For the first time since 1908, the Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions. Two world wars and a century later, the Cubs have finally broken the curse as well as the longest drought in baseball history and are finally seated at the top of Major League Baseball. This day, November the Second, is truly one of the greatest days in Chicago’s long history.
Theo Epstein told Cub fans in 2011 when he became the Director of Baseball Operations, “I have a plan, you’ll just have to be patient.” Now, Theo can say that he has broken two MLB curses, the first with the Boston Red Sox and the curse of the Bambino, and now the Chicago Cubs with the curse of Billy Sianis’s goat.
The Game 7 to end all Game 7’s was one of the most stressful, nail-biting, earth-shattering games in sports history and one of the worst emotional rollercoasters I, being a Cubs fan, have ever experienced.
Dexter Fowler started the game off doing something no other player had ever done, hitting a home run in the first at-bat of a World Series Game 7. After that, Russell hit a sac-fly to score Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras doubles to score Ben Zobrist in the fourth inning. Baez would hit a solo homer in the top of the fifth and Rizzo would get an RBI single to score Bryant. The Cubs swiftly took a 5-1 lead over the Indians and Cleveland couldn’t seem to get anything going aside from their one RBI from Carlos Santana. Jon Lester came on in relief of Kyle Hendricks who was pitching a phenomenal game and seemed to be in the zone, a move that made me squirm as Lester, a starting pitcher, hadn’t come on in relief since 2007. Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis would score after Lester threw a wild pitch.
In the sixth inning Cubs catcher David Ross, playing in his final Major League game, hits the Cubs third home run of the game and the first off Indian’s pitcher Andrew Miller, who had been hard to beat the entire postseason.
Going into the top of the eighth inning, the Cubs were up 6-3 with six outs to go. Aroldis Chapman comes on the bump for the Cubs with a man on first and two outs to relieve Lester and to close out the game, a position he had held since he came to the team in July from the Yankees. Brandon Guyer doubled home Ramirez and brought Cleveland within two. Rajai Davis came up and hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 6-6.
When Davis hit that home run, my heart sank. I didn’t even want to think it, but the thought was making its way into my mind, the Goat. Every person to have ever played the game and any baseball fan knows how crucial momentum is in a game that has ten minutes of action packed into two hours. The momentum was not on the Cubs side, and I was sweating.
At the bottom of the ninth inning, still tied, the Cubs almost get a run home to take the lead, but end up leaving Heyward on third.
The tenth inning starts with a rain delay at the most stressful, crucial moment of the game. After 17 minutes, play continues and Kyle Schwarber, one of the Cubs’ many postseason heroes, gets on with a single. Almora comes on to pinch run and on a long fly ball from Bryant, tags up and ends up at second base, one of the smartest base running plays that ended up being critical. Rizzo was intentionally walked and Zobrist doubles home Almora, putting Rizzo on third. The Indians walk Russell to get the force out but Montero comes up and singles, driving in Rizzo. Cubs go into the bottom of the tenth up 8-6. The rain delay neutralized the momentum of the game and the Cubs took full advantage.
Carl Edwards Jr. is on the mound for the Cubs. Chapman wasn’t on point and the rain delay surely didn’t help. The 48th round draft pick came up big in baseball’s greatest stage as he records one K and a groundout, but walked guyer. Rajai Davis singles home Guyer and brings Cleveland back within one run. Mike Montgomery came in to close it out for the Cubs. On a softly hit ball to the left side, Martinez forced Bryant to make a difficult play as the Cubs record the final out of the game, marking themselves as World Champions and breaking a curse that had lasted 108 years.
It’s finally happened. The Cubs came back, down three games to one in one of the most miraculous comebacks in baseball. The Chicago Cubs, the Cubbies, the Boys in Blue, the North Siders, are no longer the Loveable Losers. They are the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs and they came to reign.
And with that, I ask, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”
Written by Drew Schroeder