Tag: World Series

Cubs vs. Indians: Game 7 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2016 World Series

There was the billy goat. Then there was the black cat. Then Steve Bartman. There was more than a century of gross mismanagement, poor ownership and heartbreak.

Then came president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Then manager Joe Maddon. And then Wednesday night, Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero joined Chicago Cubs folklore by driving in a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning to give their team a thrilling 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

In all, the Cubs hit three solo home runs on their way to their first World Series victory since 1908.

Left-hander Mike Montgomery recorded the game’s final out, which came only after Rajai Davis drove in a run to make one of the most captivating games in World Series history close again.

MLB captured the Cubs’ moment of triumph:

The Cubs broke the longest championship drought in MLB history but nearly broke the spirit of their fans in the process by exorcising their demons in the most excruciating way possible. 

First, they dug themselves a 3-1 hole and left themselves seemingly insurmountable odds at a comeback. No team in the past 30 years had won the Fall Classic after finding itself in that hole, and 1979 was the last time a team had won Games 6 and 7 on the road. Since MLB instituted the 2-3-2 format in 1925, only five teams had pulled off the comeback. 

For the game’s first half, the Cubs showed no signs of succumbing to the moment, holding a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Dexter Fowler did not waste any time at the top of the first, belting a leadoff home run over the center field fence on the game’s fourth pitch from Indians starter Corey Kluber.

It was the first-ever leadoff home run in a World Series Game 7. Jon Greenberg of The Athletic commented on the Cubs contingent in the Progressive Field crowd:

The Indians tied the game on a Carlos Santana single in the bottom of the third inning, but by the fourth, Chicago’s bats were ablaze.

Addison Russell and Willson Contreras drove in a pair of runs to put the Cubs up 3-1 before Baez and Anthony Rizzo made it 5-1 at the top of the fifth. Baez ran Kluber out of the game with a 408-foot home run over the right-center field fence, atoning for an error in the bottom of the third. 

ESPN Stats & Info passed along a historic number on the blast:

Kluber gave up four runs in four innings after giving up a lone run over 12 innings in Games 1 and 4.

The Indians then handed the ball to ace reliever Andrew Miller. The American League Championship Series MVP had been the bedrock of their bullpen all postseason, but he did not fare much better. The lefty walked Kris Bryant, and Rizzo scored him with a single.

ESPN The Magazine‘s Buster Olney had some lofty praise:

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was pitching well, and the path to victory looked clear: Give Hendricks one more inning, and then let Jon Lester and Aroldis Chapman close things out.

Maddon did not see it that way and nearly became the modern face of Cubsian failure.

The manager, who received criticism for his handling of the Cubs bullpen in Game 6, pulled Hendricks in the fifth after he walked Carlos Santana. Lester, who was throwing on short rest, stepped in along with catcher David Ross.

Things went awry almost immediately, as Jason Kipnis made it to second after a throwing error by Ross. Then Lester’s wild pitch bounced off Ross’ helmet and allowed two Indians runners to score. Francisco Lindor struck out swinging to put an end to the inning.

At the top of the sixth, Ross temporarily halted the Indians’ momentum, blasting a 406-foot solo home run off Miller in Ross’ final MLB game. After going his first 16 postseason innings without giving up a single run, Miller coughed up three in his final 3.1—including two homers. 

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com nonetheless highlighted Miller’s historic postseason:

Lester seemed to settle down after Ross’ home run, getting through the sixth and seventh without allowing a run. But Maddon was again quick to pull the proverbial trigger after Lester gave up an infield single with two outs in the eighth.          

Like in the fifth, Maddon’s decision blew up in his face. Chapman entered the game and immediately gave up an RBI double to Brandon Guyer prior to a game-tying two-run homer to Davis. The veteran has all of 55 home runs over his 11 seasons and hit it just barely over the left field fence to knot it up, via MLB on Twitter:

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted Chapman’s tired arm:

The social media wolves came out in full force:

The teams then endured a stress-inducing ninth inning, with the Cubs blowing a chance with a runner on third base and one out. Cleveland’s skies opened, causing a brief rain delay that seemingly gave the Cubs a moment to catch their collective breath.

Kyle Schwarber singled to start the 10th inning, and Rizzo got on via an intentional walk. That sequence set up Zobrist and Montero to play the heroes.

First, Zobrist hit an RBI double into the left field gap. Then, Cleveland intentionally walked Addison Russell, and Montero followed him with an RBI single that scored Rizzo.

Forced to go to his bullpen, Maddon handed the ball to Carl Edwards Jr., who recorded two outs before walking Guyer. Davis scored Guyer on a single, and Montgomery came in to close it out for Chicago. 

