Holy Cow! Cubs win 1st World Series since 1908
|Thursday, November 3, 2016, 12:52 AM- -|
CLEVELAND - The Curse is over, and Murphy's goat can finally rest in peace.
The longest championship drought in major league history came to a fitting and thrilling end Wednesday night. Ben Zobrist's RBI double with one out in the tenth propelled the Cubs to an 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the World Series at Progressive Field, the franchise's first world championship since 1908.
The last team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series was the Kansas City Royals, who defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in 1985.
"That was one of the best game anyone will ever see," Kris Bryant said after the game.
With their loss Wednesday, the Indians extend their drought without a World Series title to 69 years — still 39 years short of the Cubs’ recent drought, but perhaps in position to inherit the label of Lovable Losers.
The Indians overcame a three-run deficit late, tying the game at 6-6 on a two-run homer by Rajai Davis in the bottom of the eighth. It was the first ever game-tying homer in the 8th inning or later of a World Series game seven. The teams failed to score in the ninth, and a brief rain shower caused a delay in starting the tenth, setting the stage for the Cubs' miracle.
"It was the best thing for us. We all got together in the weight room and we all supported each other," Bryant said of the rain delay. "Jason Heyward led the way - talking us up, getting us ready."
Kyle Schwarber led off the tenth inning with a single and was lifted for pinch-runner Albert Almora. Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked to set up the at-bat to Ben Zobrist who came through with the game-winning double. After another intentional walk to Addison Russell, Miguel Montero singled for a Cubs insurance run.
Rookie Carl Edwards came into the bottom of the 10th inning and got the first outs but gave up a walk and an RBI single. Mike Montgomery came in and nailed down the final out for the save to start the celebration.
Aroldis Chapman picked up the win, despite surrendering the tying runs in the eighth. Chapman threw 97 pitches over the last three games, his biggest workload since throwing 83 pitches over a four-day span for the Cincinnati Reds in 2015. Chapman went 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and striking out two. He allowed three hits, all with two outs in the three-run eighth after relieving Jon Lester.
After the Indians tied the game in the third inning, the Cubs immediately regained the lead in the fourth. Kris Bryant singled, and Rizzo was hit in the forearm to put two on to lead off the inning. After a groundout from Zobrist, the Cubs had runners at 1st and 3rd, and Bryant scored on a short sac fly from Russell. The throw from Davis was high, and Bryant barely snuck his foot ahead of the tag at the plate. Willson Contreras followed with a double off the wall to score Zobrist and put the Cubs up 3-1.
Javier Baez hit a 402-foot homer to right field to lead off the fifth and knock Indians ace Corey Kluber out of the game and up the Cubs lead to 4-1. Kluber pitched 4+ innings and gave up six hits and four runs. It was the first time in Kluber's major league career he didn't record a single strikeout.
Super reliever Andrew Miller replaced Kluber but gave up a single to Bryant. The Cubs third baseman later scored from first on a hit and run after a single from Rizzo.
Cubs starter Jon Lester replaced Hendricks with two outs in the 5th after a walk to Santana. Hendricks pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up just one run with one walk and two strikeouts.
Lester allowed a swinging bunt to Kipnis and reached second when catching replacement David Ross threw the balls into the stands trying to get the out at first. Lester's wild pitch allowed two runs to score when the ball bounced up and hit Ross in the mask and rolled away allowing Santana from third and Kipnis from second to score.
Ross, who was playing in his final game before retiring, got redemption in the 6th when he hit a 402-foot solo homer off Miller to center. He became the oldest catcher (39 years, 228 days) in World Series history to hit a homerun. Ross also just became the oldest man to homer in a Game 7, breaking the record of Willie Stargell.
Lester pitched 3 innings of relief for the Cubs on two days rest.
Dexter Fowler led off the game with a 410-foot homer to center. It was the first leadoff homer in a deciding game in World Series history and the first leadoff homer in the World Series since 1960.
In the third inning, Coco Crisp lead off with a double. After a sac bunt to move the runner to third, Carlos Santana lined a single into right field to tie the game. Baez tried to barehand the feed from Addison Russell on a possible double play ground ball from Jason Kipnis and dropped the ball allowing runners on second and first.
Hendricks worked around Baez's second error of the game by getting Francisco Lindor to fly out and Mike Napoli to line out sharply to Kris Bryant at third.