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All Washed Out: Fans Optimistic, But Cubs On The Brink After Loss to Mets

By  Alex Nitkin and Ariel Cheung | October 20, 2015 8:07pm | Updated on October 20, 2015 11:49pm

 Despite trailing in the series to the New York Mets, Cubs fans were in high spirits Tuesday night.
NLCS Game 3
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WRIGLEYVILLE — In 1945, Jerry Pritikin's father wouldn't let him go see the World Series at Wrigley Field. At only 8 years old, Pritikin's dad said he was too young, but promised he could go "next time" the Cubs made it.

Seventy years later, Pritikin, known to many fans as the "Bleacher Preacher," is still determined to see his team make it to the final series. And Tuesday, wearing a sign that read "I love to hate the Mets," there's no other team Pritikin would rather beat to get there.

"1969 was supposed to be our year, but here this brand new young team [the Mets] came up out of nowhere and beat us. I was jealous," Pritikin said. "I don't really hate them, I don't blame them for it ... but I say that I love to hate them, because they're my favorite rival."

Unfortunately for Pritikin and the rest of the Cubs' faithful, the North Siders dropped a third straight game to the Mets, losing 5-2, and will be eliminated with a defeat in Wednesday's Game 4 at Wrigley Field.

Fans leave Wrigley Field following a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday, Oct. 20. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Drizzling rain fell during the final innings Tuesday, with heavy rain blowing in just as the game wrapped up. Fans headed for home, covering their heads with towels stamped with the Cubs Win flag design.

With the crowd trickling out, police did not cordon off the Clark and Addison intersection like last week, although traffic was blocked on the Clark Street stretch from Addison to Newport briefly after the game.

Fans leave Wrigley Field following a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday, Oct. 20. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

As Luis Dorantes took shelter under the awning outside Red Ivy, 3525 N. Clark St., he remained hopeful the Cubs could turn it around.

"The Cubs are just a talented team, and I don't know, I'm an optimist," Dorantes said, pointing to the 2004 Boston Red Sox comeback as reason for hope.

"Baseball is a funny game, so who knows?" Dorantes said.

Fatima Loyo wasn't as forgiving.

"They're [expletive] stupid. When they need to win, they don't win. We have too much hope in them for no reason," Loyo said.

But can it still happen?

She hesitated. "Maybe."

Pritikin held a sign saying "Take me to the promised land," a reminder of the promise his father made him the last time his Cubs made the series. His father's last words before he died in 1980, he said, were "We gotta get rid of Kingman."

"I'm getting pretty old now, so all I want is for some closure on this," Pritikin said. "I just hope that closure isn't me getting put into a coffin."

Cubs fans take shelter in a doorway on Clark Street as rain started pouring shortly after the Cubs' 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday, Oct. 20. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Sam Drayer, 72, has also been waiting his whole life to see the Cubs make it past the National League Championship Series. A dairy farmer from rural Cissna Park, Ill., about 100 miles south of Chicago, his family bought him a ticket to Tuesday's game.

"Being here, I can't even describe it. It's totally unbelievable," Drayer said. "We're gonna win, we've got to — this team is just too good. I've never seen them like this."

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