Now Commenting On:

{"content":["division_series" ] }

Eight is too many for Cubs

Eight is too many for Cubs

It began innocently enough, with a shutout loss to an emerging star pitcher that was considered nothing but a minor delay in the Cubs' march to the World Series five years ago.

But the Cubs never made it to the 2003 World Series. In fact, they haven't won a postseason game since, dropping eight straight. The eighth loss was Thursday's 10-3 defeat to the Dodgers that put Chicago in a 0-2 hole in the National League Division Series.

complete coverage

The Cubs held a 3-1 lead in the NL Championship Series against the Marlins when the teams met for Game 5 at Dolphin Stadium on Oct. 12, 2003. Josh Beckett, then 23 and owner of a grand total of 17 career regular season wins, took the mound for Florida. The future World Series MVP and ace of the Red Sox pitching staff hurled a complete-game two-hitter, sending the series back to Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Cubs fans couldn't have been too upset about the loss. For one, it could be chalked up to an outstanding pitching performance by a talented young pitcher. And, besides, it meant that the Cubs would have a chance to win their first pennant since 1945 at home, at the Friendly Confines.

Postseason Blues
The Cubs have lost their past eight playoff games.
2003 NLCSMarlins54-0
2003 NLCSMarlins68-3
2003 NLCSMarlins79-6
2007 NLDSD-backs12-0
2007 NLDSD-backs28-4
2007 NLDSD-backs35-1
2008 NLDSDodgers17-2
2008 NLDSDodgers210-3

What happened next, though, has already become legend. Just say Steve Bartman. A 3-0 Cubs lead in the eighth inning was blown apart, the defining moment occurring in the top of the inning when Bartman, a fan sitting along the left-field line, made contact with a foul ball that Cubs left fielder Moises Alou may have had a chance to catch. An eight-run rally ensued and the Marlins won, 8-3, evening the series.

The Cubs dropped Game 7, 9-6, when the Marlins rallied from a 5-3 deficit against starter Kerry Wood and Chicago's middle-relief corps. The Cubs' dream was over and the Marlins went on to beat the Yankees in the World Series.

Since then, the Cubs were swept by the Diamondbacks in last year's Division Series, and have lost the first two of this year's series against the Dodgers. In those five games, Chicago has been outscored 33-11.

Indeed, the Cubs have held a lead in a game only once since the early innings of Game 7 in 2003: the 2-0 advantage they held from the second until the fifth inning in Wednesday's Game 1 against Los Angeles.

Bobbie Dittmeier is an editor/producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["division_series" ] }
{"content":["division_series" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español