By Evan Kolin (’18)
The Cubs defeated the Indians in a historic, ten inning, winner-take-all Game 7 Wednesday night, giving them their first World Series championship since 1908.
The final score, 8-7, marked the end of one of the greatest finales to a World Series in recent memory, a finale that capped off Chicago’s improbable comeback from being down in the series 3-1.
The Cubs scored early, as Dexter Fowler smacked a 410 foot dinger to center field to lead off the game. They didn’t stop there, however, as their lead stretched to 5-1 by the top of the 5th inning.
Despite this, the Indians never backed down, taking advantage of Chicago manager Joe Maddon’s questionable decision to relieve his starter Kyle Hendricks after just 63 pitches in favor of Jon Lester. The Indians subsequently wore Lester down for two runs in the bottom half of the 5th, cutting their deficit to 5-3. But Cubs catcher David Ross, whose appearance in Game 7 would be the last game of his 15 year career, answered right back with a home run of his own in the top of the 6th, giving Chicago a 6-3 edge. Nevertheless, another debatable decision by Maddon would open the door for a Cleveland comeback once again.
Although Chapman already hurled 20 pitches the previous day in Game 6, the Cubs’ skipper still brought his star closer in to replace Lester in the top of the 8th. From there, Chapman proceeded to blow the Cubs’ three run lead, with Rajai Davis providing the dagger with a two run home run to tie the game at six apiece.
The game went to extra-innings, where a slight rain delay allowed for a Cubs team meeting that turned the momentum back in their favor. “I just had to remind them of who they were”, Chicago outfielder Jason Heyward told FOX about what ensued as the Indians’ grounds crew pulled the tarp onto the diamond. “It was the best thing for us”, explained third baseman Kris Bryant. “We all supported each other.”
Finally, play resumed and the game concluded at a timely manner of 12:40 AM after a Ben Zobrist single gave the Cubs the lead for good, a single that consequently helped the Illinois native earn Series MVP honors.
2016 will be a year Cubs fans will never forget, as they finally brought the Commissioner’s Trophy back to the Windy City for the first time in 108 years. Hopefully, they don’t have to wait 108 more.