In an epic Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the Chicago Cubs, for the first time in 108 years, defeated the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in 10 innings. Not only did they break their long, historic streak without a championship, Chicago reversed a 3-1 deficit, staving off three elimination games. Tonight’s drama was also put on pause for 17 minutes following the end of the ninth inning due to a brief period of heavy rain.
It did not take long for the Cubs to plate the first run in tonight’s game. On the fourth pitch thrown by the Indians’ ace, Corey Kluber, Dexter Fowler crushed a 92.2 fastball left over the middle of the plate.
Two innings later, in the bottom of the third, Cleveland managed to tie the game up at 1-all. Coco Crisp led off the Indians half of the inning with a double, giving his side a bit of momentum straight off the bat. Terry Francona played a bit of small ball next with Roberto Perez at the dish. Perez laid down the perfect bunt up the left field line, allowing Crisp to reach third base. Carlos Santana hit a hanging curveball to straight away center, bringing in Crisp.
Chicago takes commanding lead in middle of the game
The Indians number one pitcher had been dominate all postseason long and dominated the Cubs in Game 1 of the Series. Kluber struck out eight of the first nine batters as Cleveland stormed to 6-0 victory.
Chicago, though, figured out Kluber in their third time facing them and capitalized on what they learned in the middle innings. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo reached base with the former finding a hole in the infield to left, while the latter was hit by a pitch. Ben Zobrist hit a ground ball to Mike Napoli who threw out Rizzo at second, but moved Bryant within 60 feet of home plate.
Then, Bryant touched home plate when Addison Russell hit a ball just deep enough to center field. Rajai Davis hesitated too long before throwing the ball home which gave Bryant enough time to scamper in. To wrap up the scoring that inning, and pushing the Cubs lead to two when Wilson Contreras’ two-bagger allowed Zobrist to touch home.
Kluber’s night came to an abrupt end after throwing one pitch in the top of the sixth inning. Javier Baez walloped a slider that caught too much of the plate.
Andrew MIller, who had always been so reliable this postseason, replaced Kluber soon after, However, on this night, his stuff was disreputable. While Flower lead off with single, Kyle Schwarber grounded into a double play to give the Indians two quick outs.But then, Bryant walked and Rizzo reached on a single. Bryant read the ball off to the to perfection and scored from first base.
Indians fight back late
The party was starting early in Chicago as the game reached its final six outs of the season. Chicago had a three run lead and Jon Lester had been dominating the Indians out of the bullpen. Lester got the first two batters out by getting Francisco Lindor to ground out and striking out Napoli.
After Jose Ramirez reached first base, Joe Maddon gave the ball to heralded reliever Aroldis Chapman. Chapman, though, pitched well beyond his normal usage in these last couple of games and that usage came to fruition when he stepped on the mound this night.
Brandon Guyer worked a full count before making contact with a 97 mph fastball on the edge of the plate. Ramirez made it home to bring the Indians fans on their feet. Chicago’s early celebration were quickly put under wraps when 36-year-old veteran Davis stepped to the dish. Davis smacked a ball over the left field wall to give the Indians a glimmer of hope.
Cubs win it in extras
Following a short rain delay, the Chicago Cubs quickly went to work in the top of the 10th inning. Schwarber singled to lead off the inning, but then Albert Almora Jr. pinch ran for Schwarber to bring a little more speed to the base paths.
Bryan Shaw was intentionally walked to give the Cubs a runner in scoring position. Zobrist proceeded to come up with one of the biggest hits in Cubs history as he doubled in Almora. For insurance, MIguel Montero hit another ball to the same way, into left field bringing in Rizzo to make it 8-6.
Carl Edwards Jr. started the bottom of the 10th inning with two quick outs, despite Baez reaching first on a single. Davis did damage once more, bringing in one more run to prompt Maddon to change pitchers. Mike Montgomery’s only batter of the night ended with his team, the Chicago Cubs, lifting the World Series.