CHICAGO - A hint of October blew through the Friendly Confines late Monday night-and it wasn't just the chill off the lake.
The drama, the heroics, the finish. It might as well been the Cardinals NLDS series all over again.
It felt that way to the sellout crowd that as eager to "Fly The W" now as much as they were six months ago.
But it's April. It's Game 7 of 162. At Wrigley Field it's 1 of 81. Perspective is appreciated, if not necessary, for the National League leading Cubs.
"We're gonna have our tough stretches," said catcher David Ross, whose team at the moment is 6-1 on the season. "We try to come in and play well each night and try to figure out a way to beat a team that night. These guys do a phenomenal job of that and we're getting good play from everybody on the team."
Ross isn't lying about that, even if the sample size is quite small.
So far the Cubs have a major-league high 44 RBI's and have outscored their opponents in seven games by 29 runs. Compared to the last four Cubs' playoff runs, the five games over .500 is two better than any of the starts by the team during those seasons.
As one who always takes the worldly approach, even the team's leader won't dismiss the importance of getting to an early lead in the NL Central.
"It's difficult to play from behind in any division," said manager Joe Maddon. "It can exhaust you. You get to the back to the point where you are back in a race, then all the sudden you run out of juice again.
"So to get off to a good start is really important."
DON'T FORGET US
For most of the offseason and preseason, sans the retirement drama around Adam LaRoche, the White Sox have calmly stayed under the radar.
Maybe that's why you haven't heard that the team on the South Side is currently leading their own Central Division in the American League. At 5-2 they share the top spot with the Royals and sit a half-game ahead of the Tigers in second place.
Pitching has certainly helped the cause as the White Sox hold the American League's best era at 2.76 and sit behind the Cubs and the Nationals in third in the MLB.
Chris Sale already has two wins on the season and David Robertson is a perfect 3-for-3 in his save opportunities so far this season. Jose Quintana added to that with a gem in the Twins' home opener Monday as he allowed just one run in six innings in the White Sox 5th win of the season.
THE BEST PART OF THE NEW CLUBHOUSE?
An initial look at the new locker room for the Cubs brings a feeling of awe.
So does the second look, and the third plus the fourth.
A 30,000 square foot place will do that considering the much smaller, narrower clubhouse the Cubs had prior to this season. It's made the new facility, built as part of the ongoing renovations at Wrigley Field, as big a star as the team during the first week of home play.
What's most impressive, however, is the one room the media or many of the team's staff haven't gotten a look at. That's the post-game party room.
Remember when Joe Maddon introduced the "Dance Party" after Cubs wins in 2015? Now there's a place for that.
"Oh my gosh, it's like a club or something in there. I mean, it's fun," said Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant after its first use on Monday night after the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Reds. "We had a little thing last year when we did it in the clubhouse but this is unbelievable."
DIAMOND STAT OF THE WEEK - .417
The batting average of White Sox centerfielder and leadoff man Adam Eaton through the first seven games of the season.
He leads the team with an on base percentage of 1.023 with ten hits that include a triple and a double.