By Doran Grieshaber, Sports Writer
For the first time in over a century, the Chicago Cubs can call themselves World Series Champions. The Cubs played the Cleveland Indians in the series, and quickly found themselves down three games to one and on the brink of elimination. However, the Cubs rallied back to force a Game 7 that was memorable no matter who you were rooting for. While the team is content to win this World Series and break their long drought, this young powerhouse team is setup to be a contender for many seasons to come.
While the Cubs had the most wins in baseball in the regular season and were a heavy favorite by most to win the title, the Indians came into the World Series extremely hot. The Indians were 7-1 in the first two rounds of the playoffs after sweeping the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS and only giving up one game to the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS. Reliever Andrew Miller had been untouchable in the first two rounds and picked up ALCS MVP honors. The Indians rolled Game One by a score of 6-0, but the Cubs took Game Two 5-1. The Indians took the next two games and it appeared that the Cubs championship drought, the longest in any American sport, would extend to 109 years. Chicago’s bats heated up and they were able to take Game Five and Game Six and send the series to a decisive final game in Cleveland.
Whether you like the Cubs or hate them, you could not have asked much more from Game Seven of this year’s World Series. Indians ace Corey Kluber faced off against Kyle Hendricks, who had the lowest ERA in the majors this season. Dexter Fowler became the first player to lead off a World Series Game Seven with a homerun, and catcher David Ross became the oldest player to hit a homerun in Game Seven , which helped the Cubs build up a 6-3 lead. The Indians did not quit though. In the bottom of the eighth, with the score 6-4 and facing Aroldis Chapman, Rajai Davis hit a two run homer to tie things up. The game stayed tied in the ninth to send Game Seven into extra innings and the tension was heightened by a short rain delay. In the tenth inning, Ben Zobrist broke the tie with a double down the line and Miguel Montero with an RBI single to make it 8-6. The Indians scored one in the bottom of the tenth, but they could not push another run across. Ben Zobrist was awarded World Series MVP for his overall performance and his late-game heroics in Game Seven .
While the Cubs are still celebrating their World Series victory, there is no reason not to think about next season and even farther into the future. With the clubs young core of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison, Russel, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, and others locked into contracts for years to come, there is no reason not to think that this club can do this all over again. Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon have changed the landscape of baseball in Chicago and it doesn’t look like things will change anytime soon.