Powell at the Park: Resilient Cubs rally past the Giants; advance to the NLCS

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell opens a bottle of champagne after clinching the NLDS. (WGN Radio)

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell opens a bottle of champagne after clinching the NLDS. (WGN Radio)

By Kevin Powell

SAN FRANCISCO — Forget all the past Cubs teams you can remember. Forget the heartache they may have brought you. Forget the brutal losses. Forget the bad breaks. Just focus on the 2016 Cubs. Not to downplay what they did in game 4 of the NLDS, but it wasn’t all that out of the ordinary for this club.

You don’t have to look far to find another late inning comeback. In fact, in happened in game 3 after Kris Bryant tied the game with a two run homer in the 9th. And remember the regular season finale? The Cubs had clinched everything and still rallied to score four runs in the final frame to beat the Reds. Just as they did against the Giants, ending their season and their BELIEVEN promo Tuesday night.

“Just go out and there and have good at bats,” Bryant said as champagne and beer sprayed around him after their 6-5 clincher. “There’s 27 outs for a reason, and you have to play them all.”

There is no curse. It’s play good baseball. Simple as that. “It’s more of everyone looking at each other and knowing we can do it,” Anthony Rizzo said in the locker room after their win at AT&T Park. “We’ve done it throughout the year, and it’s that mindset of never giving up and it doesn’t matter what inning it is.”

The Cubs may be spit out cliché’s left and right, but they all ring true with this team. They do stick together. And they do have the mindset of never giving up. It’s almost as if they don’t overthink the game. Just have fun, do your job and find a way to win. That’s what this team has done all season.

Maybe that’s what makes them so likeable. There’s one goal, and that’s to end the 108 year drought. As far as we’ve seen, there’s been little to no drama. No egos, just one team.

“We don’t give up,” manager Joe Maddon said after leading the organization to their second straight NLCS. “That’s really what it comes down to and I know you hear that all the time but you actually have to live it…..I like to keep things simple and that’s simple….we just play 27 outs.”

Cliché? Yes. True? Yes. This is the 2016 Cubs. Keep it simple, and play 27 outs.

Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720