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Cubs Erase 108 Years of Agony with Thrilling Game 7 Victory

 

On Wednesday November 2, 2016, the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team managed an exciting World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians––winning the series 4-3 out of a total of seven games. The Cubs got their first World Series championship within the last 108 years, allowing them to finally be relieved of feeling they would never win again. The Cubs started the series down three games to one, meaning any Indians victory out of the games that followed  would have ended the Cub’s hopes of winning the World Series. However, the Cubs pulled through on a three-game win streak end the series in their favor.

The beginning of the games had the Cubs in a hole with their only win from a 5-1 game two victory. The stakes were high.  Since their last world championship in 1908, the Chicago Cubs endured year after year of agonizing seasons and defeats. There were a few seasons that seemed promising but ended in unthinkable heartbreak. Generations passed without anyone seeing the Cubs hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy; the trophy awarded to the season’s champion. But on that Wednesday night , the Cubs had a chance to erase all of that agony with a Game 7 victory. However, their task was not easy, as the decisive contest was in Cleveland and the Cubs had to face Corey Kluber—the Indians’ best pitcher—for the third time with having little success against him in their first two tries.

Nevertheless, the Cubs started the night with a bang, as center fielder Dexter Fowler led off the game with a home run to center field. After the Indians tied the game in the third inning, the Cubs pulled away for the time being by adding four runs to go up 5-1. But the Indians would not go away. Two runs came home to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning. However, the Cubs answered right back with a solo home run by thirty-nine year old catcher David Ross, playing in his final game ever. The Indians then failed to score in the sixth and seventh innings, prompting the game to appear all but over.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cubs were four outs away from their first world championship in over a hundred years. With flamethrower Aroldis Chapman pitching for the Cubs, it only seemed like a matter of time before a wild celebration would erupt back in Chicago. All of a sudden, Cleveland scored on a run-scoring double by Brandon Guyer, cutting the Cubs lead to 6-4. Rajai Davis then stepped to the plate representing the tying run. After a long, dramatic battle with Chapman, Davis did the unthinkable as he pulled a 98-mile-per-hour fastball down the left field line and just over the wall, tying the game at six. As Davis rounded the bases with his right arm extended upwards towards the night sky, the Cubs were in absolute shock, while over 35,000 fans cheered in ecstasy over what they just witnessed.

As the game moved to the ninth inning, there was a lively buzz of anticipation around the stadium that had never been present before. However, that buzz was short-lived because after the conclusion of the ninth inning the grounds crew applied the tarp over the infield to counter the incoming rain. After a delay of seventeen minutes, the top of the tenth inning started. The Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber led off the inning with a single to right field, where he was then replaced by pinch-runner Albert Almora Jr. Kris Bryant followed with a fly ball to center field that was caught a few feet shy of the wall, allowing Almora Jr to tag up to second base. Now the Indians were faced with a decision. Anthony Rizzo, an extremely good hitter, was at the plate. Followed by him was Ben Zobrist. The Indians decided to walk Rizzo on purpose to pitch to Zobrist, but to also set up a possible double play, since there was a force out at first, second, and third. Nevertheless, Zobrist eliminated that possibility by rocketing a double down the left-field line, scoring Almora Jr. and giving the Cubs the lead once again . The Indians then walked the dangerous Addison Russell to load the bases for seldom-used catcher Miguel Montero. But that move backfired as well, with Montero hitting a single to left field, scoring yet another run. From there, the damage was done, as the game moved to the bottom of the tenth inning.

Relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr retired the first two batters before walking Guyer and giving up a run-scoring single to the eighth inning hero Davis. Finally, the Cubs called upon Mike Montgomery to get one out and secure the Cubs’ first world championship in 108 years. The Indians’ last hope was Michael Martinez. After taking a strike, Martinez hit a weak ground ball to Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. As he charged in to field and throw the ball, Bryant slipped on the infield grass, but was still able to make a spot-on throw to the first baseman Rizzo in time, ending 108 years of misery in mere seconds. A huge celebration ensued around the mound, as players sprinted from their positions while backups and coaches stampeded from the dugout to join the madness as soon as possible.

The aftermath included Zobrist being named the Most Valuable Player and the ball that represented the final out being valued at over three million dollars, not to mention a parade in Chicago attended by over five million people, making it the seventh-largest gathering in human history.

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