Game one of the NLCS was a 13-0 whitewash with Rick Sutcliffe pitching a gem, the Cubs first postseason win since October 8th, 1945, and game two was a 4-2 win to bring them within one win of the World Series. Everything then went south. Behind Steve Garvey’s clutch hitting and Leon Durham’s error in game five, the Padres rallied and won the pennant. No need to go into the details, it’s too painful.

It was a brutal way to lose, but the Cubs got very close and had a legit shot at a pennant.

#7: 2003 National League Championship Series:

From 1946-2015 the Cubs won zero pennants, but 2003 was the closest they were to winning one. In an unexpected run, the 2003 Cubs were five outs away from the World Series against the Florida Marlins. The eighth inning collapse in game six was followed up by getting destroyed in game seven, resulting in coming up short of an NL pennant yet again.

However, this series saw some pretty cool things. They won games two through four to take a 3-1 series lead. Those three games included a Mark Prior gem in a 12-3 blowout win in game two, a thrilling extra-inning win on the road in  (the Cubs first-ever road win in an NLCS), and a first-inning grand slam by Aramis Ramirez in game four. It was a pretty impressive run until game five when they lost the final three games of the series. Luckily it does not sting as much now as it did before 2016.