Cubs win world series


Connor Walsh, Co-Sports Editor

  1.  108 years since the last World Series championship for the Chicago Cubs.  But in a World Series for the ages, battling back from a 3-1 deficit, there is no more “Maybe next year”.  After years of bad luck and “curses”, the Chicago Cubs are world champions.

     The Cubs entered this season in a very unfamiliar position, being the favorite to win it all.  Instead of shying away from the expectations that were given, the team embraced them.  Manager Joe Maddon told the team at the beginning of the year to “embrace the target”, and to use the expectations as motivation.  

     Game one was a battle of the aces, with Jon Lester on the mound for the Cubs, and the Indians throwing workhorse Corey Kluber.  Cleveland got off to the perfect start to the series, while the Cubs looked flat in their first World Series appearance since 1945.  Kluber pitched six dominant innings, in which he only allowed four hits and struck out nine batters in a 6-0 Cleveland win.  Catcher Roberto Perez led the offence, hitting two home runs and driving in four.

     Lester entered the game 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three Series starts, but got off to a rocky start to giving up three runs in the first three innings.  He was able to go 5.2 innings, while striking out seven.  Second baseman Ben Zobrist was the entire Cubs offense, collecting three of the four hits.  

     The Cubs gave the ball to the reigning Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta in game two, hoping to send  the series back to Wrigley tied.  The Indians countered with Trevor Bauer, who had to be removed from his last start due to a cut on his right pinky that he suffered while working  on his drone.  Arrieta provided the Cubs with the much needed 5-1 win, carrying a no hitter into the sixth inning while striking out six.  DH Kyle Schwarber was the offensive hero, going 2-4 with two RBI.  

   Bauer was roughed up early, lasting only 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits while walking two.  It was a bullpen game for the Tribe, as they had to use seven different pitchers to get through the game.  Second baseman Jason Kipnis was the only offense, as he doubled home the only run of the game.  

     Game three was the first World Series game held at Wrigley Field since 1945, and both teams gave the crowd a game that proved to be worth the wait.  MLB ERA leader Kyle Hendricks took the mound against Josh Tomlin.  With both starters not being able to get past the fifth inning, it was a battle of the bullpens.  The Indians were able to hang on to a 1-0 victory to steal game one from the Cubs, with the one run coming off of pinch hitter Coco Crisp’s RBI single in the seventh off of Carl Edwards Jr.  Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler was the only bright spot in the lineup, going 2-3 with a triple.

     The Indians went to their ace Corey Kluber on only three days rest in game four, and he was dominate yet again as he led the way in a 7-2 blowout.  Kluber went six strong innings, allowing only one run while striking out five.  Opposing Kluber was seasoned postseason pitcher John Lackey.  Lackey went five innings, giving up two earned runs.  The Cubs were hurt early with defensive mistakes.  Third baseman Kris Bryant made two throwing errors early on, both leading to unearned runs.

     With the season on the line, the Cubs sent ace Jon Lester to the mound in game five.  The Indians went with Trevor Bauer to try to clinch the series.  Lester went six strong innings, giving up two runs while striking out five, before Joe Maddon decided to bring in closer Aroldis Chapman to try and close out the final three innings.  Chapman threw fastball after fastball, and kept blowing the Cleveland hitters away.  15 out of his 42 pitches that he threw were 100 mph or faster.  He was able to keep Cleveland at bay, as the Cubs kept elimination at bay.  Bryant, who had made several costly errors in game four, made two spectacular plays and added a home run in the first inning.

     With the series now at 3-2, the teams made the trip to Cleveland.  The road trip finally woke up the bats of the Chicago Cubs, as they hammered Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin.  Tomlin went only 2.1 innings, giving up six runs.  Addison Russell led the way for the suddenly red hot Cubs offense, going 2-5 with a double and a grand slam, driving in six runs.  Cubs starter Jake Arrieta did his job, going six innings, giving up two runs and striking out nine.  

     Game seven was one of the best finishes to a World Series in recent memory.  The Cubs jumped out to a lead early, leading 6-3 after six innings.  The Indians refused to go down without a fight, scoring three runs in the eighth against Chapman, forcing the game into extra innings.  After a 15 minute rain delay, the Cubs took the lead in the top of the 10th, with Ben Zobrist hitting an RBI double to put the Cubs in the lead for good.  

     After years of suffering and disappointment, the Chicago Cubs were able to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy.  For the first time since 1908, there is no more “maybe next year”, because next year has finally come.