Cubs

Cubs-Nationals, Mitch Trubisky's NFL debut highlight biggest Chicago sports day of year

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USA TODAY

Cubs-Nationals, Mitch Trubisky's NFL debut highlight biggest Chicago sports day of year

Is Monday the biggest Chicago sports day of 2017? It very well might be.

From Game 3 of the Cubs-Nationals NLDS, to Mitch Trubisky's NFL debut on primetime television, to the Blackhawks-Maple Leafs Original 6 matchup, it's a stacked lineup.

The best part? NBC Sports Chicago has you covered for all three games.

Let us break it down for you.

Game 3 of the NLDS

The Cubs and Nationals will square off in Game 3 of the NLDS at Wrigley Field with the series tied 1-1, and there's so much intrigue to this game.

Will the Cubs bounce back from a heart-breaking loss in Game 2? How will Jose Quintana perform in his first career postseason start? Or what about Max Scherzer, who's nursing a hamstring injury?

Check out how the Cubs and Nationals will line up in Game 3. Spoiler: there's a surprise in Joe Maddon's.

Mitch Trubisky's NFL debut

On the other side of town, it's Trubisky time. After John Fox called it quits with Mike Glennon after four starts, the No. 2 overall pick will get his turn. The Bears' 23-year-old quarterback will be making his NFL debut on prime time television against the division rival Minnesota Vikings.

How will the rook, who has only played in 13 college games, fare in his NFL debut? Our Bears writers JJ Stankevitz and John "Moon" Mullin give their prediction.

Hottest NHL teams do battle in Original 6 matchup

How about that Blackhawks start? Sure, it's only two games, but a +13 goal differential is pretty darn impressive. Everything seems to be clicking early for the Blackhawks. In case you missed it though, the Maple Leafs are just as hot as the Blackhawks offensively. Both teams have scored 15 goals through two games of the regular season. Which team will remain undefeated after three? Here's a look at three things to watch in that game.

Moral of the story: if you haven't set your DVRs, do it, because it's going to be an exciting day for Chicago sports. And you won't want to miss it.

Is this catch by Reed Johnson the best of the last decade?

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NBC Sports Chicago

Is this catch by Reed Johnson the best of the last decade?

Ten years ago today, Reed Johnson had one of the best catches in a Cubs uniform.

On April 26, 2008, the Cubs outfielder made a spectacular diving catch off of Nationals' Felipe Lopez's liner to center field. Johnson had to run to his right in what felt like a mile to track down. He then dove for it on the warning track going head first into the wall. Remember this?

How he caught it? Not sure. And how he didn't get hurt? Don't know that either.

But a lot of members on the Cubs at the time raved about the catch (Len Kasper's call was also phenomenal), and joked that they're happy it didn't happen on W. Addison St.

"At Wrigley Field they might have had to call a timeout to find his head in the vines," manager Lou Piniella said after that game.

There have been some outstanding catches since that catch in 2008. Jason Heyward's diving grab in San Francisco, Javier Baez's catch against the Miami Marlins where he dove into the crowd, Anthony Rizzo's tarp catches. There are a handful of them. 

But where does this one rank?

How often do the Cubs think about Game 7?

How often do the Cubs think about Game 7?

CLEVELAND — Diehard Cubs fans probably think about that epic Game 7 every day, right?

It was — arguably — the greatest baseball game ever played given the stakes (a winner-take-all to end one of the two biggest championship droughts in the sport) and all the wild moments.

The highlights still have the power to give Cubs fans chills 18 months later:

But how often do the guys who took part in that game think about those moments?

This week, as the Cubs split a series with the Cleveland Indians and walked the same steps and sat in the same seats and put their stuff in the same lockers as they did almost exactly a year-and-a-half ago, the nostalgia was undeniable.

The first thing Addison Russell noticed was how he was at the same locker (many Cubs were) as the World Series and the visiting locker room carpet was redone.

He also admitted it felt surreal, almost like a dream.

Kyle Schwarber made that Hollywood-style comeback to be able to DH for the four World Series games at Progressive Field, but he doesn't think about his journey back from a devastating knee injury.

No, he preferred to focus on the Cubs' comeback from down 3-1 in the series.

"I like to think about the World Series," Schwarber said. "I really don't think about all that other stuff. I just think about the games that we played. Pretty much all the resiliency and everything right there that we had and how we faced adversity.

"I don't think anyone here doesn't think about it, because I always think about it all the time. It's that moment that we all live for and it's an addicting feeling and we want to get there again, so we just gotta take it a step at a time."

On the other side of the coin, Cubs manager Joe Maddon insists he doesn't spend time looking in the past.

"Not unless I'm asked about it," Maddon said. "I think I'm really good about turning pages and not even realizing it. I often talk about present tense and I think I'm pretty good about it. Unless it's brought up, I don't go there."

Admittedly, a lot has changed for these Cubs since then.

With World Series MVP Ben Zobrist currently on the disabled list, only 13 of the 25 active Cubs were also active in Game 7.

And given this 11-10 team has "World Series or bust" expectations on the 2018 campaign, there's work to be done and not much time to focus on the past.

Take David Bote — a 2012 Cubs draft pick who was just called up to make his MLB debut last weekend — who watched the road to end a 108-year title drought from afar, but is now in the midst of a bid at a new iteration of Even Year Magic.

"The organization does a great job of being all together and we're in one spot [in spring training], so you get to see and experience it with them," Bote said. "Here, what we're talking about is today and how we can win today. We don't really talk about what happened in the past in '16."