On Wednesday, November 2, The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians looked to erase their famous World Series droughts.
Cleveland also had hopes to bring a second championship to Ohio. The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers won their title earlier this year. This would be the first time two major sports championships were celebrated in the same state since the NBA’s Miami Heat and baseball’s Florida Marlins each brought home trophies in 1997.
In an absolute thriller that involved a dynamic pitching matchup, home run drama, a rain delay and extra innings — what more could one ask for?
The Cubs finally won their first World Series title in 108 years. It was a game seven that ranks amongst the top most riveting win or go home baseball games that include the 1991 Twins-Braves and the 1960 Pirates-Yankees series that ended on a walk off homer by Bill Mazeroski.
The 2016 World Series game seven was the most watched baseball game in 25 years. The average viewing audience exceeded 40 million viewers, per Bleacher Report.
25 years ago in 1991, The Atlanta Braves and the Minnesota Twins amassed a total of 50.34 million viewers on CBS, also according to Bleacher Report.
The Cubs had their backs against the wall after game four in Chicago. Down three games to one, they needed to accomplish a feat that was last done in 1985 by the Kansas City Royals against the St. Louis Cardinals. They did just that, too.
They salvaged one win at Wrigley Field, then took back to the road to Progressive Field in search of two more victories. They took game six with ease, 9-3, in thanks to the long ball and commendable pitching by 2015 Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta.
Game seven featured more offense on both sides and the final score depicted anything but runs being at a premium! The Cubs tackled one of the two pitchers who had gotten the best of them the entire series. Corey Kluber came into the game sporting a 2-0 record at a 0.75 earned run clip.
The Cubs jumped on him for four runs in as many innings on six hits. The Cubs pitching got progressively shakier after Kyle Hendricks was pulled after allowing two runs. Jon Lester allowed runs on a wild pitch and Aroldis Chapman was pitching on no rest and was hardly effective.
Chapman’s ineffectiveness proved costly in the 8th inning. The Cubs were dealing with a 6-4 advantage until Rajai Davis stepped to the plate with a man on. Davis choked up and drove a 99mph fastball right over the left field wall for a 2-run homer to pull the game even.
That was the first homer given up by Chapman since early June.
A scoreless ninth passed, but the rain did not. A 17-minute rain delay allowed the Cubs to regroup and they came out with bang, scoring two more runs off Bryan Shaw.
Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero delivered two huge run scoring hits. Bottom 10 came around and it took two pitchers to shut down the Indians. Davis once again came up clutch driving in another run pulling the score to 8-7, but it was all for naught and the champagne stayed in the Cubs clubhouse.