This World Series could go down as the greatest World Series of all time. Two cursed teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, came in having the two biggest championship droughts in baseball. The Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since 1908, and the Indians since 1948. The Indians commanded the playoffs, sweeping both teams they faced, while the Cubs beat a wild card team and the third-seed team in the National League.
The Indians took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series after pitcher Corey Kluber pitched a great game one and game four, and the Indians’ bullpen, featuring Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, shut the door. Shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jason Kipnis came up in the clutch with Lindor having two big hits in the first half of the series, and Kipnis hitting four homers.
Things changed in the last three games. The Cubs’ weapon, closer Aroldis Chapman, threw 62 pitches out of the bullpen in games five and six, helping the C
ubs tie the series at three, but he didn’t have the biggest impact. In game six, Addison Russell hit a two-run double and a grand slam. Kris Bryant hit two homers in the two games.Chapman overworked the last three games of the series is the reason why he gave up the dramatic, game-tying home run in the eighth against Indians centerfielder Rajai Davis in the seventh game, and almost gave up a game-winning home run in the next inning to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, but it ended up being a foul ball. This also displayed manager Joe Maddon’s distrust in his other two relievers, Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop, who closed and set up respectively to start the season before the Cubs acquired Chapman in late July.
The Indians also had overworked their bullpen aces Cody Allen and Andrew Miller. Allen and Miller gave up more runs in the seventh game than they did in the entire rest of the postseason, likely because Indians manager Terry Francona used them too much. They are arguably the two best relievers in at least the American League, but Bryan Shaw and Zach McAllister are also very effective. The Indians could have won the game if they just managed their bullpen better. Maddon and Francona are known for making strange decisions that end up working, and in game seven, it all fell apart. They overworked their bullpen. For the Cubs, the reason they allowed the Indians to come back in game seven is because they just used Chapman the entire time instead of using weapons such as Mike Montgomery, Strop and Rondon.
The Indians fell apart because they used Andrew Miller and Cody Allen all the time and used them more than one inning, which they were used to during the season. Using someone like Zach McAllister, or even Trevor Bauer, a starter, to relieve, and have Miller and Allen s
et up and close later in the game would have yielded better results.
Game seven will arguably go down as the best game in baseball history. With both curses on the line, star-studded rosters, both managers solidifying their hall of fame legacy, and the game just being a nail biter the entire way, this game on November 2 was amazing.
The World Series is where heroes are born, history is made, curses are broken and memories are created. The Cubs broke their 108-year curse, beginning a new era of baseball. Now we have to see who will be crowned champion next year.