Home Baseball Breaking Down the Curse-Breaking Season of the 2016 Chicago Cubs

Breaking Down the Curse-Breaking Season of the 2016 Chicago Cubs

Breaking Down the Curse-Breaking Season of the 2016 Chicago Cubs


The 2016 Chicago Cubs celebrating their Recreation 7 win over the Indians; CC by License 2.0

The 2016 Cubs are taking place as probably the most historic and memorable groups ever. Regardless of being a die-hard Cardinals fan, this group has all the time been certainly one of my favorites to look again on. Throughout their unbelievable championship run, I used to be an 11-year-old falling in love with the sport of baseball. I keep in mind being fascinated with this group, their story, and all the pieces the gamers and the followers went by to get that ring. Regardless of rising up hating the Cubs, it actually felt good to see them win a hoop.

Heading into 2016, the Cubs had sky-high expectations, coming off the 97-win 2015 season through which they misplaced within the NLCS. That playoff look was the Cubs’ first since 2007, their first NLCS look since 2003, and simply their fifth playoff look since 1990. Chicago anticipated a playoff run in 2016, however to say they have been below stress can be an understatement. The Cubs had the longest championship drought in North American professional sports activities historical past and had not received a World Sequence since 1908. 2016 marked the 108th yr of that notorious dry spell. Nevertheless, this Cubs group felt totally different. They have been charismatic and enjoyable to observe, and it appeared like a World Sequence might lastly return to the North Aspect.

The Cubs made a number of strikes within the offseason main as much as 2016 to fill out their roster and convey the group collectively. They signed 2B Ben Zobrist, P John Lackey, and RF Jason Heyward whereas re-signing CF Dexter Fowler and P Trevor Cahill. Chicago additionally despatched longtime center infielder Starlin Castro to the Yankees, betting on the veteran Zobrist and younger prospect Javier Baez to fill the opening Castro left.

The season opened up with a bang for the Cubs. They went 8-1 to begin the yr, outscoring their opponents by 43 runs and averaging 7 runs per recreation. Additionally they received out to a 3-game lead within the division and wouldn’t relinquish that division lead for all the season. Chicago completed April with a 17-5 report and a +79 run differential. They stayed sizzling by the All-Star break, holding a 53-35 report and a 7-game division lead on the Midsummer Traditional.

The Lovable Losers have been firing on all cylinders however nonetheless wanted some bullpen depth. On July twentieth, the Cubs added a bullpen arm, buying Mike Montgomery from the Mariners in change for future Oakland Athletic Paul Blackburn and Mets legend Daniel Vogelbach. Montgomery would go on to have a sub-3 ERA throughout 17 appearances and 5 begins for Chicago within the 2nd half. He proved to be a worthwhile piece however was not the one addition the Cubs made on the commerce deadline. On July twenty fifth, the Cubs traded Rashad Crawford, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, and Adam Warren to the Yankees in change for elite nearer Aroldis Chapman. This deal would put them excessive, as Chapman had a 1.01 ERA within the 2nd half and surrendered solely 6 earned runs whereas putting out 21 throughout 15.2 postseason innings. The Cubs ended the yr with a 103-58-1 report and received the division by 17.5 video games.

Chicago confronted the San Francisco Giants within the Divisional Sequence and received Recreation One 1-0 behind a dominant efficiency from Jonathan Lester. They then received Recreation Two on the again of 5.1 shutout innings from the bullpen and a two-hit night time from Willson Contreas. Recreation Three would go to the Giants in further innings, however the Cubs rebounded, successful Recreation 4 as a result of a 4-run ninth inning and RBI hits from Contreras, Ben Zobrist, and Javier Baez. For the second consecutive season, the Cubs have been heading to face the Los Angeles Dodgers within the NLCS, and have been solely 4 wins away from a World Sequence look.

5 runs within the backside of the eighth inning propelled Chicago to a Recreation One win. Nevertheless, they dropped video games 2 and three, establishing a must-win Recreation 4 in LA. John Lackey allowed 2 runs by 4 innings, and the bullpen tossed 5 shutout innings. That proved to be a lot, because the offense exploded for 10 runs with a house run from Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo. They received recreation 5 as properly and went again dwelling up 3-2 for recreation 6. Rizzo and Contreas each hit HRs which was loads of run assist for the 7.1 innings of shutout ball from Kyle Hendricks and 1.2 innings from Chapman to win the sport. The Cubs have been again within the World Sequence for the primary time since 1945. The Cubs received off to a tough begin within the World Sequence falling behind 3-1. With the season on the road in recreation 5, Lester gave them 6 innings of two-run ball after which Chapman received a 2.2 inning save to win the sport 3-2. The Cubs received recreation 6 to drive a recreation 7 to interrupt the curse. In one of many biggest video games in MLB historical past, the Indians hit a game-tying dwelling run within the ninth to ship it to extras. Then within the high of the tenth, Zobrist and Miguel Montero each drove in runs and within the backside of the tenth, commerce deadline pickup Mike Montgomery received the final out the Cubs received it. They received the world collection. After going by their season, we’re gonna look again at their roster and analyze what made them so good.

Beginning pitching

The beginning workers was the robust go well with of this group and was led by the 1-2-3 punch of Lester, Arrieta, and Hendricks. All of them prevented the lengthy ball and general stored guys off the bases. Lester was a former World Sequence winner in Boston and he was the anchor of this workers. Arrieta is an odd piece of the rotation as he was a failed starter in Baltimore however discovered magic in Chicago and have become among the finest pitchers within the NL late in his profession. Hendricks was the younger man in rotation as this was simply his third full season, however had the very best season in comparison with the opposite guys. This 1-2-3 punch was the anchor of this group that held all of it collectively, nevertheless, Lackey and Hammel have been very strong and constant behind the rotation and have been capable of maintain the group rolling within the season.


The bullpen for the Cubs was in all probability the weakest a part of the group however was nonetheless a really strong unit. Rondon was the nearer within the first half and had a strong yr as a strong piece of the pen. Wooden, Grimm, and Cahill all ate loads of innings and had superb years for the group. Strop and Edwards would each go on to be longtime Cubs and had very strong years for this Cubs group. Montgomery got here in on the commerce deadline and made spot begins and got here out of the pen and gave them loads of strong innings. Chapman was elite for the Cubs and was among the finest relievers in baseball throughout this time. This bullpen was put collectively all year long and ended up placing collectively an incredible efficiency within the playoffs.


This lineup was probably the most lethal in baseball this yr and a really enjoyable lineup to look again on. It was dominated by the 2 younger sluggers Rizzo and Bryant being simply 24 and 26 respectively. Bryant received MVP this yr and Rizzo was proper there with him as one of many two of the very best hitters in baseball this yr. After them two, veterans Zobrist and Fowler supplied stability and management of their lineup. Zobrist was the utility man for them and Fowler locked down CF for the yr. Younger guys Russell, Photo voltaic, Baez, and Contreras supplied youth and depth to the lineup. Russell stepped up huge for this Cubs group and had an ideal season for them and Photo voltaic was very strong for the Cubs. Contreas and Baez have been each electrical and enjoyable for this group and supplied versatility for the group. Heyward had a disappointing season however nonetheless supplied good protection in RF. Montero and Ross have been the veteran catching duo who managed the pitching workers and did their jobs.

This 2016 Cubs group was very memorable and enjoyable to observe. As a lover of the sport of baseball, it is very important keep in mind these nice groups and inform the story of them. I hope this text was capable of convey again the good recollections of this nice group.

Sources: Baseball Reference



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