November 2, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Comeback! Cubs even series with Tribe, 3-3

For only the fourth time over the past 15 years (2002, 2011, and 2014 being the others), there will be a Game 7 in the World Series. The Chicago Cubs came charging out of the gate with a three-run rally in the first inning. Just like in Game 5 (except in a different inning), Kris Bryant started it with a solo home run. That one swing of the bat changed everything. The Indians starting pitcher got the first two batters (Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber) out in quick order, and had an 0-2 count on Bryant. Almost a 1-2-3 inning, but after Bryant's homer Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist singled, and then the Indians outfielders botched what should have been a relatively easy fly ball out, and two runs scored. With a three-run cushion, the Cubs' starting pitcher Jake Arrieta took care of business calmly and efficiently. Two innings later, Addison Russell hit a grand slam to take a decisive 7-0 lead, and the Indians barely had a chance after that. Arrieta was replaced in the sixth inning after the Indians scored a second run. Joe Maddon once again called upon Aroldis Chapman to pitch in the seventh inning, and this time Chapman himself had to be replaced. Like many others, I question Maddon's lack of faith in his regular [(non-closer) relief pitchers]. Isn't a five-run lead enough? But just to make sure, the Cubs added two runs in the top of the ninth, on a home run by Anthony Rizzo. The Indians rallied for one run in the bottom of the ninth, and the final score was 9-3.

So now as the ultra-tense drama reaches a "fever pitch" (the name of a good baseball movie, by the way), everyone wonders whether they Cubs can repeat the almost miraculous comeback of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore in the 1979 World Series. It's Kyle Hendricks up against the almost unbeatable Corey Kluber, and anything can happen!!!

Before Game 7 starts this evening, I plan to play (at a local brew pub) this tune by Steve Goodman, which I mentioned on October 25:

Go Cubs, Go!

I think it's safe to say that the 2016 World Series will be remembered for many decades to come. But whether Chicago or Cleveland wins, let's not forget that there will be no joy in the other city, since fans in both cities have been waiting several decades for a World Series victory. They'll just have to "wait till next year!"