Six Years Ago Today The Cubs Broke the Curse
November 2, 2016 may go down as the best day in Cubs history for fans. The Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians, in Cleveland to seal the first World Series in franchise history 108 years. The game was a roller coaster of emotions that included a two run wild pitch, multiple comebacks, four home runs, and career defining moments.
The Indians started Cy Young winner Corey Kluber on short rest, but it immediately backfired, as Dexter Fowler started the game with a solo homer.
Carlos Santana tied the game in the third, but that only got the Cubs motivated. They scored two runs in the fourth and fifth, highlighted by a Javy Baéz home run.
The Cubs then brought in now Chicago legend Jon Lester for the middle innings. While he looked fine, that move backfired as well. With runners on second and third and 13 outs from a World Series win, a breaking ball hit the mask of David Ross and allowed both runs to score on the scramble.
To make up for the blunder, in what would be his last major league hit, now Cubs manager David Ross hit a home run off Andrew Miller, who had carried the Cleveland bullpen thus far.
Lester then found his groove into the bottom of the eighth. With the Cubs four outs away manager Joe Maddon chose to put in Aroldis Chapman. Chapman was clearly tired from pitching a ton throughout the series, and it showed right away. He game up a single to make it 6-4. Then, maybe the most famous home run in a loss in baseball history. Rajai Davis tied the game with a line drive into the camera well just over the bullpen.
The game was set to go into extras with all the momentum in Cleveland’s favor. Then, mother nature decided to unleash some rain, and the Cleveland grounds crew decided to tarp the field. Pulling the tarp meant a longer delay than the projected 10 minute stoppage, so the teams headed to the club house. Jason Heyward gathered the team to calm down the nerves. Bleacher Report was able to get some insight into what he said:
Seeing a few downcast faces, Heyward gathered them, players only, and began talking.
“You guys should all look in the mirror and understand we can get it done,” he told them with a dash of anger, a pinch of passion and much love. “I don’t care who it is. There are a lot of [things that happen] over the season. You’re not going to be happy about some things, and some are easier to swallow. Just be happy in this moment, in this situation, because you can come through.”
After the break, the Cubs came out with a profound energy. Bryan Shaw was on to pitch for the Tribe. While he had great stuff, he did not have much trust from Cleveland fans. Schwarber led off with a single and was pinch ran for. After a Kris Bryant fly out moved a runner to second and Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked, MLB journeyman and utility man Ben Zobrist delivered the hit of his life.
Cubs fans rejoiced, but nobody was comfortable. Jesus Montero was able to add an insurance run with a single to score Rizzo, and the Cubs were three outs away from breaking the Billy Goat Curse.
Another two out RBI from Rajai Davis put the game back to one run, and the fanbase heartbeat elevated to new levels. But finally, it happened:
The Cubs would break the 108 year curse, and Cleveland’s World Series drought would continue. With so many players now gone, it can be bittersweet to look back at the legendary moments of heroes like Ross, Rizzo, Bryant, Zobrist, Schwarber, and Lester. However, every November 2nd will belong to the city of Chicago, flying the W, and Go Cubs Go blaring in the streets.
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