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Mitch's Sports Report: Cubs Put A Scare Into Indians, Force Game Six; Patriots Rout Bills In Rematch

On this All Hallows Eve, kids and adults alike in Chicago will have grins plastered beneath the make up and masks of their costumes, because their beloved Cubbies are still among the living. The Cubs, facing elimination in game five of the Fall Classic, secured a 3-2 win that guarantees them a trip back to Cleveland for at least one more game, with a chance still to win the team's first world title since 1908.

With no margin for error, Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to his closer Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning to get an eight-out save, and every pitch Chapman threw over those last two anxiety-ridden innings was no surprise to Cleveland's batters, they just couldn't catch up with the 100-mph heat they knew Chapman would be bringing.

Cleveland had jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a home run by Jose Ramirez off Jon Lester in the second inning, but the Cubs tied it and took the lead in the fourth, on a home run by Kris Bryant, an RBI single, and a sac fly. The Indians got one back in the sixth but Chapman would not allow the equalizer and Wrigley Field became the site of the first Cubs World Series victory since October 8th, 1945.

Game six is Tuesday night with Josh Tomlin getting the start for Cleveland against Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, and this thing is going seven, I can just feel it. It's too epic a series not to go the distance, and both these franchises have such long droughts and histories of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory that it's not at all surprising that one can't put the other away without making their fans wait until November and go through a whole roll of antacid tablets first.

To the NFL and the only defeat the New England Patriots have on their record this year came against the Buffalo Bills in week four, but that game had rookie Jacoby Brissett at QB for the Pats due to the NFL's obsession with pounds per square inch of their footballs rather than less important matters like long term concussion health problems and domestic violence, but that's a discussion for another time the league would prefer not to have. In any event, with Tom Brady back in the fold, number twelve threw four touchdowns in a 41-25 romp over the Bills. One of those TD's went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who became the Patriots all-time touchdown reception leader with TD number 69, passing former Patriot great Stanley Morgan, who had the mark over a career with New England that spanned twelve years. Gronk broke the record in just his seventh year in the league, and it's even more remarkable given that he's a tight end, not a wide receiver as Morgan was. With the the win the Pats improve their best in the league record to 7-1 while the Bills fall to 4-4, and it's always great to see a game that has Bills head coach Rex Ryan standing befuddled on the sidelines looking like he's trying to catch flies in his mouth.

For a while yesterday it looked like that one franchise in Cleveland not pulling its weight these days might just pick up its very first win of the season, but the Browns still own the "still winless" moniker after blowing a 13-point lead against the NY Jets in a 31-28 defeat in Cleveland. Matt Forte ran for two scores in the second half and Ryan Fitzpatrick had 222 yards through the air and a touchdown to lift the Jets record to 3-5. I have no doubt that fans in Cleveland would have no problem seeing the Browns go 0-16 this year if it meant seeing the Indians win one of their next two games.

In the NHL Michael Grabner scored a hat trick as the NY Rangers routed the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 at Madison Square Garden.

Locally, the University of Vermont womens' soccer team has been ousted from the America East playoffs after a 1-0 loss to Hartford in yesterday's semi-final in Connecticut.

On senior day UVM's Field Hockey team acknowledged the last game for two graduating seniors Anne-Marie Farmer and Emily Snowden, and the Catamounts got off to a good start against Maine with a goal by Isabella Sericolo, but the Black Bears roared back with four unanswered to beat UVM 4-1 in the regular season finale.

In mens' college hockey Craig Puffer scored twice for the Catamounts, including the game winner with just over five minutes left in the third period to lift UVM to a 3-2 win over Northeastern last night. That's three straight wins for the Catamounts after victories over the 16th-ranked Huskies and number eleven Michigan this weekend.

And in girls' high school girls soccer division four quarterfinals yesterday, West Rutland beat Arlington 1-0 in overtime on a goal by Katie Callahan. Next up for the top-seeded Golden Horde is a tilt against number three Proctor in the semis.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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