Holy Cow! Cubs Win The World Series In Epic Game 7!
By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 3, 2016 5:00AM
We can barely believe we’re writing it, but it’s actually true: for the first time in over a century, the Chicago Cubs are world champions!
The most notorious title drought in professional sports is officially kaput. The Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in an incredible, impossibly tense Game Seven on Wednesday night, 8-7, becoming the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the Fall Classic since the 1985 Royals.
Let us never speak of goats, curses, Bartman or the number 108 again.
It was billed as the most important game in the history of Chicago sports—even “the biggest game in baseball history”—and for once, it may have actually lived up to the hype: a rain delay, extra innings, dramatic pick-offs, atypical errors, plays at the plate, a slew of homers and almost unbearable late tension.
In a you’ll-be-tellin’-your-grandchildren moment, Dexter Fowler opened the game by blasting the first-ever leadoff home run in a Game Seven.
Cleveland’s Carlos Santana delivered an RBI single in the third inning to tie it, 1-1. But Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitched around Javy Baez’s second error of the night, on a potential inning-ending would-be double-play ball, to prevent further damage.
Chicago landed a quick counterpunch in the fourth: Kris Bryant scored on a dramatic play at the plate on an Addison Russell sac fly; and Wilson Contreras spanked an RBI double to center field to make it 3-1. A heroic Cubs fan did his part, too:
Look at this Cubs fan trying to heckle the outfielder pic.twitter.com/P1x5czLo3s— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) November 3, 2016
Javier “what slump?” Baez then redeemed his two extremely uncharacteristic errors with a solo-shot drill in the fifth inning, chasing Cleveland starter Corey Kluber. (They should give that kid an honorary street sign.) Bryant then scored on an Anthony “emotional wreck” Rizzo single.
Things looked a dicey after a wild pitch by Jon Lester—making a coulda-been-controversial relief appearance—allowed two Cleveland baserunners to score. Then Cubs fan favorite David Ross added some insurance with a solo home run in the sixth inning. Gonna miss that guy.
But soon it started to go haywire.
Controversial closer Aroldis Chapman—furthering his shockingly high workload—surrendered a thee-run Cubs lead in the eighth, giving up an RBI double to Brandon Guyer, then a two-run homer from Rajai Davis. It was impossible to not think about whether some sort of Biblical retribution was unfolding, considering the closer’s alleged domestic-abuse history. Long beloved, manager Joe Maddon will face a tsunami of criticism for how he deployed Chapman over the last two games.
Then there was a 17-minute rain delay, because this was the most insane game ever played.
When the game finally picked up, so did the Cubs offense. Ben Zobrist delivered an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled in a run to regain the lead, 8-6. Cleveland made it interesting again in the bottom of the 10th, but the Cubs held on, 8-7.
Our photographers and reporters are on the scene in Wrigleyville. Check back at Chicagoist for reports on the insane ground-level party—more than a century in the making, that apparently the whole city wants in on.
It's pretty nuts.
My local liquor store is sold out of Malört. It's that kind of night in Chicago.— Jason Martin (@jmart181) November 2, 2016