Tonight. Game 7 of the World Series. One of two fan bases that have only known losing will experience the euphoric joy of the elusive feeling of rooting for a champion. The other will be forced to confront how another one slipped through their fingers. One downtrodden baseball franchise will become a world champion tonight. For the other, the losing will cruelly continue.
Last night in Game 6, the Cubs jumped out to a 3-run first inning lead on Indians starter Josh Tomlin. The harbinger of the evening came when Cleveland center fielder Tyler Naquin and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall played “I got it, you got it”, and let an Addison Russell blooper innocently fall between them. The misplay scored two, and handed Cubs starter Jake Arrieta a 3 run lead to start the game.
— Chicago Cubs FanClub (@fanschicagocubs) November 2, 2016
Addison Russell delivered the Game 6 death blow when he emptied the bases with a 4th inning grand slam to give Chicago a 7-0 lead, and effectively ended the game. He had 6 RBI on the night.
— #Game7 (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2016
Chicago slugger Anthony Rizzo added a 2-run homer in the 9th to increase the Cubs’ lead to 9-2.
The only strategic victory for Cleveland on the night came after the Indians scraped together 2 runs to draw to 7-2. The score prompted joe Maddon to call on reliever Aroldis Chapman in the 7th inning, his second appearance in two games. Chapman went 1 1/3 last night, and shockingly re-appeared for the 9th, before being pulled. The long appearance in Game 6, calls into question his availability for Game 7, and has brought criticism on Maddon for using him so extensively in a game that was seemingly out of hand.
Game 7 of the World Series, and baseball armageddon is tonight in Cleveland. For one of the two fan bases, “next year” will finally be here. For the other, it will be the worst case of “that feeling” they’ve ever experienced.