Disclosure: This particular post has more of me written in, simply for the fact that I’m still on cloud nine.
Has it sunk in yet?
Has your brain really comprehend what happened on Nov. 2, 2016?
Do you feel like it’s just a dream?
A dream is a wish your heart makes…so, yes!
If it still feels surreal, let me put it into perspective for you: The Chicago Cubs are 2016 World Series Champs. Today. Tomorrow. A year from now. Forever. That’s right! It wasn’t a dream, but if you’re like me, it still feels that way.
But all I can say is, “F*** that goat!”. Because the Cubs are now Greatest.Of.All.Time.
It may have been 108 years, but seeing the Cubs play seven games in the World Series, much less win the whole damn thing, was something I though I’d never see.
To say that the World Series was an emotional roller-coaster is putting in mildly. I spent most of games 1-5, yelling at the television and at Joe Buck and John Smoltz. I’ll be blunt, I was not a fan of Buck and Smoltz through the entire post-season play. But that’s besides the point because everything led us to a championship, and I wouldn’t change any of it.
By the time game six rolled around, I was so anxious. This was a do-or-die game. A make-it-or-break-it game. Not even witnessing Peyton Manning’s last Super Bowl win could have prepared me for the knots I had in my stomach at the start of game six. The Cubs hadn’t played well in Chicago for games three, four and five, but squeaked out a 3-2 win on Sunday, Oct. 30, to push the game back to Cleveland for game six. So, with two losses in Chicago still fresh, I was nervous.
But something short of miraculous happened in the first inning of game six.
Against Josh Tomlin, the Cubs scored three runs in the first inning. This was a sight for sore eyes, as Cubs Nation hadn’t seen this level of performance at all in Chicago. They scored four more runs in the third inning and capped off their 9-3 win with two runs in the ninth.
Jake Arrieta kept the Cleveland Indians from scoring more than one run in each the fourth and fifth innings. His performance was key to game six. Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to finally pull Arrieta out of game after 5.2 innings pitched after he walked a batter on a full count. Not complaints from me though. It was clear to me that Maddon knew what was at stake and wasn’t willing to let go of the lead.
“You have to have a little bit of crazy to be successful.”
Maddon made this statement in his introduction press conference in 2014. And sure enough, Maddon played crazy. Going into game seven, he had his entire bullpen dressed and ready at a moments notice. He put more pressure on Kyle Hendricks, who pitched an excellent game. But after walking one batter in the fifth inning, Maddon went to his pen. By night’s end, closer Aroldis Chapman took the mound, for the third World Series game. Maddon had just used Chapman in game six and the fatigue of throwing 100-plus was showing.
Yet, it was all picture perfect. Game seven went exactly has you may have hoped. The Cubs came out, bats blazing and were first on the board with a leadoff home run by Dexter Fowler. That was where momentum for the entire series shifted. Korey Kluber was on the mound for the Indians for his third start of the World Series. By now, the Cubs had seen everything Kluber was made of and were ready to snuff him out. And snuff they did. They huffed and they puffed, all the way to a World Series championship.
The lovable-Cubbies scored two runs in the fourth, two runs in the fifth, one run in the sixth. The Indians fought hard though, swinging just as hard and scored three runs before the seventh inning stretch. Cleveland tacked on three more runs in the eighth to tie the score, 6-6. A rain delay sent the teams into their clubhouses after a scoreless ninth. Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward took this opportunity to gather his teammates and boost moral before the start of the 10th inning.
Whatever he said, it worked. The Cubs scored two runs and allowed just one run to the Indians to take the title with a final score of 8-7. Replays of the final out are my favorite–Kris Bryant had a huge smile on his face as he caught a ball that bounced infield and threw to Anthony Rizzo at first for the final out.
Still, it hasn’t sunk in. I don’t think it ever will. It will always feel like a dream because not even Hollywood could have written a script any better. The final out and the entire series was picture perfect: The stuff dreams are made of.