The Cubs are on the cusp of losing the World Series: It’s time to panic

Chicago Cubs fans hang their heads during the during the ninth inning of Game 4 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Chicago.

Image: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Sport has an amazing way of teasing you, letting you get your hopes up, and then setting those hopes on fire and dousing the ashes with the other team’s victory champagne.

Such is how it feels to be a Cubs fan after the Cleveland Indians won Game 4 of the World Series 7-2. The game put them on the edge of their first World Series championship in 68 years and the Cubs on the edge of disaster, possibly extending the team’s title drought to 109 years.

And counting.

That’s scary enough for me on Halloween weekend.

There’s nothing good to say about this, so let’s get to it.

Kluber rides again

As expected, even on short rest, the Indians’ Corey Kluber was magnificent.

The Cubs weren’t quite as stymied by his pitching as they were in Game 1, but only in that they actually managed to put the bat on the ball and they didn’t strike out nearly every at-bat.

There was some hope in the first, thanks to Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs getting on the board first. There was life! There was hope! Maybe they would get to Kluber like they got to Clayton Kershaw in Game 6 of the NLCS?

But there was also a sinking feeling after only getting one run on the board, as if that wouldn’t be enough. The Cubs needed more but they couldn’t get it together.

Sure enough, Kluber shut it down after that inning and only a rare slip-up by Andrew Miller, who was otherwise dominant, blemished the rest of the game.

And, of course, the Cleveland pitchers got a hand from Jason Kipnis. Ugh.

The Indians have been phenomenal this postseason on the mound and the Cubs bats have gone cold. One leads to the other, of course, but it’s a difficult cycle for the Cubs to break out of.

Ice cold bats

Like I was saying, the Cubs’ bats have gone ice cold. That’s partly because of the great Cleveland pitching. But that’s not all of it; they’ve managed to get on base and scrape together a few runs here and there.

Poor performance with runners in scoring position has doomed the Cubs. What’s worse, as a fan, this continuing cycle of getting a man on base and then failing to get him home has become emotionally draining.

To see it happen multiple times a game is excruciating.

Even Anonymous is getting angry.

If there’s anything going for the Cubs, it’s that they soon get to face Game 2 pitcher Trevor Bauer, the guy who chopped up his finger with a drone and then gave up five runs to the Cubs in Game 2.

Hope remains, but only if they can start putting runs on the board.

What’s next?

Just fighting back from the precipice of elimination, that’s all. Just coming back from a 3-to-1 deficit.

It’s not impossible. The Cubs themselves blew a 3-to-1 lead in the infamous 2003 NLCS that featured a certain ear-phoned Cubs fan.

But there’s no room for error. Three straight wins, and they have to go through Game 3 winner Josh Tomlin and Kluber and Miller. No big deal.

The Bill Murray scale of World Series anxiety

This is it. All the Cubs can do is win three straight or it’s all over. Then, we’re left to turn our attention back to the final week of an ugly presidential election.

There’s a glimmer of hope, but only a glimmer.

After four games, we’re at the deep end of the pool in Rushmore-Bill Murray style.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/10/30/cubs-world-series-diary-game-four/

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