Playoff Countdown: Cubs win Game 7 of 2016 World Series!


by - Staff Writer -
David Banks - USA Today Sports
David Banks - USA Today Sports

Here is the best game of the Cubs’ 2016 postseason run:

No. 1: Game 7 of 2016 World Series — Cubs win 8-7

We all knew this one was coming, and it is well deserved. Game seven of the 2016 World Series was the best game of that season, the best game of the Cubs playoff run, the best game of the decade, the best game of Cubs history and arguably the greatest game of all time. It all started with Cubs leadoff man Dexter Fowler launching a leadoff home run to straightaway centerfield on the fourth pitch of the game, the first-ever leadoff home run in game seven of the World Series. The start the Cubs wanted. The game had so many interesting points and moments. The game was quickly tied with a Carlos Santana RBI single two innings later. On a lazy fly ball to shallow center hit by Addison Russell, Kris Bryant tagged up and caught Cleveland by surprise to score a savvy run and take a 2-1 lead. Later that inning. Willson Contreras delivered an RBI double to the wall to drive in Ben Zobrist. The following inning, Javier Baez hit an opposite-field dinger that gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Later that inning, Kris Bryant put his stellar wheels to the test again and score on a single to right from first base because he was moving on the pitch and never looked back.

With the Cubs up 5-1, Kyle Hendricks went back to work in the bottom of the fifth. After a two-out walk, manager Joe Maddon performed one of the most questionable decisions in Cubs history — lifting Hendricks after allowing just one run and with a low pitch count. Jon Lester came into the game in a dirty inning with a runner on first — even though Joe Maddon said he would not do that — and David Ross came in with Lester, which took Contreras out of the game. Lester allowed a single, and after an error, there were runners on second and third with two-out. A few pitches later, Lester bounced a curveball off of David Ross’ mask, which left him staggered, and both runners on base came around to score to make the game 5-3.

In the following inning, David Ross made up for it by homering off of red hot lefty Andrew Miller, making him the oldest player to ever homer in Game seven of the World Series at 39 years old — and the Cubs were back to a comfortable 6-3 lead. Lester went on from the fifth and pitched into the 8th inning when he was eventually lifted with two outs in the eighth after giving up a single. Aroldis Chapman came into the game, attempting to get a four-out save to give the Cubs a World Series win. Chapman, who had been used extremely often in that series, gave up an RBI double to Brandon Guyer, making the game 6-4. Then with the tying run at the plate, Rajai Davis delivered one of the biggest home runs in World Series history, launching a Chapman pitch to left to tie the game and sink the hearts of Cubs fans everywhere.

Chapman, however, was able to battle for the last out of the eighth, and deliver a scoreless 9th — not without a few scares to Cubs fans. Just like that, the game was headed to extra innings. But before the 10th inning started, a rain delay caused the game to be delayed. When the Cubs were beat up and emotionally drained from the nine innings that ensued, Jason Heyward brought one of the most significant moments in Cubs history to the table. He said, “Guys, weight room! Won’t take long!”.

“We’re the best team in baseball, and we’re the best team in baseball for a reason,” Heyward said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Now we’re going to show it. We play like the score is nothing-nothing. We’ve got to stay positive and fight for your brothers. Stick together, and we’re going to win this game.”

Heyward said he needed to remind them who they were, and 17 minutes later, the Cubs were back at the plate with a better attitude and a refined determination.

It started with a Kyle Schwarber single, who was lifted for Albert Almora as a pinch-runner. Kris Bryant then launched a flyball to the warning track, and Almora’s heads up base running had him in scoring position as he tagged up. Red-hot Anthony Rizzo was up next and was intentionally walked to give Ben Zobrist a chance to bat with runners on first and second with one out. Zobrist then provided the most clutch base hit in Cubs history with an RBI double down the left-field line to give the Cubs a 7-6 lead and make Anthony Rizzo say “WOW” from third base. A few batters later, Miguel Montero — the third catcher to drive in a run — knocked in Rizzo with an RBI single to give the Cubs an 8-6 lead.

Chapman was burned out, so Carl Edwards Jr. was called on to close the game out. He got two outs but gave up some baserunners and a run. With the tying run on first and the go-ahead run at the plate, Mike Montgomery came on to get the biggest out of his career.

A curveball a few pitches later led to a ground ball to Kris Bryant — we’ll let Pat Hughes take it away.

“A little bouncer slowly toward Bryant, he will glove it and throw to Rizzo…ITS IN TIME and the Chicago Cubs WIN THE World Series!!! The Cubs come pouring out of the dugout, jumping up and down like a bunch of delirious ten-year-olds…the Cubs have done it!”

The Cubs won their first World Series in 2018 years and gave Cubs fans everywhere a memory that would last a lifetime — proving that it was indeed the best game of the Cubs World Series run.

Ben Zobrist was named World Series MVP, as the Cubs won the game 8-7 in ten innings and won the series over the Indians 4-3.

We hope you enjoyed our countdown!

Cubs fan reactions around the world:

2016 season recap:

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