2016 National League Championship Series

The 2016 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff in which the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. As winners of one of the Division Series and the team with the best regular season record in the National League, the Cubs earned home-field advantage regardless of opponent. The series was the 47th in league history. FS1 televised all of the games in the United States.[1][2]

The Cubs would go on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series in seven games, after overcoming a 3–1 series deficit, winning their first World Series championship for the first time in 108 years, ending the Curse of the Billy Goat.

2016 National League Championship Series
2016NLCSlogo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Chicago Cubs (4) Joe Maddon 103–58, .640, 17.5 GA
Los Angeles Dodgers (2) Dave Roberts 91–71, .562, 4 GA
DatesOctober 15–22
MVPJavier Báez and Jon Lester (Chicago)
UmpiresTed Barrett, Gary Cederstrom, Eric Cooper, Ángel Hernández, Alfonso Márquez, Paul Nauert and Bill Welke.
NLDS
Broadcast
TelevisionFS1 (English)
Fox Deportes (Spanish)
TV announcersJoe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci (English)
Carlos Álvarez and Duaner Sánchez (Spanish)
RadioESPN (English)
ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Radio announcersDan Shulman and Aaron Boone (English)
Eduardo Ortega, José Francisco Rivera, and Orlando Hernández (Spanish)

Background

The 2016 NLCS was the Cubs' second consecutive NLCS appearance and fifth overall. Chicago lost its first four NLCS appearances, in 1984, 1989, 2003, and most recently were swept in the 2015 National League Championship Series. This was the first time the Cubs have made back-to-back NLCS appearances. The Cubs had not won a World Series championship since 1908 or played in the World Series since 1945.

This was the Dodgers' 11th overall appearance in the NLCS. Los Angeles was in the NLCS for the first time since losing the 2013 National League Championship Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers split their previous ten NLCS appearances, with their most recent victory in 1988, the same year they last appeared in and won the World Series.

This was the second postseason meeting between the Cubs and the Dodgers. Their only other postseason series was the 2008 National League Division Series, in which the Dodgers swept the Cubs in three games, this postseason matchup would happen again in the 2017 NLCS, with the Dodgers winning four games to one.

The Cubs won the regular season series 4 games to 3. Chicago won three of the four games played at Wrigley Field from May 30 to June 2, while Los Angeles took two out of three games played at Dodger Stadium from August 26 to 28.

With the Cubs' and Dodgers' appearances, the winning team was guaranteed to end a pennant drought of at least 28 years. The last time an NLCS had two teams that had pennant droughts of more than 25 years was 1989, when the Giants had a 27-year drought and the Cubs a 44-year drought.

Summary

Chicago won the series, 4–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 15 Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, Chicago Cubs – 8 Wrigley Field 3:37 42,376[3] 
2 October 16 Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Chicago Cubs – 0 Wrigley Field 2:45 42,384[4] 
3 October 18 Chicago Cubs – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 6 Dodger Stadium 3:18 54,269[5] 
4 October 19 Chicago Cubs – 10, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2 Dodger Stadium 3:58 54,449[6] 
5 October 20 Chicago Cubs – 8, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4 Dodger Stadium 4:16 54,449[7] 
6 October 22 Los Angeles Dodgers – 0, Chicago Cubs – 5 Wrigley Field 2:36 42,386[8]

Game summaries

Game 1

Saturday, October 15, 2016 7:08 pm (CDT) at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 4 9 0
Chicago 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 x 8 9 0
WP: Aroldis Chapman (1–0)   LP: Joe Blanton (0–1)
Home runs:
LAD: Andre Ethier (1)
CHC: Miguel Montero (1), Dexter Fowler (1)
Attendance: 42,376

