CHICAGO -- Wait until next year became wait until tomorrow for Cubs fans filling Harry Caray's and other River North bars and restaurants following Chicago's 1-0 loss to Cleveland in Game 3 of the 2016 World Series on Friday night that gave the Indians a 2-1 lead in the Fall Classic.
"Their bats are going to come back," said John Montgomery, who made the 90-minute trip from suburban Ottawa to watch Friday's game at Harry Caray's. "They got shut out twice the last series [against the Dodgers]. The bats will wake up tomorrow."
"It's disappointing tonight, but this is not the end all," said Dan from Chicago, a Harry Caray's regular. "We are coming back."
Thousands of fans flooded Wrigleyville as early as 6 a.m. CT on Friday morning, despite the first pitch not coming some 13 hours later at 7 p.m., in order to get a seat in one of the many establishments for the Cubs' first home World Series game in 71 years. Other fans chose to avoid the exciting chaos by flocking to one of the plethora of choices closer to downtown.
Harry Caray's started filling up early in the afternoon and the bar area eventually was closed off. Fans were lined up out the door trying to get a look at the televisions and see if the Cubs could break through against the airtight Cleveland pitching.
Although pretty much every establishment in the Harry Caray's area was packed, it was a quiet night because of the quiet Cubs offense. Fans tried to will fair Kris Bryant's line drive to right with two outs and Dexter Fowler on first in the eighth, but to no avail. Cleveland closer Cody Allen struck out Bryant to once again silence the masses.
The decibel level jumped when Anthony Rizzo opened the ninth with a single to left off Allen. It stayed loud when Jason Heyward reached on Mike Napoli's two-out error, sending pinch-runner Chris Coghlan to third, and then Heyward swiped second to put the winning run in scoring position for co-National League Championship Series MVP Javier Baez.
Baez fouled off a hittable pitch from Allen for strike one, chased a pitch out of the zone for strike two and swung through a high fastball to end the game. Fans streamed out to find taxis, Ubers or catch the train, disappointed but not discouraged.
"They are the best team," said Dan from Chicago of the Cubs.
"We are not worried at all. We want to win on their turf," said Monique Jackson, a Chicago native who joined her friends at Harry Caray's. "No worries. This is our year."
"Cleveland looked like a better team tonight," Montgomery said. "But I'm not that worried. I'm not ready to jump off the cliff yet. I think [Corey] Kluber is going to come out and get knocked around tomorrow."