The Cubbies continued to struggle as they have against the breaking balls of the Cleveland Indians pitching staff. Jose Ramirez homered, and the Cubs were starting to run out of outs trailing 1-0.
Then Bryan homered, the biggest swing of his life. The line drive landed in the basket.
For a few minutes afterward – like a fighter in the middle to late rounds of a prizefight – the Cubs came to life just long enough to deliver the knockout.
This one will also go down in history as the game that Aroldis Chapman got eight outs for a save. I thought that was a little much to ask at first, but Chapman was up to the task. He didn’t give up an earned run and extended the Cubs season.
Much like Tito Francona not truly trusting anyone aside from Andrew Miller, the only play for Joe Maddon here was to ride Chapman until the wheels fell off. And he did.
For me, this was the best game of the series all around. It gave us a series, and it was really the first time the Indians had to really play from behind while still having a chance to come back in the game. They had to face Chapman for two innings and change, and they couldn’t answer the bell to win the title.
It heads back to Cleveland for games six and seven. The Indians are staring Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks in the face, so it’s certainly not a gimme putt to their championship that it looked a few days ago.