Arena: Cubs Make a World Series Comeback
Most of us dream that our favorite sports team will get a chance to grace the most coveted arena in the world of sports. A dedicated season all comes down to the playoffs, anxiously watching every week in hopes of this defining fate. Some people wait a lifetime to see it, while others are from cities that are destined for championships. For the 20,000 fans in Northeast Ohio, their time has finally come. It's been a long road for them, but man, is it a good time to be a Cleveland fan. On opening night of the World Series, the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated their first title in 52 years at Quicken Loans Arena. While the 2016 NBA Champions beamed with pride, the Indians braced themselves for their World Series debut just down the street. Welcome to the rise of Cleveland. If you'r not a fan of the city, then you're missing out on life. Just ask the King himself. Lebron James addressed the crowd at the ring ceremony by commending the Indians, while unapologetically expressing his passion for the city that made him.
"At this point, if you're not from here, live here, play here, dedicate yourself to Cleveland, then it makes no sense to live at this point. Cleveland against the world," James said.
As the Indians close in on their first title since 1948, it appears that the city of Cleveland might be getting ready to celebrate their best year yet. With a 3-2 lead, they are hungry to close the series in Game 6. But it might be a little too early to celebrate. Many people doubted the resiliency of the Cubs after a tough 7-2 loss in Game 4. However, they came out with a sense of urgency yesterday, walking away with a win at home. The Cubs managed to pull through as they relied on the strength of their starting pitcher Jon Lester, who has been effective in the postseason with a 1.69 ERA in 124 2/3 innings and a 1.35 ERA in 26 2/3 World Series innings. Lester was a fiery competitor in Game 5, but Cleveland's Jose Ramirez managed to hit a home run that gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the second inning and silenced the crowd. But, he'll be ready for the next game as the star pitcher is no stranger to postseason pressure with two titles under his belt. After Lester took a seat, manager Joe Maddon switched things up by taking a chance on Aroldis Chapman. The pitcher hasn't been overused this season and when the game was on the line, he stepped up in the seventh to throw 42 pitches, swooping in and securing the win. He was ready to play.
"I didn't expect to come in so early, but I was physically and mentally ready to come in at a moment's notice," Chapman said through an interpreter.
The memorable highlight was when fans witnessed an offensive spree in the middle of the game. The Cubs put on a show for their fans at Wrigley Field, with an electric fourth inning featuring back to back home runs from Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. For Bryant, it was his first World Series home run in the midst of a three-run inning that secured the win.
The Cubs have to be wary of the Indians' offensive dominance, in which they have severely outhit the Cubs. A late comeback is rare, but it has been done. There are five teams in the history of the game that have accomplished a comeback after a 3-1 deficit in the World Series. The last team to do it was the 1985 Kansas City Royals, but in recent history, the acquisition has been characterized as impractical. In order for the Cubs to come out on top, they will have to win on the road, surrounded by a fortress of championship starved Indians fans at Progressive Field. It would be a climb, but they are in a position to battle. Think it's impossible? Their attitude going into Game 6 says otherwise.
"Why not us?" Bryant said. "We're all about writing our own history."
There is no shortage of desire between the two franchises. The Cubs are awaiting a breakthrough after a 108 year championship drought, but he Indians have also been deprived. The last time Cleveland won the World Series was in 1948. As they mull over a game plan on their day off, the baseball world is waiting for either team to make history. They are traveling to Cleveland to continue the Series with Game 6 on Tuesday. Cubs pitcher Jake Arietta will be on the mound, ready to face Josh Tomlin in an effort to force a Game 7.