The 25 most decisive plays in World Series history

Oct 24, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and right fielder Brett Phillips (14) celebrate Phillips hitting the game winning two run walk off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game four of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and right fielder Brett Phillips (14) celebrate Phillips hitting the game winning two run walk off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game four of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rajai Davis cirvcles the bases following his eighth inning game-tying home run. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Rajai Davis cirvcles the bases following his eighth inning game-tying home run. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

4. Game 7, November 2, 2016. Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians

Rajai Davis vs. Aroldis Chapman. Change in Championship Probability: 39.04 percent.

If you were a Cubs fan in the fall of 2016, staring down the throat of 108 years of World Series frustration, only one scenario was plausible: The Cubs would grab a big lead late in the seventh game, then blow it.

The only question was how, and the answer turned out to be Rajai Davis.

Just as a refresher, the Cubs led that seventh game in 2016  6-3 as the bottom of the eighth inning dawned. Statistically, that translated to a 90 percent prospect of a Cubs victory.

Those prospects improved to 95 percent when Jon Lester retired the first two batters he faced, Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli, on a groundout and a called third strike.

But when Jose Ramirez singled, Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to his well-worn ace closer, Aroldis Chapman, for the final four outs. But Chapman, who had thrown 62 pitches to close out Games 5 and 6, needed time the situation didn’t give him to work up to his best stuff.

In the interim, Brandon Guyer lined a double to center, scoring Ramirez. That brought up Davis, whose home run just clearing the wall in right rallied the Indians into a 6-6 tie.

When Davis came to the plate, the Cubs still possessed an 86 percent likelihood of winning the game and Series. As he touched home plate, that likelihood had fallen below 50 percent.

Since the Cubs did in fact come back to win the Series with a 10th inning rally, Davis holds a distinction, although not an especially desirable one. Statistically, his homer was the most consequential hit in World Series history not produced by the member of a winning team.