Win or go Home
Well this is it, The Indians are one win away from winning the World Series, and for the Cubs well they have officially gone into survival mode being down 3-1 in the series. It is no easy task coming back from 3-1 especially in Baseball, but with: Lester, Arrietta and Hendricks. If you are a Cubs fan you aren’t losing any hope yet with favorable pitching match ups that are to come. Defense for the Cubs has been amazing, the one thing they need to do is hit that simple. I think knowing the situation they are in and with a dominant Lester on the mound, their bats will finally wake up and hopefully give them more confidence hopefully going back to Cleveland.
Lester in his last start didn’t do very well his last start: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 2.44 ERA . I can’t see Lester having back to back bad games, he is too calm, focused, and consistent. I see Lester shutting down the Indians offense early which is what he needs. If he is able to settle in and work one side of the plate and get the calls he wants, it’s going to be a long day for The Indians.
The one problem I have today and with the whole series, is how Joe has kept the same lineup game after game. When your offense hasn’t been producing you normally move people around. I don’t like having, Zobrist in the cleanup spot, I think Rizzo should be there, and Ben should be batting 2ND then move Bryant to the 3rd spot. That could be one of the few things to take away from this series. Now onto the opposing pitcher, Trevor Bauer who in his last start didn’t do very good at all: 3 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 4.26 ERA. He is also nursing an injured pinky finger on his pitching hand. So look for the Cubs lineup to be wide awake today, or they go home and then the good old saying goes “ next year is the year”.
The Cubs’ bats were silent in Game 3, but the bats awakened for Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo in Game 4. Fowler got things done with a lead-off double and Rizzo with a RBI single, making the score 1-0 in the bottom of the first. Wrigley was rocking and shaking after that. Unfortunately, that was the only joy Cubs fans had in Game 4. On the other hand, John Lackey gave up a home run to Carlos Santana to tie the game up 1-1 in the top of the 2nd. Corey Kluber helped his own cause with a RBI infield single to make it 2-1 in that same inning. Then Lackey gave up a RBI single to Francisco Lindor to make the score 3-1 in the third. An opportunity was wasted in the bottom of the 4th with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo on first and second, the Cubs couldn’t cash it in with Ben Zobrist striking out to end the inning. Another opportunity wasted in the 6th with Rizzo leading off the double but couldn’t get anything going. Indians’ Jason Kipnis put the icing on the cake for the Indians with a 3-run homer off Travis Wood. The score was 7-1 in the 7th inning. The Cubs’ defense wasn’t hot in that inning with Bryant’s error with 1 out. Dexter Fowler was the offense with a double and a home run. That 8th inning home run by Fowler put an end to Andrew Miller’s scoreless streak this postseason. The Cubs couldn’t add on after that and lost 7-2.
Bright side from this series is the Cubs can make this a 7-game series with Jon Lester vs. Trevor Bauer tonight and Jake Arrieta vs. Josh Tomlin in Game 6. The Cubs definitely have the advantage from a pitching stand point, but will they have the offense going?
Three days’ rest might not be enough for Corey Kluber.
What a beautiful day we have for a World Series Game 4. The matchup, John Lackey vs. Corey Kluber. Lackey being the most World Series experienced Cub on the team, Joe is really banking on Lackey having his best stuff tonight against Corey Kluber, who in his last start shut out the Cubs’offense striking out 8-9 first batters and didn’t give them anything after that. On three days’ rest, I don’t believe any pitcher in the game today not even, Clayton Kershaw can be dominant on three days’ rest. Kluber is no top 5 pitcher, he ended the regular season with a 3.14 ERA, I think Terry Francona’s decision to start Kluber tonight will come back to hurt him.
Now for the opposing pitcher, John Lackey, he might not be the best Cubs pitcher, but man does he know how to fire up a crowd and really get his teammates into the game. I think John’s fierce playing style will have an ultimate effect on the rest of the team especially with the bats. Which to be honest in the last game never looked so quiet. Back to Lackey, he needs to settle in early and get quick 1-2-3 innings through the first 2 innings. If he can do that and the Cubs bats can wake up, put some run support on the board they have a chance to gain all their confidence back. Going into Game 5 most likely with Jon Lester pitching against, Trevor Bauer. This is the Cubs’ chance to take a lead in the series going back to Cleveland. Don’t lose hope yet, Cubs fans.. the Cubs are just getting started.
