#Cubs Theo: “If we show up and win, we’re dangerous”

If the Cubs need inspiration to rally from a 3-0 deficit in the National League Championship Series against the Mets, they can look to Theo Epstein, who knows it can be done.

In 2004 when Epstein was the Red Sox GM, his team trailed the Yankees, 3-0, in the American League Championship Series. Boston was outscored, 32-16, in the first three games, yet won Game 4 in 12 innings, and ended up winning the series, then sweeping St. Louis in the World Series.

“It’s been done before and we can do it,” said Epstein, now president of baseball operations for the Cubs. “Nine different times this year we’ve won four or more games in a row. We’ll just do it a 10th time, one at a time.”

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has emphasized one-game winning streaks all season. Wednesday’s Game 4 is no exception.

“Show up and win a ballgame tomorrow,” Epstein said. “If we show up and win tomorrow, we’re dangerous. Trust me. It’s been done before, rumor has it. We can do it. We’ve had nine winning streaks of four or more games this year, so we get hot, we get really hot, we can do it. We just have to show up and win tomorrow.”

The Mets opened the 3-0 lead over the Cubs in the NLCS with a 5-2 win on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. After the game, Maddon said he would approach Wednesday’s Game 4 as he has every other Wednesday game. His message is: Win.

Since Spring Training, Maddon has preached that he wants the same effort on March 21 in a Cactus League game as the players would give July 21 or Oct. 21. There will be no pre-game pep talk. Maddon doesn’t believe in team meetings. He holds three over the course of a season: one prior to the start of spring drills, another at the All-Star break, and one more before the postseason begins.

“From my perspective, it’s business as usual tomorrow,” Maddon said. “Come out, get ready to play, and just take it from there.”

The Mets’ young pitching has quieted the Cubs’ young hitters, but New York also has been aggressive on the base paths and taken advantage of every opening possible. The Mets scored the tie-breaking run Tuesday on a wild pitch, for example.

“Things bounce your way when you play good, and we’ve definitely gotten outplayed these first three games,” Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t outplay them the next four.”

The Cubs did overcome the odds to get to the postseason. They beat the Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game. They did topple the powerful Cardinals in the NL Division Series. They know about the Red Sox’s history.

“Keep battling,” rookie Kyle Schwarber said of the Cubs mantra now. “We’re going to keep battling until the end. It’s happened before, so it can – we’re really looking forward to getting back out to the ballpark [Wednesday]. … It’s a little frustrating, but we need to move past it and keep going. It’s been done before, and this team has done some special things throughout this whole season. We don’t count ourselves out by any means.”

Tuesday’s loss is behind them.

“There’s confidence in this clubhouse in everybody,” Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo said. “We just gotta keep playing baseball. One New York team has blown a 3-0 lead, let’s make it the other New York team. That’s the way we’re going to look at it. That’s the only thing we can do is be optimistic, and come out and play baseball.”

— Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

Pingback: The Daily CCO: Cubs Just Have to Show Up and Win - Chicago Cubs Online

Optimism, positive thinking – yup, got that! NOW add some powerful offense and a better defense then we had yesterday. Am I wrong or was it a sloppy game?

You are not wrong. Only Baez`s missing the easy grounder in the first was officially scored an error, but there were plenty of `suspect` fielding plays in addition. How in the world was the ball clanking off Schwarber`s glove not scored an error? Bryant double clutching on Murphy`s grounder, and Soler`s ill advised dive on Wilmer Flores` knock are just some examples. We`ve been outplayed in every phase of each of the three games, have scored just five runs total, and have a collective team batting average of .158. Yet Terry Collins commented in his presser after last night`s game that “the Cubs have played great.” He must have confused us with the Kansas City Royals` performance in the other league. Dan Plesac, a former Cubs` pitcher, and who is my favorite personality on the MLB Network`s coverage of these games, said today the Cubs are too good a team to be `swept` in this series. We`re wanting Dan to be right, of course, making possible a Game 5 at Wrigley Thursday.

Aloha jhosk n White, yes to Plesac, one of the few I can listen as well. I think Collins was being diplomatic. I know the truth hurts, the Cubs have been outplayed by the Mets. The Mets have executed when the Cubs have not. I also believe that this young team can do better and many times it takes getting a licking, in order for fundamentals to be learned and engrained. Today is a big game for some reasons, beyond winning this series. I hope for the best and have enjoyed watchy Cubs baseball late in October! Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk, these phones just bother me! Words I type in are not always inputted or other words are filled in. So, today’s game is big for many reasons, not just to advance but for the future and character of this team. Take care now! Mahalo!

Win or lose today, this has been one hell of a season. Was really just hoping to watch some young players develop and maybe pull out a winning season this year. It’s great to see they have a team to be proud of moving forward. Nice crop of free agents for next year too. Lets go Cubbies!

Hi a.j. What a refreshing comment! 😀 You are so right – a great season, watching our Cubs develop, playing great ball. Looking ahead to 2016 with good things in place. Still looking for a win today! And tomorrow and the next day! Could happen!

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