Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
CHICAGO – (Staff and Wire Service Preview – Special to Digital Sports Desk) – There’s going to be a World Series game at Wrigley Field. There! Said it.
The best starting pitcher led his team to victory in each of the first two games of the World Series with each team laying claim to the better ace once. The Chicago Cubs try to gain control of the series when they host the Cleveland Indians on Friday in the first World Series game at Wrigley Field since 1945.
Corey Kluber set a World Series record with eight strikeouts in the first three innings en route to a 6-0 Indians win in Tuesday’s opener and Jake Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth Wednesday as the Cubs knotted the series at one win apiece with a 5-1 triumph. The most impressive offensive player in the first two games of the series won’t even have a spot in the starting lineup for the next three contests as Chicago will leave Kyle Schwarber on the bench with a pinch-hitting role in the National League park. Schwarber, who sat out all but two games of the regular season after tearing ligaments in his knee in April, was added to the World Series roster and went 3-for-7 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored while serving as designated hitter in the Amercian League park.”There’s no being sad about it,” Schwarber told reporters after it was announced Thursday that he was not medically cleared by doctors to play the field. “There’s no nothing. I know my role, now, and I’m going to embrace it.”
TV: 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Josh Tomlin (2-0, 2.53 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 1.65)
The Friendly Confines Await Game 3 of the World Series
Tomlin delivered exactly what was asked of him in each of his first two postseason starts, allowing a total of three runs in 10 2/3 innings before handing things off to the team’s dominant bullpen. The 32-year-old Texan served up 36 home runs in 174 innings during the regular season but has yet to yield a home run in the playoffs. Tomlin, who has never faced Chicago, was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three interleague starts this season.
Hendricks outdueled Clayton Kershaw in the clinching game of the NLCS, scattering two hits and no walks over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out six. Hendricks, the major-league ERA leader at 2.13, surrendered one run over 12 2/3 innings in two NLCS starts and went 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA at home during the regular season. The Dartmouth product, who is seeing Cleveland for the first time, was 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in three interleague starts this season.
1. Indians RHP Danny Salazar (forearm) made his postseason debut in Game 2 and walked a pair in a scoreless inning.
2. Chicago LF Ben Zobrist is 5-for-8 with an RBI triple in the series.
3. Cleveland DH Carlos Santana, who is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series, could see time in the outfield in Chicago.
CLEVELAND – (Wire Service Report – Special to Digital Sports Desk) – No matter how many times his teammates said it, Kyle Schwarber had a hard time believing it. Through all the hours of rehab, all the months spent away from the field, the rest of the Chicago Cubs kept telling him he would be back for the World Series.
“I’d just laugh it off,” Schwarber said. “Then when it came to reality, it was a shock.”
Now it is Schwarber shocking people.
After missing more than six months recovering from the torn ACL he sustained on the second day of the season, Schwarber went 3-for-7 as the Cubs managed a split of the first two games of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. He scorched a single to center in the third inning of Game 2 on Wednesday to score Anthony Rizzo from second base, then added another RBI single in the fifth to score Ben Zobrist and extend the Cubs’ lead to 4-0.
“Hey man, I’m living the dream,” Schwarber said. “We’re playing in the World Series, what else can you ask for? I’m just going to keep riding the wave till it ends.”
Schwarber has reached base five times through the first two games of this series — not bad for a guy whose only rehab assignment came last weekend in the Arizona Fall League. Cubs manager Joe Maddon has spent 30 years in baseball, but can’t recall anyone doing what Schwarber has done.
“I’ve seen guys come back from injuries during the season, but they’ve gone through rehab and they didn’t have that severe of an injury to come back and play,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any real comp for it. I don’t. Nothing that I’ve seen.”
Maddon never counted on Schwarber coming back and insists it wasn’t even a viable option until the National League Championship Series when team doctors cleared him to hit without Maddon even asking about him. First, Schwarber hit in the batting cage of the visitor’s clubhouse at Dodger Stadium. Then the Cubs sent him to the AFL for a few games.
“I’m here to tell you, it wasn’t on my radar screen at all,” Maddon said. “I kept encouraging him for next year. We were not expecting him to be ready for the playoffs.”
