'Fearless' Cubs even NLDS against Cardinals
ST. LOUIS -- For many, it wasn't looking good for the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Heading into Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, the numbers weren't adding up.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, the Cubs had lost the opening game of a playoff series 12 times and never rallied to win the series.
The Game 2 pitching matchup looked ominous as well, with St. Louis left-hander Jaime Garcia matching up against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
In his final 3 home starts of the regular season, Garcia allowed just 2 runs in 22 innings. Hendricks, on the other hand, was rocked in his only start at Busch this season.
Baseball can be a funny game, and Hendricks and the Cubs wound up having the last laugh.
Garcia melted down in the second inning Saturday, making a big error that the Cubs pounced on for 5 unearned runs. Garcia exited the game after the second with a stomach virus.
Hendricks gave up 3 home runs in 4⅔ innings, but they were all solo shots, the bullpen picked him up and the Cubs evened the series with a 6-3 victory.
Give the Cubs credit for hanging tough against the Cardinals, who led the major leagues with 100 wins and tied the Los Angeles Dodgers for best home record (55-26) during the regular season.
Taking manager Joe Maddon's cue, the Cubs did not panic after losing the series opener.
Maddon said he completely understood if Cubs fans were antsy after Game 1.
"The fans should always worry," Maddon said. "It's always the prerogative of a fan to worry, I absolutely believe in that. That's what barrooms are for. That's what little forums are for online in this 21st century stuff. I'm always about fans worrying; go ahead and worry as much as you'd like."
Maddon says he never worries about winning or losing baseball games, and he passes that down to his players.
"From our perspective, we have to just go out and play the game like we always do," he said. "I'm here to tell you, man, I just can't live that way. The line I've used is I don't vibrate at that frequency.
"It has nothing to do with anything, it really doesn't. I talked about it the other day, the process is fearless. If you want to always live your life just based on the outcome, you're going to be fearful a lot.
"And when you're doing that, you're really not living in a particular moment. I've not even mentioned about winning one time to these guys during this whole time. If you take care of the seconds and the minutes, the hours in a day take care of themselves.
"So for our fans back home, please go ahead and be worried, that's OK, but understand that from our perspective in the clubhouse, we're more worried about the process than the outcome."