After being shut out for the third time this postseason, the Chicago Cubs flipped the script in Cleveland tonight, defeating the Cleveland Indians 5-1 to even the World Series at one game apiece. The Cubs rode a masterful performance from Jake Arrieta and the bats finally came alive behind Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, and Kyle Schwarber.
Cubs Even Series At One
Arrieta Shines in Shutdown of Tribe
After an historic pitching performance from a former Cy Young winner in Game One of the Fall Classic, the Cubs sent their own former Cy Young winner to the mound and he pitched to perfection.
Arrieta had a horrible first inning, throwing more balls than strikes and walking two. After that, however, he was dominant. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowing only one run, two hits, and three walks while striking out six.
Arrieta’s 5.1 innings of no-hit baseball is the longest such streak in the World Series since Jerry Koosman in Game Two of the 1969 Series (Koosman would end up winning Series MVP for the Amazin’ Mets). He is the first Cubs pitcher to throw five no-hit innings in the World Series since Hall-of-Famer Three Finger Brown did it in 1906.
Cubs Bats Come Alive
After being shut out by Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller in Game One, the Cubs needed to come out strong in the first inning off of young Trevor Bauer. They didn’t disappoint. Three batters into the game, Rizzo doubled to right field, scored Kris Bryant, and the tone was set. Rizzo had his RBI and Zobrist had two hits, including a triple. However, the Cubs offense was solidified by the formerly missing piece (if this team even has one) of basher Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber’s presence in the Cubs’s lineup is electrifying. It really is amazing to think that not only has this guy been missing since April, but he was playing Arizona Fall League games only a week ago. Yet, when he steps to the plate and takes his swing, it becomes obvious in an instant that this guy is good. Really good. He’s the feel-good player for this perfect feel-good team.
Indians Display of Incompetence
Fun fact: Indians manager Terry Francona had never lost a World Series game in his career. Until tonight.
Cleveland simply didn’t achieve much success in this game. The offense only mustered four hits and couldn’t capitalize on Arrieta’s three early walks. The pitching staff allowed eight walks, including walking in a run in the fifth inning (when is this going to stop?). The real question is whether this team is anything more than Kluber, Miller and Francisco Lindor.
That is understandably an unfair assumption for a team that has dominated all season, including the playoffs. However it has to be understood that this Cleveland club IS weaker than Chicago, and it will take everything this team has to bring this city a long-awaited championship.
Game Three Preview
For the first time since 1945, Wrigley Field will host a World Series game. Regardless of how the game turns out for either side, that fact cannot be diminished. Every baseball fan puts Wrigley Field on their bucket lists, and a World Series game there will be the closest thing in baseball lore to a moment frozen in time.
The Cubs will throw Kyle Hendricks, the NL ERA king this season. He finished with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Hendricks gem in Game Six of the NLDS rewrote history for the Cubs, and Joe Maddon is more than comfortable sending this young, budding star into an atmosphere even Wrigley Field has never seen.
Cleveland will send Josh Tomlin to the mound. Tomlin had a decent regular season but improved in the postseason, allowing three earned runs in 10.2 innings.
This is obviously an important game for both sides, with the winner gaining a 2-1 edge, but for Cleveland this is close to a must-win. With the next three games in Chicago, and ace Kluber ready for Game 4, this is the game to gain the most momentum going forward.
It should also be mentioned again that this game is being played at Wrigley Field. The Friendly Confines. Gotta love baseball.