CHICAGO (AP) — They have waited 108 years for a championship. So with this World Series on the verge of slipping away, the Chicago Cubs could not wait any longer.
Manager Joe Maddon summoned closer Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen in the seventh inning for the first eight-out save of his big league career, needing to hold off the Cleveland Indians in Game 5.
As nervous fans fretted at Wrigley Field, Chapman fired his 100 mph heat and preserved the Cubs’ 3-2 win Sunday night, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 3-2.
A white flag with a blue “W” was raised atop Wrigley Field after a Series win for the first time since Oct. 8, 1945, a Game 6 win over Detroit. Fans stayed long after the final out and sang to “Sweet Home Chicago” as Cubs returned to the field for media interviews.
“High anxiety,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “A lot of deep breaths. Every pitch gets bigger and bigger as the game goes on. It’s unbelievable. Great win here, we sent these fans off with a win, now we have to go to Cleveland and win.”
Now, the team that led the majors in wins this year will try to extend its season again Tuesday night when Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta faces Josh Tomlin at Cleveland in Game 6.
Chicago is trying to become the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals and the first to do it by winning Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh