Any other year, fans would be crowded into bars and restaurants around Wrigleyville - the pregame routine before heading into the ballpark.
"This neighborhood would be crawling with people, everyone celebrating and getting ready for the game you know but at least in these strange times, we have the opportunity to support our local team and it brings the city together in a different way," fan Tom Dato said.
"It's very slow and quiet. It doesn't feel like playoff baseball, but I mean come game time in here in a few hours, it will kind of pep up a little bit," Cubs fan Ethan Rubarts said.
But of course 2020 is anything but routine. No one is going into the ballpark, so a table at Murphy's is the next best alternative.
"It's certainly nice to have places like this to come to, to watch the game and hang out," Cubs fan Mike Kolleng said. "At least have some semblance of camaraderie with everyone else that we're all watching the game together."
"It feels a little bit weird but I think it's just one of those things that we're gonna get past. I think we're gonna appreciate next year when hopefully it's all over," Steve Carr said.
Despite the restrictions, the dream remains the same for many Cubs fans.
"This is the best part of the year old when the Cubs get into the playoffs and after 2016 this is like another dream that has the potential to come to fruition," fan Harold Holler said.
The team has made five postseason appearances in the last six years, so it's safe to say the Cubs know what to do.
"I don't know how my management style is going to play out," Cubs manager David Ross said. "I know we gotta win a series that's kinda the focus throughout the season. It is baseball so anything can happen in a short season."
The shorter season also means new rules for the Wild Card series, playing the best of three games. After that, the postseason will follow the typical pattern of five-game Division series, seven-game League Championship Series, and a seven-game World Series.
City and team officials said games will still follow all pandemic protocols and no fans will be allowed in the stands.
"We want to be the best today and every year it's the same way. The entire goal is to win the World Series," Cubs Infielder David Bote said.
The Cubs are taking on the Marlins in the postseason for the first time since the ill-fated NLCS series in 2003, infamous for the so-called Bartman game.
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