It had been a long time for both clubs and they head to Chicago with the World Series tied at 1-1. Cleveland won Game 1 at home, but the Cubs came back to take Game 2.
The Indians took Game 1 in convincing fashion, winning 6-0. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, which started with a two out single by Francisco Lindor.
Cubs starter Jon Lester then walked back-to-back hitters before allowing an RBI single to Jose Ramirez (it was a dribbler that third baseman Kris Bryant had to charge). Lester then hit Brandon Guyer to force in another run.
Roberto Perez homered off Lester in the fourth and then broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth with a three-run home run off former Indian Hector Rondon (and teammate). Perez now has three postseason homers (he only hit three in the entire regular season).
Meanwhile, Corey Kluber pitched like the ace and CY Young award winner that he is. He struck out eight Cubs in the first three innings, as they continued to stand there and take the slider that came back over the inside portion of the plate.
Kluber was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to former KC Royal Ben Zobrist in the seventh (Zobrist had three hits). Kluber allowed four hits (two to Zobrist) and struck out nine.
Indians manager Terry Francona went to lefty Andrew Miller in the seventh and it almost backfired. He walked Kyle Schwarber and then allowed a single to Javy Baez to load the bases with nobody out. However, Miller battled back and got a fly out followed by back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
Miller went back out for the 8th inning and walked Bryant with one out and allowed a single to Zobrist with two outs. That brought up Schwarber, who was hurt for just about the entire season and played just two games in the Arizona Fall League. He was all the media has been talking about heading into Game 1 and he struck out to end the eighth.
Indians closer Cody Allen quickly dispatched the Cubs in the ninth, striking out Baez on three pitches (while striking out the side). Allen did allow a double to Wilson Contreras, who showboated and bat-flipped because he thought he hit a homer. He cost himself a triple.
In Game 2, the Cubs took Game 2, 5-1. They jumped on Indians starter Trevor Bauer for a run in the first with Anthony Rizzo doubling to right field. They fouled off ten balls in the first. The Cubs scored again in the third on Kyle Schwarber’s two out single (they had two outs and no one on base).
Bauer did not make it out of the 4th inning.
The Cubs added three more runs in the fifth off the Indians bullpen duo of Zach McAllister and Bryan Shaw (two hits and three walks). Danny Salazar made his postseason debut (after spending most of September on the DL) and worked around two walks in the sixth.
Jeff Manship got into trouble in the seventh, but Dan Otero bailed him out (1.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K). Rookie Mike Clevinger worked a perfect ninth (ten pitches).
Meanwhile, Cubs ace and reigning NL CY Young award winner Jake Arrieta did not allow a hit until Jason Kipnis doubled with one out in the sixth and scored on a wild pitch (Kipnis did commit two errors). The Indians had long at-bats against Arrieta, as he walked three, and was pulled with two outs in the sixth (98 pitches, 55 strikes).
Former Royal Mike Montgomery worked two scoreless innings and struck out four. He did allow two hits and walked one. Aroldis Chapman walked one and struck out two in the bottom of the ninth.
Former Royal Coco Crisp got the start in left field for the Indians and went 0-for-4. He struck out against Montgomery and grounded out against Chapman.
Zobrist added to his hot World Series by going 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI. He is now 5-for-8 in the World Series after hitting just .150 in the NLCS.
NL ERA leader Kyle Hendricks gets the start for the Cubs on Friday night with Josh Tomlin getting the start for Cleveland.