PITTSBURGH – Most of the guys in the Cubs clubhouse had never done it before. Fewer still had any idea the last time the Cubs had done it.
But the significance of winning 100 games did not seem lost on them as they reached the rare franchise milestone with Monday’s 12-2 victory over the Pirates – and with six games left in the season to add on.
“It’s not too often that you get this much talent in one room on one team,” said third baseman Kris Bryant, whose big-league tenure consists of a 97-win season and run to the National League Championship Series and, now, the first 100-win season since 1935 for the Cubs.
“Really,” pitcher Kyle Hendricks (16-8) said when told how long it had been. “I did not know that. Definitely, we’ve got to soak that in a little bit.”
Said Bryant: “I think we need to realize what we have here and be grateful for it. I certainly am. I couldn’t have pictured a better first two years in the big leagues.”
The sixth 100-win season in franchise history also is the first as a baseball operations boss for team president Theo Epstein (who has two World Series rings from Boston) and first as a manager for Joe Maddon (who reached the Series with Tampa Bay).
“I’ll never forget the vibe in the clubhouse after our Opening Day game in Anaheim, where we played so well and so many things we had talked about wanting to accomplish we went out there and – only over the course of one game – but we went out and did it,” Epstein said.
“The players had this reaction to it as if they were impressed with themselves,” he added. “They looked forward to doing that as many times as they could over 162. That caught my attention. I kind of knew we were maybe onto something pretty special at that point.”
Exactly 175 days later, the Cubs caught more than Epstein’s attention.
It was only the second 100 season since 1910 for the Cubs. And if they win four of their final six games, they can match their best record since 1907 (when they won 107). Their record is also the MLB record of 116 in 1906.
“I always look at 100 wins as an amazing accomplishment,” general manager Jed Hoyer said over the summer. “But ultimately that’s not the answer. The goal is obvious to everyone. It’s trying to put your team in position to accomplish that goal at the end of the season.”
Or, as Hendricks said: “This is just another step on the way.”
Rare Cubbie Occurrence
On Monday night the Cubs earned their 100th win in a season for just the sixth time in franchise history, first since 1935
- Year Wins Postseason
- 2016 100* –??–
- 1935 100 Lost World Series
- 1910 104 Lost World Series
- 1909 104 Did not qualify
- 1907 107 Won World Series
- 1906 116 Lost World Series
*-Six games left.