The Chicago Cubs have ended the longest title drought in American sports history, by staging an epic Game 7 win, to come back from a 3 games to 1 deficit, thereby winning their first World Series since 1908. The Cleveland Indians did everything they could, with an undermanned rotation staff, and were oh so close to ending their own 68-year drought, but there can be no denying the Cubs who were totally the best team all year long.
It was epic Game between Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians
Game 7 was a true classic, as the Cubs lead 6-2 only to see their star closer Aroldis Chapman give up just his 3rd HR of the season, to Rajai Davis, which would tie the scores at 6, and mean extra innings in Game 7, for the first time since 1912. It was a fairy-tale for David Ross, who played his last game tonight, when he hit a HR, after entering the game with Jon Lester, once Hendricks was hooked by the awesome skipper Joe Maddon.
Game 6 was an out and out rout of the Indians to force the do-or-die as the Cubs ran out 9-3 winners, with a super 5 2/3 inning effort from Jake Arrieta and long balls from the young core infielders, Russell, Bryant and Rizzo. A 3 hit 2 run performance from Kipnis was not nearly enough for the Indians, particularly as Tomlin could only muster 7 outs and leaked 6 runs. Game 5 was much tighter with Lester coming up with a strong winning performance, as the Cubs edged the Indians 3-2, when losing was not an option. Lester was clearly better than his opposite number Trevor Bauer who could just go 4 frames and allowed the the 3 runs, which ultimately handed Lester a win, with a huge 8-out-save from Cuban stud closer Aroldis Chapman.
Game 4 was a huge effort from the Indians to establish their 3-1 series lead, thanks to a 2nd win of the series for staff ace Corey Kluber. Kluber allowed just the 1 run in a super 6 inning performance, with 6 strikeouts, outmatching the aging John Lackey who look frustrated with his role as 4th starter. The core of the Indians was brilliant in establishing the advantage, particularly Kipnis and young superstar Francisco Lindor. The gamble made by Terry Francona and his staff to play Carlos Santana in the OF, with the lack of a DH, for the NL field stretch of the series, proved to be a masterstroke as he was phenomenal with the bat, even though it meant leaving Mike Napoli to pinch-hitting duties.
Game 3 was an out and out epic, with just a single run scored, for the first time in post-season history, by a pinch-hit, pinch-run pairing, as Coco Crisp managed the hit and Michael Martinez managed to score. The 4-pronged pitching staff of Cleveland were all superb, with Tomlin leading the way with 4 2/3 shutout frames, followed by the 3 brilliant relievers who have featured throughout the post-season, Miller, Allen and Shaw. Carl Edwards Jr was debited with the loss after he gave up 2 hits in his 5-out performance. Game 2 was a vital win for the Cubs as Jake Arrieta registered his 1st win of the fall-classic hurling a fine 5 2/3 frames, before Montgomery and Chapman finished the job, levelling the series at 1. Series MVP, Ben Zobrist was again very good, with 2 hits and a run, while astounding returnee Kyle Schwarber was again outstanding with 2 RBI, after most thought his season gone in April when he tore his ACL and other leg ligaments in an OF collision. Game 1 was all Cleveland, as they shutout the Cubs 6-0 and boy did it take some effort to take the series lead from them, indeed this would not happen until the Cubs got the final out in the 10th of Game 7.
Already, termed as one of the most amazing World Series in history, this was a remarkably close series, which will never be forgotten for so many reasons, most prominently the 108-year drought. The MVP was a close call, but Zobrist was deserving, although any of the core infielders, such as Rizzo or Russell or Bryant could easily have taken the prestigious award. The Game 7 is now lore and will result in celebrations throughout Chicago, for a long long time to come. It was particularly special, for Joe Maddon the manager, and the entire front office staff, after the Cubs were awful as little as 4 years ago when they suffered a 100 loss season. Hats off to the Cubs they were dominant all season and they made the right moves to add players, particularly Chapman at the non-waiver trade deadline.
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