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The Year of the CubsFrom spring training to the last out of the World Series, the Cubs were the biggest story in baseball in 2016. Below is some of our best Cubs content from their amazing title run.


Fulmer completes shutout DET@TEX: Fulmer finishes his first career shutoutMichael Fulmer induces a grounder that Ian Kinsler handles for the out, shutting the door on his first career shutout

** Addison Russell's sacrifice fly was hit only 40 or so feet beyond the infield dirt, seemingly too shallow for a sacrifice fly, but Kris Bryant on third base decided to challenge center fielder Rajai Davis. Davis, too casually, caught the ball without momentum, his body leaning back a little, his throwing hand far from his glove. He looked up, took a split second to process that Bryant was going, then threw home. The throw beat Bryant by at least 10 feet, but it was a little high -- probably not so high that catcher Roberto Perez needed to jump, but high enough that he did, a little hop to catch the ball right about face level. As Perez waited for gravity to bring him down, Bryant slid under him and past his late tag.

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Moment 4: Cubs 47.5 percent likely to winIt will be remembered, too, that Aroldis Chapman was gassed. Joe Maddon had used him, seemingly unnecessarily, for 20 pitches with a big lead in Game 6. Chapman would ordinarily have no trouble pitching on consecutive days -- in his career, he has a 1.70 ERA on no days' rest, with batters hitting worse against him (.147/.232/.207) than in games in which he was working on two or more days' rest -- but this would be different. Chapman was asked to go not one inning but multiple innings, and in the previous week, he had thrown 102 pitches. It will be remembered that he was gassed, because we expected him to be gassed and because Rajai Davis, of all people, homered off Chapman to complete Cleveland's three-run comeback.

Less than a month later, the division deficit was down to two games, and the Tigers were giving the Indians a scare. Cleveland held on by beating Detroit head-to-head, but the Tigers took their AL Wild Card hopes to the season's final weekend, eventually controlling their own fate. But five losses in Detroit's final eight games, including back-to-back low-scoring defeats at the Braves, slipped the AL Wild Card through the Tigers' grasp.

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The Astros have had an aggressive offseason as they look to get back into the postseason and capitalize on what seems like a future championship core. With Carlos Beltran back in Houston, Josh Reddick on board and the possibility that the Astros add one of the remaining free-agent power hitters, they project to have an offense to rival any in baseball. But there is a clear need for another frontline starting pitcher, and after a weak free-agent class of such pitchers, there is plenty of competition for trade candidates like the White Sox's Jose Quintana. Will the Astros be able to plug that hole, if not this winter then by the 2017 trade deadline?

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Author of "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty"Follow on TwitterFacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerPinterestEmailcommentThe situation that the Chicago White Sox have been in over the past month is a lot like the position the New York Yankees were in marketing relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in July: The White Sox have control of the best possible options, a tremendous seller's position.

"It's an iconic venue," Jackson said. "We walked in and it hit us. It was pretty surreal."

After that home run, Chapman threw two more fastballs -- 99.8, 100.6 -- and the second one got turned around for a single. Then two more, 99.0 and 98.4, for balls. At this point, he finally threw a slider (swinging strike), a slider (swinging strike) and a fastball (98.9, swinging strike three).

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Select a team ¬--AL East ¬BaltimoreBostonNew YorkTampa BayToronto--AL Central ¬ChicagoClevelandDetroitKansas CityMinnesota--AL West ¬HoustonLos AngelesOaklandSeattleTexas--NL East ¬AtlantaMiamiNew YorkPhiladelphiaWashington--NL Central ¬ChicagoCincinnatiMilwaukeePittsburghSt. Louis--NL West ¬ArizonaColoradoLos AngelesSan DiegoSan Francisco Full coverage ¬--PostseasonAll-Star GameDraftStatcastOpening DayHall of Fame inductionsJackie Robinson DayRoberto Clemente DayFort Bragg GameTrade DeadlineWinter MeetingsAwards Feats, tributes ¬--Ichiro reaches 3,000 hitsArrieta's second career no-hitterScherzer strikes out 20Scully retires after legendary careerBig Papi calls it a careerJose Fernandez: 1992-2016Monte Irvin: 1919-2016Ralph Branca: 1926-2016

There's a reason Martinez is batting. In the ninth inning, Terry Francona put him in to play right field, moved Brandon Guyer to left and removed Coco Crisp from the game. Martinez's arm was the upgrade in the outfield that was going to cut down Jason Heyward on a sacrifice fly. Heyward, stealing second, forced the error that got him to third, which led to this moment: Michael Martinez, maybe the worst hitter in the majors, representing the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning of the biggest baseball moment of our lifetimes.

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