From the Pages of Vine Line: Remembering 1998 – The winning streaks
Fifteen years ago, the 1998 Cubs squad became the must-see event of the summer, as viewers around the country tuned in to WGN to see Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood and the cardiac Cubs stage one of the most dramatic seasons in Chicago baseball history. Day after day, it seemed like the team was in a dogfight, and every win turned out to be vital, as the Cubs need an extra, 163rd contest to finalize their postseason push and give Chicago fans their first taste of meaningful October baseball in nearly a decade.
To commemorate all the ups and downs, Vine Line celebrates our 10 greatest moments from that historic 1998 campaign in the October issue of the magazine. Today marks the third part of the 10-part series, which we’ll post here on the blog in the coming days.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The dramatic winning streaks
All baseball teams go on winning streaks, especially ones that are good enough to make it to October. But these repeated runs were one of the things that made the ’98 team so entertaining.
The Cubs opened the season with an 8-2 stretch that included an April 2 game in which they erased a 6-0 deficit to top the Marlins. The team had a 14-5 stretch from April 30-May 20 that was highlighted by Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout gem and a 14-inning comeback victory on May 8. They then won 10 in a row in early June, sweeping Atlanta, Florida and the White Sox in the process.
They went 19-9 in July and 16-6 from Aug. 22-Sept. 17 to give the team the necessary cushion down the stretch.
“We were kind of streaky,” said former Cubs starter Steve Trachsel. “As far as wins, it seemed to be a different guy every day. It wasn’t always the superstars of the team coming up with the big hits or big plays.”