Cleveland fans are used to heartbreak. But nothing could’ve prepared them for this.
The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings at Progressive Field to win the World Series in one of the most dramatic Game 7’s of all time. It is the Cubs’ first championship in 108 years.
The National League champions, on the brink of elimination after falling behind three games to one, won Game 5 by a score of 3-2. They left little doubt about whether there would be a Game 7, crushing the Indians 9-3 in Game 6.
It was in the final game that history was made. After finding themselves down four runs, the Indians made an incredible rally to tie the game in the eighth inning. The score remained tied after nine thrilling innings.
A walk-off extra innings Indians’ victory would’ve been a perfect continuation of the Cubs’ famous curse. But this year’s Cubs did not let that happen, scoring two in the top of the 10th inning to put them in a great position to win. The Indians could not complete a rally in the bottom half, and the long drought finally ended. Wrigley Field became the home to the new World Series champions.
The Cubs knew they needed to beat the Indians’ best pitchers, and that is exactly what they did. Indians’ ace Corey Kluber gave up four runs in four innings. Shutdown reliever Andrew Miller got hit hard as well, allowing two runs in two and third innings.
The visiting team struck first just four pitches into the game. Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler belted a solo home run to dead center field to give the Cubs a early 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, the Indians tied the game. However they left two runners on base and failed to take the lead. The Cubs retook the lead in the following inning when Addison Russell drove in Kris Bryant with a sacrifice fly. Then Wilson Contreras smoked a double to center field, scoring Ben Zobrist and giving the Cubs a two-run lead.
The Cubs started piling on in the fifth inning. Javier Baez smashed a solo home run to right-center field. An Anthony Rizzo single scored another run as the Cubs built a seemingly insurmountable four run lead.
The Indians would not quit. They scored two in the their half of the fifth to cut the deficit in half. The Cubs responded with their third solo home run, this one coming off the bat of David Ross.
That insurmountable lead was actually quite surmountable. With two outs in the eighth inning the Indians started a crazy rally. An infield single followed by a double decreased the deficit to two. That set the stage for Rajai Davis, who hit a ball that barely cleared the left field fence to tie the game.
The Indians could not keep the game tied. After the Cubs took the lead in extras, the team did not have another rally in them. Davis drove in a run with a two-out single, heightening the tension. However, Mike Montgomery got Michael Martinez to ground out to stop the Indians’ threat and clinch the title.
Maybe Cleveland is back to its old ways, watching other teams celebrate championships. Clevelanders may take solace in the fact that their team came within one run of a World Championship without three of their best players, but they still have that same old sinking feeling in their stomach and the same old refrain keeps ringing in their ears: “There’s always next year.”