2017 NLCS: Cubs Fan Wears T-Shirt That Recalls Brighter Time At Game 3 Loss Against Dodgers
Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Pushed to a Game 5 by the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series, the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs are now on the brink of being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

The Dodgers went into the NLCS as the favorite to win the pennant, but their chances of reaching the Fall Classic for the first time since 1988 took a hit — in theory — when Corey Seager was left off the playoff roster because of a lower back sprain.

In reality, the offense has produced timely hitting while the pitching staff has quieted Cubs’ bats. At the end of Game 3, which was a 6-1 Dodgers’ rout, a Cubs fan was spotted in a t-shirt that recalled fonder times for the franchise.

Rather than look ahead to 2018, the gentlemen’s shirt referenced the Cubs’ 2016 World Series win. It was their first since 1908, which was the second of back-to-back titles.

Last October, the Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit in the NLCS to eliminate the Dodgers, and back from 3-1 against the Cleveland Indians in the Fall Classic.

Although they have experience and success in elimination games, digging out of an 0-3 hole, particularly against a team firing on all cylinders like the Dodgers, is a tall order. A total of 36 teams in MLB history have fallen behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series.

Of those, 29 were swept, four lost in five games and two lost in six games. Only the 2004 Boston Red Sox managed to win the series, sparked of course by Dave Roberts’ stolen base off New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in Game 4 of the ALCS.