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As I crossed the rise at the Fullerton overpass on Lake Shore Drive this morning, Lake Michigan looked calm and Cubbie blue -- and how appropriate. The Cubs and their fans have somehow passed into blissful acceptance of the inevitable -- it really is going to happen, with the so-called magic number down to a mere 4 -- and suddenly are enjoying it all. What bliss after the deluge of last weekend. After the Cubs' 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, manager Lou Piniella talked of what a great game it had been -- and it was, filled with Ryan Dempster's fine pitching, Reed Johnson's incredible catch in center, Alfonso Soriano's impressive pair of homers, and Kerry Wood's last-out, called-strike curveball against Prince Fielder, who had kept the Brewers in the game if not the race with two homers earlier.
It was an aficionado's game, a game fans can point to and say, "This is why we're so caught up in it." Not even the Brewers' win Wednesday tempered things. It really is going to happen; it's inevitable. And so an air of satisfaction lingered over Wrigley this week, in marked contrast with the dread of last week's six-game skid, which seemed to place the season in jeopardy, and the playoffs to come, which could be even more manic than 2003 with the White Sox possibly joining the Cubs in the postseason. So the Cubs and their fans seem to have settled into a placid acceptance for the time being, the calm between the storms. Enjoy it while you can.