Wrigley was loud. Wrigley was celebrating. Wrigley was ready to break a 70 year curse. Kershaw would have to play hero one more time for the Dodgers if he was expected to get them to a Game 7. But for every Cubs fan in that ballpark last night, it was Game 7.
The Cubs wasted no time attacking Kershaw early and often. RBIs by Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist would give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Tack on another RBI single from Dexter Fowler in the bottom of the second to make it 3-0. If this still wasn’t enough to quell the fears of Cubs fans that it all might implode at any second, Kyle Hendricks, was absolutely perfect on the mound.
Hendricks give up a single in the top of the 1st and then mowed down all the following Dodgers without even trying. He didn’t give up another single until the top of the 8th inning. By that time, Wilson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo had already belted two solo shots to put the Cubs up 5-0. Maddon not wanting to take any chances, decided to pull Hendricks and bring in Chapman for the last 5 outs. Hendricks walked off the mound to a chorus of cheers and a standing ovation.
Top of the 9th. Chapman strikes out the first batter, and then walks Ruiz. For a brief moment the energy seems perfectly still at Wrigley. But only for a moment. Yasiel Puig, would be the next batter and ground into a double play. The city of Chicago explodes in celebration. Tears of joy. The Cubs have won the pennant. The Cubs are going back to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945.
Fans remained in the ballpark well after the game was over. The streets of Wrigelyville were packed for blocks on end. And if Cubs fans did manage to get any sleep tonight, or even went home for that matter, they’ll be happy to wake up this morning and know that it wasn’t all a dream. Fly the W.