A missed fly ball for the final out in the top of the first opened the flood gates and the Chicago Cubs never looked back in winning Game 6 of the World Series, 9-3. The decisive Game 7 tomorrow night will be in Cleveland with Corey Kluber going on three days rest for the second time in this series against Cubs Game 3 starter Kyle Hendricks.
Pitching on three days rest, Indians starter Josh Tomlin was pumping strikes and got two quick outs. Kris Bryant launched a hanging breaking ball into the left field seats to give the Cubs the 1-0 lead. With runners on the corners, Tomlin got Addison Russell to hit a fly ball into right center field. It dropped between the fielders and two runs scored (what should have ended the inning).
With one out in the 3rd inning and the bases loaded, the Indians pulled Tomlin in favor of Dan Otero, who allowed a grand slam to Russell on a 2-0 pitch to up the Cubs lead to 7-0.
The Indians got their first hit, a Jason Kipnis double, to lead off the bottom of the fourth. He came around to score on Mike Napoli’s single. The Indians would load the bases with two outs, but Cubs starter Jake Arrieta struck out Tyler Naquin to end the inning.
Kipnis hit a solo home run in the fifth to cut the deficit to five runs.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Indians got two on with two outs for Francisco Lindor. The Cubs went to closer Aroldis Chapman, who induced a ground out from Lindor, in which Chapman just beat Lindor to the bag according to slow-mo replay (the call on the field was overturned by replay). Chapman also looked to be limping after the play.
However, Chapman went back out for the eighth, allowing a one out single to Jose Ramirez. He then induced an inning ending double play from pinch-hitter Yan Gomes (three World Series at-bats, two against Chapman). In the bottom of the ninth, Chapman walked Brandon Guyer to start the inning and he was pulled in favor of Pedro Strop.
After a fly out by Rajai Davis, Roberto Perez drove in the third run with a single (but he was thrown out at second base). Strop then walked Carlos Santana on four pitches and was pulled in favor of Travis Wood to drag this game out even more. Kipnis popped up near foul territory to end the game.
The Indians pieced together the game by using five relievers. After Otero, Salazar worked two scoreless while striking out four. Jeff Manship allowed a hit over 2/3 of an inning. Zach McAllister got the final out in the sixth and got out of a two on, no out jam in the seventh. Mike Clevinger walked the first batter he faced, but induced a double play and faced the minimum in the eighth. In the ninth, Clevinger got two quick outs, but then allowed a hit to Bryant and a two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo.
The middle of the Cubs order came to life. Kyle Schwarber moved into the two-spot and he went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Bryant collected four hits in the three spot and Rizzo had three hits in the cleanup spot. Former KC Royal Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk, scoring the third run in the 1st inning after barreling into Indians catcher Perez. In the sixth spot, Russell drove in six runs on two hits.
Former Royal Coco Crisp went 0-for-1 with a walk before being pinch-hit for when the Cubs went to former Royal Mike Montgomery (a lefty) in the sixth. Montgomery allowed a hit and walked one over one inning of work.