The Cubs’ win seemingly cements 2016 as the year of the 3-1 lead. Roughly four months ago, the city of Cleveland was basking in the glow of its own historic comeback—the Cavaliers were the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from such a deficit. LeBron James, J.R. Smith and members of the Cavs were even in attendance Wednesday.

Members of the Golden State Warriors took notice:

More than anything, though, this is the culmination of a journey many thought would never end. The ghosts of Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood can rest easy. Maddon even did his best Dusty Baker impersonation.

In the end, nothing—not mismanagement, not a torrential downpour, not Steve Bartman himself and not a dangerous Indians team—could stop the Cubs.

Postgame Reaction

Baez shared a look at the Commissioner’s Trophy on Instagram: 

Zobrist offered his thoughts, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:

The Chicago Cubs posted a comment from Rizzo on Twitter:

Indians reliever Cody Allen offered his response, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:   


Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

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World Series 2016: Odds and Prop Bets Info for Cubs vs. Indians Game 7

Corey Kluber was electric in his first two World Series starts, and the Cleveland Indians will hope he can do it a third time to bring the franchise its first title since 1948.

While the Chicago Cubs carry the weight of over a century without a World Series triumph, the pressure is squarely on the Indians, who are on the verge of throwing away a 3-1 series lead.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona set up his starting rotation so as to have his ace on the mound in a decisive Game 7. Kluber has been great so far, but he’s pitching on short rest for the second time in the Fall Classic.

Against a Cubs lineup that is getting back to its best, the 2014 Cy Young Award winner could be in trouble.

Below are a handful of prop bets for Game 7, courtesy of Odds Shark, followed by a preview of the pivotal matchup.


World Series Game 7

When: Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

Viewing Info: Fox, Fox Sports Go

Odds (via Odds Shark): Cubs (-117), Indians (+107)


Game 7 Prop Bets


Game 7 Preview

Starting pitching will be the decisive factor Wednesday night.

In the last two games, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin combined to allow nine earned runs in 6.1 innings. In comparison, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta went 11.2 combined innings and surrendered four earned runs.

Lester and Arrieta left with the lead, which rendered Cleveland’s best asset—the bullpen—ineffective. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen have been devastating in the postseason, but they can’t help the Indians much if they’re entering a game with their team down.

That’s why it’s imperative for Kluber to keep Chicago off the board for five—potentially even four—innings before he hands the ball over to the bullpen.

The silver lining from Games 5 and 6 for the Indians was that Miller didn’t pitch whatsoever. Allen, meanwhile, went 1.2 innings in Game 5. Both should be available to handle multiple innings Wednesday night.

Indians fans are feeling a bit uneasy after Cleveland lost the last two games. The Akron Beacon Journal‘s Jason Lloyd is thinking optimistically:

On the other side, Cubs fans will be confident with Kyle Hendricks taking the mound. The 26-year-old right-hander had a somewhat shaky start to the postseason but has allowed one earned run in 17 innings across the World Series and National League Championship Series.

Despite the massive stakes of Wednesday’s game, Hendricks is doing his best to treat Game 7 like any other start.

“Taking that same, ruthless approach, every day, every single start, even in the regular season,” he said, per the Chicago Tribune‘s Paul Skrbina. “So that when you get to these big moments, it’s basically like it has been the whole year.”

Jon Lester can pitch out of the bullpen if necessary, which may be risky. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi noted the left-hander hasn’t come on in a relief role in nearly a decade—the 2007 American League Championship Series.

Like Francona, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will want Hendricks to pitch deep enough into Game 7 that the bullpen can take over around the fifth or sixth innings and finish things off.

Maddon took no chances in Game 6, using Mike Montgomery for an inning and Aroldis Chapman for 1.1 innings. Chapman’s workload could be an issue after he went 2.2 innings in Game 5, as well. Still, Montgomery and Chapman will be called upon if Chicago is ahead Wednesday night.

Whomever wins the head-to-head matchup between Hendricks and Kluber will likely bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to his respective team.

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Cubs vs. Indians World Series Game 7: Live Score and Highlights

Welcome to Bleacher Report’s live coverage of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians! For one of these teams and their fans, eons of waiting for a World Series crown will come to an end tonight.

Keep it here for all the latest analysis, reaction, pictures, video and whatever else pops up from Progressive Field! Partake in the fun by dropping a line in the comments below and on Twitter (@RickWeinerBR).


Cubs 8, Indians 7

WP: Chapman

LP: Shaw

SV: Montgomery



Top 1st: Fowler solo HR

Bottom 3rd: Santana RBI single

Top 4th: Russell sacrifice fly

Top 4th: Contreras RBI double

Top 5th: Baez solo HR

Top 5th: Rizzo RBI single

Bottom 5th: Two runs score on Lester wild pitch

Top 6th: Ross solo HR

Bottom 8th: Guyer RBI double

Bottom 8th: Davis two-run HR

Top 10th: Zobrist RBI double

Top 10th: Montero RBi single

Bottom 10th: Davis RBI single

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Cubs vs. Indians: Game 7 Live Stream, TV Schedule and Latest Comments

After the Chicago Cubs’ decisive 9-3 win in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, everything will come down to Wednesday’s Game 7 in a series that has been evenly matched throughout.

