The Cubs were swept in four games by the Mets in the National League Championship Series last year, a result which hasn’t altered their high level of confidence going into another NLCS.
While working out Thursday at Wrigley Field in preparation for the NLCS which begins Saturday, the Cubs from top to bottom were feeling pretty good about themselves after winning 103 games during the regular season and defeating the Giants three games to one in the opening round of the postseason.
“Listen, the goal of this team is obvious,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We had a wonderful regular season. We played well against the Giants. Obviously we want eight more wins. I don’t think anybody in that clubhouse is the least bit satisfied. We want to have two more celebrations. That’s been the focus of this team all along.’’
Ben Zobrist, who won a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals last year, knows the Cubs didn’t get past this point last year. He’s still hungry for another title.
“This is exactly where I envisioned our team being when I was deciding who to sign with,’’ Zobrist said Thursday. “My ultimate goal here is to win a championship. And that’s what everybody’s is. We’re close to that.’’
The four-run, ninth-inning rally in Game 4 against the Giants was both a morale and confidence booster, said manager Joe Maddon, who is basking in the Cubs’ current place.
“There’s nothing like it,’’ he said. “The alternative is to be burning steaks in your back yard which is very undesirable right now.’’
Even more desirable: Two more series victories.
“We’re not going to be satisfied with one division series win,’’ Hoyer said. “We obviously want a lot more. And we’re going to face a good opponent so we’re going to have to play really well to get there. But obviously eight more wins is the goal.’’