CLEVELAND -- Wednesday night, the Chicago Cubs clinched their first World Series championship since 1908 with a thrilling 8-7 win in Game 7 over the Indians at Progressive Field. It was easily one of the best games you'll ever see. It was awfully fun.
The Cubs took the lead in the top of the tenth inning thanks to an RBI double by Ben Zobrist and an RBI single by Miguel Montero. Zobrist gave Chicago the lead and Montero drove in an insurance run the team ultimately needed.
Both the Zobrist double and Montero single came against righty Bryan Shaw, who recorded the final two outs of the ninth inning before going back out for the top of the tenth. That doesn't sound like a big deal, at least not until you consider the 17-minute rain delay following the ninth inning.
In all seriousness, the rain delay might not have been necessary. The rain never did get to the point where it would have been unplayable. That said, this was a World Series game -- a Game 7 of the World Series that was tied after nine innings at that -- and MLB didn't want this one to be decided by someone slipping on a wet infield, so out came the tarp.
Between the Indians batting in the bottom of the ninth along with the 17-minute delay, Shaw went a good half-hour without pitching. Considering how shaky he looked in the top of the tenth -- he allowed a first pitch single to Kyle Schwarber and fell behind in the count to Kris Bryant -- it's fair to wonder if the long delay hurt Shaw's effectiveness.
"It didn't affect me," Shaw said. "It was just like a long inning, or when they make a pitching change, something like that. About the same amount of time. It didn't make a difference."
"It was only about ten minutes. I don't think it had much of an impact," manager Terry Francona added. "Bryan Shaw, if there's one guy that you're going to have that happen to, because he bounces back so quickly -- and he was fine. That had nothing to do with it."
The rain delay is a wonderfully convenient excuse, and when it comes to heartbreaking losses like this, no one would blame the Indians for looking for an excuse. Rather than hide behind the rain delay, Shaw and the club shook it off and owned the loss, blaming themselves before Mother Nature.