Chicago Cubs Win 2016 World Series

Evan Spinney, Reporter

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What do the Indians, Warriors, and Thunder all have in common? They all blew a 3-1 series lead.

On Wednesday November 2, 2016, the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series in game seven, the final game of the series. The Chicago Cubs won the National League Championship Series (NLCS), defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers; whereas the Cleveland Indians won the American League Championship Series (ALCS) after beating the Toronto Blue Jays. This brought both the Cubs and the Indians to the final series of the 2016 season.

In game one of the series, played at the Indian’s home field, Progressive Field, Cleveland started Corey Kluber pitching on the mound. Kluber pitched six of the nine innings, and struck out eight Cubs batters in the first three innings, setting a World Series record. He went on to strike out a total of nine batters, and he only let up four total hits against the Cubs. Kluber, Andrew Miller, and Cody Allen all assisted in shutting out Chicago and getting the win, 6-0. Roberto Perez, catcher for the Indians, hit two home runs and got four Runs Batted In (RBI) of the six total runs.

“Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever had a night like that,” Perez said, according to ESPN.

After having such a big loss, and not a very good start to the series, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that he “[has] no concerns,” according to ESPN, because it was the first game and to him, no big deal.

Even though they did not score a single run in the first game of the series, the Cubs redeemed themselves in game two.The second game, played at Progressive Field like the first, brought disappointment amongst Cleveland fans. Jake Arrieta, starting pitcher for the Cubs, pitched a no-hitter through five and one third innings, according to the official website for the Major League Baseball (MLB) association.

Once he was taken out of the game, Mike Montgomery, relief pitcher, came in for two innings and let up no runs; as well as Aroldis Chapman, a second reliever, pitched one inning and also let up no runs. The Cubs went on to win game two, 5-1, tying up the series, 1-1.

The third game was moved from Cleveland’s field to the Cubs’ Wrigley Field. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs Designated Hitter (DH), went 3-7 in the first two games and was available to pinch-hit, for he returned during the postseason after tearing two ligaments in his left knee in the third game of the regular season and was not given medical clearance to play in the outfield. Although Schwarber made an amazing return, according to the MLB website, he didn’t have a huge impact on the outcome of the game when faced against Josh Tomlin, the starting pitcher for the Indians. Tomlin, and the other Indians’ pitchers, let up five hits while the Cubs let up eight. The Indians ended up winning game three, with a final score of 1-0, off of a single from Coco Crisp, Indians’ outfielder. That scored Michael Martinez, Indians utility player, in the bottom of the seventh. This gave Cleveland the lead in the series over the Cubs, once again, 2-1.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, photo, Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber, wearing a green wristband on his left arm, hits a double during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

In this Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, photo, Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber, wearing a green wristband on his left arm, hits a double during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Chicago took an early lead in game four over the Indians making the score 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning when Anthony Rizzo, Cubs first baseman, singled to center field, scoring Dexter Fowler, Cubs outfielder. Their lead didn’t last long when Carlos Santana, Indians first baseman, homered in the top of the second, before Corey Kluber Reached On Error (ROE) from a bad throw, scoring Lonnie Chisenhall. The Cubs didn’t go on to score again until the bottom of the eighth inning off of  a home run from Fowler making the score 7-2, Cleveland. The Indians gained their third win of the series with the final score being 7-2.

Game five was crucial for the Cubs. From this point forward in the series, a loss for the Cubs meant that they would go home without a title, and the Indians would return to Cleveland celebrating their victory all the way.

After an uneventful first inning, Jose Ramirez, Indians infielder, gave the Indians the lead in the second inning with a home run. Although the Indians were confident going into game five with this big of a series lead over the Cubs, their confidence fell short. In the fourth inning, Kris Bryant, Cubs third baseman, started off the inning with a homerun to center field tieing up the game, 1-1. Rizzo also jumped on Indians’ pitcher Trevor Bauer when he doubled to right. Then, Ben Zobrist, utility player, was up at the plate and worked a 3-0 count before hitting a single to right field which advanced Rizzo to third.

