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One-run games becoming habit for Cubs

Cubs had dropped four of five games decided by a run before Tuesday's win

CHICAGO -- In a season where half of their games have come down to the wire, even the last week has been stressful for the Cubs and manager Joe Maddon. Tuesday night's walk-off win in the ninth probably didn't help.
In its last eight games, six of Chicago's outings have been decided by one run, where it is 2-4 in that span. Now, after Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Nationals, 23 of the Cubs' games this season have been decided by one run. They are 13-10 in those one-run games this year.

Addison Russell delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday for the Cubs' latest one-run victory.

Video: WSH@CHC: Russell doubles to help the Cubs walk off
"You gotta believe you can do it," Maddon said after the game. "If something bad happens in the course of the game, you have to believe you can overcome it. And you overcome it by process, and working, and working and working. It's not really complicated, and that's the point I've been trying to get across."

While he was in Arizona on the Cubs' seven-game road stretch, Maddon got to meet with a friend and NFL offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, Tom Moore. There he built on his philosophy that the process is more important than the outcome.

"He talked about, in football, you're attempting to break the other guy's will and how you do that -- through the relentless execution of fundamentals and technique," Maddon said. "Not one time did he talk about winning. Not once. I don't even know, when I talked to our guys this year, I don't really mention the word winning a lot. I talk about process a lot.

"So when you come down to these close moments between winning and losing, everybody wants to win every day. How do you do that? Through the relentless execution of fundamentals and technique. And the better we get at that, the more often we're going to win one-run games."

And Maddon's biggest challenge, as he sits second in the National League Central, is getting his team to buy into that philosophy of the process, rather than winning, he says.

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for
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