Last night the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 to win the National League pennant for the first time since 1945. Veteran readers of RINOcracy.com may recall that I am a life-long Cubs fan. I described at some length my history with the Cubs in Blog 37, “Of George Will, the Chicago Cubs and RINOS.” Without repeating all that, I will just mention that I have been one of the small (and annually diminishing) number of Cubs fans to have actually seen the Cubs play in a World Series game. It was Game 4 in 1945 and the Cubs were defeated that day (and in the Series) by the Detroit Tigers, but no matter.
The ensuing 70 years brought some occasional pleasant surprises, but many more crushing defeats and no pennant. This year the Cubs had the best record in baseball during the regular season, but the question remained whether they could survive the National League playoffs to meet the American League champions in the World Series. In the playoffs, the Cubs first defeated the San Francisco Giants and, going into last night’s game, led the Dodgers three games to two. One more win was all that was needed, but they had to face the Dodgers’ ace, Clayton Kershaw, who had shut out the Cubs in an earlier game, and whom the announcers seemed never to tire of telling us is the best in baseball. So Kershaw may be, but last night he was out-pitched by the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks does not have a blazing fastball, seldom throwing more than 90 mph, which you and I would find rather swift, but is considered relatively pedestrian in the Major Leagues. He does have an impressive repertoire of pitches and a remarkable ability to deliver them just where he wants to. He is also a modest young man of considerable intelligence, a Dartmouth graduate with a major in economics and a minor in mathematics. (When asked by a reporter his toughest course, he replied “abstract algebra,” a subject whose title alone I find dizzying.)
So Hendricks pitched and the Cubs’ hitters hit (as they had mysteriously failed to do in a couple of earlier games). The result was quite exciting (and more than merely a merciful relief from the depressing spectacle of election 2016). Now it is on to the World Series and a battle with the American League champion, the Cleveland Indians. But there is more. I have been fortunate enough to obtain tickets for Game 4 in Chicago next Saturday and I plan to be there along with my daughter, Heather. My enjoyment of the Cubs this year has been considerably enhanced by sharing it with Heather, who has, somewhat belatedly, also become an avid fan, so we will end the season together. I will file a further report either from Chicago or upon our return.