With Clayton Kershaw needed to unexpectedly close out the 2016 National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals and Rich Hill having to start that game on three days' rest, the Dodgers turned to Kenta Maeda to open this series. Opposing him was Cubs' ace Jon Lester. Chicago got to Maeda early. Dexter Fowler singled to lead off the first and scored on Kris Bryant's double. Jason Heyward tripled to lead off the second and scored on Javier Báez's double. Baez moved to third on a wild pitch, then stole home to make it 3–0 Cubs. He became the first Cub to steal home in the postseason since 1907.[9] Lester pitched well, allowing only one run (a pinch-hit home run by Andre Ethier in the fifth) in six innings. In the top of the eighth, the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and walk off Mike Montgomery and Pedro Strop. Aroldis Chapman in relief struck out Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig, but Adrián González tied the game with a two-run single to center[10] In the bottom of the inning, Miguel Montero's pinch-hit grand slam off Joe Blanton was followed by a Dexter Fowler homer on the next pitch to put the Cubs back in front 8–3.[11] The Dodgers got a run off Héctor Rondón in the ninth when Joc Pederson singled with one out and scored on Andrew Toles's double, but Chase Utley lined into an inning-ending double play as Game 1 marked the Cubs' first victory in a National League Championship Series since Game 4 of 2003. They had previously lost seven straight NLCS games.

Game 2

Sunday, October 16, 2016 7:08 pm (CDT) at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
WP: Clayton Kershaw (1–0)   LP: Kyle Hendricks (0–1)   Sv: Kenley Jansen (1)
Home runs:
LAD: Adrián González (1)
CHC: None
Attendance: 42,384

Game 2 featured a matchup between two of the league's stingiest pitchers in 2016, in terms of earned run average. Clayton Kershaw and Kyle Hendricks were the top two in ERA in baseball, although the former didn't have enough innings to qualify.[12] The start marked the fourth appearance in ten games for Kershaw in the 2016 playoffs. For Hendricks, this was his first appearance since being struck on the forearm by a line drive by Ángel Pagán in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.

The game lived up to the billing of a pitcher's duel. Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings and the Dodgers edged the Cubs, 1–0, to even up the series at one. There were just five hits. The only run scored in the second inning on a home run by Adrián González. Hendricks pitched 5⅓ innings of one-run ball, while four Cub relievers allowed three baserunners over 3⅔ innings. Kenley Jansen, whose previous outing in the NLDS was a seven-out, 51-pitch outing, got the first six-out save of his career. It was the Dodgers' first six-out save in a postseason since Jay Howell in Game 4 of the 1988 World Series.[13] Jansen needed just 18 pitches as the Dodgers tied the series at a game apiece.

Game 2 was the Cubs' second 1–0 game of the postseason and first loss since Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox blanked them in the 1918 World Series opener at Comiskey Park.[14] This was also the first time the Dodgers had won a Championship Series game on the road since Game 5 of the 1988 NLCS against the Mets.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 5:08 pm (PDT) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Los Angeles 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 2 x 6 10 0
WP: Rich Hill (1–0)   LP: Jake Arrieta (0–1)
Home runs:
CHC: None
LAD: Yasmani Grandal (1), Justin Turner (1)
Attendance: 54,269

This was Jake Arrieta's first start at Dodger Stadium since his no-hitter on August 30, 2015. Opposing him was journeyman Rich Hill, a former Cub.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Andrew Toles led off with a single to left, advanced to second base on a ground out by Hill, then scored with two outs on a Corey Seager single to left field. Yasmani Grandal made the score 3-0 in the fourth with a two-run homer to right field.[15] The Dodgers tacked on another in the sixth as Justin Turner drilled a homer to center field, chasing Arrieta from the game.[16] Hill, meanwhile, pitched six innings, limiting the Cubs to two hits and two walks with six strikeouts on 93 pitches.

Joe Blanton threw an inning in the seventh and Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen combined to do so in the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, against reliever Mike Montgomery, Yasiel Puig singled with one out and came around to score on a double down the left-field line by Joc Pederson, improving the Dodgers' lead to 5–0. Pederson would steal third base and score on a Grandal groundout, making it 6–0. Jansen pitched the ninth to end the game.

This was the first time the Dodgers shut out a team back-to-back in the postseason in their history. It was just the fourth time in LCS history a team posted consecutive shutout wins.[17] It marked the first time the Cubs had been blanked in back-to-back games since May 27–28, 2014.[18] The Cubs hitting slump continued as the 2-3-4-5 hitters went 3–27 in the two shutouts.[19] The win gave the Dodgers a 2–1 series lead.

