Yes, that really happened, so let's relive the incredible roller coaster that was Game 7
Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo reacts after scoring on a hit by Miguel Montero during the 10th inning of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
(David J. Phillip/AP)
The setup for Game 7 of the World Series couldn't have been better. Two teams looking to end decades long championship droughts. The stage was set perfectly, but would the actual game live up to the hype? Would it ever! Before the game began, Cleveland manager was asked about the stakes:
Yes. This is it. A must-win game and the absurdity which unfolded over several hours in Cleveland is worth remembering moment by unbelievable moment. The game got off to an auspicious start which gave a hint at the tremendous baseball which would follow. American League Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber took the mound for Cleveland, but Cubs leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler wasn't intimidated. He gave the Cubs an immediate lead with one swing of the bat:
It was just the 22nd leadoff home run in World Series history and the first in a Game 7. The Cubs' lead didn't last too long, however, as Carlos Santana hit a single in the third inning which scored Coco Crisp and tied up the game at one apiece.
In the fourth inning, the Cubs came right back to score two runs. Then, a Javier Báez solo shot in the fifth inning extended Chicago's lead to 4-1.
And just like that, Kluber was chased from the game. Francona went to the mound and brought in Andrew Miller: Ace Reliever. Miller had been all but untouchable this postseason, allowing just one run in 18 innings of work, but his near perfection finally subsided. A few baserunners and an RBI single by Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a 5-1 lead, but the game quickly became a two-run game again in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on second and third and two outs, a wild pitch scored not one, but two runs for Cleveland.
Miller took the mound again in the top of the sixth only to yield a home run to none other than 39-year-old David "Grandpa" Ross.
But then, during the seventh-inning stretch, a certain someone who's prone to taking his shirt off took his shirt off to try to pump up the Cleveland crowd:
Still, the score held until the eighth inning when Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman entered the game with a runner on first and two outs. He immediately gave up an RBI double to Brandon Guyer -- which brought Rajai Davis to the plate as the tying run. What would the speedy 35-year-old outfielder with 55 career home runs do? Tie the game with one two-run homer swing.
The score held through the ninth inning. This Game 7 was headed to extras and, then, this happened:
After a short 17-minute delay, the teams were back at it. In the top of the 10th inning. Bryan Shaw was on the mound for the Indians and Albert Amora, Jr. was on second for the Cubs. Shaw walked Anthony Rizzo to face Ben Zobrist ... and Zobrist made him pay with an RBI double:
Chicago fans were psyched once again:
Cleveland fans were quite displeased:
Miguel Montero added insurance with another single and the Cubs were up, 8-6, headed into the bottom of the inning. Could the Indians come back again? Or would this be the North Siders' first championship in 108 years? Brandon Guyer was able to work a two-out walk against reliever Carl Edwards Jr. and then eighth-inning hero Rajai Davis knocked him in with an RBI single (BECAUSE OF COURSE HE DID). Unfortunately, for #Believeland fans, Mike Montgomery came on to retire Michael Martinez and the celebration was on: