Legends On Deck

World Series Game 7: 108 Year Curse is Finally Over, Cubs Win


Coming into the 2016 season, the main objective for the Chicago Cubs and their fans, as it always is every year is to finally end the 108 year old curse on the organization. That was the last time the team actually won a World Series Championship, even though they have been to the Fall Classic six other times, and countless playoff games, but every year it’s been one thing or another that has prevented the Cubbies from finally getting their elusive title, until now.

The Cubs were the last remaining franchise that have not experienced a title in over a century and because of a gritty, never say quit group of ball players led by a manager that has to be one of the best to play for, they truly earned this amazing feat.

Joe Maddon became the Cubs manager in 2014, after Chicago finished the previous five seasons under .500 and not having a winning season since 2008, when they won their division. In his first season, the Cubs finished in 3rd place but won 97 games, and still entered the postseason through the Wild Card and advanced to the NLCS, only to lose to the New York Mets. But fast forward to 2016, the Cubs win their division with 103 wins, take care of the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS in four games (3-1), the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS in six games (4-2) and the Cleveland Indians in the World Series in seven games (4-3), after trailing 3-1.

As for the game, it was a nail biter from the very first batter, as Cubs lead-off hitter Dexter Fowler hit a 2-1 offering from Indians starter Corey Kluber over the center field fence to put the Cubs up 1-0.

The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Carlos Santana. But the Cubs took advantage of Kluber, who wasn’t as sharp as he was in his previous two starts, scoring two runs in the fourth and fifth and one in the sixth highlighted by an RBI double from Willson Contreras, and homers off the bats of Javier Baez and veteran David Ross.

The Indians did pull within two runs in the bottom of the fifth, when they scored two runs on a wild pitch from Jon Lester, who took over the pitching duties from Kyle Hendricks in the frame.

Lester pitched in relief for the first time since the 2014 World Series with the Red Sox and in this game he would give his team three innings, allowing one earned run, three hits, a walk and four strikeouts.

With the Cubs leading and looking to finally end the 108 year curse, the Indians would not quit, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth highlighted by a Rajai Davis two-run home run, off Aroldis Chapman tying the game at 6-6. Chapman, who pitched in the previous two games of the series, was called on by his skipper Maddon and asked to do it again, but the Cuban native just didn’t seem to have it, even though he battled through the bottom of the ninth inning, keeping the Tribe off the board and sending the game into extra innings.

Then the skies opened up and the tarp was put on the field and the game was delayed for 15 minutes. Just enough time for the Cubs to regroup and it showed as they came out and added two runs to take an 8-6 lead.  Kyle Schwarber started the 10th inning with a lead-off single. Albert Almora, Jr was brought on to pinch run for Schwarber, and his base running would be the difference of the game, as he tagged up from first on a deep drive to center field from Kris Bryant, putting himself in scoring position at second base.

Next batter Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked and Series MVP Ben Zobrist doubled down the left field line scoring Alomar and moving Rizzo to third. After an intentional walk to Addison Russell, Miguel Montero singled to left field scoring Rizzo with the eighth and decisive run.

In the ninth, Maddon handed the ball over to 25-year old Carl Edwards, Jr and he struck out Mike Napoli with the first out and then induced a ground ball out off the bat of Jose Ramirez. Next batter Brandon Guyer walked and Davis, who tied the game in the eighth with a two run laser, singled up the middle to pull the Tribe within a run at 8-7.

The Cubs then brought on left hander Mike Montgomery and on the second pitch of the at bat, Michael Martinez hit a slow roller to the left side of Bryant, who scooped it up and threw out the runner sending the Cubs and their many fans into pandemonium.

What a time to be alive. We all got to witness an amazing World Series, purely the best in my lifetime. Down 3-1 in the series, the Cubs roll the dice and just shock the world and finally put the curse to bed.

Congrats to the players, the organization, Cubs nation, and this amazing game.

Tonight we witnessed two heavy weights who refused to go down and battled to the end.

As always, Baseball at its best.


Image source: SportsInsights.com

David Conde
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