Jon Lester sounded unusually serene for a man carrying 107 years' worth of baggage:
"I mean, it's got to end sometime, right?"
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Excuse Lester his flippancy. He's earned it.
Yes, the Cubs are stuck in a never-ending drought, a World Series dry spell so well-documented that it was a minor plot point in "Back to the Future II" (release date: Nov. 22, 1989), which predicted they would win the 2015 World Series.
But the lefty has been there, done that. He was on Boston's 2007 and 2013 World Series champions and came to the Cubs, he said, specifically with a World Series goal in mind.
In fact, if there's one thing he's learned over the years, it's that Babe Ruth and billy goat curses have nothing on big bats and better pitching.
"I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think we had a chance to win," Lester said before workouts Friday. "I mean, it's been a long time, so we can't look too far ahead right now . . . Everyone has fun playing. We enjoy coming to the ballpark together and going to work."
The Mets certainly will have a challenge when they face Lester in NLCS Game 1 on Saturday night. Lester, who will face the Mets' Matt Harvey, is 6-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 15 postseason games. The Cubs went 7-0 against the Mets this season, and Lester started two of those wins (1-0, 2.08 ERA).
"It does add that confidence," he said. "But that can bite you in the butt. We can't come in here and say we're 7-0 against these guys in the regular season. You look at their lineup and it's changed a little bit."
It's actually changed quite a bit since the Cubs last saw the Mets in early July. Lester, however, has more or less dominated one of the biggest additions in Yoenis Cespedes (he's 2-for-13 with two walks and three strikeouts against the lefthander).
Lester also will have the daunting task of outdueling Harvey, who's on a mission after gritting out his NLDS Game 3 start.
Unsurprisingly, Lester seems pretty calm about all of it. That's what happens when you've made it a goal to vanquish World Series droughts.
"If we get into that position, it's going to be a pretty special time for Chicago," Lester said. "Dave Roberts [of the 2004 Red Sox] stole one base and this guy hasn't paid for a meal or a drink since. I mean, it's fun to think about, but we've got some games to go before we can get there. At the end, maybe we can talk about it a little more."