Cubs end World Series drought in extra innings over Indians, 8-7

After more than a century of waiting, the Cubs are finally World Series champs again

Ken Blaze—USA Today Sports
Chicago Cubs players celebrate on the field after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland

The longest curse in baseball is over. It took seven games, 10 innings and 108 years, but the Chicago Cubs are finally World Series champions.After going to extra innings due to a two-run home run by Rajai Davis in the eighth inning to tie it up, Kyle Schwarber once again got on base with a single in the 10th. He was then replaced by 22-year-old pinch runner Albert Almora Jr. The rookie made a brash decision to advance to second on a pop out from Kris Bryant that ultimately led to the winning run when World Series MVP Ben Zobrist doubled to left.Miguel Montero would single to score Anthony Rizzo two batters later for an insurance run, which would ultimately end the curse. A championship drought that lasted more than a century was finally over after a game that lasted more than five hours.
FINALLY! The @Cubs are WORLD SERIES CHAMPS! The final out & celebration. #WorldSeries #Game7— #Game7 (@MLBONFOX) November 3, 2016
“We did it, we’re world champions,” Rizzo said. “I can’t believe it. … I can’t even put it into words. It’s Game 7 of the World Series. It’s unbelievable.”It all started with a leadoff home run from Dexter Fowler off Corey Kluber. While he was stellar in both Games 1 and 4, the Klubot was broken by the Cubs in Game 7 with four runs allowed over four-plus innings. Kluber failed to record a strikeout for the first start of his career while giving up two homers.The second homer was by National League Championship Series Javier Baez in the fifth. The long-ball fest wouldn’t end with Baez, however, as 39-year-old catcher David Ross looked shocked rounding the bases after he hit a solo shot in the final game of his career.
Per Elias, David Ross the first Cub to homer in both the 1908 and 2016 World’s Series.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 3, 2016
“You’d be stunned, too, if you had my swing,” Ross said jokingly to FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal after the game about his home run. “I felt like I let two in, as soon as I came in the game I gave up two runs, so it was nice to get one back. So proud of this group.”Following his interview with Rosenthal, Ross was promptly hoisted by Rizzo and Jason Heyward.While Heyward didn’t contribute in a huge way during the World Series and was benched in games, he and Rizzo called together their teammates after the rain delay to refocus for the 10th inning. That meeting clearly paid off, but the path to get there was a rocky one for Chicago.Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks wasn’t perfect in the first 4 2/3 innings, but he allowed one run on four hits and a walk. Despite throwing just 63 pitches, he was pulled in favor of Jon Lester on short rest. Lester allowed two runs on a (really) wild pitch, but was stellar otherwise through three innings.The game was then handed over to closer Aroldis Chapman, who gave up the homer to Davis to tie the game in the eighth inning. He would return in the ninth, earning the win after Mike Montgomery earned the final out in the 10th to clinch the historic title.While Maddon made some questionable decisions throughout the game including pulling Hendricks early, the former Rays manager pulled the right strings to win his first title. Doing it in Chicago with a young group of players made it even sweeter.”We regrouped during the rain delay and this team never quits,” Maddon said. “I’m really proud of the culture we’ve created here. … I think this year is the breakthrough year, so that standard of excellence can be carried on for years to come.”It’s incredible to be a part of this moment.”The Arizona Cardinals now have the longest championship drought, dating back to 1947. Longest drought in baseball? That now belongs to the Cleveland Indians from 1948.Either story would have been epic, but Cubs fans have packed Wrigley Field every season waiting for this moment. And with a young core that includes Rizzo, Bryant and Baez, the Cubs faithful might have a much shorter wait before the next World Series crown is brought back to the Windy City.