World Series: Breaking down Game 2
Flop in the fifth
Although the Indians didn’t exactly set the world on fire in the first four innings, they were still in the game at that point, trailing just 2-0. Then the fifth inning happened. Zach McAllister struck out Kris Bryant to start the inning, then walked Anthony Rizzo and gave up a triple to Ben Zobrist score Rizzo. (Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall misplayed the ball, something that’s becoming a theme.) McAllister was lifted for Bryan Shaw, who gave up an RBI single to Kyle Schwarber to make it 4-0. After Schwarber moved to second on a wild pitch, Javier Baez struck out swinging. The inning should have ended with the next batter, but Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis misplayed Willson Contreras’ grounder, allowing him to reach first. Shaw then walked Jorge Soler and Addison Russell (scoring Schwarber) before striking out Fowler to end the inning. By then, it was 5-0 and with the way Jake Arrieta was pitching, not even the 1995 Indians would have had much of a chance of rallying.
FOR STARTERS …
A for Arrieta
Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and while he wasn’t quite as sharp as that sounds, he gave the Cubs the start they needed. The 2015 Cy Young winner went 5 ? innings, giving up one run on two hits. Kipnis broke up the no-no with a one-out double in the sixth and scored one batter later on Arrieta’s wild pitch. Mike Napoli’s two-out single finally chased Arrieta, who threw 98 pitches (55 strikes), struck out six and walked three. Mike Montgomery got Jose Ramirez on a groundout to end the sixth.
FROM THE PEN
One of the few bright spots on Wednesday night was the return of Tribe pitcher Danny Salazar, who made his first appearance since straining his forearm on Sept. 9 at Minnesota. Salazar struggled in the second half of the season — the Indians finally put him on the disabled list on Aug. 2 with elbow inflammation and he wasn’t himself even after the break — but he looked good against the Cubs, pitching a hitless inning while reaching 97, 97 and 96 on the radar gun on his first three pitches. (He did end up walking two batters.) After using just Andrew Miller and Cody Allen in Game 1’s win, Tribe manager Terry Francona was forced to use six relievers in Game 2, although only Dan Otero (1.2 innings) went more than an inning.
Schwarber went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run and two RBIs. He now has more hits in the World Series (three) than games played in the regular season (two). Schwarber tore his ACL and LCL in the third game and has not been cleared to play in the field, so he might be limited to pinch-hitting in the three games at Wrigley Field. He was the designated hitter in Games 1 and 2. When asked after Wednesday’s game if could play the outfield, Schwarber said, “I don’t know. We’re going to take it day by day and see where it takes us. ... I might try it out and see what happens.”
NUMBER TO CRUNCH
Record for teams who score first in this year’s postseason. Teams went 11-0 in the LCS when scoring first and are 2-0 in the World Series so far. The Indians are 7-0 when scoring first in this year’s postseason.
World Series, Game 3
Wrigley Field will host its first World Series game since 1945 when Game 3 moves to Chicago on Friday. First pitch is 8:08 p.m. Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40 ERA in the regular season) will face the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA), who finished with the lowest ERA in the majors this season. Hendricks, 26, is 1-1 in the postseason with a 1.65 ERA. “The thing I like about guys like Kyle is when you get into a hitter’s count, they can do something other than (use) the fastball effectively,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s what really separates him.” Tomlin, 31, hasn’t pitched since Game 2 of the ALCS on Oct. 12 when he gave up one run on three hits in 5.1 innings. The Tribe won that game 2-1. Indians manager Terry Francona said Corey Kluber will start Game 4 on Saturday on three days’ rest and anticipates using his other starters on short rest, too. “Finger aside, Trevor’s a guy that can pitch all the time,” Francona said. “Tomlin, we were a little concerned. He’s been pitching great, but he doesn’t have the biggest frame (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) in the world. But he hasn’t pitched that much, so I think we’re OK.”