BY ANNA JENSEN
Over fall break, my parents surprised me with a ticket to Game 2 of the NLCS, which is a bunch of fancy baseball lingo meaning I was going to watch the Cubs play the Dodgers in postseason baseball at Wrigley Field.
Earlier in October my mom had posted on Facebook, “Sure wish I could take the family to a Cubs playoff game, but holy cow it is cost prohibitive!” To which I replied, I would walk home (from Drake) if they bought the family Cubs tickets.
And I would. I am one of those die-hard fans. And after years of misery, my dreams are coming true before my eyes. Luckily, I got a ride home.
On Friday afternoon, my dad told me that one of his work friends was stopping by to drop something off. I didn’t ask many questions, but I was wondering why someone would drop documents off at a house when they could fax them or leave them at the office.
I was playing a game with my mom and sister when my dad walked back inside and dropped two pieces of paper in front of me with a giant Cubs logo and the words “NLCS Game 2” underneath.
The first thing I said was, “How did you get these?” which is probably not the reaction they were expecting. I was practically speechless; all I could think to say was thank you, over and over and over.
The game was on Sunday, Oct. 16 and the first game of the championship series was being played the night before.
On Saturday night, my family and our neighbors sat in my backyard around our fire pit and watched the game through my living room windows. They won the game 8-4 with an epic grand slam in the 9th inning after the Dodgers intentionally walked two people to load the bases.
The Cubs were leading the series 1-0 going into the second game. That was such a relief because they were facing the Dodger’s best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw. Dun Dun Dun.
Despite the 1-0 loss, the Cubs’ subpar defense and terrible hitting against Kershaw, the game held a whirlwind of emotion.
Since I am under 21 and was unable to sneak past the unbearable amounts of security with my mom, we couldn’t get into any of the bars in Wrigleyville.
We decided to enter the ballpark an hour and a half before the 7:08 start to catch some of the batting practice. My mom and I pushed through the crowd until I was right up against the wall, my body inches from the dirt on the field.
It was rumored that the Cubs players were going to walk past us on their way to their dugout and I was thinking about how incredibly jealous my sister would be if I got a selfie with Cubs all-star Kris Bryant. That didn’t happen though, which was a bit of a let down.
While I was standing front row watching the Dodgers take batting practice, a cameraman and reporter walked over by us and asked who the biggest Cubs fan was, which of course I shouted ‘me’ but wasn’t picked.
I stood literally two people away from the guy being interviewed with envy, but absorbing every question the reporter asked, thinking to myself that one day that would be my job and I’d interview the girl in the cool Cubs dress.
In the Dodgers second inning of play, Hendricks’ gave up a homer to make it 1-0.
That was one of the five hits in the game, and unimpressively, the game-winning run. Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks didn’t pitch great (which he did in Game 6. He was so impressive), but what was really lacking was the Cubs offense against Kershaw.
They managed to string together two hits and a walk or two, but the game itself lulled with strike out after strikeout. Halfway through the game my mom said it was no wonder my dad’s work friend was willing to sell his game 2 tickets, because Kershaw was starting.
I am a little upset that the Cubs were so unimpressive against Kershaw in game 2 and then they came out against him in game 6 and put 2 runs on him in the bottom of the first.
But it wasn’t about the score of the game for me. It was the atmosphere that Wrigley had — the fact that not one of the fans stopped cheering at every strikeout Hendricks had, or every foul ball of a Cub bat or any catch that an outfielder made.
I was standing for 6 out of 9 innings, pumped up with adrenaline with the expectation that anything could happen at any moment.
When the Cubs won the National League pennant on Oct. 22, many of the players — Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and David Ross — said that this win was for the fans and they could not have done it without them. It was being a part of the buzz that made the game memorable, not so much the result.
The Cubs are going to the World Series and the Cubs are going to win the World Series. I am confident in saying that I saw the worst offensive game they are going to play in the playoffs. It will only be up from here.