Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

The Chicago Cubs are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1945.

Celebration at Wrigley

Celebration at Wrigley

Kyle Henricks pitched a two-hitter and Aroldis Chapman shut the door in the 8th and 9th to preserve a 5-0 shutout over the Dodgers.

First pennant since 1945

First pennant since 1945

The Cubs have clinched their first National League pennant in 71 years.

71-year pennant drought ends with '16 Cubs.

71-year pennant drought ends with ’16 Cubs

I was right about the Cubs winning¬† the pennant – but so was everyone else. But I was dead wrong about the Cleveland Indians. I figured they had no chance against the Red Sox or the Blue Jays, but they beat both teams convincingly, thanks to MVP Andrew Miller, who may be the best relief pitcher in baseball. In 11.2 innings pitched, Miller struck out 21 batters, while giving up 0 runs – that’s right he had an ERA of 0.00 against David Ortiz, Josh Donaldson and some of the best hitters in baseball.

Still the Indians do have pitching woes. Corey Kluber is their ace, but after that their starting pitching is not very deep. However, manager Terry Francona has been hinting that Danny Salazar could start a game. Salazar hasn’t pitched in over a month after suffering a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm, but he appears to be on the mend. Cleveland will need him to rock if they hope to roll over the Cubs.

The Indians do have Jason Kipnis at second and Francisco Lindor at shortstop – so they do have some talent. But the Cubs can out muscle them with Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell – not to mention their pitching staff may be the best in baseball with the 1-2-3 punch of Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrietta.

I think Cleveland can steal a game from Chicago, but the Cubs are the better team. And just as a baseball has 108 stitches, it would be poetic justice for the Cubs to wear the crown in 2016, after 108 years of futility. I’ll take the Cubs in 5 over the Tribe.

About Mike

Mike Luery is an award-winning journalist with 25 years on TV and radio. Currently, he is the political reporter for KCRA-TV, the top-ranked station in Sacramento. This is Luery's second tour of duty with KCRA, where he was also a reporter from 1984 - 2000. In between, he was NBC's Capitol Bureau Chief in California and a reporter for CBS 13 in Sacramento. Luery lives in northern California with his wife Carol. Baseball Between Us is his first book.
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