Forgive me for going all 30 for 30 on you, but what if I told you that in the long and storied history of the Chicago Cubs, they’ve never clinched a playoff series at home. It’s the truth. A win tonight would mark the first time in the 144-year history of the franchise to achieve that feat. The sad truth, however, is that they really haven’t had that many chances. Allow me to break it down for you.
For one, before 1969, you have to remember that there wasn’t even a League Championship Series, only the World Series. In most of their losses, they were never in a position to clinch at all, let alone at home.
- 1906-lost 4-2 to the Chicago White Sox
- 1910-lost 4-1 to the Philadelphia Athletics
- 1918-lost 4-1 to the Boston Red Sox
- 1929-lost 4-1 to the Philadelphia Athletics
- 1932-lost 4-0 to the New York Yankees
- 1935-lost 4-2 to the Detroit Tigers
- 1938-lost 4-0 to the New York Yankees
They had a chance in Game 7 of the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. They won Game 6 at Wrigley Field, 8-7, but lost the clincher 9-3.
For the two World Series that they did win in 1907 and 1908, the Cubs clinched both at Bennett Park in Detroit.
The Cubs have had few chances here as well, having only played in three National League Championship Series.
In 1984, they didn’t get the chance to clinch at home. They won the first two games at Wrigley Field, but lost the next three, which were all played in San Diego.
In 1989, the Cubs lost to the San Francisco Giants 4-1, so there wasn’t even a hint of a chance there.
In 2003, as I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere before, the Cubs had two chances to clinch at Wrigley Field against the Florida Marlins. There was a minor incident in Game 6, and the Cubs lost that game 8-3. They also lost Game 7 by a score of 9-6.
The Cubs were swept in 2007 and 2008 by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively, so there was no chance in either of those series.
The last playoff series that the Cubs won at all, if you don’t count this year’s wild card game (which I don’t consider a series, and even that was won in Pittsburgh), came in the 2003 NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. After splitting the first two in Atlanta, the Cubs won Game 3 at Wrigley, but missed their chance to clinch at home in Game 4, losing 6-4. They would go on to win Game 5 at Turner Field.
The Cubs have a big chance to make history today, and that all starts at 3:37 at Wrigley Field.