To be published in The Voice, Bloomsburg University’s student-run newspaper:
CLEVELAND, OH – After losing three out of the first four games of the 2016 World Series, the Chicago Cubs have battled back, winning two straight to tie the series at three apiece against the Cleveland Indians.
Chicago pummeled Cleveland in game six on Tuesday night, 9-3. The Cubs came out swinging right from the start, putting together some two out, three run magic in the first inning. Third baseman Kris Bryant got things started with a solo home run. Chicago extended their lead when shortstop Addison Russel hit a fly ball to right-center field that should have been caught. However, Indians outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin miscommunicated on the play, and the ball hit the ground. Thus, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and left fielder Ben Zobrist scored on the error.
Just a half inning into the game, Cleveland was already trailing by three.
It would not get much better for Indians starter Josh Tomlin. In the third inning, the Cubs loaded the bases as designated hitter Kyle Schwarber walked, and Rizzo and Zobrist both singled. Indians manager Terry Francona decided to take Tomlin out of the game and bring in reliever Dan Otero. The pitching change had no effect when Russel hit a grand slam to welcome Otero into the game. Just like that, it was 7-0 Cubs.
Russel’s six-RBI’s in one game ties a World Series record. Paul Konerko of the Astros was the last player to do this in 2005.
After five quiet innings on offense, Rizzo hit a two-run bomb in the ninth inning, giving Chicago nine runs on the evening.
Cleveland pushed one run across the board in the fourth, fifth, and ninth innings, respectively. Second baseman Jason Kipnis was the only member on the tribe who managed to hit the ball of out of the ballpark with his fifth inning bomb that was the second run scored by the Indians.
2015 Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta picked up his second win of the World Series with his 5.2 inning performance. Arrieta allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. He threw 109 pitches in the effort.
A gutsy move was made by Cubs manager Joe Maddon in the seventh inning. Closer Aroldis Chapman was called upon in the seventh inning for the second time in three nights. On Sunday night in game five, Chapman threw 42 pitches and recorded eight outs in Chicago’s 3-2 win. With just 48 hours of rest, it was understandable to question Maddon’s decision to use Chapman again with a five-run lead and possibly game seven just a day away. Chapman went on to pitch scoreless ball until the ninth inning, where he was pulled after allowing the Indians to gather their third run. Chapman threw 20 pitches in his game six outing, and Chicago could possibly face an interesting dilemma on Wednesday night if they are in a tight ballgame. Cleveland will have their bullpen weapon, Andrew Miller, rested with Miller’s last relief appearance being in game four. Miller has pitched 3.1 combined innings of the series so far, allowing one earned run on three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
For game seven tonight in Cleveland, it will be Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks against Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. Hendricks pitched in game three of the series, a 1-0 Cleveland win. He did not allow a run in six innings of work, striking out six. Kluber, Cleveland’s ace, pitched in both game one and game four of the series. Both of those games were won by Cleveland. He has allowed one earned run in 12 combined innings of work with 15 strikeouts.
This World Series has been a dream come true for baseball fans all around the world. Both franchises have had embarrassingly long droughts without a World Series Crown. On the one side stands the Chicago Cubs, who has not won the World Series in 108 years. The last time the Cubbies even made it to the fall classic was 1945, so 2016 marks the first time in history that a Cubs’ World Series appearance has been televised.
On the other side, the Cleveland Indians look to win their first championship since 1948. The Tribe has been to the fall classic much more recently, with 1997 being their most recent trip. With the Cleveland Cavilers as our 2016 NBA Champions, the Indians winning the World Series would be an unbelievable accomplishment for a city that has been the home of the miserable football franchise known as the Browns.
Game seven will be a fairytale ending for one of these teams on Wednesday night. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, you must be inspired by watching these two franchises fight for something that has been so evasive to them. It has been an incredible World Series to watch, and having a do-or-die, game seven fight to the finish is the perfect way to cap off the battle between two resurging teams.