The Indians took a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the 2016 World Series with a 7-2 thumping of the Chicago Cubs.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The Cubs looked completely outclassed tonight. But Cleveland fans know that being down 3-1 doesn’t mean it’s over. The Cubs just have to win three games in a row. They’ve done that several times this year.
It does mean that things look grim right now and I don’t mean Justin Grimm, although he certainly didn’t help. The Cubs need to wake up now and they can’t make any more mistakes. There is no margin for error.
The game started out well. John Lackey retired the Indians in order in the first inning, two by strikeout. Then Dexter Fowler hit a bloop double to left field and two batters later, Anthony Rizzo singled him home. The Cubs had a 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long. Carlos Santana led off the top of the second and hit a 3-2 pitch on the line into the right field stands into the teeth of a howling wind.
Poor defense by Kris Bryant led to another run in in the second. Bryant made a bad throw that allowed Lonnie Chisenhall to reach. After a ground out moved Chisenhall to second with two outs, Lackey intentionally walked Roberto Perez to get to the pitcher, Corey Kluber. Kluber hit a soft roller that went about 50 feet down the third base line. Bryant needed to eat the ball as Kluber was making it down the line in a hurry. Instead, he threw to Rizzo, who couldn’t catch the ball. Chisenhall scored all the way around from second. The error went to Bryant, although it could have gone to Rizzo. But Bryant never should have made the throw in the first place.
The Indians tacked on another run in the third inning when Jason Kipnis led off with a double and Francisco Lindor singled him home. Wrigley went silent, much as it had in 2007 and 2008. I don’t think the Cubs lost heart there, but I do think a lot of the fans did.
The Indians extended their lead to 4-1 in the sixth inning when Lindor led off with a walk and Santana singled on a line drive back to the mound off of Mike Montgomery. I found some video on Twitter of the line drive back to Montgomery.
Montgomery #Cubs pic.twitter.com/wnXnlMuN8z— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) October 30, 2016
A bunt (and a failed attempt to turn a double play on it) and a sac fly by Chisenhall made it 4-1.
Any chance of a Cubs comeback ended in the seventh inning when Jason Grimm let two runners reach and Travis Wood served up a three-run home run to Kipnis.
The fans at Wrigley did get something to cheer about in the eighth inning when Dexter Fowler led off the inning with a home run to make it 7-2. It was the first home run hit by a Cub in the World Series since Phil Cavarretta hit one in game 1 of the 1945 World Series. It was the first home run hit by a Cub in the World Series at Wrigley Field since Chuck Klein did it in 1935. So it’s been a while. But more importantly, it was the first earned run that Andrew Miller has allowed all postseason. So he can be hit.
The bad news is that the Indians now have a 3-1 lead in the series. Teams have come back down 3-1 before, but things do not look good. Jon Lester takes the mound tomorrow against Trevor Bauer, and Bauer is the one Indians pitcher the Cubs have been able to hit. If they can win that, the series goes back to Cleveland and the Cubs will have to find a way to win two on the road. Unlikely, but not impossible.
Now for a word of warning. I have no problems with people venting in here. I have no problem with mild profanity. But keep it PG-13. I’m doing this at home all week while battling pneumonia, so I’m doubly-sick. I’m not going to stick around and comment because I need to rest and get healthy. But I am going to come back and check on you all later. And if I see people being obscene or insulting, I will come down with a heavy ban hammer. Or I’ll have Al do it in the morning. So behave yourself. Other teams have a nation. We are the Cubs Family. Treat each other like you’d treat your mother. Or at least treat each other like you’re supposed to treat your mother. I don’t know how you actually treat your mother.
But as a famous Cubs fan once said, “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” It’s not over yet. Maybe it will be over tomorrow. Let’s try to not let that happen.