The Cubs won a World Series game at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1945 and at least delayed Cleveland's big party with a 3-2 victory Sunday night.
Aroldis Chapman got the final eight outs in the longest appearance of his career, Jon Lester pitched six strong innings and Kris Bryant homered as Chicago cut the Indians' lead to 3-2.
Joe Maddon called on Chapman to get the final eight outs of Game 5 Sunday night, a move that paid off in the form of a 3-2 Cubs win over the Indians that now sends the World Series back to Cleveland, reported the New York Daily News.
"Joe talked to me this afternoon before the game," Chapman said through an interpreter. "He asked if I could be ready possibly to come into the seventh inning, and obviously I told him, 'I'm ready. I'm ready to go.'"
So a World Series between the teams with baseball's longest title droughts goes back to Cleveland, with 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta set to start for the Cubs and Josh Tomlin going on a short rest for the Indians in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
"We're writing our own history," Chicago shortstop Addison Russell said. "We're making history. Why stop?"
His team rolled through the regular season with a major league-leading 103 wins, took out playoff-tested San Francisco in the NL Division Series and rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series. The Cubs were so dominant at times they had their long-downtrodden fans believing that, after decades of supposed curses and sincere heartbreak, this just might be the year.
It still could be — but it would take an historic effort. Only five teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series, most recently Kansas City in 1985.
Standing in the Cubs' way is a team and a city that knows a thing or two about title droughts.
Cleveland endured a 52-year championship dry spell before LeBron James brought one home with the NBA's Cavaliers last spring. The Indians last won it all in 1948, which pales in comparison to a Cubs wait that dates to 1908.
With the series shifting back to Cleveland, the Cubs will attempt to become the first team since the 1979 Pirates to come back from 3-1 by winning the final two games on the road.