The drought is over! Let Steve Bartman free, let billy goats dissipate, let God’s green apples keep falling from trees – well, I think! For the first time in 108 years, the once cursed Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions. Cubs fans can now forget about all their worries and rejoice in the streets. As you would remember, in 2003, a man named Bartman interfered with Cubs left fielder Moises Alou down the foul line in Game 6 of the NLCS. Soon after, the Cubs lost their lead and the series. Bartman got booed and had trash thrown at him.
Fast forward 13 years and that hatred for Bartman can be laid to rest. The Cleveland Indians won the first game of the Fall Classic, with the Cubs winning the second. Then the Cubs bats went cold and lost the next two. They were outscored by the Indians 13-2 in games 3 and 4. Trailing three games to one and being on the brink of ruining hopes and dreams, the Cubs had to find a way to win the last game at Wrigley Field. With the help of Kris Bryant’s dinger and two singles in the 4th inning and with closer Arodis Chapman’s eight-out save, the Cubs found a way.
Heading back to Cleveland for game 6, the Cubs chances looked bleak. However, they stormed out of the gate with 4 runs in the 1st inning, thanks to another Bryant home run and a couple of hits. The Cubs’ Addison Russell hit a grand slam in the third, putting the dagger in the Indians. Behind Jake Arrieta’s nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings, the Cubs tied the series at three with a 9-3 shellacking. That left one more thing: an epic winner-take-all game 7.
The last game of the World Series took place on November 2. Cubs leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler led off the game with a home run off of Cleveland starter Corey Kluber. In the 4th and 5th inning, Chicago scored 2 runs each to take a 5-1 lead. However, when Jon Lester inexplicably came in to replace Kyle Hendricks in the 6th inning, he threw a wild pitch that scored 2 runs. Two innings later, Chapman came in to try get the four-out save. After a double, Chapman gave up his first home run since July to Rajai Davis, tying the game at six. Nobody could score in the 9th; then rain came, delaying the game for 17 minutes.
When play resumed, the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero both had run scoring hits. In the bottom half of the 10th, the Indians just could get one run off of reliever Carl Edwards Jr. Manager Joe Maddon went to the bullpen with one out to go. With Cubs’ reliever Mike Montgomery pitching, Michael Martinez grounded out to a grinning Bryant at third base to secure the 8-7 win, making the Cubs World Series champions! Click here to see highlights of the Cubs’ 10th inning rally.
Throughout the play-offs, Maddon made interesting decisions which almost cost him the title. In the end, though, the manager who turned the Cubs around knew what he was doing and squeaked out enough wins. Indeed, with the Cubs going 103-58 in the regular season, the best MLB team this year was the last team standing. It is time to celebrate, Cubs fans!
Written by: Michael L. Sack