That was some mean business the Chicago Cubs pulled on their faithful last night. What's next, Joe Maddon pulling the wings off flies? Trotting out a goat and saying "Hey, look, it's our new good luck charm!'?
There is angst enough these days for Cub Nation, which has alternated between giddy swagger and creeping dread all summer long. They know they're looking at probably the best Cubs team in not only their lifetimes, but their parents' and grandparents' lifetimes. That's why when the shoe drops this time, it's going to be a size-16 EEE Doc Martin. Steel-toed.
And, listen, if you don't think they're all waiting for that shoe to come whistling down from the cosmos, you don't know Cubs fans. They're so conditioned to disappointment -- crushing disappointment, not just oh-rats-someone-ate-the-last-donut disappointment -- that even now, even with a team this good, they're halfway cringing. And that stunt last night didn't help.
What sort of cruel streak do you have to have to get down three runs entering the ninth inning, and then score four in the ninth to win it? Especially when a Giants' win would force an -- oh my God -- winner-take-all Game 5? And especially because it's the Giants, who have a habit of getting things to come out right in October?
No one had to tell a Cubs fan what they were up against going into the ninth last night. There's a stat out there, recited this morning on Dweeb Mike & Rockhead Mike, that said teams leading by three or more runs going into the ninth were 800-something to 3 all-time.
Now it's 800-something to 4. Although it's unlikely Cubs fans are fully appreciative this morning.
Instead, they're probably saying something like "Don't do that again." No doubt followed by "Cubs win! Cubs w--GAACK!" as they clutch their chests and keel over.
Not nice, Cubs. Not nice at all.