World Series Game 5: Wrigley Rocking, As Cubs Force Game 6
- Updated: October 31, 2016
The excitement was in the air in Chicago at the start of Game 5 and throughout the entire game on Sunday night as the Cubs faced elimination and the last chance to do something special at Wrigley Field and in front of their faithful fans.
With the Cubs down 3-1 the Cleveland Indians, they showed resilience in front of another packed house and would not disappoint their fans, as they took Jon Lester‘s lead and secured a victory sending the series back to Cleveland, now down 3-2.
It was the first victory that Wrigley Field has been a witness to since Game 6 of the 1945 World Series, but the last as the Cubs lost in Game 7 to the Detroit Tigers. Up until Sunday night.
Kris Bryant said it best as he led the Cubs to victory,”I feel like we play our best with our backs up against the wall,” Bryant told the media after Game 5. “We went out there today, took care of business. Hopefully we can get out there and win Game 6, because you never know what can happen in a Game 7.”
Jon Lester took the mound facing Cleveland for a second time this series and pitched well enough in six innings to put his team in position to win, earning his first World Series victory since 2013 when he won it with the Boston Red Sox. A gut performance on Sunday and the Cubs live on for another day. His only blemish was a second inning two-out home run given up to the Tribe’s Jose Ramirez and an RBI single off the bat of Francisco Lindor in the 6th inning.
As for the offense which seemed to sputter against the Tribe’s pitching for most of the series, managed three runs on seven hits, with the biggest blow coming in the bottom of the fourth down 1-0.
Bryant, who hasn’t had great plate appearances, looking over-matched at times, led off the inning with a solo shot to left center field giving the fans what they have been waiting for, his first World Series home run of his career, which quickly tied the game at 1-1.
The next three batters reached base, as Anthony Rizzo doubled, Ben Zobrist singled, moving Rizzo to third and Addison Russell, who was 2 for 4 in the game, hit a soft grounder to third base and beat out the play scoring Rizzo to take a 2-1 lead. Then after Jason Heyward struck out, Javier Baez hit a bunt single and veteran David Ross hit a sac fly scoring Zobrist with the deciding run.
After Lester was pulled heading into the 7th inning, skipper Joe Maddon used Carl Edwards, Jr, who gave up a lead-off single to Mike Napoli and then induced a fly ball out to Carlos Santana. Then wanting to secure the game in the frame, Maddon brought on Aroldis Chapman, and the closer gave his manager what he needed tossing 2.2 shutout innings, allowing one hit, no walks and striking out four, but the biggest to end the game and send the fans home delirious.
It was a great game by a young Cubs team just hoping for one more day, one more opportunity and a Cubs nation hoping for another miracle.
The series now shifts back to Cleveland with the Cubs backs still up against the wall, but as Bryant stated, this is when they play their best.
In this World Series where either team will finally end their fans long-suffering, it’s proving to be one epic classic.
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Featured photo: BRAD MANGIN/MLB PHOTOS
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