The Cubbies will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound, while the Tribe will counter with the man who is arguably the World Series MVP front-runner in Corey Kluber. Both teams will also have stacked bullpens at their disposal; starter Jon Lester and closer Aroldis Chapman will be available for Chicago, while the formidable duo of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen will be waiting in the wings for Cleveland.

Chicago and Cleveland have the two longest World Series droughts in Major League Baseball, so one curse will end Wednesday, while another will continue.

Ahead of the highly anticipated Game 7 clash, here is everything you need to know about when and where to watch the game, as well as what both teams are saying before the pivotal tilt.


Where: Progressive Field in Cleveland

When: Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go


What the Cubs Are Saying

The Cubs were in a win-or-go-home situation in Game 6, and not only did they play that way, but manager Joe Maddon also managed as if their backs were against the wall.

Despite having a five-run lead in the seventh inning, Maddon brought Chapman into the game two days after he threw 42 pitches. Critics met the move with skepticism since the contest appeared to be well in hand, but Maddon stood behind the decision, according to ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers:

It was just the middle of their batting order. There was just no other way to look at that and feel good, man. That could have been the ballgame right there…I thought the game could have been lost right there if we did not take care of it properly…So he went out there and he was outstanding again.

Chapman has thrown 62 pitches over the past two games, but there didn’t appear to be any concern about his availability for Game 7.

In fact, the Cuban southpaw insisted he will be ready to go when called upon in the winner-take-all spectacle, per Rogers:

I don’t worry about a few extra pitches. I have all the strength and mentality to pitch in this scenario. I’m ready for [Game 7] 100 percent. It’s the last game of the season. You cannot save anything. Time to leave it all on the field.


I feel blessed that I’m just healthy to pitch in this situation. This is [why] the Cubs brought me over.

How much the Cubs need Chapman in Game 7 will depend on the performance of Hendricks. He didn’t allow a run in his first start of the World Series and allowed just two hits in 7.1 innings in the clinching game of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Per Stats LLC (h/t ESPN.com), the NL Cy Young contender is ready to live out a lifelong fantasy Wednesday:

This is the ultimate dream. You dream of getting to the World Series, winning the World Series. When you’re out in your backyard as a kid, playing Little League at the field with your friends, this is the moment you dream about, Game 7, 3-2, two outs, something like that, bottom of the ninth. But it’s always Game 7 of the World Series.


I’m just going to embrace the opportunity like I have the rest of this postseason, honestly. Approach it like any other game, simple thoughts, the same old thing.

The Cubs’ bats came to life in a big way in Game 6, with Addison Russell (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 6 RBI), Kris Bryant (4-for-5, HR, RBI) and Anthony Rizzo (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI) all posting huge numbers.

A similar performance in Game 7 would almost certainly end Chicago’s championship drought, but a tighter game seems likely, which means Hendricks will have to be locked in.


What the Indians Are Saying

After seizing a 3-1 lead and putting themselves on the brink of World Series glory, the Indians dropped two straight and are now in danger of blowing a huge opportunity.

First baseman Mike Napoli said that going to Game 7 isn’t ideal, but he insisted he and his teammates are ready for the challenge, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com: “It is frustrating. We gave ourselves the opportunity to close it out. It’s going to come down to one game. We’re going to come out here and leave it on the field.”

Manager Terry Francona echoed those sentiments and stressed the importance of purging Game 6 from the memory bank, per Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com: “Tonight was a tough night. What it comes down to, we have to go out and win a really important game tomorrow. We’ll be excited to play. You learn from your mistakes and move on quickly, and we’ll do that. It will be exciting to come to the ballpark tomorrow.”

The Indians are 2-0 in games Kluber has started during the World Series, and they will bank on him in Game 7.

According to ESPN’s Lisa Kerney, the Indians are hopeful Kluber can accomplish something that hasn’t been done in nearly 50 years:

It can be argued that Cleveland is at somewhat of a disadvantage since Kluber is working on three days’ rest, but Francona is confident his ace will be good to go, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune: “Conversations with him, the way he treats his body, the way he works his routines. Good players, good pitchers can do special things. He’s in that category.”

Kluber also commented on working on short rest, and after doing so effectively in Game 4, he has little concern about his ability to bounce back for Game 7, per Hoynes:

I spend a little more time doing the different methods of recovery that we have available here. But I still get the same amount of work in between starts, it’s just a little more condensed. I haven’t found much of a difference yet in how I feel when I got out there on three days’ rest as opposed to four.

