As a writer at a sporting event, I know it's often important to "set the mood" of the people in attendance. I find this practice strange, seeing as how unless the place is on fire or everyone is being handed checks for $1 million, it is almost impossible to accurately predict how every person in a 40,000-member crowd is feeling. More often than not, whatever mood the writers describes the crowd as is probably the same mood the writer is currently feeling.
So seeing as how I'm sitting in the pressbox of Wrigley Field, about 30 minutes away from Game 2 between the Dodgers and Cubs, I would describe the crowd as this: tight and apprehensive, hopeful yet cautious. Is tonight's starter, Carlos Zambrano and his Cubs teammates sitting in the home clubhouse and feeling the same way? Sure. Why the heck not? They're whatever I want them to be right now, before they step on the field and give us something to actually "interpret."
In all seriousness, though, this is a game the Cubs have to have. Not sure anyone but Joe Torre and the Dodgers thought this moment would come this soon, but it's here.
Win and the Cubs are headed to Los Angeles, series knotted at one.
Lose and leave the entire city as a quivering mess until — and perhaps past — Saturday's Game Three at Dodger Stadium. There's a lot hanging in the balance right now.
By the way, Chad Billingsley's on the hill for the Dodgers.