Peter Schmuck

Cubs starting to look cursed, but it's not what you think

Could it be that the Chicago Cubs are starting to feel the weight of their great expectations, or are the Los Angeles Dodgers just getting their goat?

Who knows, but the Cubs suddenly have gone silent at the plate and everybody knows the history that hovers over them every time they get in position to reach the World Series.


The Curse of the Billy Goat may be rearing its ugly head, but it's more likely that the Cubs are in position to fall victim to the curse of the winningest team.

For reasons that can only be speculated, the teams that have won 100  or more games during the regular season have struggled mightily during the Wild Card era.


Maybe that's just because it is the Wild Card era and there is an extra playoff round and extra teams with a chance to get hot at just the right time. The winningest team doesn't have to face the wild-card team unless the play-in club gets to the LCS round -- and the Cubs don't have to worry about that -- but the wild card has played a big role in the postseason almost every year.

Maybe it's just because the 100-win teams are seldom pushed at the end of the season, but even that doesn't figure here. The Cubs had to play a difficult NLDS against the Giants, winning in four games.

Still, history doesn't lie. Since the addition of a wild-card team in each league and the introduction of the divisional round of the playoffs in 1995, 22 teams have have finished the regular season with 100 or more victories. Just three of them have won the World Series and only one has done so since 1998.

Of course, the Cubs are far from joining the silent-in-October majority. They're down just 2-1 going into tonight's Game 4 against the Dodgers, but they'll have to start hitting in a hurry. They've gone scoreless for 18 straight innings, the longest such drought in their postseason history ... and you know what happens when you start talking about the Cubs and history.