From 73 wins and 89 losses in 2014, the Chicago Cubs improved to a league-leading 103-58 in just two years, and are now moving on to the National League Championship Series for the 2016 MLB Playoffs. The Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants in the
2016 National League Division Series on October 11th. This was the first playoff game the Giants have lost when facing elimination after 10 straight elimination game victories. San Francisco has also won 3 World Series Titles in the last 5 years. The Cubs defeated a baseball “Giant.” With everything from multiple Cubs pitchers hitting home runs, to diving catches by outfielders, and rookies making game-saving hits, the Cubs took a well-deserved 3 games to 1 series victory over San Francisco. Game 4 was the conclusion, and by far the most eventful game in the series.
The Giants flew right out of the gate, with Denard Span hitting a double in the first inning. Rushing to the plate, Span scored to put the Giants up 1-0 after the first. Cubs Catcher David Ross was quick to respond with a solo home run into the stands in the
third inning. It was then 1-1. But again, San Francisco’s offense got fired up and scored another 4 runs in the fourth and fifth innings. With the Giants up 5-2 going into the ninth inning, things were looking scary for Chicago. Bit by bit, the Cubs started to piece together an unheard of miracle. The largest deficit a team had ever come back from to win in the ninth in MLB playoff history was 3 runs. The Cubs had to do just that in order to take a victory. Batter after batter, hit after hit, and run after run, Chicago made a miraculous comeback. Kris Bryant led off the inning with a single, followed by Anthony Rizzo drawing a walk. From then on, the Cubs rallied. Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, and Jason Heyward all scored to bring the Cubs a victory. Game one of this series was won off a left-field homer by Javier Baez; game 4 was also won by Baez, knocking in the winning run with an RBI single. The Cubs went up 6-5. Chicago’s all star closer Aroldis Chapman, famous for throwing a 100 MPH average fastball, was called to the mound. Chicago’s Chapman threw a remarkable final inning, and as soon as the final missed swing for strike three was called, arms went to the air, and the Cubs were on top of the world. Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta was the first to sprint to the field, followed by his whole team.
The Cubs will play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Chicago is a world series hopeful, but needs to get by one more team to make it there.