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There is no underdog, there is only Game 7

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Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes a ridiculous Game 6 and the Game 7 it forced.

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Six Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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It’s here! We’ve got a Game 7. And it’s a Game 7 that baseball has been slowly building towards since the World Series ended in 1908. You might have heard something about this during the postseason, but the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since then. The Indians haven’t brought home a championship in a long time, either, with their last title coming in 1948. That’s 176 years without a World Series between the two, and the tragic, comedic, horrific thing about this Game 7 and this World Series is that 176 won’t exist after Wednesday, but only because one team gets to break free of this history of failure.

There is no underdog in this Game 7. The Indians won fewer games in the regular season, but they have ace Corey Kluber on the mound for the third time in the Fall Classic. Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen are all fully rested. They have the use of the DH, which means they can use both Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli. The Cubs won 103 games during the regular season, but they have a bullpen they can’t trust and a starter, Kyle Hendricks, they seem unwilling to pitch deep into games. The rest of the game will fall on Jon Lester and Aroldis Chapman, who has 62 pitches in the last two games. Both teams are about as together as you can be for a Game 7. The plan is only going to work for one of them, though.

This is how it was always going to end up, isn’t it? And not just because of the history of these two teams, either. The Indians came into the World Series without the best version of their rotation, knowing that it could very well take three Kluber starts and a stolen win elsewhere to get the four victories needed for a championship. The Cubs knew Kluber was going to be a real issue even for their lineup, but that the exposed underbelly of the Indians’ rotation was there to feast upon. This Game 7 was bound to happen even if you don’t believe in curses or destiny or what have you, and now the cruelest Game 7 in the history of the World Series is here. By this time tomorrow, all one side will believe in is heartbreak, but the other side will finally know postseason joy.