On Assignment – Game 6 2016 World Series – Cubs vs Indians

On an unusually balmy November night in Cleveland (73 degrees at game time), the Chicago Cubs won a “must win” Game Six of the 2016 World Series to earn a chance to become the first team since 1985 to come back from a 3 game deficit to win the World Series.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs hits a solo home run in the top of the first inning of Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Cubs struck first off of the Tribe’s Josh Tomlin, with Kris Bryant going yard with two outs in the first inning to get the Cubs on the board.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after hitting a single in the top of the first inning of Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

But after consecutive singles by Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist, it was the double by Addison Russell with two out that produced one of the most exciting plays I’ve seen in recent World Series history.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs reacts while scoring on a two-run double by Addision Russell #27 in the first inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

With Rizzo excitngly waving Zobrist around the bases, Zobrist sprinted home and collided violently with Indians catcher Roberto Perez.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs collides with Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians to score on a Addison Russell #27 two-run double in the first inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

With the “Posey Rule” instituted by Major League Baseball after Posey suffered a severe knee injury during a home plate collision, they (collisions) at home have been quite few and far between. Not on this night!

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs collides with Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians to score on a Addison Russell #27 two-run double in the first inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Perez couldn’t field the throw, and with helmets and Perez’s mask flying, Zobrist scored and the Cubs took the lead, both emotionally and on the scoreboard.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after scoring on an Addison Russell #27 two-run double in the first inning after colliding with Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Anthony Rizzo after scoring on an Addison Russell #27 two-run double in the first inning after colliding with Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

In the third, after the Indians took out Tomlin and replaced him with Dan Otero, Addison Russell connected with a long, 435 foot bomb to center field, the first World Series grand slam since Paul Konerko connected for one in Game Two of the 2005 Fall Classic.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs rounds the bases after hitting a grad slam in the third inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs is greeted at home plate after hitting a grad slam in the third inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

In the meantime, Jake Arrieta seemed to be on cruise control, keeping the Tribe off the board until the fourth. The rout seemed to be on.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs pitches to Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians in the bottom of the second inning of Game 6 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Both teams displayed above average defense on the night, not surprisingly led by the Cubs Javy Baez and the Tribes Francisco Lindor…

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Jason Heyward #22 of the Chicago Cubs makes a diving catch on a Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians line drive in the fourth inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians throws to first from his knees during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Javier Baez #8 of the Chicago Cubs dives but cannot catch the ball during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

But the Tribe kept the pressure on enough to force Cubs manager Joe Maddon to call on Aroldis Chapman with two out in the seventh inning, and kept him in the game in a non-save situation until one out in the ninth, raising quite a few eye brows in the process.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs jokes with Javier Baez #9 in the seventh inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Anthony Rizzo added some insurance runs with a two-run home run int the top of the ninth.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run into ninth inning during Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

It all worked out for the Cubs, as they hung on to win 9-3 to force a one game, do or die Game Seven.

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CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 1: Addison Russell leaves the field as Cubs fans cheer him on after Game 6 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The script couldn’t be written any better as the Cubs and Indians prepare to face off in Game Seven!  I can’t wait to cover what is sure to be one of the classic deciding games in World Series history.

Holy cow!!

 

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