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The Cubs Heroes of World Series Game 7

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The Cubs are World Series Champions. And it is truly magnificent.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

I've spent the last 24 hours or so trying to figure out how to wrap up all of my feelings after the Cubs' win on Wednesday night. Needless to say, it's been a struggle for me to try and put it all into words.

And then I went and watched the video of the final out on MLB.TV again. The one thing that's great about watching the video online --€” and has made me so happy to be a subscriber to it --€” is that you get to hear everything that actually happened on the field. Most of that got muted out on the Fox broadcast, primarily because of the fact that there was plenty of jubilant profanity, but you got to hear the raw release of emotion from everyone out there.  Hearing Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester, David Ross live in the moment... it was amazing. I remember watching the game last night with my wife -€-” who really didn't watch much baseball during the regular season, but has always been a Cubs fan and was living and dying on every pitch of every game of the World Series -€-” and when the final out was made, we both screamed in joy, hugged, and cried.  Well, I cried, at least.

Watching that video of that final out... it made me tear up all over again.

This entire season has been truly unbelievable.  I would have never guessed that the Cubs would have had the success that they did over the course of the entire year. I was always hopeful for it, but this season... I could probably use a hundred superlatives to describe it. In the end, it's been a season that I'll never forget. It was definitely a game that I'll never forget and one that I don't think I'll see the likes of again, ever. I don't know how another game could possibly beat this one. Or at least I don't know if I could make it through another one like this; I feel like I spent the final three innings of this game on the edge of the couch, not breathing at all. It was just an amazing game... an amazing series... an amazing 2016 season.

My thanks go to the Chicago Cubs for giving me, and all of the fans, a trove of memories that will be cherished forever.  There was a plan in place, and while it definitely had its rough moments, they stuck with it and kept pushing forward, and it paid off in the best fashion possible.  My hat definitely goes off to the Cleveland Indians for their role in an absolutely amazing World Series, fighting their hearts out with several of their key players injured, and still never giving up all the way to the final out. I also want to tip my hat to the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers for the stiff competition that they brought in the earlier rounds. They were both fierce competitors, pushed the Cubs to their limits and made surviving the 11-win postseason gauntlet that much more memorable.

Thanks also go to the social media wizards at Cubs Twitter for providing me with a cornucopia of tweets that I've included this year. That part has been a lot of fun for me this season, and I felt like it added something new and entertaining to this feature. The fact that they were able to come up with something in just about every game definitely helped me out a lot, so thanks go to them for making things easier for me this season.

I want to publicly thank Al once again for giving me the opportunity to be a contributor here at Bleed Cubbie Blue. I'm not a writer by trade; I mean, as a writer, I make one heck of an accountant. But the ability to have this feature on this site for three years now has really been great. So thank you once again for having me as part of the crew here. It's beyond appreciated and means a tremendous amount to me to have been able to share this daily bit of irreverence on this crazy ride. You're truly a good friend and we can't wait to see you in St. Louis again sometime soon. The door's always open.

And last, but absolutely not least, I want to thank all of you that stop by every day to read Heroes and Goats.  To have this feature be a part of your daily read... it's truly humbling and extremely rewarding in a personal way.  It feels like the audience has grown each year and has expanded from other areas, which is something to me that has been completely unexpected but has also been absolutely wonderful. And to those of you who leave comments every day, thank you as well for that. It's great to have that as part of the discussion every day, and again I'm honored.

So to wrap it up one last time for the 2016 season, here are the Heroes from Game 7 of the World Series.  I originally was going to leave comments for each of them, but after thinking about it again, I thought it would be better to just leave the list of their names, because at this point you probably know what each of them did in Game 7 to get the Cubs the championship that we've all been waiting for.

Thanks again to all of you for being a part of the Heroes and Goats fun and for making this feature as fun as it has been for me to do each day.  I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing offseason, and I can't wait until the fun starts all over again in 2017.

Graphs for World Series Game 7 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game 179 Chart 2016

Stats for World Series Game 7:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

K Hendricks

4.2

4

0

1

1

2

1.06

.111

M Montgomery

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

3.41

.094

J Lester

3

3

0

1

1

4

0.83

.011

C Edwards Jr.

