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The National League Championship Series is set: the Chicago Cubs v the Chicago Cubs of New York.
The Cubs were the only team to win their division series, and even better, they beat their hated rivals, the Cardinals, who were the only 100-win team in baseball this year. They bashed their way to their first NLCS berth since 2003, hitting 10 home runs in the final three games of their series, including a postseason-record six in their 8-6 game three win, after being shut out in game one.
After finishing third in the National League Central, the Cubs had the privilege of eliminating both of the two teams that finished ahead of them, the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. With their game-four win at Wrigley Field, the Cubs clinched a postseason series on their home turf for the first time in the franchise’s history, which is incredible considering they’ve been playing since 1876.
Both the Cubs and the Mets enter the NLCS on a wave of momentum, overcoming opponents previous editions of themselves would have been easily bested by. The Cubs put away the St Louis Cardinals, their longtime nemesis, in four games and did it in style. They won a game in St Louis to put the fear of God into (the already wholesome and God-fearing!) Cardinals fans, and then didn’t even let the series return to St Louis.
The Mets’ NLDS victory was no less perception-busting. New York’s lesser-loved baseball franchise was a nice story this season, but a team whose success felt as much a function of the NL East’s malfunction as it was their own talent at hitting, catching and throwing orbs.
So now we have Cubs-Mets for the National League championship. It’s a dream series for MLB.
Here is the complete schedule for the NLCS:
- Game 1: Saturday, October 17th, at Citi Field
- Game 2: Sunday, October 18th, at Citi Field
- Game 3: Tuesday, October 20th, at Wrigley Field
- Game 4: Wednesday, October 21st, at Wrigley Field
- Game 5: Thursday, October 22nd, at Wrigley Field (if necessary)
- Game 6: Saturday, October 24th, at Citi Field (if necessary)
- Game 7: Sunday, October 25th, at Citi Field (if necessary)