Lackey Regular Season Stats: 188.1 IP, 146 H, 74 R, 70 ER, 53 BB, 180 SO, 3.35 ERA
Kluber Regular Season Stats: 215.0 IP, 170 H, 82 R, 75 ER, 57 BB, 227 SO, 3.14 ERA
Lackey Postseason Stats: 8.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO, 3.26 ERA
Kluber Postseason Stats: 24.1 IP, 17 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 29 SO, 0.76 ERA
Kyle Hendricks started off the Cubs’ momentum for the game. Top of the first, Hendricks gave up two hits with one out. After Hendricks gave up those two hits, he won a pickoff attempt at first and then struck out Mike Napoli to end the top of the first. Kyle Hendricks got in a big jam with the bases loaded and Joe Maddon went with one of his decision that Cubs fans on Twitter reacted badly to. Joe put in Justin Grimm with the hottest hitter at the plate, Francisco Lindor. Grimm forced him into a double play to get out of the inning. With the Cubs putting the leadoff hitter on, the Indians scored off of it with a wild pitch then a RBI single by Coco Crisp. Leading to that Andrew Miller was taken out of the game after striking out the side. The Cubs couldn’t find an answer for offense just managing three hits. Things got pretty tense in the bottom of the 9th with runners on second and third, but Baez couldn’t get the job done and strikes out. In order for the Cubs to win the World Series the bats need to wake up. This series is similar to the NLCS with the Dodgers when the Cubs were down 2-1. Things could easily turn to the Cubs’ favor with a big John Lackey win tomorrow.
Up next: Corey Kluber vs. John Lackey
Huge game for the Cubs. They can either tie the series and hand it to Lester for Game 5 or be down 3-1 to the Indians.
It’s time for Cubs to take the series and turn Wrigley Field Up
Every Cubs fan should be on their feet tonight. The World Series is back in Chicago and the Cubs can actually win it here in front of the home crowd, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The World Series is tied at 1-1 with some great pitching in Games 1 & 2. However, the Cubs look to takeover Game 3 with the same formula as in Game 2. The Cubs have every pitching matchup advantage until Corey Kluber takes the mound. Today’s matchup is this, Kyle Hendricks Vs Josh Tomlin. Hendricks is coming into the game tonight with one of the hottest changeups in the MLB and getting comparison to Greg Maddox on how the ball moves and his approach. During Hendricks’s last game, he went 7 innings allowed 2 hits and no runs. He retired 17 straight batters before giving up another hit. Josh Tomlin’s regular season stats: 13-9/4.40 ERA/118 K/20 BB/1.19 WHIP. Tomlin on the other hand been pitching average in the postseason, he really doesn’t go deep into games. Tomlin went 5 innings in both of his starts this postseason, but with this Cubs potent lineup in Wrigley Field with the wind hopefully blowing out, it should be hitter’s day.
The Cubs offense was on a tear last game with everybody in the lineup getting on base or getting a hit. The biggest loss for the Cubs is heading into Wrigley without the ability to put Kyle Schwarber in the lineup because of no DH spot. Joe Maddon kept an optimistic take on if Schwarber can play in the outfield, but he had to be medically cleared first. When Schwarber got to Chicago, he wasn’t cleared to play. The doctors told Schwarber he cannot play in the outfield but was eligible to pinch hit. With that being said, the Cubs lineup could possibly go with Jason Heyward in right field and Ben Zobrist in left field, with Willison Contreras catching for Hendricks again. On the opposite end, the Cleveland Indians are putting their DH hitter, Carlos Santana, in left field. He is 0-6 so far in the World Series. With a lot of wind coming into play tonight playing left field, could be tough so it can work into the Cubs advantage. The hot bats of the Cubs need to stay hot and will be hot due to the LOUD crowd that will be there. Anthony Rizzo & Zobrist bats are on fire this World Series. If Dexter Fowler’s bat heats up, which we saw signs at the end of the game with a walk and a hit, then it will be a long weekend for Indians. I can almost guarantee if Fowler gets a leadoff hit the Cubs will score a run the 1st inning. Easy formula to win this game get an early lead and let the pitchers do their thing since they lead the MLB in starting pitchers ERA.
On The other side the Indians bats have been average so far, but what we all know now is that the Indians players are very patient at the plate and love to take walks. Hendricks rarely issues walks. He likes to throw the ball in the strike zone with a freakish changeup that batters cannot hit. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez seem to be the key hitters for the Indians. Both of them have a batting average of .429 where the rest of the bats seem to have gone cold. Jason Kipnis and Mike Napoli need to get their bats going if they want to have a shot at Hendricks tonight.
