The Cleveland Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948. The Chicago Cubs haven’t hoisted the trophy since 1908. Tonight one teams streak of misery continues, while the other can finally call themselves champions after years of heartbreak and disappointment.
It has been over a century since the Cubs were the champs of baseball (although one could argue they have had the best team on several occasions, e.g. 2003) and Cubs fans everywhere are hoping the curse of the billy goat ends tonight. After Game 4, things were looking like they always do. The Cubs were down 3 games to 1 and it was like groundhog day all over again, something comedian Bill Murray knows all too well. The Cubs had one of the best offenses in baseball, but through 4 games in the World Series they had only scored 7 total runs. To put that in to perspective, in the regular season and playoffs combined prior to the World Series, the Cubs had scored 7 or more runs 47 times. They hadn’t scored 7 or more in any game of the World Series so far, until last night with the 9-3 victory to even the series. This season has seemed like a different one for the Cubs. When they were down 3-1, I think even non-Cubs fans were thinking that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. So now that the series stands even at 3-3, with the Cubs one win from breaking “the curse”, I think any baseball fan in general will be glued to the TV tonight.
While Cubs fans can claim the longest title drought in baseball, Cleveland fans have went the second longest without a championship win (not counting the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship victory earlier this year). The drought was expected to continue this year as the Indians weren’t projected by most to be more than a middle of the road team in the AL Central, that might have had a chance at a Wild Card spot. Instead they finished with the second best record in the American League, despite going almost the entire season without All Star outfielder, Michael Brantley. Going into the postseason three of the Indians five starting pitchers; Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, and Corey Kluber; were all injured. To add to all of that, before Game 2 of the ALCS, starter Trevor Bauer sliced a finger open on his pitching hand while repairing a drone. He was able to pitch in game 3 but didn’t last long, and was forced out of the game but not before giving us one of the grossest sights in the playoffs. Despite all of the injuries the Indians sit one win away from being crowned champions.
While the 68 year drought isn’t 108, it is still a very long time. It easily equates to multiple generations of fans. Any Cubs or Indians fan alive today, under the age of 68 and 108 respectively, has never seen their Major League Baseball team hoist the World Series trophy. It will all change for one teams fanbase tonight as Kyle Hendricks (2.13 ERA in regular season) faces off against Corey Kluber (0.89 ERA in the postseason).
My prediction for tonight is:
Cubs 6, Indians 4
The World Series trophy will be back in the North Side for the first time since 1908.