The 2014 AL Cy Young award winner has a huge challenge in front of him, especially now that the Cubs lineup appears to be firing on all cylinders.

Kluber will have plenty of backup in the form of Miller and Allen, though. The game will be in the hands of Francona in many respects, which isn’t a bad thing for Cleveland, given his championship resume.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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World Series 2016: Cubs vs. Indians Game 7 Pitching Preview and Prediction

After 108 years of waiting, Chicago Cubs fans will witness an epic Game 7 of the World Series tonight, even though their guys will be battling for the championship at Progressive Field in Cleveland. For the Cleveland Indians, it’s been 78 years since their last title, so their fans have done perhaps enough waiting for a lifetime as well. 

In Game 6, Chicago routed Cleveland on its home field, winning 9-2 powered by three home runs from Kris Bryant in the first, Addison Russell in the third and finally Anthony Rizzo in the ninth. The Indians once held a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Cubs, but that seems like ancient history ahead of tonight’s decisive Game 7. 

Pitching has been a major storyline all series, from the Cubs stellar starters to the Indians diabolical bullpen. Tonight, all eyes will be on the starters, 2014 Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber for Cleveland and Kyle Hendricks, a Cy Young candidate this season, for Chicago. 

Before the series, Indians manager Terry Francona told Kluber that he was counting on his ace to take the mound in Games 1, 4 and 7 should they be necessary, and how much Francona has needed to rely on Kluber‘s arm cannot be overstated. Kluber will have to deliver one more time if Cleveland hopes to win tonight in front of its fans. 

In Game 1, Kluber was dominant—he threw six scoreless innings, giving up only four hits while walking no batters and striking out nine. In that game, the Indians offense was dominant as well, scoring six runs in a game where it only really needed one, and Cleveland would win 6-0. 

Then, in Saturday’s Game 4, Kluber posted a similar line. He went six innings again, this time allowing one run on five hits. He fanned six Cubs and walked one. Again, the Indians lineup threw crooked numbers up on the scoreboard to secure the 7-2 victory and push Chicago to the brink of elimination. 

Perhaps most notably in terms of tonight’s game, though, is that Kluber—who will be pitching on just three days rest for the second consecutive start—threw fewer than 90 pitches in both of his starts in the World Series. He threw 88 pitches (59 strikes) in Game 1 and then only 81 (58 strikes) in Game 4. Although tonight will be Kluber‘s third start in just more than a week, the fact that he hasn’t been overworked should be a source of confidence for Francona and the Cleveland fans. 

Kluber has been nothing short of spectacular all postseason long. In his five starts in the playoffs, he’s thrown 30.1 innings and pitched to a 0.89 ERA. Also, per MLB.com, he’s kept his WHIP below one at 0.99. Although Kluber has gone just six innings in both of his World Series starts, he doesn’t necessarily need to do more than that to secure a championship for his squad. 

The ace of the Indians bullpen, Andrew Miller, threw exactly zero pitches in Games 5 and 6, so he will be ready to slot into any jam or inning that Francona needs him to and perhaps go up to three innings. That’s a huge buffer for Kluber to have, knowing that he doesn’t have to go the distance to give his team the best chance to win.

So far in the World Series, Cubs hitters are hitting just .205 off of Kluber, a number they will need to elevate tonight if they hope to break the multitude of curses that may or may not be plaguing their team and their city. 

Kluber‘s adversary in Game 7 will be the wiry Hendricks, who turned in a startlingly great regular season for Chicago. Hendricks led Major League Baseball with a 2.13 ERA in the regular season, which was 0.31 runs per game lower than the next closest pitcher in that category, his teammate Jon Lester

Emotions in the playoffs are high—and that’s an understatement. There is perhaps no greater test for a pitcher than to start Game 7 of a World Series when the last seven months of baseball rest on his shoulders. However, Hendricks might just be perfect for the opportunity. 

During a report from Cleveland on ESPN this morning, Pedro Gomez described Hendricks’ demeanor when he pitches. Gomez said that after striking out the side, for example, a time when his teammates would expect him to stomp into the dugout all pumped up, Hendricks strolls in with his head down, seemingly unimpressed with himself. 

While it’s no sin to use the adrenaline that comes with starting a Game 7, Hendricks’ collectedness might come in handy as he battles the Indians in what is sure to be a hostile Cleveland crowd. 

Hendricks has made four starts in the postseason, the most recent coming in Game 3 against the Indians, the first game of the series at Wrigley Field. In that contest, Hendricks lasted only 4.1 innings despite not giving up a run. Manager Joe Maddon‘s quick hook with Hendricks had largely to do with the closeness of the game, in which the Cubs would fall 1-0. 

