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The Cubs complete their magical season with a dramatic World Series
- Updated: November 3, 2016
It took 108 years, but the Chicago Cubs found their way into baseball immortality by defeating the Cleveland Indians with an 8-7 victory in Game 7 of the World Series.
One of America’s most beloved teams, the Cubs were once a franchise that was filled with failure. From the Billy Goat curse in 1945 to the Steve Bartman incident in 2003, the Cubs organization went through some extremely tough times to get to the top. They now won’t have to worry about the constant reminders of those devastating times, completing their goal and establishing themselves as the game’s best with a World Series pennant on Wednesday night.
The Cubs ended the longest Championship drought by any major American sports team, taking down the Indians in a classic 10-inning marathon. They also came back from a 3-1 World Series deficit, becoming the first team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to complete such an incredible feat.
STARRING RAJAI DAVIS AS BERNIE CARBO pic.twitter.com/HQNsZw1Vzf
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) November 3, 2016
It didn’t come easy at all for the Cubs in Game 7, especially at the end when it looked like the curse was going to make itself a factor once agin. They had to endure some heroics from the Indians during the 8th inning, before they could put their 108-year Championship drought in the past.
It all started with an RBI double that cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-4, giving the Indians a chance to tie the game with Rajai Davis at the plate. The Cubs had their best closer in Aroldis Chapman on the mound, but after dealing with a 2-2 count Davis struck the ball over the left field wall for a 2-run HR to tie the game at 6. Chapman would finish the inning, but the damage was already done – while nerves started to rise at Wrigley Field.
Nothing would happen in the 9th inning, and the game headed to extra innings. A rain delay would cause a 17 minute delay, but that might’ve turned the tables for the Cubs – who were reeling off of the momentum that the Indians gained during the 8th inning.
When the 10th inning finally started, the Cubs seemed ready to change history. They immediately pressed Indians reliever Bryan Shaw, starting with Kyle Schwarber who was able to deliver a single for the Cubs. Kris Bryant would later hit a deep pop-fly ball into centre field, allowing Schwarber’s base-runner, Albert Almore Jr., to get to 2nd base. The Indians would then intentionally walk Anthony Rizzo, allowing Ben Zobrist to step up to the plate. Facing a 1-2 count, Zobrist would drive a 98-mph fastball towards the left-field gap for an RBI double; giving the Cubs a 7-6 lead.
— Chicago Cubs (@ChatCubs) November 3, 2016
The Cubs would later add another run off a Miguel Montero RBI single, and head into the bottom of the 10th with an 8-6 lead. After getting 2 quick outs in the 10th, Cubs head coach Joe Maddon sent in Mike Montgomery to the mound; which led to an historic game-winning groundout for the Cubs.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) November 3, 2016
The Cubs were the best team in the MLB from start to finish. Their 103 regular season wins were the most they had since the 1909 and 1910 seasons, when they won 104 games in both campaigns. They shook off some adversity during the postseason, by taking down the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS through 4 games, by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS through 6 games, and lastly, beating the Cleveland Indians in 7 games for their first World Series title since 1908.
This team was built to become the MLB’s most productive system, led by Theo Epstein who traded and drafted for every important piece currently on the Cubs’ franchise. From young sluggers like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, to the well-oiled pitching from Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, this Cubs squad has everything that a manager would want for his baseball team going into the future.
Other than Arrieta and Aroldis Chapman, the Cubs have the rest of their core signed for a few more years. It’s tough to repeat as the World Series Champions, considering that only 14 teams have been able to do so. But at this point, it’s safe to think that the Windy City and all their Cubs’ fans are satisfied for at least the next century.
All stats for this articles are from MLB.com
You can follow Peter Ash on Twitter @peterash_