It’s now been 7 hours since game 7 of the 2016 World Series ended and I’m still sitting here in a state of shock. “Holy SHIT!” are the words that continue to come to mind. If this wasn’t the greatest world series game of all time, I can’t possibly imagine a better scenario. Seriously, this was the sort of shit you’d see in a movie and go “Nahhhhhhh”. I will be doing my best to reap but holy hell there was so much I’m sure I’m going to miss some of it. I’m on my own this morning as I’m pretty sure Prof is still crying in elation somewhere, so let’s just give her a few days off shall we?
We’ll start with Dexter Fowler leading the game off with a home run. Carlos Santana then began one of the big themes of the night. The Indians fighting and clawing their way back in the game and earning their way into my heart. Santana singled in Coco Crisp to tie the game in the 3rd. The Cubs responded with two runs in the 4th and two more in the 5th, including a Javier Baez solo home run.
Joe Maddon apparently didn’t have enough of the horrendous decision making and decided to remove Kyle Hendricks after just 4.2 innings pitched and surrendering a 2 out walk. Maddon’s poor on-field decision making was the second big theme of the night. Hendricks was absolutely on a roll and at the time the Cubs had a 5-1 lead with 2 outs in the 5th. Jon Lester enters the game, and a Grandpappa Ross throwing error and a wild pitch by Lester allowed two runs to score.
Keep in mind that the Cubs paper thin bullpen was completely spent after Maddon abused Chapman the night before. The Indians are yet again back into a game there were just about sure to be out of, now down just 5-3 after 5. Then as if scripted by Hollywood, the 39 year old Ross, who’s throwing error the inning prior helped allow the Indians back into it, hit a solo home run that I’m pretty sure Cubs fans are still in tears over.
Now, with a 6-3 lead and a runner on first and two outs in the 8th, Maddon went back to the man he absolutely abused the two night prior. Aroldis Chapman entered the game and from pitch one did not look right. His fastball was flat and slow, his command all over the place and his slider made a repeat appearance. Chapman was clearly out of gas and was left stranded all alone with zero support. Chapman immediately gave up a run scoring double followed by the most emotional two-run home run of Cleveland’s history. Rajai Davis crushed a ball two inches inside the inside left field foul pole. I could never tell if the stadium was in Cleveland or Chicago, because no matter who did what it got LOUD. Cubs fans immediately went on suicide watch. The game was over, Cleveland was going to win, Maddon had blown the game and 109 was about to begin. Not content with his previous managerial blunders, Jon Maddon decided to bring out a visibly exhausted Chapman to get three more outs in the 9th. Luckily for Chicago he was able to find a way out of the inning before any further damage was done.
With the game tied at 6 in the ninth and a runner on first, Jason Heyward hit a ground ball to Jason Kipnis who fired to second to get the advancing runner. The slide into second was argued to be interference, and after a brief moment of umpire “what the fuck are we doing”, the slide was first ruled illegal, then ruled legal. I still have no clue what the hell happened, but it was a umpire shit-show all series long, and might as well have continued to be one in the 9th. I remember thinking, is this really how this series is determined, by a ridiculous umpire call? Heyward was eventually returned to first, and ended up advancing to second on a stolen base, and then to third on the errant throw. Joe Maddon in his infinite wisdom then decided with the game tied and one out and a man on third, he’d ask Baez to attempt a full-count bunt. That went about as well as expected and the Indians staved off the threat, further calling into question the mental health of all Cubs fans.
And then the rain came. At this point it was past midnight on the east coast. Fox and MLB’s insistence at starting game fucking 7 at 8pm on a Tuesday night was about to cost a lot of fans a lot of sleep. With one man on in the top of the 10th, the officials finally called a rain delay. Rain had been off and on for a few innings at this point and there was a sizeable storm on the horizon. Here is the point in the story where myself and I’m sure most of the rest of the country turned off their television sets. Sadly sleep was beckoning and workload duties were going to arrive first thing the next morning whether we wanted it to or not. Frustrated and annoyed, and wondering if the game would even continue, or if the rain that everyone was saying was going to wipe out the game would end up in post-postponement. I started pondering how rosters would change, how the extra day’s rest would allow starting pitchers to make appearances, would MLB actually have the stone to post-pone game 7 of the World Series until Wednesday as I took my dog for her nightly before-bed walk.
As soon as I got into bed and laid down to try to get some pissed off sleep, that’s when my phone went off. The Cubs took a lead off of a Ben Zobrist double. I frantically turned on the streaming TV app on my phone and found the Cubs up 8-6 with two outs in the 10th. I had also missed a Miguel Montero single for the insurance run. The inning ends and it’s time to see if Cleveland can muster one more comeback.
Carl Edwards Jr. got the call in the 9th and was able to get the first two outs in the inning before walking Brandon Guyer (who then stole second uncontested) and then allowing a single up the middle to Rajai Davis.
Cubs fans had to be pulled off the ledge once more as Mike Montgomery entered the game with 2 outs and a man on first to face Michael Martinez. Martinez grounded out to Kris Bryant who slipped and fell as he threw to first.
Game over! Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! Somewhere Harry Caray is the happiest man in baseball heaven. Ben Zobrist was awarded series MVP. After the game, Jason Heyward was credited with pulling the team together during the rain delay and getting them fired up, leading to the team taking the final lead of the game. The same Jason Heyward who’s jersey was burned when he came to Chicago. The same Heyward who was under constant criticism all season long for making too much money and under-performing to incredibly high expectations. Yea. That guy.
Cleveland fans should hang their heads up high. They fought a tough battle and are awarded the respect and admiration of the league. The game could have very easily gone the other way. But today was Chicago’s day. Today the streak ended. They had to do it the hardest way imaginable, breaking the hearts of fans and restoring them over and over and over again. It just wouldn’t have been a Cubs victory any other way.
“Someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series.” That day was today Harry. And that day was great.