His best start of the postseason, however, came a round earlier in Game 6 of the NLCS. Hendricks threw 7.1 scoreless innings while opposing Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. Hendricks surrendered only two hits in that game and struck out six, propelling the Cubs to the World Series. Tonight will not be Hendricks’ first potentially series-clinching start of the postseason. 

There is something that could give Cubs fans pause with Hendricks, however. During the regular season, Hendricks’ numbers varied quite a bit at home versus when he pitched on the road, as he will do tonight. At Wrigley Field, Hendricks’ ERA was a blistering 1.32. When he traveled away from the Friendly Confines, though, it ballooned to 2.95.

Now, an ERA of under three runs per game is nothing to scoff at, especially when you consider that no pitcher in the American League had an ERA less than three. Still, it does suggest that Hendricks may not be as effective when pitching on the road, which could significantly impact tonight’s outcome. The sample sizes are nearly the same, but Hendricks gave up 17 more runs on the road than he did at home. 

Hendricks did pitch his 4.1 scoreless innings in Game 3 at Progressive Field, so there’s no evidence that he can’t be just as dominant tonight, although hopefully for a longer stretch if you’re Maddon

These two pitchers enter the most important game of their lives with impressive resumes, and they both possess the ability to pitch deep into this game and potentially shut out the dangerous offenses they’re tasked with oppressing. 

From the standpoint of the pitching matchup, I’d have to give the edge to Kluber and the Indians, based on his body of work this postseason and in the World Series. Having said that, I’m taking the Cubs to win Game 7, mostly citing momentum, history and their blazing bats after Game 6. 

This one could very well be decided late into the night, and that will be because both teams’ starters refused to be outdone.

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World Series Game 7 Betting Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians Odds

For the second time in three years, baseball bettors will be treated to a Game 7 in the World Series, with the road team trying to win again.

This season, it will be the Chicago Cubs looking to win the World Series for the first time since 1908 as small -120 betting favorites Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark against the Cleveland Indians.

The Tribe have home-field advantage and last won the World Series back in 1948.

The Cubs have now won two of the first three games at Cleveland following a 9-3 victory in Game 6 on Tuesday after the Indians had taken two of three in Chicago to head home with a 3-1 series lead.

In other words, there has not been much of a home-field edge for either side, and three of the past four World Series have been won on the road, including each of the last two. The San Francisco Giants last did it in a Game 7 two years ago versus the Kansas City Royals, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are the most recent team to win the World Series on the road after trailing 3-1 back in 1979.

Cleveland ace Corey Kluber will stake his claim for MVP honors as he goes for his third win in the World Series. Kluber has stifled the Cubs offensively in his previous two starts, holding them to one run and nine hits over 12 innings with one walk and 15 strikeouts.

While Kluber will be pitching on short rest for the third time in the series, the Indians did not have to use any of their top three relievers in Game 6 and will have a fresh Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen all ready to go.

Kluber will be opposed by MLB ERA leader Kyle Hendricks, who will make his first road start of the playoffs, as he has pitched much better at Wrigley Field this year. Hendricks went 7-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 16 outings away from home during the regular season but still held opponents to a .213 batting average.

Hendricks earned the clinching win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, allowing two hits in 7.1 scoreless innings.

Unlike Cleveland, though, Chicago’s bullpen will not be nearly as strong outside of possibly using starters Jon Lester and John Lackey in relief if Hendricks struggles. That’s because closer Aroldis Chapman has thrown 62 pitches in his last two appearances over three days, making his availability past one inning questionable at best after manager Joe Maddon used him in Game 6 with a five-run lead.

The over has cashed in two of the last three games of the World Series after the under went 3-0 in the first three, according to the Odds Shark MLB Database.

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World Series 2016: Cubs vs. Indians Game 7 Pitching Preview, Predictions

The Chicago Cubs have won two must-games in a row. If they are going to win their first World Series since 1908, they will have to make it a hat trick.

The Cubs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in Game 6, thanks in large part to some shaky outfield play by the Cleveland Indians in the first inning and a grand slam by Addison Russell in the third inning. The Cubs came away with a 9-3 victory to tie the World Series at three games each.

The Cubs got on the board in the first inning when Kris Bryant hit a two-out solo home run, and they added two more runs when center fielder Tyler Naquin and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall let Russell’s fly ball drop between them.

Jake Arrieta was the beneficiary of Cleveland’s generosity and the Cubs’ offensive display, and he gave manager Joe Maddon 5.2 innings of three-hit baseball in which he allowed two earned runs.

However, as one-sided as the game was, Maddon appeared to make a strange move when he brought in closer Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning with a five-run lead.

