The World Series is all squared up at 1-1 heading back to Wrigley Field for Games three through five. The Cleveland Indians were able to take Game 1 and had Progressive field rockin’ and rollin’ all night, but the Chicago Cubs took home-field advantage by quieting that crowd and getting the win in Game 2.
In Game 1, the pitching trio of Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen proved to be too much for the Cubs explosive offense.
Kluber picked up the win, pitching six innings, giving up four hits while striking out nine. He said a World Series record by striking out eight batters in the first three innings.
Miller came on to pitch in the seventh after Kluber gave up a single to Ben Zobrist. Miller was a shakier than normal in the first two batters, walking Kyle Schwarber and yielding a single to Javier Baez. Pinch-hitter Wilson Contreras flew out in the next at-bat. Cleveland center fielder Rajai Davis missed an opportunity to double up Schwarber at second base, but that didn’t faze Miller.
He struck out Addison Russell and David Ross to end the inning.
The Cubs threatened again in the eighth, putting runners on the corners with two outs, but Miller struck out Schwarber to escape the danger. Miller pitched two innings, giving up a pair of hits, issuing a pair of walks while striking out three.
Cody Allen came on in the ninth, allowing a hit, but struck out the side to give his team the Game 1 victory.
The pitching staff was aided by a two-home run night from catcher Roberto Perez. In the fourth innings, Perez launched a solo homer off starting pitcher Jon Lester to increase the lead to 3-0. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Perez put the game on ice with a three-run blast. Jose Ramirez scored Francisco Lindor to start the scoring in the first innings and then later in the inning, Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch, bringing home Mike Napoli.
Lester didn’t fare well in the opening game of the World Series, pitching 5 2/3 innings, surrendering six hits, three runs, three walks and striking out seven.
Cleveland pitched the first World Series Game 1 shutout since 1990.
Game 2 was a similar story in terms of pitching, but this time the Cubs had the advantage.
Jake Arrieta, who was a bit inconsistent throughout the regular season, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowed just two hits, walked a trio and struck out six. He had the no-hitter in tact with an out in the sixth before Jason Kipnis doubled. That was the furthest a no-hit bid was taken in a World Series game since Game 2 of the 1969 series, when Jerry Koosman took a no-no an out further than Arrieta.
Kipnis would score after advancing on a ground ball and taking home on an error. That would be the only scoring the Tribe would do in the game.
Anthony Rizzo doubled home Kris Bryant in the opening frame. After that, Schwarber would collect two hits and a pair of RBIs. That’s an incredibly story for someone who missed all but two games of the season with a knee injury.
Aroldis Chapman came in with two outs in the eighth and pitched 1 1/3 innings, shutting the door on Cleveland with a pair of strikeouts.
Indians’ starter Trevor Bauer, who pitched for the first time since his pinky was bleeding in Game 3 of the ALCS, could not make it out of the fourth inning. The Cubs got after him and he gave up six hits, two runs, two walks while striking out two.
The two teams head back to Wrigley field for the next three games with the pitching matchup in Game 3 being Josh Tomlin against Kyle Hendricks. Questions arise for both teams heading into the next three games. For the Indians, will Terry Francona be able to continue to use Miller over multiple innings as he will have to bat? For the Cubs, how will Joe Maddon elect to use Schwarber, who hasn’t been fully cleared to play the field?