Possible Cubs Lineup:
Cubs like keeping Addison Russell in the 7th or 8th spot it relaxes him more. Also, it makes the lineup a little bit deeper at the end. Jason Heyward is back in the lineup after showing some signs of getting out of his slump with a hard hit ball that carried to center field in Game 2. That was the best approach/swing at the ball I’ve seen Heyward take in a long time, but his next at bat was a strikeout. If the Cubs offense wants to keep shining without Schwarber in the lineup the next 3 games, Heyward needs to step his swing up so he can become a big part of this lineup.
Cubs win 6-2; Kyle Hendricks goes 7 innings giving up 3 hits. If Dexter Fowler get on base first in the first inning the Cubs will get a few runs early.
Middletown, Ohio is a regular suburb that sits about an hour North of Cincinnati. The town has produced some great athletes such as; NBA star Jerry Lucas, Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter, Chicago Cubs pitcher Charlie Root, and of course Kyle Schwarber.
Kyle played baseball all four years at Middletown High School where he hit 18 home runs and had 103 RBIs with a batting average of .408. He took his talents to Indiana University where he seemed to make a name for himself. He hit .300 with 8 home runs and drove in 47 runs which helped him receive the All-American honor by Louisville Slugger. His sophomore season was just as good, even better. Kyle hit .366 had 18 homers and 54 RBIs. That year he was named a first team All-American, again. His junior year, he had hit .348 with only 13 home runs and he was named a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award.
Then in 2014, Kyle was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, fourth overall. What Kyle did next is proof that he’s such a hard worker and wants to succeed. He started his career with the Short A Boise Hawks. After a total of 3 days he was then promoted to Class A affiliate Kane County Cougars. Then before the season ended he was promoted again, this time to Class A-Advance affiliate, Dayton Cubs.
When the 2015 season came around, Schwarber was promoted to the Double A Tennessee Smokies and in July he played in the All-Stars Future Game where he hit a two-run triple to give team USA the lead. He also won MVP of the game.
Kyle was the first player from the 2014 draft to be called to the majors, on June 16th he joined the Cubs. Ironically, Schwarber’s first time playing a position in the majors came when Miguel Montero was ejected against the Cleveland Indians. Kyle was sent down to Triple-A Iowa Cubs but then rejoined the team on July 16th to replace Miguel Montero, who was injured.
Schwarber’s first big night came when the team was in Cincinnati taking on the Reds. He hit a game tying two-run blast in the ninth inning and then the go ahead homer in the 13th to give the Cubs a 5-4 victory. Kyle finished the season hitting .246 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs. Luckily for him, the season didn’t end at the beginning of October. During the Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh, Schwarber hit a massive two-run shot to help edge the Cubs past the Pirates, 4-0. Then during the NLDS, Kyle hit two more homers, one that landed on the right field video board. Schwarber wrote his name in the history books. He hit his fifth home run and has the record of most home runs hit in a postseason by a player age 22 and younger passing Detroit Tigers slugger, Miguel Cabrera.
Even though the Cubs didn’t go all the way in 2015, it was a fantastic season and fans couldn’t wait until they saw more Schwarber bombs in 2016. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to see any. On April 7th, Schwarber and teammate Dexter Fowler had a collision that was heard around the world. Kyle tore two ligaments in his knee which sidelined him for the entire season. To make matters worse, there were rumors surfacing around the trade deadline saying the Cubs were looking to trade Kyle to the New York Yankees. Kyle was on the bench cheering his team on as they got ready for what was history in the making. The club produced back to back postseason appearances.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, Kyle was activated off the 60 day disabled list and headed to Arizona to take part in the Fall League. He had a mini Spring Training in about three days making him able to be on the roster for the World Series.
Game 1 of the Fall Classic, Kyle who was the designated hitter, hit a double and wrote his name in the history books…again. This time for being the first player ever to record their first hit of a season in the World Series. Game 2, he had two hits and drove in two runs to help even the series against the Cleveland Indians, 1-1. Something that is very eye opening is, Kyle loves the postseason so much. He hits .353 with 5 home runs and 10 RBIs in his postseason career. He also has the highest OPS in postseason history, 1.274, in at least 30 plate appearances. Tied for third on that list are the great Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, it’s safe to say that Kyle is in good company.