Chapman, who had pitched 2.2 innings Sunday in a high-stress situation, pitched into the ninth inning when he was replaced Pedro Strop.

With the seventh game looming, just how much will Chapman have left in the tank?

Game 7 will belong to starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs and Corey Kluber of the Indians. Hendricks had a special regular season and has been sharp in the postseason with a 1-1 record and a 1.31 earned-run average in 20.2 innings. He has struck out 17 batters and walked six.

Kluber has had a dominant postseason as he has compiled a 4-1 record with a 0.89 ERA in 30.1 innings. He has struck out 35 batters and walked just eight.

Hendricks has had one more day of rest than Kluber, but the big pitchers in the Cleveland bullpen are well-rested. Andrew Miller has not pitched since Saturday, while Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw haven’t pitched since Sunday.

“This is the ultimate dream,’’ Hendricks told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “You dream of getting to the World Series, winning the World Series.”

Kluber was somewhat philosophical about his role. “First, and foremost,’’ Kluber told Nightengale, “it’s been a blast. I think we’ve all really enjoyed ourselves. I think we can take a lot from the way we approached it, not not treating it more than just each game is another game.’’

The Cubs scored three runs in Sunday’s Game 5 victory and then broke out with nine runs in Game 6. Bryant and Anthony Rizzo both hit home runs in the game, and Kyle Schwarber also had a hit batting in the No. 2 hole.

If the Cubs can continue to hit, they should have an excellent chance of ending their 108-year World Series drought. However, the Indians have their pitching set up well for the decisive game, and if Kluber can remain sharp, they will have an excellent chance of winning their first World Series since 1948.



The seventh game of the World Series is a special event, and the pitching matchup between Hendricks and Kluber seems somewhat reminiscent of the 1991 Atlanta Braves-Minnesota Twins matchup that featured John Smoltz squaring off against Jack Morris.

The Twins and Morris won that game 1-0 in 10 innings.

This game may not go extra innings, but it should be a memorable battle between two great starters.

However, the Indians have the stronger bullpen, and their top relievers appear to be in an excellent position. Look for the Indians to win the World Series as they earn a 3-2 Game 7 victory.

That will mark the end of Cleveland’s frustration, but the Cubs will go into 2017 with a 109-year dry spell.

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Corey Kluber Can Put Name in World Series Lore with Game 7 Triumph

In sports, there is no greater crucible than Game 7.

It’s the mother of all small samples. On such a limited, glaring stage, peons can rise and the great sometimes wilt.

On Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber will have a chance to ascend from great to legendary.

It’s one start. And the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Cleveland could have secured its first championship since 1948 on Sunday, but lost 3-2 at Wrigley Field. After heading back to Ohio on Halloween, the Indians endured a nasty trick in Tuesday’s Game 6, as Chicago pounded them 9-3 to knot the series at three games apiece.

Chicago was shut out twice in the series’ first three games, but the club’s offense has stirred from its hibernation. The Cubbies have momentum, fleeting as it is, after winning two straight.

Now, it falls on the stout shoulder of Kluber, who has been mostly excellent since the calendar flipped to October.

Scratch that. Kluber has been mostly excellent, period.

A Cy Young Award winner in 2014 and an All-Star this season, Kluber has eclipsed 200 innings and 200 strikeouts each of the past three years.

The 30-year-old has been equally impressive in his first postseason go-round, posting an 0.89 ERA while allowing just 22 hits and eight walks with 35 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. His arsenal of pitches—the power sinker, cutter and sweeping breaking ball—have been working to devastating effect.

He’s already 2-0 in this World Series after pitching the Tribe to victory in Games 1 and 4. It’s been a throwback showing, as ESPN.com Jayson Stark spelled out:

The ace has started Games 1 and 4, and won Games 1 and 4by giving up a total of one run in 12 innings. It’s no big deal to him. But who does this in the modern world of pitch counts, innings thresholds and third-time-through-the-order phobias? Nobody does this. That would be your answer. He’s the first starting pitcher to win Games 1 and 4 of any World Series since Jose Rijoin 1990.

If Kluber cashes in another gem Wednesday, he won’t merely give the title-parched city of Cleveland its second major sports parade of the calendar year after the Cavaliers hoisted the NBA trophy in June. He’ll etch his name, indelibly, in the annals of World Series lore.

Only 13 pitchers have won three games in a single Fall Classic, according to Benjamin Hoffman and David Waldstein of the New York Times. The last man to do it was Randy Johnson for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. That was a decade-and-a-half ago. Johnson has a bust in Cooperstown.

On October 24, before the World Series began, yours truly argued the Indians needed Kluber to do his best Madison Bumgarner impression. 

With Cleveland’s rotation depleted by injury and facing a deep, hungry Cubs lineup, it made sense for the Indians to saddle and ride an unflappable stud the way the San Francisco Giants rode Bumgarner in 2014.