0.2

1

0

1

1

1

1.3

-.009

A Chapman

1.1

3

1

2

0

2

1.51

-.317

Total

10

11

1

5

3

9

1.13

-.109

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

B Zobrist

5

1

1

0

1

0

0

1.71

.251

D Ross

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1.37

.170

A Rizzo

3

1

1

0

1

1

1

1.35

.125

W Contreras

2

0

1

0

1

0

0

0.9

.100

K Schwarber

5

0

3

0

0

0

0

0.9

.063

M Montero

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

1.66

.053

J Heyward

5

0

0

0

0

0

1

1.47

.028

A Russell

3

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

-.007

D Fowler

5

1

3

1

1

0

0

1.16

-.010

K Bryant

4

2

1

0

0

1

1

1.3

-.012

J Baez

5

1

1

1

1

0

2

1.42

-.152

Total

39

8

13

3

8

4

5

1.28

.609

Writer's Note: The daily selections of the three Heroes and three Goats are based solely on the top three and bottom three WPA scores for the game. The selections are not based on my subjective opinion.

The Ramirez Catalyst of World Series Game 7: With two on and one out in the top of the 10th, Ben Zobrist gets his first hit of the night in epic fashion, slapping a 98-mile-per-hour fastball from Bryan Shaw down the third base line for a run-scoring double that brings Albert Almora Jr. home and puts the Cubs back ahead by a score of 7-6. WPA impact: +.322.

THE TOP THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero - Ben Zobrist (.251).
  • Hero - David Ross (.170).
  • Sidekick - Anthony Rizzo (.125).

THE REST OF THE GAME 7 HEROES:

  • Kyle Hendricks (.111).
  • Willson Contreras (.100).
  • Mike Montgomery (.094).
  • Kyle Schwarber (.063).
  • Miguel Montero (.053).
  • Jason Heyward (.028).
  • Jon Lester (.011).
  • Albert Almora Jr. (.000).
  • Chris Coghlan (.000).
  • Addison Russell (-.007).
  • Carl Edwards Jr. (-.009).
  • Dexter Fowler (-.010).
  • Kris Bryant (-.012).
  • Javier Baez (-.152).
  • Aroldis Chapman (-.317).

FINAL RANKINGS FOR THE 2016 POSTSEASON:

Heroes

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Anthony Rizzo

2

2

1

11

Jon Lester

2

1

1

9

Javier Baez

1

2

2

9

Kris Bryant

1

2

2

9

Ben Zobrist

2

1

0

8

Jake Arrieta

1

2

0

7

Willson Contreras

1

1

1

6

Kyle Hendricks

1

1

1

6

Addison Russell

1

1

0

5

Aroldis Chapman

1

0

2

5

Justin Grimm

1

0

1

4

Jason Heyward

0

2

0

4

Travis Wood

1

0

0

3

Miguel Montero

1

0

0

3

Carl Edwards Jr.

1

0

0

3

John Lackey

0

1

0

2

David Ross

0

1

0

2

Mike Montgomery

0

0

2

2

Dexter Fowler

0

0

2

2

Pedro Strop

0

0

1

1

Kyle Schwarber

0

0

1

1

Goats

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Ben Zobrist

1.5

3.5

1

12.5

Jason Heyward

3

0

3

12

Dexter Fowler

2

2

2

12

Addison Russell

1

4

0

11

Javier Baez

2

1

0

8

Anthony Rizzo

1

1

2

7

Aroldis Chapman

2

0

0

6

John Lackey

1.5

0.5

0

5.5

Willson Contreras

0

1

3

5

Pedro Strop

1

0

0

3

Jake Arrieta

1

0

0

3

Jorge Soler

1

0

0

3

Albert Almora Jr.

0

1

1

3

Kris Bryant

0

0

2.5

2.5

David Ross

0

1

0

2

Jon Lester

0

1

0

2

Carl Edwards Jr.

0

1

0

2

Miguel Montero

0

0

1.5

1.5

Justin Grimm

0

0

1

1

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

pWPA

Jon Lester

9

2

7

0.983

Kris Bryant

9

2.5

6.5

0.703

Kyle Hendricks

6

0

6

0.410

Anthony Rizzo

11

7

4

0.244

Jake Arrieta

7

3

4

0.262

Justin Grimm

4

1

3

0.123

Travis Wood

3

0

3

0.070

Mike Montgomery

2

0

2

0.130

Miguel Montero

3

1.5

1.5

0.273

Javier Baez

9

8

1

0.328

Willson Contreras

6

5

1

0.207

Carl Edwards Jr.

3

2

1

0.053

Kyle Schwarber

1

0

1

0.119

David Ross

2

2

0

-0.029

Aroldis Chapman

5

6

-1

-0.052

Pedro Strop

1

3

-2

-0.234

Albert Almora Jr.

0

3

-3

-0.035

Jorge Soler

0

3

-3

-0.075

John Lackey

2

5.5

-3.5

-0.227

Ben Zobrist

8

12.5

-4.5

-0.111

Addison Russell

5

11

-6

-0.055

Jason Heyward

4

12

-8

-0.307

Dexter Fowler

2

12

-10

-0.210