Game 4

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:08 pm (PDT) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago 0 0 0 4 1 5 0 0 0 10 13 2
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 4
WP: Mike Montgomery (1–0)   LP: Julio Urías (0–1)
Home runs:
CHC: Addison Russell (1), Anthony Rizzo (1)
LAD: None
Attendance: 54,449

Looking to break their two-game scoring drought, the Cubs sent playoff veteran John Lackey to the mound while the Dodgers went with Julio Urías, the youngest pitcher to start a game in postseason history.[20] The Cubs' struggles continued as Urías held them without a hit through three innings. In the bottom of the second, the Dodgers had a scoring chance denied as Adrián González was thrown out at the plate by Jason Heyward after an Andrew Toles single. Dodger manager Dave Roberts called a video review but the call stood. In the fourth, the Cubs' bats began to awaken. Ben Zobrist notched their first hit with a leadoff bunt. Javier Báez and Willson Contreras followed with singles to score Zobrist, the first Cub run in 21 innings.[21] A Heyward groundout scored another run and left Contreras at third for Addison Russell. On a 2–0 pitch, Russell broke out of his slump with a two-run homer to put the Cubs up 4–0. Urías was lifted one batter later. In the top of the fifth, Anthony Rizzo's home run on a full count made it 5–0. Back-to-back walks to begin the bottom of the fourth forced Lackey from the game. Reliever Mike Montgomery gave up a single to load the bases before striking out Corey Seager. A single off Montgomery's glove by Justin Turner brought in two runs, and the Dodgers reduced the lead to 5–2. Montgomery retired the next two batters to end the threat. In the top of the sixth, the Cubs blew the game open. Russell singled and reached second on a throwing error. Montgomery and Dexter Fowler both singled to score Russell. Following a Kris Bryant walk, Rizzo's single scored two runs to make it 8–2. Following a single by Zobrist to load the bases, Báez hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Joc Pedersen, whose throw to home got by the catcher. Bryant and Rizzo both came home, ballooning the lead to 10–2.[22] The Cub bullpen shut down the Dodgers and the series was tied at two games apiece.

Game 5

Thursday, October 20, 2016 5:08 pm (PDT) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 8 13 0
Los Angeles 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 4 9 1
WP: Jon Lester (1–0)   LP: Joe Blanton (0–2)
Home runs:
CHC: Addison Russell (2)
LAD: None
Attendance: 54,449

Game 1 starters Jon Lester and Kenta Maeda returned. Chicago started the scoring in the first inning on a single by Dexter Fowler and an RBI double by Anthony Rizzo, but the Cubs left runners on base in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings without another run. The Dodgers tied the game in the fourth following a Howie Kendrick double and steal of third. Adrián González hit a ball to Rizzo, who could not field it cleanly, Kendrick scoring. The Dodgers lifted Maeda in the fourth inning. In the sixth, Javier Báez continued his strong post-season by singling. Addison Russell homered to center field to break the deadlock and put the Cubs up 3–1.[23] After stranding two more runners in the seventh, the Cubs broke the game open in the eighth. Russell reached on an error and pinch hitter Willson Contreras singled. Also pinch-hitting, Albert Almora, Jr. bunted the runners over, Dexter Fowler following with a run-scoring infield single.. An infield single by Kris Bryant scored Contreras. A walk by Ben Zobrist loaded the bases for Baez, whose bases-clearing double put the Cubs up 8–1. The Dodgers scored a run in the bottom of the eighth off Pedro Strop on a double by Carlos Ruiz. Cub closer Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth. He allowed a run-scoring single by Josh Reddick and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Toles to make the score 8–4, but induced Justin Turner to ground out to end the game. The win put the Cubs on the brink of the World Series as the series moved back to Wrigley Field.[24]

Game 6

Saturday, October 22, 2016 7:08 pm (CDT) at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Chicago 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 X 5 7 1
WP: Kyle Hendricks (1–1)   LP: Clayton Kershaw (1–1)
Home runs:
LAD: None
CHC: Willson Contreras (1), Anthony Rizzo (2)
Attendance: 42,386