These narratives rarely unfold so neatly. Yet here we are, with Kluber one step away from joining the firmament of postseason demigods.

He will be throwing on short rest. The specter of fatigue hangs in the air like an autumn mist. 

On the other hand, manager Terry Francona didn’t call on either Andrew Miller or Cody Allen in the Indians’ Game 6 shellacking, meaning the Tribe’s two-headed bullpen monster will be rested and ready to gnaw through the late innings.

If Kluber can give the Indians five or six solid frames and exit with the lead, he’ll have done his job.

That assumes Cleveland can dent Cubs starter and reigning MLB ERA king Kyle Hendricks, who has allowed just three earned runs in 20.2 innings this postseason. It also remains to be seen what Chicago closer Aroldis Chapman has left in the tank. 

As Game 7s go, this should be a doozy. The Indians believe they have the right man on the hill.

“Conversations with him, the way he treats his body, the way he works his routines,” Francona said of his confidence in Kluber’s stamina, per Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. “Good players, good pitchers can do special things. He’s in that category.”

Good is one thing. Legendary is another. Kluber will be gunning for the latter.

He’ll do it against a Cubs offense that’s suddenly humming. He’ll do it in front of a home crowd whose vibrating, long-suffering anticipation is surpassed only by the fans rubbing rabbits’ feet on Chicago’s North Side.

This World Series is all about overcoming history. On Wednesday, in the ultimate crucible, Kluber can make some of his own. 


All statistics current as of Tuesday and courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Cubs vs. Indians: Game 7 Time, TV Info, Live Stream and More

It all comes down to Wednesday night, as the Chicago Cubs will take on the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series with each team looking to end long championship droughts.

The Cubs, having not won the World Series since 1908, battled back to tie the series after being down 3-1, including a massive 9-3 road win on Tuesday night. The Indians, who have not won a world title since 1948, could not contain the Cubs in Game 6, but the team has to feel good with several big names available to take the hill in MLB‘s final game of the 2016 season.

Let us take a look at the schedule for Game 7, as well as a breakdown of this colossal showdown at Progressive Field.


Game 7 Preview

A pair of aces will square off on Wednesday as Chicago sends out Kyle Hendricks to combat Cleveland stud Corey Kluber.

Hendricks led the majors in ERA this season at 2.13, and that strong play has carried over into the playoffs. In four starts, the 26-year-old is sporting a 1.31 ERA despite a modest 1-1 record. He did not allow a run in his lone start of the series, but he was tacked for six hits in just 4.1 innings. 

The Cubs need Hendricks to put in quality work in Game 7, which would equate to about five innings and no more than two runs allowed. Chicago has plenty of arms at its disposal that will be available in the team’s final game of the year, and CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa postulated that another Cubs ace will be a major factor:

In addition to Jon Lester, the Cubs will also have John Lackey available to potentially get a few outs. This could be significant, considering Aroldis Chapman pitched four innings in the last two games. The closer has looked sensational with only two hits and a walk allowed in that span, but will fatigue be a factor if he is needed with the game on the line Wednesday? That is yet to be determined.

Regardless of how it decides on its pitching strategy, Chicago will need its best effort, as Cleveland will deploy its full arsenal of elite arms in Game 7.

Kluber is showing off elite stuff this postseason, flashing a 4-1 mark with a 0.89 ERA in five starts. He is arguably the World Series MVP at this point, allowing just nine hits and one earned run in two starts. His ERA is also historically low, per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale:

The 30-year-old will be pitching on short rest for the second time in this series, but Cleveland’s early Game 6 blowout loss should actually help take any pressure off Kluber to go deep in Game 7.

The Indians’ dominant bullpen trio of Cody Allen, Andrew Miller and Bryan Shaw should all be fully rested after getting Tuesday night off, and the three’s 2016 postseason numbers suggest Chicago needs to get runs early to have any chance of ending its World Series drought:

This unit essentially cuts the game in half, which means Cleveland only needs four to five strong innings from Kluber before letting the bullpen bring it home. So can Cleveland grab an early lead? Well, shutting down the middle of Chicago’s lineup will be a must.

Kris Bryant is 5-for-8 with two home runs and two RBI in his last two games, while Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist have combined for 11 hits and nine RBI over that span. In Chicago’s recent pair of wins, the rest of the team combined for just four hits. 

Despite the strength of that quartet, the circumstances set up too well for Cleveland.

The team relies on dominant pitching to win close, low-scoring games, and it is boasting a ridiculous amount of firepower on the mound Wednesday. Chicago erupted for nine runs in Game 6, but six of those came off Josh Tomlin, as the Cubs are still struggling to produce consistent offense, particularly against the Indians bullpen.

