Whenever the unstoppable force and the immovable object collide, drama ensues.
Wednesday night, that clash happens in Game Seven of the World Series. For two games of this series, Indians starter Corey Kluber personified the immovable object. Kluber has allowed a single run to one of the best, most youthful, and powerful lineups in major league baseball.
The Cubs lineup comes into the final act of this drama as the unstoppable force. Two of the Cubbies homeruns from their 9-3 victory on Tuesday night traveled a combined 867 feet. Addison Russell tied a World Series record with six RBI in a single game. In Game Six the Cubs 2-5 hitters went a combined 12-for-23 with one double, three home runs, and nine RBI. Cubs pitching held the Indians to five runs in the last two games.
So who prevails here in this clash of wills and history?
The answer might lie in whether or not Corey Kluber can become the American League’s Madison Bumgarner, an ace’s ace who wins three games in a seven-game series. If he does, then 1948 triumphs over 1908 and we’ll have another offseason spent wondering if the North Siders will ever retire their curse.
Maybe it comes down to Joe Maddon and his move to put Aroldis Chapman into a game that appeared already won. Did he need to put Chapman in Game Six and force 20 pitches from him with the contest seemingly out of reach for the Indians? Will the noticeable limp that Chapman displayed on the mound turn into something more serious if asked to pitch again the very next night? Could that over-use of his prized closer haunt him in Game Seven, if fatigue or familiarity come back to bite the aggressive manager?
For every deficiency of the unstoppable force, the immovable object has an answer, and vice-versa. Corey Kluber dominates, yet he’s once again on short rest. The back-end of the Indians bullpen, Miller and Allen, are well rested, yet the Cubs have Jon Lester out of the bullpen if needed. Terry Francona has managed superbly, but so has Maddon.
How it ends Wednesday night? No one knows. We do know that someone’s Midwestern baseball misery ends and becomes part of history. That history, which contained bitter disappointment and failure, now allows someone to celebrate for the first time what they have watched others celebrate for years, and in some cases take for granted. That much we know.
We also know that no matter what happens, we’ll never forget it.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn