The Cubs have repeated as NL Central champions, having punched their ticket to October earlier this week with a win over the Cardinals.
With their eyes firmly set on repeating and winning another World Series title, it's time to look back on the past few months and see just why, and how, they got this far -- again.
If you're a recent league MVP, chances are you're a big deal. That's Kris Bryant, who's somehow hitting with a higher average and OBP this season (.295/.410./.539) than he did a year ago (.292/.385/.554). In addition to all the dingers and offensive firepower, Bryant's also just getting it done at third base, too:
He makes it all look so easy.
The Unsung Hero
Who do you suppose is third on the 2017 Cubs in WAR? It's catcher Willson Contreras, whose 3.7 trails only Bryzzo themselves, Bryant (6.3) and Anthony Rizzo (4.4) as best on the club. Contreras has just been stellar behind the dish and at the plate, hitting .273/.353/.499 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs and doing things like firing 85-mph strikes to pick runners off at second base:
The Coolest Moment
The phrase "members of the Cubs were presented with World Series rings at Wrigley Field" might have sounded like something only dreamt about by fans for decades, but it was very much reality back in April. That has to be among the season's most memorable moments, for sure.
So, too, is the bullpen's new synchronized dancing trend, perhaps inspired in part by David Ross' "Dancing With the Stars" adventures. But few moments were all-around "cool" as when Addison Russell tumbled into the stands in St. Louis and inadvertently destroying a Cardinals fan's plate of nachos.
That led to replacement nachos and a warm photo-op between the fan and Russell -- and putting aside, at least for a few minutes, the storied Cubs vs. Cardinals rivalry.
The Weirdest Moment
In May, the Cubs hosted the Yankees at Wrigley for a Sunday night game that went 18 innings, involved nearly fifty combined strikeouts and featured several odd sights, among them crew members bringing in fresh boxes of baseballs because the umpiring crew didn't have enough on hand:
The Longest Home Run
Kyle Schwarber knows dingers, so it shouldn't surprise you that the longest hit by a Cub this season came off his bat. On May 23, Schwarber connected on a Johnny Cueto pitch and sent it over the bleachers in right field for a Statcast-measured 470 feet, good for the longest he's hit since Statcast began tracking in 2015:
But that's just one opinion: For another take on the Cubs' season, check out the Cespedes Family BBQ video at the top of the post.
Watch the Cubs take on the Nationals in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT on TBS.