Expect Cleveland to generate a tight early lead, with the bullpen and rowdy home fans providing enough push to give the team a much-awaited world championship.


Statistics are courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

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World Series 2016: Schedule and Predictions for Cubs vs. Indians Game 7

There are no two better words in all of sports than “Game 7,” and that is just for a normal playoff series.

The 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians is no normal series.

The Cubs famously haven’t won a championship since 1908, while Cleveland’s last World Series title came in 1948. One of those teams will end decades of frustration with one single victory on Wednesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Chicago forced Game 7 with a 9-3 victory in Tuesday’s Game 6. It drilled three home runs, one of which was a grand slam from Addison Russell that accounted for four of his six RBI, and received 5.2 innings of solid work from Jake Arrieta.

He allowed only two earned runs, while his counterpart, Josh Tomlin, gave up six in just 2.1 innings.

Everything will be on the line when the two teams take the field on Wednesday. With that in mind, here is a look at the schedule and a breakdown and prediction for what promises to be a tension-fraught battle between two sides looking to end extensive title droughts.

The schedule information is courtesy of MLB.com.




Breakdown and Prediction

Starting Pitchers

While Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta entered the 2016 season as household names, Kyle Hendricks was Chicago’s most effective starter throughout the year. He finished the campaign with a 2.13 ERA and sparkling 0.98 WHIP and is a legitimate National League Cy Young Award candidate.

Cleveland will counter with its best starter, who already has two impressive outings in the World Series under his belt. Corey Kluber started Games 1 and 4 and allowed a measly one earned run in 12 innings of work. He struck out 15 and flummoxed Chicago’s bats on the biggest stage.

The only real concern with Kluber from the Indians’ perspective is the notion this is his third start on short rest in this World Series alone. Chicago’s powerful lineup that flexed its muscles on Tuesday already saw him twice in the span of six games and will get another crack at the effective righty with the championship trophy hanging in the balance.



Andrew Miller and Cody Allen watched Chicago’s straightforward victory from the bullpen and never entered the game. While Cleveland clearly would have preferred its two best bullpen pitchers to lock down a win, they will each be fresh and ready to go in Game 7.

On the other side, Aroldis Chapman threw 20 pitches total in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings for the Cubs a mere two days after throwing 42 pitches in Game 5.

That is an enormous advantage for Cleveland, especially if Kluber is able to shorten the game with another stellar outing.

However, Cubs manager Joe Maddon has something of a trump card that Cleveland doesn’t—Lester. The National League Cy Young Award candidate pitched six innings and allowed two runs in a Game 5 victory and finished the season with a 2.44 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

In the do-or-die Game 7 scenario, Lester will likely be available to pick up any slack for Hendricks or take the contest from the middle innings to the ninth, where Chapman will be waiting. Mike Axisa of CBS Sports suggested as much:

Ultimately, having the Miller and Allen combination fresh and ready behind Kluber is a serious boost for the Indians, but Lester can throw a handful of innings and help Chicago end its 108-year curse.



It would be justified for Cleveland fans to be concerned with Chicago’s offensive explosion on Tuesday. The Cubs finished with nine runs, and Kris Bryant, Russell and Anthony Rizzo all launched home runs. 

Russell’s was a grand slam to give Chicago a 7-0 lead in the third inning, which essentially ended most of the Game 6 drama.

Last time the Cubs broke out like that, they scored 10 runs in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series and parlayed that into eight runs in Game 5 and five runs in Game 6. Those five runs in Game 6 came against three-time National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, so any thoughts that Chicago can’t hit dominant pitching in the pressure-packed playoffs would be false.

As for Cleveland, it finished fifth in the major leagues in total runs this season and already has two games in this World Series with at least six runs.

It may have been overmatched in Game 6, but Jason Kipnis had three hits and finished a triple short of the cycle. It didn’t score off Hendricks in his Game 3 start, but it did force him from the game after just 4.1 innings of work with six hits and two walks.

Don’t assume the Cubs are the only ones with offensive firepower in this game just because they are the ones with marquee names like Bryant, Rizzo, Russell and Kyle Schwarber.



Ultimately, the fact this will be Chicago’s third attempt at Kluber in the World Series will play a factor.

The hitters will have an idea of what to expect and seize an early lead after gaining momentum in Game 6, which will limit the impact Miller can have in the middle innings. From there, Hendricks will prove his 2016 campaign was no fluke and get the ball to Lester in the seventh.

The southpaw will then work two innings before putting the World Series in Chapman’s hands.

The fireballer—who “said he will be available, without limitations,” per Jon Morosi of MLB Network—will close out Cleveland and end 108 long years of suffering from the Cubs fanbase.

Prediction: Cubs 4, Indians 2

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