Now that he is the hottest hitter in the Cubs’ lineup, the question remains how long he can stay in it. He was the designated hitter in Cleveland, but he would have to return to the outfield in order to keep playing when the series shifts to Wrigley Field on Friday.
Schwarber has not even tried playing the outfield yet, although Maddon left open the possibility he would take fly balls during Thursday’s workout. If doctors clear him, the Cubs’ lineup remains a little more dangerous.
Schwarber turned toward the Cubs’ dugout after his RBI single in the third and shouted while pumping his arms. Maddon believes it is working.
“He jacks everybody up,” Maddon said. “Those couple big hits he got, Rizzo really responded to it well. The whole group did. It makes your lineup longer. It makes it thicker. It makes it better. We knew what it would be like all year long. We didn’t have it. And now we’re going to have it in a short spurt right now. and it’s kind of fun. It’s a great weapon to have.”
Chi. Cubs 5, Cleveland 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND – (Wire Service Report) – Kyle Schwarber didn’t need much time to make an impact on the Chicago Cubs’ lineup. In his second game back after early-April knee surgery cost him almost the entire regular season, Schwarber helped the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 Wednesday to even the World Series at one game apiece. Schwarber went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, making him 3-for-7 in the series after he went 0-for-4 in the regular season. He also sat out the Cubs’ earlier playoff-series victories.
“He jacks everybody up,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the 23-year-old slugger who served as the designated hitter in the first two games of the Fall Classic. “It makes your lineup longer. It makes it thicker. It makes it better.”
The best-of-seven series shifts to Chicago for the next three games, starting with Game 3 on Friday night at Wrigley Field.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. In 5 2/3 innings, Arrieta gave up one run on two hits with six strikeouts and three walks. The right-hander thrived on a chilly night at Progressive Field. The game-time temperature was 43 degrees.
“It was so cold I tried to go to the bathroom in the fourth inning and I couldn’t,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona joked.
Arrieta retired the first batter in the sixth inning, but Jason Kipnis doubled to center field, Cleveland’s first hit of the game. Kipnis went to third when Francisco Lindor grounded out, then scored on a wild pitch, cutting Chicago’s lead to 5-1.
“I knew I hadn’t given up a hit into the sixth inning, but that wasn’t the focus of the game for me,” Arrieta said. “I just wanted to pile up as many outs as I could.”
Trevor Bauer started for Cleveland and had a rough and brief outing. In 3 2/3 innings, Bauer threw 87 pitches and gave up two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
“They never let him settle into the game,” Francona said. “You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. As a staff in general, we worked behind in the count too much.”
The Cubs, who were shut out on seven hits by Corey Kluber and two relievers in Game 1 on Tuesday, scored a run in the first inning of Game 2, snapping a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason by Cleveland pitchers.
“That’s our goal,” Maddon said about scoring first. “If you look at this playoff run for everybody, the team that scores first normally has a pretty good advantage”
Ben Zobrist also had two hits for the Cubs, leaving him 5-for-8 in the series.
Bauer was making his first appearance since his aborted start in Toronto in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. In that outing, Bauer threw just 21 pitches and retired only two batters before being removed from the game when his right pinkie finger, lacerated while cleaning a drone, started bleeding profusely. Bauer’s finger appeared fine Wednesday night, but everything else was off.
CLEVELAND – (Staff Report from Official MLB News release) – David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and Kris Bryant of the National League Champion Chicago Cubs have been selected as the American League and National League winners of the 2016 Hank Aaron Awards. Established in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Awards are officially sanctioned by MLB and recognize the most outstanding offensive performers in each League.
Fans voted for the recipients on MLB.com and Twitter, and for the seventh straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron joined fans in voting for the Awards. The Hall of Fame panel includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time, such as Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers – who combined for 17,010 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,275 home runs – were all personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.
“I congratulate David Ortiz and Kris Bryant on earning the 2016 Hank Aaron Awards,” Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said. “David created an extraordinary legacy with the Red Sox. Fans will never forget his consistent excellence at the plate and his performances on the game’s greatest stages. Kris followed up an award-winning rookie season by helping lead the Cubs to their best regular season in more than a century. Both David and Kris are deserving of an honor named for one of the greatest players and individuals that our game has ever known.”