Final Score World Series Game 5 – Cubs 3, Indians 2: Cubs Pull Off Gutsy Win, Push Series Back to Cleveland

If I was to write a story about how the Cubs would win the World Series, you can bet it would have them doing it in dramatic fashion and most certainly in seven games.

The Cubs just capped off the first game of the season where, had they lost, they would’ve been sent home. And they did it in an extraordinary manner fit for this team.

With one mighty swing, Kris Bryant changed everything. The Cubs had fallen behind early due to a 2nd inning home run by Jose Ramirez. In the top of the fourth inning, with the pressure mounting in this elimination game, Kris Bryant stepped to the plate and launched just his second home run of the postseason. That tied the game and Cubs fans at Wrigley started to believe again.

Anthony Rizzo followed up Bryant with deep line drive off the right field wall that would’ve likely been a home run had it not been hit in the deep corner in right. It was good enough for a double and the crowd was going nuts. Ben Zobrist would single followed by an Addison Russell chop-shot that went for an infield single and drove in Rizzo for the Cubs second run of the game.

It wasn’t over there. Javier Baez laid down a perfectly timed and well-executed bunt single down the third base line. That bunt loaded the bases. David Ross would hit a sacrifice fly to left field that drove in the Cubs third run of the inning. The Cubs led 3-1.

For his part, Jon Lester was simply incredible. He lasted six inning and surrendered only two runs in a high-pressure, ultra-intense setting that called for near perfect execution on every pitch. Lester delivered for the most part.

Things got dicey in the top of the sixth inning, when Lester allowed Rajai Davis to single, steal second and score on a Fransisco Lindor single. Lindor then tried to steal second base and got gunned down by an incredible throw by David Ross, something Ross has been doing all year long. That ended the Indians scoring threat.

With the Cubs clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh inning, Carl Edwards, who’d come on to replace Lester, surrendered a single and a passed ball and, next thing you know, the tying run was on second base with only one out. Enter Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman came on earlier than he has anytime this year for the Cubs, with one out in the seventh inning. He maintained control throughout, striking out four batters in 2 2/3 innings and leading the Cubs to a huge win (Box Score).

Stats that matter

  • Jon Lester was on top of his game – 6.0IP, 2R, 4H, 5Ks, HR allowed, 90 pitches
  • Aroldis Chapman came up HUGE – 2.2IP, 0R, 1H, 4Ks
  • Kris Bryant‘s home run opened up the scoring for the Cubs – 1-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 1BB, HR
  • Anthony Rizzo‘s double turned kept the momentum going in the fourth inning – 1-for-3, 1R, 1BB, 2B
  • Addison Russell added to the fun with a nice effort – 2-for-4, 1RBI

Bottom line

This was a huge win for the Cubs to extend the series and push it back to Cleveland. The Cubs really have nothing to lose at this point. No one expects them to win but they still have two games to prove they can. In my mind, the pressure is now squarely on the Indians.

As the Indians head home things are sure to get amplified for them. Home field can seem like a big advantage in the playoffs but think about it, the players go home and start dealing with a lot more pressure, friends, family, and lots of distractions. For the away team all they have to do is focus on the task at hand, minimal distractions. I like the Cubs chances in this. Of course, I’ve been saying that all day.

Next up

The World Series will head back to Cleveland on Tuesday, after an off-day Monday. Game time is at 7:08 PM CT and Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Cubs, who will have a chance to push the series to a seventh game.

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