On a night when the 2019 World Series participants get some rest, we take a look back at what happened on this day in the 2016 Fall Classic.
October 28, 2016. You might not remember exactly where you were or what you were doing if you were asked specifically about that date without any further context. If the date were framed differently, however, perhaps as, “Game 3 of the 2016 World Series,” you wouldn’t forget.
Three years ago today, the Cleveland Indians out-dueled the Chicago Cubs to a 1-0 victory at Wrigley Field, giving the Tribe a 2-1 series lead in what was the most heart-stopping game of the ’16 Fall Classic to that point.
Josh Tomlin and Kyle Hendricks were the respective starters, both clawing their way through four innings and change, neither buckling under the pressure of one scoreless frame after another.
The most maddening sequence of the game came in the top of the fifth inning, when the Indians chased Hendricks and threatened to jump onto the scoreboard. Tyler Naquin singled, and was subsequently bunted over by Tomlin.
The next two hitters, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis, reached base via a walk and a hit-by-pitch, respectively, sending Hendricks to the dugout and loading the bases with one out for Francisco Lindor. Reliever Justin Grimm would then induce a double play to end the frame, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Two innings later, the least likely of Cleveland heroes would team up to produce what turned out to be the deciding run. Michael Martinez pinch-ran for Roberto Perez after the latter singled; he reached second on a bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Coco Crisp would then line a single to right field to bring in Martinez, giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead the Cubs would never overcome.
As was quite often the case during Cleveland’s 2016 October run, the bullpen played a crucial role in the victory. Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen each logged more than an inning’s worth of work in relief of Tomlin, with Allen closing things out by way of a four-out save.
The very next night, the Indians would roar to a lopsided 7-2 win that put them within one victory of the words that have now eluded the franchise for over seven decades: “The Cleveland Indians are World Series champions.”
It wasn’t to be, and the Indians are still trying to end a baseball season in celebration amid the brisk winds of October.