Cleveland – In what will go down as arguably the most dramatic game seven in World Series history, the Chicago Cubs have finally lifted the curse and have won the 2016 World Series, their first since 1908.
This series was never close. Both teams won by blowing each other out, save a 1-0 game 3 win for Cleveland and a 3-2 game 5 win for Chicago. Game 7 however would be different. Much different.
Game 7 would see dramatic event after dramatic event; beginning with Cubs CF Dexter Fowler’s lead-off home run in the top of the first inning and just like that, baseball took back its rightful position as America’s Pastime.
In a time when the NFL continues to see ratings slip due to increasing levels of injury and poor reaction from the league when it comes to the leagues player’s legal battles, MLB had it’s night to shine, and they ran with it.
“Wait ’til next year” has become, “this was the year”. Theo Epstein proved he is without a doubt one of the best baseball executives of all time, having first helped Boston end their 86-year World Series Championship drought as general manager and now as President of Baseball Operations, he ended the Chicago Cubs 108-year drought.
Kyle Hendricks had everything going for him through the first half of the game. Commanding every pitch through 4.2 innings allowing 4 hits and striking out 2 Indians. Cubs Manager Joe Madden would get antsy after Hendricks walked Carlos Santana with two outs in the bottom of the 5th, bringing in Jon Lester, with David Ross coming in behind the plate. After an infield single for Jason Kipnis and a throwing error by Ross, Kipnis would score on a wild pitch by Lester.
Skip to the top of the 6th and Ross would make up for the wild pitch by Lester with a solo shot to center on a 1-2 count off Andrew Miller.
The game would remain relatively in control for the Cubs as Jon Lester would pitch well until the bottom of the 8th when Maddon would once again get antsy and bring in his closer, Aroldis Chapman. After pitching in games 5 and 6, Chapman looked human in game 7 with Brandon Guyer doubling to center to score Jose Ramirez followed by a 2-run home run to left by Rajai Davis on a 2-2 count to tie the game at 6.
Francisco Lindor would flash the glove to end the top of the 9th inning, snagging a line drive up the middle off the bat of Dexter Fowler before firing a laser throw to Mike Napoli covering first.
After a short rain delay before the 10th inning (because this game needed to be just a little more dramatic), with Bryan Shaw pitching for the Indians, Kyle Schwarber would start things off by singling to right, followed by an intentional walk to Anthony Rizzo (after Kris Bryant would fly out to center to move pinch runner Albert Almora Jr. to second) eventual World Series MVP Ben Zobrist doubled to left to score Almora Jr. With Rizzo on third, Shaw would intentionally walk Addison Russell leading to Miguel Montero taking advantage of a high tension situation, singling to left to score Rizzo. Trevor Bauer would come in for the Indians to strike out Jason Heyward and getting Javier Baez to fly out to center.
With the young hard throwing Carl Edwards Jr. coming in to pitch for Chicago, Mike Napoli came to bat in the bottom of the 10th. Edwards Jr. would make relatively quick work of Napoli, striking him out before getting Jose Ramirez to ground out to shortstop Russell. Edwards Jr. would then walk Guyer who would advance to second on defensive interference.
Rajai Davis would come up with Guyer on second and come through again, singling to center to cut the Cubs lead down to one run. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Joe Maddon would make the final substitution of the game bringing in Mike Montgomery to get the final out as he was able to get Michael Martinez to ground out to third baseman Kris Bryant, delivering Cubs fans their first World Series in over a century.
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