It always seemed destined to end up like this. Before the series, every preview you saw or went through in your own head made it awfully hard to split these two teams. Similar offenses, rotations that though they go about it differently are just about as solid, and deep pens. The games themselves haven’t varied from that, coming down to one play here or there. It’s far and away the tightest series, as the only other one to go the full route, New York-Cleveland, only had two close games. The Cubs and Nats have had four.
When you get to a deciding game, the temptation is to see 1) how you could have avoided this and/or 2) whether you deserve to be here at all. And because it’s coming to a winner-take-all, the answer is usually equally both. On the first half, you could say the Cubs are one Edwards Jr. hanging curve from having swept this. They’ve really pitched marvelously, better than we could have imagined. But it’s really only that mistake that has gotten the Cubs here. Without it, they don’t even see Strasburg a second time.
Or you could say that they haven’t hit a lick. Bryant’s biggest contribution has been reaching on an error. They’ve been downright terrible in the field, and it cost them the decisive run in Game 4 which kind of landed them here. They’ve scored eight runs in four games. They almost have as many errors. In some ways, they’re lucky to even be here at all. Which means that this is probably exactly where they should be.