Cleveland’s 6–0 with in Game 1 is great news for Fox if you think the Cubs are the favorites in the Series. The opening game drew a 12.6 overnight rating (meaning 12.6% of the TVs in the largest 56 markets were tuned in) via Sports Business Journal's Austin Karp. That was the highest-rated overnight for a Game 1 since 2009 when Phillies-Yankees drew a 13.8 overnight rating. The game was up 20% over last year’s 10.5 overnight (Royals-Mets) and 58% over 2014 (Giants Royals).
This is no surprise -- the Cubs are popular everywhere, and there are great storylines for both teams. The article goes on to say -- no surprise here either -- that Fox executives are rooting for a long series.
I hope it goes at least five games, and the Cubs win the next four.
Also, you will probably want to keep this handy tonight:
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Schwarber DH, Baez 2B, Contreras C, Soler RF, Russell SS
Santana DH, Kipnis 2B, Lindor SS, Napoli 1B, Ramirez 3B, Chisenhall RF, Crisp LF, Naquin CF, Perez C
As was the case for Game 1, this Game 2 matchup occurred last year: June 15 at Wrigley Field. Oddly, the score that night, 6-0 Indians, was the same as World Series Game 1.
This game was before Jake became Jake! in 2015. Arrieta gave up a three-run homer to Carlos Santana and one other run before being removed after five. The other runs were scored off Cubs pitchers long gone from the team. Bauer threw seven shutout innings, giving up four hits and three walks and striking out seven.
The reality is that neither pitcher is much like that now. Arrieta had a great run, but he has struggled of late, including in his two postseason starts. Bauer had a rough outing in the division series against the Red Sox, although the Indians won that game, and then he had to leave his ALCS start in the first inning because he was bleeding all over the place after his drone accident.
That last part is not something I ever thought I'd have to write in a pitcher preview, but there it is. It has been nine days since Bauer's stitches came open on his pinky, and whether it's healed up enough to take the stress of pitching is still uncertain. The Indians obviously feel he's ready. He's thrown only 5⅓ innings since October 1.
Bauer had a 6.39 ERA and 1.368 WHIP in 38 innings in September with five home runs allowed. This is the Bauer we hope we see tonight.
Meanwhile, if the Jake from the second half of 2015 and first couple months of 2016 would show up tonight, we'd all be very pleased.
Today's game is on Fox. Announcers: Joe Buck, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal.
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.