2016 World Series Review

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There was no question about the story heading into the World Series this year as it was all about the drought.

For Chicago Cubs fans almost all of them had never actually seen their team win a World Series as they entered the World Series with a 108-year drought, the longest in professional sports.

For Cleveland fans, it was a full 68 years since they had been able to call themselves World Series champions.

They accounted for the two longest streaks in baseball and heading into the World Series one team was set to break that drought while the other would be doomed to be the least successful team in the league for at least another year.

The excitement was there for both teams as Cleveland was still riding high from an NBA championship and looking to win a second title after years without any success.

For those in Chicago, the Cubs were always the loveable losers and the curse of the Billy Goat seemed to make winning a championship impossible.

Although the droughts took most of the headlines there was plenty to talk about in the World Series.

There was the dominant team against the underdogs as the Cubs had been the best team all year while Cleveland stayed under the radar all year despite winning the Central.

There was the matchup of the minds as two of the greatest managers in the history of baseball were set to face-off in a game of strategy as Terry Francona and Joe Maddon were ready to figure out a way to win.

There was also a team executive who took over the Cubs after breaking the Curse of the Bambino in Theo Epstein who was looking to gain the reputation of the curse-breaker in Chicago.

Despite all of the storylines and the great stories that might have happened there was only one thing that mattered and that was who could perform when it mattered most.

No matter how good a team is in the regular season or in the postseason none of that matters as the slate is wiped clean and only four wins matter.

From the start, it seemed like the Cubs had been beaten up a little more than Cleveland had in the series before.

That was true as Cleveland did well against the Blue Jays while the Cubs had a tougher time against the Dodgers.

The first game saw the Cubs come out and fall apart losing 6-0 and making the excitement of their first World Series appearance since 1945 more of a worry about if that is where this run ended.

They found their way back in the second game with a convincing win in Game 2 and it seemed like it was going to be a great series.

The Series went to Chicago where Wrigley was set to host the most important series since 1945 and the Cubs seemed to falter under that pressure.baseball-sidebar

They lost two in a row at Wrigley and the Curse of the Billy Goat seemed to be continuing on for the 109th year.

It was almost inevitable as only five teams in MLB history had come back from a 3-1 deficit and the offence of the Cubs couldn’t seem to solve the pitching of Cleveland.

The Cubs weren’t going to pack it in that easy though as they took the final game at Wrigley in a tight 3-2 battle and all of a sudden momentum was on their side.

Heading back to Cleveland the Cubs were ready to make history in more than just one way as they had their sights set on winning both games in Cleveland to take the title.

They started off well as a now tired pitching staff was finding it tougher to keep the Cubs’ offence down this many games in a row.

Short rest starters and overworked relievers became the theme for Cleveland and the Cubs were taking full advantage.

A 9-3 win in Game 6 set up an epic Game 7 where anything could happen as one game was set to break a drought and send one city into celebration mode.

The Cubs came out early getting to Corey Kluber in the first inning with a leadoff home run but Cleveland was up for the fight earning a run back soon after.

Both teams began to take advantage of mistakes as Cleveland’s defence faltered in the fourth while a switch to Jon Lester led to two runs from Cleveland after wild pitches.

Heading into the end of the game the Cubs remained on top when they brought in Aroldis Chapman to get the last four outs but Cleveland continued to fight making sure Chapman, who was also an overworked reliever, had to work to get those four outs.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Chapman saw Cleveland earned three runs to tie the game with Rajai Davis making up for two mistakes in the fourth with a game-tying two-run home run.

It would stay that way until the 10th inning when Kyle Schwarber began a two-run rally that had the Cubs up by two runs with three outs to go.

Cleveland once again fought back earning another run in the bottom of the inning but that was all they could get as the Cubs closed out their season as the best team in the league.

It was fitting for the longest drought in sports as the Cubs did not get through it easy coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win in one of the greatest World Series games that will ever occur to break a curse that nobody thought could be broken.

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