Cubs pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman combined to allow only two hits and one walk, facing the minimum 27 batters, the first time this had occurred in postseason play since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. The Cubs won the series four games to two and won the pennant for the first time since 1945,[25] clinching a pennant at home for the first time since 1932.[26] Hendricks pitched 7⅓ shutout innings, allowing just two hits and walking none. After he allowed a single in the eighth, Chapman entered and forced a double play to end the eighth and a double play grounder by Yasiel Puig to end the game, series, and the Cubs' 71-year pennant drought.[27][28]

Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras each hit home runs and Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, and Dexter Fowler each drove in a run as the Cubs jumped to a 5–0 lead in the fifth inning. Of the four Dodgers to reach first base, none reached second: Andrew Toles (single, first inning), Josh Reddick (single, eighth inning), and Carlos Ruiz (walk, ninth inning) were all retired on double plays. Reddick reached on a fielding error in the second inning but was picked off at first by Hendricks. As a result, the Cubs faced the minimum numbers of batters (27) to complete a nine-inning Major League Baseball game, a rarity in a postseason contest (Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series was the only other occurrence).

The Dodgers' World Series drought reached 28 years with the loss. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw could not repeat his Game 2 magic, giving up five runs and two home runs, being replaced in the sixth inning. Relief pitcher Kenley Jansen shut out the Cubs for three innings in the loss.[29]

Javier Báez and Jon Lester won NLCS co-Most Valuable Player honors.[30][31]

Composite line score

2016 NLCS (4–2): Chicago Cubs beat Los Angeles Dodgers.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago Cubs 4 3 0 5 2 7 0 10 0 31 48 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 0 1 1 3 3 1 0 5 3 17 39 7
Total attendance: 290,313   Average attendance: 48,386

See also

References

  1. ^ Newman, Mark (August 24, 2016). "To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Normandin, Marc (August 23, 2016). "2016 MLB playoff schedule released". SBNation.com. SB Nation. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Boxscore: Los Angeles vs. Chicago, Game 1". MLB.com. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  4. ^ "Boxscore: Los Angeles vs. Chicago, Game 2". MLB.com. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Boxscore: Chicago vs. Los Angeles, Game 3". MLB.com. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  6. ^ "Boxscore: Chicago vs. Los Angeles, Game 4". MLB.com. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Boxscore: Chicago vs. Los Angeles, Game 5". MLB.com. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "Boxscore: Los Angeles vs. Chicago, Game 6". MLB.com. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  9. ^ Ortiz, Jorge. "Miguel Montero hits grand slam in 8th, Cubs take 1-0 NLCS lead". USA Today. Chicago: Gannett Company. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  10. ^ McCullough, Andy (October 15, 2016). "Cubs slam their way past Dodgers with eighth-inning rally in Game 1 of NLCS". Los Angeles Times. Chicago: Tronc. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Muskat, Carrie; Gurnick, Ken. "Grand opener! PH slam in 8th saves Cubs". MLB.com. Chicago: MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "MLB Statistics - 2016". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "World Series Game 4 Box Score". Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Cohen, Jay. "Kershaw helps Dodgers blank Cubs 1-0, NLCS even at 1-all". Associated Press. Chicago: AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  15. ^ Berg, Ted; Ortiz, Jorge. "Cubs fall in 2-1 NLCS hole to Dodgers". USA Today. Los Angeles: Gannett Company. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  16. ^ Schouwen, Daryl (October 18, 2016). "FINAL: Dodgers 6, Cubs 0". Chicago Sun-Times. Los Angeles: Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Harris, Beth. "Hill outpitches Arrieta; Dodgers beat Cubs 6-0 for NLCS lead". Associated Press. Los Angeles: AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  18. ^ Axisa, Mike (October 18, 2016). "Cubs-Dodgers Game 3: Final score, things to know as Dodgers take 2-1 series lead". CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  19. ^ Mitrosilis, Teddy (October 18, 2016). "The Dodgers made history by owning the Cubs in Game 3". Foxsports.com. Fox Sports Digital Media. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  20. ^ "Mexican pitcher Julio Urias is the youngest in MLB postseason history". NBC News. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  21. ^ "Cubs-Dodgers NLCS: Cubs end 21-inning scoring drought in a big way in Game 4". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  22. ^ "Cubs vs. Dodgers | 10/19/16". Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  23. ^ "Cubs beat Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5; take 3-2 lead in NLCS". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "Cubs-Dodgers NLCS Game 5: Final score, things to know as Cubs near World Series". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  25. ^ Berg, Ted (October 23, 2016). "Cubs shut out Dodgers, advance to first World Series since 1945". USA Today. Chicago: Gannett Company. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  26. ^ Yellon, Al (October 23, 2016). "Cubs 5, Dodgers 0: At Last". Bleed Cubbie Blue. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  27. ^ Gurnick, Ken; Muskat, Carrie (October 23, 2016). "Wait of the World: Cubs win NL pennant!". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  28. ^ Seligman, Andrew (October 23, 2016). "Cubs beat Dodgers 5-0 to reach 1st World Series since 1945". Chicago: AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  29. ^ Armen Graham, Bryan (October 22, 2016). "Cubs blank Dodgers to advance to first World Series in 71 years". The Guardian. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  30. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (October 23, 2016). "Lester, Baez share MVP honors". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "Baez, Lester share NLCS MVP award". WGN-TV. October 23, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016.