Rizzo then scored when Addison Russell, infielder, had an infield single which gave the Cubs the lead and advanced Zobrist to third. David Ross then appeared at the plate and helped out, too, with a sacrifice fly that allowed Zobrist to tag up and score. The Cubs had a 3-1 lead. Another uneventful inning had passed, but the game wasn’t over. The Indians scored one run in the sixth inning when Francisco Lindor, Indians shortstop, singled to Fowler in center field which scored Rajai Davis, Indians center fielder. The Indians looked to finish the series, but they were not able to, for the final score of the game was 3-2, Cubs.

The Cubs had forced a game six. If they lost a game from the fifth game forward, it was over for them. They weren’t going home without a fight. The Cubs started off the game strong putting up three runs in the first inning. Bryant hit a home run which got them one run, and Russell doubled scoring both Rizzo and Zobrist. Although he started off well, Russell wasn’t finished. In the top of the third, he hit a grand slam that scored Schwarber, Rizzo, Zobrist, and himself, making the score 7-0, Cubs.

The Cubs took a short break from scoring and let the Indians have a turn. Cleveland scored once in the fourth inning off of a single that scored Jason Kipnis, Indians second baseman. Next inning, bottom of the fifth, Kipnis was up once again and homered adding one more run to the Indians score. Three scoreless innings passed. The Cubs wouldn’t give up. They put up two more runs in the ninth inning, and the Indians put up one more. The final score ended up being 9-3, Chicago.

At the final game, The Cubs played hard and came back from being down in the series 3-1. Chicago struck early on in the first with a homerun from Fowler to center field. Strong pitching from Kyle Hendricks, Cubs pitcher, and Kluber prevented anyone to score from either team in the second inning. The Indians retaliated against the Cubs’ early score when Crisp scored on a single from Santana to Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward in the third inning. Top of the fourth, Chicago scored two more runs when Bryant scored on a sacrifice fly, and when Willson Contreras, Cubs catcher, doubled to center field, Zobrist scored. The score was 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.

Chicago was up, but they weren’t done just yet. In the fifth inning, the Cubs put up two more runs. One run scored on a home run from Javier Baez, Cubs infielder. The other runner who scored was Bryant off of a single from Rizzo. The Indians scored twice in the same inning as well. Jon Lester, Cubs pitcher threw a wild pitch that got by the catcher which allowed Lindor and Kipnis both to score. After that, the score was 5-3. In the top of the sixth, Ross had a home run which increased Chicago’s lead.

Cleveland’s comeback started now with six outs away from a loss.

Bottom of the eighth inning, Brandon Guyer, Indians outfielder doubled and scored Ramirez. Then, Rajai Davis homered to center field scoring two more runs and tied up the ball game. A scoreless ninth inning passed and the game went into extra innings; however, before the game continued, a 15 minute rain delay took place. Once the game was back underway, the Cubs had the first at bats of the inning. They took advantage of that when Zobrist doubled to left field and scoring was Albert Almora, Cubs outfielder.

The score was 8-6, but it wasn’t over just yet. The Indians still had one last chance to come back and win it all in the tenth inning. Rajai Davis singled to center field and score Guyer. The score was now 8-7. Mike Napoli, Indians first baseman, struck out. Ramirez grounds out to Russell for out number two. One out left, and Martinez softly grounded out to Bryant at third. The Cubs win it all. The final score ended up being 8-7 in extra innings which gave Chicago the whole series win 4-3. With the Cubs not expected to win, they defied all odds against them.

Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant, left, and Addison Russell begin to celebrate after the final out of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, November 2, 2016, in Cleveland. Chicago won 8-7 in ten innings. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant, left, and Addison Russell begin to celebrate after the final out of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, November 2, 2016, in Cleveland. Chicago won 8-7 in ten innings. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)