Everyone is feeling better tonight, right?
Tonight, the Cubs jumped all over the Indians and evened the World Series with a 5-1 win over the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland . It was also the first time a team managed by Terry Francona has ever lost a game in the World Series. It was the Cubs first win in the World Series since game 6 of the 1945 Series.
The Cubs got a run in the first inning when Kris Bryant singled and the next batter up, Anthony Rizzo, doubled him home with a drive down the right field line. Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall made a bad play on this play, sending the throw into second base. Bryant was going to hold at third base until the throw went to the wrong man.
The finger of Indians starter Trevor Bauer didn’t gush blood like an 80’s slasher flick this time, but his curveball was the mess this time. He had trouble throwing it for strikes and the Cubs could sit on his fastball.
Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta looked shaky in the first inning. He walked both Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli after two were out, but while Jose Ramirez gave the 3-1 pitch a ride, it fell into Dexter Fowler’s glove in deep center field. It wasn’t that tough of a play.
The Cubs extended their lead to 2-0 in the third inning after a two-out rally. Rizzo walked with two outs and then Ben Zobrist, who had three hits last night, singled to center.
That brought up Kyle Schwarber. I have to admit that I was skeptical when the Cubs first announced that he was going to the Arizona Fall League, but he looked good in his two games there and it became clear that Warbird was not going to be denied. This time, Schwarber hammered a 3-0 pitch from Bauer through the shift and into right-center field to score Rizzo.
The Cubs finally put a crooked number on the board off of the Indians bullpen in the fifth inning. Zobrist tripled home Rizzo, who had walked, with one out. That brought Schwarber to the plate, who singled Zobrist home. Then Willson Contreras, criticized yesterday for not running out a double, hustled down the line on a ground ball to second baseman Jason Kipnis. Kipnis bobbled the ball and by the time he recovered, Contreras was safe.
Indians reliever Bryan Shaw then walked Jorge Soler and Addison Russell to force in a run. It was 5-0 Cubs and the Indians didn’t have a hit yet off of Arrieta.
The Indians finally got to Jake in the sixth inning. He had been very good at some points of this game and a bit wild at others. In the sixth, he got one over the plate to Kipnis, who doubled. Kipnis went to third on a ground out to second by Francisco Lindor and then scored on a wild pitch. After Mike Napoli singled with two outs, Arrieta was gone from the game. Joe Maddon called on Mike Montgomery out of the pen. Montgomery got Jose Ramirez to hit a comebacker to the mound to end the threat.
Montgomery was terrific. He did get in a little jam when he gave up a single to Brandon Guyer (whom Chris Archer reminded us was Montgomery’s spring training roommate in 2014) and then walked yesterday’s hero, Roberto Perez. But he struck out Carlos Santana to end the inning and then went on to retire the first two batters of the eighth. Montgomery made his exit after surrendering a two-out single to Mike Napoli. Aroldis Chapman and his 102 mph heat then came into the game and blew away Jose Ramirez to end the inning.
Chapman stayed in to pitch the ninth. He gave up a two-out walk but finished up with no runs in a non-save situation.
Let’s take a moment to be impressed with Kyle Schwarber. He hadn’t played in a major league game since early April before yesterday and tonight he came up with two big RBI singles. It’s very hard to describe how difficult that is. As John Smoltz said on the broadcast, Schwarber went through an entire Spring Training in three days. Words don’t describe how herculean that is. Nothing Warbird does from now on should surprise us.
So now the Cubs and Indians are looking at a best-of-five series with the Cubs having home field advantage. Kyle Hendricks takes on Josh Tomlin in game three on Friday at Wrigley. On paper, that’s a mismatch in the Cubs favor, but because it’s baseball, you can never tell.
The dream is still alive. Fly the W.