External links

2016 National League Division Series

The 2016 National League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2016 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff— played in two series. FS1 and MLB Network carried all the games in the United States.These matchups were:

(1) Chicago Cubs (Central Division champions) versus (5) San Francisco Giants (Wild Card Winner)

(2) Washington Nationals (East Division champions) vs (3) Los Angeles Dodgers (West Division champions)This was the second postseason meeting between the Dodgers and the Nationals franchise. Their most recent meeting was in the 1981 National League Championship Series, in which the Dodgers won the National League pennant over the then-Montreal Expos in five games. The Dodgers defeated the Nationals in five games and reached the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2013.The Cubs and Giants also met for the second time in postseason play after the Giants defeated the New York Mets 3–0 in the National League Wild Card Game. Their last meeting was in the 1989 National League Championship Series, which the Giants won in five games. However, they did meet in a Wild Card tiebreaker in 1998 where the Cubs advanced, beating the Giants 5–3. The Cubs won the Division Series three games to one and advanced to the NLCS for the second consecutive year.

Addison Russell

Addison Wayne Russell (born January 23, 1994) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). Russell was drafted 11th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. In 2015, Baseball America listed Russell as the third-best prospect in professional baseball. He made his MLB debut for the Cubs in April 2015 and was an All-Star in 2016. That same year, Russell won a World Series ring with the Cubs.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team plays its home games at Wrigley Field, located on the city's North Side. The Cubs are one of two major league teams in Chicago; the other, the Chicago White Sox, is a member of the American League (AL) Central division. The Cubs, first known as the White Stockings, were a founding member of the NL in 1876, becoming the Chicago Cubs in 1903.The Cubs have appeared in a total of eleven World Series. The 1906 Cubs won 116 games, finishing 116–36 and posting a modern-era record winning percentage of .763, before losing the World Series to the Chicago White Sox ("The Hitless Wonders") by four games to two. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first major league team to play in three consecutive World Series, and the first to win it twice. Most recently, the Cubs won the 2016 National League Championship Series and 2016 World Series, which ended a 71-year National League pennant drought and a 108-year World Series championship drought, both of which are record droughts in Major League Baseball. The 108-year drought was also the longest such occurrence in all major North American sports. Since the start of divisional play in 1969, the Cubs have appeared in the postseason ten times through the 2018 season.The Cubs are known as "the North Siders", a reference to the location of Wrigley Field within the city of Chicago, and in contrast to the White Sox, whose home field (Guaranteed Rate Field) is located on the South Side.

The Cubs have multiple rivalries. There is a divisional rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals, a newer rivalry with the Milwaukee Brewers and an interleague rivalry with the Chicago White Sox.

