If I told you at the beginning of spring training that the Chicago Cubs would be playing November baseball, what would you say?
Naturally, if they were going to play baseball in November, that would mean good things were happening, such as…forcing a Game Seven in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. This, after playing baseball at Wrigley Field when the ivy is starting to change colors for the winter. What a season.
The Cubs wouldn’t be the Cubs if they made things too easy, right? They had to come back from a late deficit to win the NLDS, then navigate a 2-1 NLCS deficit to win the pennant. And now, after having been down 3-1 to the Indians in the World Series, here we are, heading to Game Seven.
There were some very silly defensive plays, including two of the “runs batted in” by Addison Russell. But Russell had been putting good wood on the baseball all game long, and made some World Series history of his own:
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) November 2, 2016
This was also apparently the first World Series grand slam by a shortstop, which I never would have guessed. Being in the same conversation as Mickey Mantle is pretty cool, too:
Russell is the second youngest player ever to hit a World Series grand slam. The youngest: Mickey Mantle, 21 years old, Oct. 4, 1953.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 2, 2016
Along with a solid start from Jake Arrieta and the usual great defense, we will see the first Cubs World Series Game Seven since…1945. I’m very cool with Anthony Rizzo‘s home run to tack on insurance in the ninth. I’m not cool with Aroldis Chapman having to pitch at all. But after Wednesday, there is no tomorrow. All hands on deck!