Monday, October 31, 2016

World Series: Game Five

They played Wrigley Field's last game of the year last night, and it was a cracker.

The Cubs, facing elimination, sent out ace Jon Lester, and he was pretty good -- allowing only two runs on four hits in six innings.  The Tribe went with Trevor Bauer, who had one bad inning -- the fourth, where he gave up a home run to Kris Bryant, a double to Anthony Rizzo, and assorted singles and fly balls sufficient to yield three runs to the Cubbies.

So the score was Chicago 3, Cleveland 2 with three innings to go when the Cubs went to their bullpen.  They started with Carl Edwards, who immediately gave up a single to put the tying run on base.  A passed ball got the runner to second.  And even after Edwards got one out, the Cubs' manager had seen enough.  Rather than holding his closer for the ninth, he brought in Aroldis Chapman while there was still something to close.  Chapman put on quite a show.  He let one runner get on base because he forgot to cover first -- and then that runner stole second and third because Chapman doesn't do much to keep runners on the bag.  He had an extraordinary number of meetings on the mound -- with his catcher, his second baseman, and pretty much anyone who wanted to talk.  He batted for only the third time in his career -- striking out with two outs and a runner on third.  We learned that he's a pitcher who really doesn't do much else of value for a baseball team.  But excellence has its privileges.  When the game was over, Chapman had gone 2 1/3 innings, allowed only one infield hit, struck out four Indians, and saved the game for Chicago.

And how the folks in Chicago celebrated.  It was their last gathering of the best season almost any Cub fan can remember, and the Northsiders turned out in droves.  For three days, the neighborhood around Wrigley Field looked like a never-ending street fair, with thousands who didn't have tickets simply wandering around the ancient ball yard.  Inside, the Chicagoans seemed to stand up for pretty much the whole game -- and certainly for the last few innings.  They yelled, pleaded, and begged for victory -- and last night, they finally got it.  So we go into November, and the Lights of Baseball will shine in only one city -- Cleveland, Ohio.  The teams will take today to make the long trip from Chicago to Cleveland, and then they'll meet in Game Six tomorrow night.

Chicago 3 - 2 Cleveland

Cleveland leads Chicago 3-2.

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