The improbable has happened. After being down 3-1 in The Series, the Cubs won two straight games and have forced a winner takes all Game 7 of The World Series. The two greatest words in sports, Game 7, and the Chicago Cubs have a chance at making history Wednesday night (7:00pm CDT) in Cleveland.
The Cubs are the first team to force a Game 7 after being down 3-1 in The World Series since the ’85 Kansas City Royals. The Cubs will look to become the first team since Willie Stargell’s ‘We Are Family’ Pirates (1979) to win games six and seven on the road to take The World Series title. And the Cubs have a chance to become the 20th team to come back from a 3-2 deficit to win The Series.
Kyle Hendricks will start Game 7 with Jon Lester expected to be Joe Maddon’s first option out of the bullpen. Corey Kluber makes his third start of The Series for the Indians and will join Curt Schilling and Jack Morris as the only three pitchers to start games one, four and seven of a World Series since 1987.
The Cubs have put themselves in a position to win The World Series and reach the ultimate goal at the end of what has already been an amazing season.
World Series News and Notes
Here are the post-game reports, news and notes from Game 6 …
• CCO – Russell, Bryant and Rizzo Step Up Big in Game 6 Win, Cubs Send Series to Game 7 (includes video)
• It ain’t over! Cubs rock Cleveland and force Game 7 according to ESPN.
• Relaxed and ready, Cubs bust game open early to force World Series Game 7 according to the Tribune.
• Addison Russell bloops and powers Cubs into Game 7 according to ESPN. Russell, Bryant, Arrieta and Chapman come up big to lead Cubs into historic Game 7 according to the Sun-Times. Comcast SportsNet reported on the brink of history, Addison Russell shining in World Series spotlight. And Russell’s slam lifts Cubs to Game 7 according to ESPN Chicago.
• David Haugh reported the Cubs refuse to be denied in World Series Game 6 right from the start.
• Cubs approach to Josh Tomlin pays dividends for Cubs in Game 6 win according to Bruce Levine.
• Bob Nightengale reported the Cubs and Indians deliver World Series what it deserves … An Epic Game 7. Scott Miller reported with Cubs’ historic comeback nearly complete the stage is set for Epic Game 7.
• Jake Arrieta picked up the win for the Cubs in Game 6 and became the first National League starting pitcher with two road wins in a single World Series since Bob Gibson in 1967. Arrieta is one of only eight starting pitchers in history to accomplish the feat.
• Jake Arrieta struck out nine batters in Game 6, tied for the second most strikeouts in a single World Series game in Cubs history. Orval Overall struck out 10 batters in Game 5 of the 1908 Series.
• Jake Arrieta is the Cubs All-Time postseason strikeout leader … Jake Arrieta (53), Jon Lester (40), Kerry Wood (38)
• Jake Arrieta said he will be available out of the pen for Game 7 in any capacity Joe Maddon wants to use him to get outs.
• Joe Maddon took a lot of heat for using Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning with the Cubs leading by five runs at the time. Maddon managed it like an elimination game and with two on and the middle of the Indians lineup due up on a hitters night in Cleveland when a three-run homer would have made it a two-run game in a hurry. Chapman was left in to start to the ninth because Pedro Strop and Travis Wood did not have time to get loose. Chapman said he is 100 percent and his ankle is fine. Chapman is available to pitch in Game 7 in any way or situation Maddon wants to use him without limitations.
Why did Joe Maddon bring in Aroldis Chapman tonight?
— #Game7 (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2016
• Joe Maddon said Aroldis Chapman would have finished the game if Anthony Rizzo did not hit the two-run homer in the ninth. Chapman’s career-high pitch count of a four-day span is 83 according to MLB Stat of the Day. Chapman made 20 pitches in Game 6 after throwing 42 in Game 5 on Sunday night … that’s 62 pitches.
• According to the Sun-Times, Aroldis Chapman’s ankle is fine and his arm is ready for heavy load again in Game 7. Comcast SportsNet reported Aroldis Chapman has no plans to hold anything back now with championship on the line. ESPN asked if use of Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 will come back to hurt the Cubs in Game 7.
• The Cubs scored the most runs by a team facing elimination on the road in The World Series since the ’68 Detroit Tigers (13 runs) according to ESPN.
• Comcast SportsNet reported on the under-the-radar catch that may have helped save the Cubs season … spoiler alert it was Jason Heyward’s diving grab in the fourth inning.
Game 7 Start Time
Major League Baseball announced during Game 6 that first pitch for Game 7 was moved up eight minutes.
Game 7 will now start at 7:00pm CDT, not 7:08pm CDT as scheduled.
