Say goodbye to the baseball season with the five best postseason games of 2016
Baseball may be over, but before you start booking trips to the Dominican Winter League, let's look back at the amazing postseason that was. Yes, the Cubs ended a 108-year World Series drought -- forever changing how we even talk about the sport -- but that wasn't the only amazing thing we witnessed during a wild October.
Here are the five very best games:
Cleveland's path to the World Series followed an absolutely dominating routine: Get a lead, lift the starter, and get the ball to
No game better showed off this power than Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays. After having his start pushed back because of a drone repair accident, Trevor Bauer took the mound with his finger held together with glue, tape and (presumably) prayer. Wearing the dark blue jerseys in the hope that it would obscure any blood, the wound opened after Bauer recorded two outs and walked two batters. With blood dripping from his hand, the starter was forced to leave the game before it became a grindhouse vampire flick, and the Indians needed to get 8 1/3 innings from their bullpen.
1) what a W!! 2) my cleats got a bit dirty. 3) loudest standing ovation I've gotten walking off the mound. 🔥🔥🔥💯💯💯... pic.twitter.com/1VUozRBSaG— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) October 18, 2016
Despite facing a formidable offense in its home run habitat, they did it -- with six relievers combining to surrender only two runs the rest of the way. Dingers from
4. The Cubs storm back to win, 6-5, against a sea of relievers - NLDS Game 4
With the Cubs trailing the Giants, 5-2, in the top of the ninth, Bruce Bochy hoped to close out the game and force a decisive Game 5. Unfortunately, the manager couldn't find the right recipe to wrap up the game. Bochy ultimately used five relievers in the inning -- with none facing more than two batters -- and watched as they all tried in vain to stem the Cubs attack.
Chicago dinked and dunked its way to a comeback, with only
With the game tied at 5,
After the Blue Jays tied the Orioles at 2 with an
But in the 11th, with All-Star closer Zach Britton still available, Orioles manager Buck Showalter instead turned to starter
With one out in the bottom half of the frame,
Known for his parrot wing, this time Encarnacion went with the Manny-like arms overhead:
Having just thrown 111 pitches two days before in the Dodgers' Game 4 win, Kershaw wasn't expected to be available to pitch Game 5 against the Nationals. But in a must-win matchup, fans couldn't be blamed for thinking that maybe ... just maybe ... he would.
That feeling only grew when
He held the Dodgers' lead into the ninth inning, setting career highs in pitches (51, just four fewer than starter
After getting modern postseason legend
1. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years - World Series Game 7
With two teams looking to end long postseason droughts in a winner-take-all showdown, Game 7 would have been required viewing no matter what happened. But the Cubs and Indians came together to deliver the most stressful, heart-pounding World Series game in modern memory.
The Cubs hit the ground running, building out a 5-1 lead before
An inning later, Ross found redemption when he became the oldest catcher to homer in the postseason. Even more deliriously, it was off the unhittable Andrew Miller.
With the Cubs up, 6-3, closer
To extras the game went and, after a rain delay, the Cubs put together a two-run rally thanks to a Ben Zobrist double and
Not quite. In the bottom half, Davis knocked in another run, cutting the lead to one. Would Cleveland be able to tie the game up again?!