Although not result the Washington Nationals want, here are five reasons they might lose to the Chicago Cubs. Remember, they are the favorite.
Today, what some of you expect. The Chicago Cubs move on to the NL Championship Series for a third-straight season. It is not the result anybody wants, but the Cubs are no pushover. The chances of a sweep are slim.
As the defending World Champs, Chicago will not go quietly into that good night. When you add the Nats postseason history, well… you know.
There are moments in any short series that determine your fate. Sometimes, you plain run into a better team. Others the bats go stale or pitchers forget to create outs. The adjustment from the leisurely marathon of the regular season to the frenetic best-of-five is harsh. Your margin of error slight.
When you look back at why series are won and lost, they come down to simple fundamentals. A base runner here, a booted ball there. Mistakes you gloss over in June magnify in October. Then you spend the winter wondering how it all went wrong.
Make no mistake, this is the best offensive team in Nats history. They feature three pitchers who will draw Cy Young Award votes. The bullpen is the best maybe franchise history. If there is a Washington team that can make a deep run, this is the squad.
Yet, you know what happens to the best-laid plans of mice and men. Here are the five ways the Nats can lose this series. Some obvious and others complicated.