Cubs Win Flag

The Cubs Win Flag is a victory flag that is flown at Wrigley Field after every Chicago Cubs home win. The flag is variously referred to by approximately a dozen names, combining: either Cubs or Chicago Cubs; Win, W, White, White W, or W Win; and flag, banner or banner flag. Other common names for the symbol include Chicago Cubs W Win Flag and Chicago Cubs Win Banner Flag. It has become an important symbol for fans and days when the win flag is flown are known as "White Flag Days". The tradition of flying a win or loss flag over the stadium began soon after the construction of the scoreboard in 1937.The flag has used two different color schemes with the letter "W" on a solid background, and there is a loss indicator flag with a letter "L". Additionally, the flags have been complemented by different color schemes of indicator lights. The flag is also changed after each Cubs win. The flag has become a very symbolic emblem for devout Cubs fans. Some retailers sell slightly different versions that also have the Cubs logo at the bottom.

Curse of the Billy Goat

The Curse of the Billy Goat was a sports-related curse that was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in 1945, by Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis. The curse lasted 71 years, from 1945 to 2016. Because the odor of his pet goat, named Murphy, was bothering other fans, Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field, the Cubs' home ballpark, during game 4 of the 1945 World Series. Outraged, Sianis allegedly declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more," which had been interpreted to mean that the Cubs would never win another National League (NL) pennant, at least for the remainder of Sianis's life.

The Cubs lost the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers, and did not win a World Series championship again until 2016. The Cubs had last won the World Series in 1908. After the incident with Sianis and Murphy, the Cubs did not play in the World Series for the next 71 years until, on the 46th anniversary of Billy Sianis's death, the "curse" was broken when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5–0 in game 6 of the 2016 National League Championship Series to win the NL pennant. The Cubs then defeated the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians 8–7 in 10 innings in game 7 to win the 2016 World Series, 108 years after their last win.

Don Larsen's perfect game

On October 8, 1956, in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen's perfect game is the only perfect game in the history of the World Series; it was the first perfect game thrown in 34 years and is one of only 23 perfect games in MLB history. His perfect game remained the only no-hitter of any type ever pitched in postseason play until Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, and the only postseason game in which any team faced the minimum 27 batters until Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman of the Chicago Cubs managed to combine for the feat in the decisive sixth game of the 2016 National League Championship Series.

Enrique Hernández (baseball)

Enrique Javier Hernández (born August 24, 1991) is a Puerto Rican professional baseball utility player for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. His nickname is Kike ( KEE-kay), sometimes spelled Kiké during English-language television broadcasts to prevent it from being confused with a slur that has a different pronunciation. He has played every position except catcher in the major leagues, though he has spent the most time in the outfield and second base. The Astros drafted Hernández in the sixth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, and he was called up to the majors for the first time in 2014.

Grant Dayton

Grant A. Dayton (born November 25, 1987) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dayton was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB draft out of Auburn University. He was traded to the Dodgers on July 15, 2015, in exchange for Chris Reed. He was claimed off waivers by the Braves on November 20, 2017.

Javier Báez

Ednel Javier "Javy" Báez (born December 1, 1992), nicknamed "El Mago" (Spanish for "The Magician"), is a Puerto Rican professional baseball player for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). Born in Puerto Rico, Báez attended high school in Jacksonville, Florida. The Cubs selected Báez with the ninth overall selection of the 2011 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2014.

He was the first player for the Cubs to steal home in a postseason game since Jimmy Slagle in 1907. In October 2016, Báez was named the National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside left-handed starter Jon Lester as the Chicago Cubs clinched their 2016 National League pennant.

Joe Blanton

Joseph Matthew Blanton (born December 11, 1980) is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Washington Nationals.

After playing college baseball for the University of Kentucky, Blanton was drafted by the Athletics. While pitching for the Phillies in the 2008 World Series, Blanton hit a home run.

Jon Lester

Jonathan Tyler Lester (born January 7, 1984) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Boston Red Sox from 2006 to 2014 and the Oakland Athletics in 2014. Less than two years after being diagnosed with lymphoma, Lester started and won the final game of the 2007 World Series for the Red Sox, and in May 2008, pitched a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals. He helped lead the Red Sox to another championship in 2013, and he won the 2016 World Series with the Cubs.

Justin Turner

Justin Matthew Turner (born November 23, 1984) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets. Turner also has experience playing second base, shortstop and first base.

