On this day in 2016: Cubs send World Series back to Cleveland
Five years ago, the Cubs embarked on a historic journey that will go down as one of the most impactful seasons in professional sports.
Throughout 2021, we’re taking a look back at some of the best moments from the incredible 2016 campaign.
Next up: World Series Game 5 – Cubs send World Series back to Cleveland
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 4th inning with starter Trevor Bauer allowing only 1 hit and the vaunted Indians bullpen, who had a 1.69 ERA in the postseason to that point, ready to shut the door.
“The Cubs have to score here … You start adding the innings, you start looking in the bullpen, and when you’re up against it, the Cubs know that (the Cleveland bullpen is) a moment away from getting in. You’ve got to put something on the board right here.”
John Smoltz delivered that statement as Bauer got set to deliver a 1-0 pitch to Kris Bryant. Bryant crushed that fastball for a solo homer to get the Cubs on the board and even the score at 1.
On the very next pitch, Anthony Rizzo doubled to the right field corner and the Cubs offense was alive again.
“Well this is how quickly it could change,” Smoltz said after Rizzo’s double.
After scoring just 3 runs in the previous two games at Wrigley Field, the Cubs plated 3 in the 4th inning thanks to an RBI infield single by Addison Russell and a David Ross sac fly.
Jon Lester threw arguably the biggest game of his Cubs career that night, going 6 innings, striking out 5 and allowing 2 runs. He got help from batterymate Ross to end the 6th as he threw out Francisco Lindor attempting to steal second.
With one out in the 7th inning, Joe Maddon turned to closer Aroldis Chapman to shut the door, and he did just that the rest of the way. Chapman faced 10 batters over 2.2 innings. On his 42nd pitch of the evening he struck out Jose Ramirez with a 102 mph fastball to secure Game 5 for the North Siders.
- 2.2 innings is still the longest outing of Chapman’s career
- The Cubs struck out 14 times in Game 5, the most in franchise history during a postseason win
- Kris Bryant was the first Cub with a HR & SB in a World Series game
- The Cubs last World Series win at Wrigley Field was October 8, 1945 – Game 6 against the Detroit Tigers