There is rain in the forecast in Cleveland that is expected to hit Progressive Field around 10:00pm CDT (11:00pm ET).
The journey that started in Mesa when pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training will come to an end tonight. Win or otherwise, the Cubs have had an incredible, unforgettable season. And now the Cubs have a chance in Game 7 of The World Series to win the greatest championship in all of professional sports.
The Cubs roster has gone through countless changes this season and there is one notable player that was not with the team in Los Angeles for the first game of the season. For fun, here’s the Opening Day Roster and Opening Day starting lineup for Joe Maddon’s Cubs …
Opening Day Roster
• Pitchers: Jake Arrieta, Trevor Cahill, Justin Grimm, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Neil Ramirez, Clayton Richard, Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Adam Warren, Travis Wood
• Catchers: Miguel Montero, David Ross, Kyle Schwarber
• Infielders: Kris Bryant, Tommy La Stella, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist
• Outfielders: Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur
Opening Day Lineup
Dexter Fowler CF, Jason Heyward RF, Ben Zobrist 2B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Kris Bryant 3B, Kyle Schwarber LF, Jorge Soler DH, Miguel Montero C, Addison Russell SS
Jake Arrieta started on Opening Night against the Angels.
News and Notes
• Kyle Hendricks could end Cubs season in style in Game 7 of World Series according to the Tribune.
• Showing no panic, the Cubs shift pressure onto Cleveland and force must-see Game 7 according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Jon Lester will be available out of the bullpen for Game 7. Lester is more than willing to do what it takes for the Cubs to win The Series. Comcast SportsNet explained there are no rules when it comes to Game 7 of the World Series. Lester is expected to be Maddon’s first option out of the bullpen.
• FanGraphs made the argument for starting David Ross in Game 7. When David Ross found out how much standing room only tickets for Game 7 were selling for he asked if he could sell his because he will be looking for a job after Wednesday.
• Willson Contreras is expected to start at catcher in Game 7 with Kyle Hendricks on the mound.
• The Tribune reported Joe Maddon tempers talk over bullpen revolution.
• Kyle Schwarber is a transformative presence for the Cubs lineup according to Comcast SportsNet. The Sun-Times asked if Tuesday’s lineup with Kyle Schwarber hitting second was a glimpse into the Cubs’ future for 2017.
• Kyle Schwarber is the Cubs’ first DH in World Series play … click here for a complete list of the players to serve as his team’s first designated hitter in The World Series.
• Joe Maddon explained why he batted Kyle Schwarber second in the lineup for Game 6. Maddon talked to Javier Baez about readjusting his thought process at the plate and how to slow things down. ESPN Chicago reported Joe Maddon and the coaches are working with Javier Baez on his mental approach.
• According to FanGraphs, Javier Baez has muted his own hype.
• Anthony Rizzo told Tony Andracki that he thought Monday’s day off and chance to decompress on Halloween was a big boost to the team after a stressful, pressure-packed Game 5.
• Darren Rovell reported that with the Cubs victory in Game 6 there was a massive spike in ticket prices for Game 7.
• MLB.com explained the uncanny parallels between Cubs and the ’79 Pirates. Willie Stargell’s ‘We Are Family’ Pirates are the last team to win games six and seven on the road to capture the World Series Championship.
• As a pre-game distraction, Joe Maddon offered his solutions as to how Twitter could be fixed … and his suggestions are rather humorous.
— MLB (@MLB) November 2, 2016
And last, but not least, Tom Ricketts flew over 400 of the Cubs full-time employees to Cleveland for The World Series, put them in a hotel and bought tickets for them to attend Game 6.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs selected Zach Putnam off waivers from the Rockies
2011 – Cubs fired manager Mike Quade, one of the first moves by the Theo Epstein-led front office.
2011 – Cubs granted free agency to Justin Berg, Angel Guzman, Scott Moore, Chris Robinson, Jeff Stevens and Robert Coello.
2005 – Greg Maddux and Derrek Lee won National League Gold Gloves
2004 – After a groundskeeper found a grenade in the Wrigley Field turf, police bomb and arson investigators were called in to evaluate the situation. The rusty, hollowed-out shell turned out to be harmless.
2001 – Cubs acquired Mark Bellhorn from Oakland for Adam Morrissey
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Mick Mahoney
2000 – Wrigley Field was granted preliminary landmark status by the Landmarks Commission. Any plans to refurbish or tear down Wrigley Field would have to be reviewed by the commission moving forward.
1966 – Orlando Merced, born
1941 – Bill Connors, born
1914 – Johnny Vander Meer, born