After 108 years of waiting, the Chicago Cubs are back on top of the baseball world once again. 39, 467 days have gone by since that very special moment in Cubs baseball lore. Tonight, the Cubs made “Wait till next year” to “This is our year” a reality. The Chicago Cubs come back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians 8-6 in Game 7 to win the 2016 World Series.
Dexter Fowler got the Cubs rolling early with a 410 ft. lead off home run to dead center to give his team a 1-0 lead. That was Corey Kluber‘s first lead off home run he has given up all season long.
Jose Ramirez hit a infield single to Addison Russell in the bottom of the second. Ramirez got antsy and quickly got picked off by Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks followed that up by allowing a Lonnie Chisenhall single to shallow left. No damage was done for the Cubs as Rajai Davis grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Veteran Outfielder Coco Crisp, hit a liner down the third base line for a double to start things off for Cleveland in the third. Roberto Perez dropped a bunt down the third base side which allowed Crisp to advance to third. Carlos Santana drove him in on a single to right which tied the game at one apiece. Javier Baez allowed Santana to be safe on second and Jason Kipnis to be safe on a fielder’s choice on what looked to be a routine 6-4-3 double play but but Baez bobbled the flip. Cubs got out of the inning by two consecutive line outs.
The Cubs came into the fourth inning ready to make up the error and the run that scored in that frame. Golden Boy, Kris Bryant, hit a lead off single. Anthony Rizzo followed that up with by getting hit by a pitch from Kluber. Ben Zobrist reached base on a fielder’s choice which allowed Bryant to advance to third. Wilson Contreras smacked the ball to deep center for a double. Bryant scored. Cubs lead 3-1.
The Cubs then continued the hot hitting into the fifth inning. Baez opened the inning with a 408 ft. home run to right center. Andrew Miller entered to relieve Kluber. Fowler singled but would get out on on a Kyle Schwarber double play. Bryant walked. Bryant then scored on a two out Rizzo single which put the Cubs up 5-1.
After two quick out by the Cubs, Hendrick gave up a walk to Santana which prompted Joe Maddon to make a catcher change. David Ross entered the game followed by Jon Lester entering to pitch for the Cubs. Kipnis reached base on an infield single that went to the catcher. Santana went to second on the play then saw an opportunity to head over to third and took it. Kipnis advanced to second on a David Ross‘ error. Both Santana and Kipnis would score on a wild pitch by Lester. The Indians inched closer and minimized the Cubs lead to two runs.
David Ross stepped into the plate in his last professional baseball game in the top of the sixth. He took Miller 406 feet deep to open up the game yet again. Cubs lead 6-3 at the end of the sixth inning.
Lester got Francisco Lindor to ground out and Mike Napoli strike out looking to open the inning with two quick outs. Maddon pulled him for a four out save from Aroldis Chapman. Chapman let up a infield single to Ramirez. Thirty-five year old Rajai Davis sunk people stomachs with the first ever game-tying home run in the eighth inning or later.
David Ross opened the top of the ninth with a walk in his last professional at-bat. Chris Coghlan came in to pinch run for Ross. Jason Heyward battled through a long at-bat only to ground into a field choice. Bryan Shaw came into to relive Cody Allen after Allen’s two scoreless innings. Heyward stole second and then ran to third after an overthrow from Yan Gomes. Terry Francona switched the defense up a bit by bringing in Brandon Guyer and Michael Martinez to play the outfield. Baez tried to bunt but struck out on the attempt. Fowler came in ready to hit and smashed the ball up the middle in which Lindor stretched
Heyward brought the team down to the locker while the game was in a 15-minute rain to remind his teammates who they are and what they are playing for delay. Postseason monster Kyle Schwarber hit a screamer to right to get things started for the Cubs in the tenth. Schwarber was pulled so Albert Almora Jr. can run for him in hopes of potentially scoring soon. Bryant hit a deep fly ball to the warning track for a sac fly that advanced Almora. World Series M.V.P. Ben Zobrist came in big and hit the go-ahead RBI double that scored Almora and nearly scored Rizzo before being held up at third. Shaw intentionally walked Russell to get to Miguel Montero. Montero made them pay for it with his much need RBI single to right to put the Cubbies ahead 8-6.
Carl Edwards Jr. entered the game in the bottom of the tenth to close out the game and bring home the trophy. Edwards struck out Napoli and got Ramirez to ground out to Russell. Edwards was pulled after walking Guyer and letting him scored on a Davis single to center. Mike Montgomery entered for the one-out save to relieve Edwards. Martinez hit a ground out to Bryant to end the game.
Going into the Game 7 of the World Series, we knew it was going to be a battle between arguably the best pitcher this postseason in Kluber and Hendrick but what we did not expect the roller coaster of pitching changes in Game 7.
Kluber who had yet to give up multiple runs struggled tonight. He went four inning, giving up four runs on six hits. Miller who also had a stellar postseason came up short and gave up two runs over the course of two innings and a third. Cody Allen was really the only bright spot for their pitching staff. Allen limited the Cubs to only one base runner in his scoreless two innings. Shaw left the night with the “L” after giving up two run on three hits over the course of an inning. Despite starting three days ago, Trevor Bauer was used to get two out late in the top of the tenth.
Hendricks looked sharp when he was out there. Going into the game, Cubs said they have options available in the bullpen and were going to use them if and when needed. The did just that after 4 2/3 two run ball with 2 strikeout, Hendricks was pulled for Lester. Despite an early blemish, Lester pitched three strong innings giving up one run (no earned) while striking out four Indian batters. Chapman walks away with the win after blowing the save and allowing the Indians to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. Edwards started strong but Davis had the hot hand which drove in a runner. He was pulled and Montgomery came in to end the damage and end the game.
World Series MVP:
After winning the 2015 World Series with the Kansas City Royals, Ben Zobrist became a free agent. The Cubs went in looking for some pieces and got just what they needed with the veteran utility man. Zobrist who has stepped in all year long wherever Joe Maddon and the Cubs needed him. Tonight, he became a Chicago/Baseball legend with his RBI double to put the Cubs up for good in the top of the tenth.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been MVPs all season long with their play on offense and defense. It was only suitable that thelast play of the World Series would be a ball hit at Bryant that needed to be thrown at Rizzo.
This year has been a season to remember from the beginning. We saw Kyle Schwarber collide with another outfielder which many thought to be a season ending injury, a Kris Bryant All-Star home run, a Jake Arrieta‘s No-hitter, and everything in between. It was truly a magical season especially what we saw with Schwarber facing the odds and working hard with his team of doctor to make it possible to play in the World Series. Cubs ended that amazing regular season with the best record in baseball at 103-58.
Years have come and gone of people, young and old, wondering if their beloved Cubs would one day win the World Series. Millions have bounded over the Cubbies and also created lasting memories. Many would tell you they would trade them all for what we all just witnessed. Wednesday night/Thursday morning dreams came true.
Congrats to the Chicago Cubs, you did it! YOU are the 2016 World Series Champions.