Kris Bryant held his bat in his left hand like a wand and briefly admired what had been a Josh Tomlin curveball as it rushed over the left-field wall at Progressive Field.
Bryant barely had made it around first base by the time it landed 426 feet away Tuesday. The 24-year-old MVP candidate allowed himself a slight grin as he approached second base, halfway home to his second home run in the last two games.
The ball had a 106 mph exit velocity, roughly equivalent to Aroldis Chapman's fastest fastball, and was the first of his four hits in the game. He became the first player with that many hits in a World Series game since Pablo Sandoval did it in 2012 for the Giants.
The 0-2 count that turned into a 1-0 lead with two outs in the first inning of Game 6 of the World Series against the Indians also began a hit parade for the Cubs, who kept their hopes afloat for a World Series parade by pushing the series to a Game 7 with a 9-3 victory.
"My favorite pitch to hit is the hanging curveball," Bryant said. "Usually if you just put your good swing on it, there's a good chance it's going pretty far.
"I felt like that was something I've been waiting for, is a pitch in that area, and I got it."
Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist followed with singles, and the Cubs already had surpassed by one the number of hits they had against Tomlin in 4 2/3 innings a few days before.
Addison Russell's bloop double duped Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and center fielder Tyler Naquin and gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Two innings later, Russell hit a grand slam for a Series record-tying six RBIs and a Game 7 was all but guaranteed, which is exactly what Bryant and the Cubs had hoped.
To these guys, this isn't about the ghosts of a goat or Leon Durham or a black cat or a fan falsely blamed for foiling a foul catch or 108 years ago.
"We don't want to just get there," Bryant said of the World Series after the Cubs clinched the National League Championship Series. "We don't care that it has been so many years. We want to win it and that's the bottom line. We are too young to even realize the history. I don't do much history. That's a good thing. You don't want that on your side."
He then paused to reconsider his stance.
"(David Ross) might be old enough to remember," he said of the Cubs' last World Series title in 1908.
Bryant's postseason hasn't been all home runs and happy times. He made two errors in one inning Saturday during the Cubs' 7-2 loss in Game 4.
The third baseman batted just .071 with a .307 OPS and five strikeouts in those first four games. He has five hits and two home runs since the Cubs have had their backs against the wall in Games 5 and 6.
"Anybody who plays this game grows up dreaming of winning a World Series," he said. "We get to play in Game 7 (Wednesday). That's pretty special."