Luis Avilán

Luis Armando Avilán (born July 19, 1989) is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Marlins Man

Laurence Leavy (born October 13, 1956), better known as Marlins Man, is an American sports fan and lawyer from North Miami Beach, Florida. He gained fame in 2012 for his frequent appearances at major sporting events while wearing orange Miami Marlins apparel. His seating placement in view of broadcast cameras has drawn attention at the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, College World Series, and other events. Leavy has been described by USA Today as a "ubiquitous superfan".

Mike Port

Michael D. Port (born July 24, 1945) is an American former professional baseball executive. He was vice president, Umpiring for Major League Baseball from August 2005 through March 2011, when he left that position, and previously served as a front-office executive for three MLB clubs. Port was the general manager of the California Angels from September 1984 through 1991 and acting GM of the Boston Red Sox from February through November of 2002.

Paul Nauert

Paul Edward Nauert (born July 7, 1963) is an American professional baseball umpire who has umpired in Major League Baseball (MLB) since becoming a part-time National League (NL) umpire in 1995.Nauert previously worked in the Appalachian League (1988), the Midwest League (1989–1990), the Florida Instructional League (1988–1990), the Southern League (1991–1992), and the International League (1993–1998). He was the base umpire during the 27-inning, eight-hour-and-15-minute, Bluefield at Burlington game of June 24, 1988, that ended at 3:27 am on June 25.

Nauert umpired his first National League game on May 19, 1995, and was one of 22 umpires whose resignations were accepted in 1999 (the resignations were part of a failed union negotiating strategy). On being rehired in 2002, he became part of the Major League Baseball umpire staff. Nauert has worked the 2004 American League Division Series, the 2008 National League Division Series, the 2010 National League Division Series, the 2013 National League Division Series, the 2014 American League Division Series, the 2016 National League Championship Series, and the 2017 National League Division Series. He was a part of the crew that worked both the 2008 MLB China Series (the first MLB games ever played in China) and the 2008 Japan Opening Series. Nauert also worked the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Ted Barrett

Edward George Barrett (born July 31, 1965) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He joined the American League's staff in 1994, and has worked throughout both major leagues since 2000. Barrett wore uniform number 12 (previously worn by Terry Cooney) while on the American League staff, then changed to 65 when the American and National League umpiring staffs merged in 2000.

Tommy La Stella

Thomas Frank La Stella (born January 31, 1989) is an American professional baseball infielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Atlanta Braves selected La Stella in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut with the Braves in 2014, and was traded to the Chicago Cubs before the 2015 season.

Warren Spahn Award

The Warren Spahn Award is presented each season by the Oklahoma Sports Museum to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). The award is named after Warren Spahn, who holds the MLB record in wins for a left-handed pitcher with 363. The Warren Spahn Award was created in 1999 by Richard Hendricks, the founder of the Oklahoma Sports Museum, to honor Spahn, who resided in Oklahoma. The award was presented at the Masonic Temple in Guthrie, Oklahoma until 2009, when the Bricktown Rotary Club became a sponsor of the award. Since 2009, the award is presented at the annual Warren Spahn Award Gala, hosted by the Bricktown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City at the Jim Thorpe Museum every January.The award has been won by eleven different pitchers. The winner is chosen based on rankings, which are based on wins, strikeouts and earned run average. The most recent recipient is Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays. Randy Johnson received the first four awards from 1999 through 2002. He attended the awards ceremony due to his respect for Spahn, who called him personally to ask him to attend. CC Sabathia (2007–2009), Johan Santana (2004, 2006) and Clayton Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014, 2017) are also multiple Warren Spahn Award winners. Johnson (1999–2002), Santana (2004, 2006), Sabathia (2007) and Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014) also won the Cy Young Award, given annually to the best pitcher in each league, in years they won the Warren Spahn Award.

Santana (2004, 2006), Sabathia (2007), Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014) and Keuchel (2015) won the Pitcher of the Year Award, given annually to the most outstanding pitcher in each league, in years they won the Warren Spahn Award.There has been one tie-break in the Warren Spahn Award's history, which occurred when Sabathia defeated the Houston Astros' Wandy Rodríguez to earn his third consecutive award in 2009. The tie-break was decided based on winning percentage.

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