Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta and slugger Kyle Schwarber were the keys to the Cubs first World Series victory since game 6 in 1945.
Arrieta flirted with a no-hitter until the Indians Jason Kipnis broke it up in the 6th. Arrieta bounced back from a sub par NLCS game and finished with a strong start to lead the Cubs. He was a bit erratic and did get into some early trouble as he couldn’t find his command that led to walking a few batters before getting Jose Ramirez to fly out and end the first inning threat.
Schwarber has been the talk of the series as he had another great day at the plate as he went 2 for 4 with two big RBI’s and added a walk. He is hitting .429 in the first two games since missing all but three games of the regular season.
The Cubs hitters got to the Indians Trevor Bauer early as Kris Bryant singled. Anthony Rizzo then smoked a double to right, scoring Bryant. During the relay, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall inadvertently threw to second base instead of trying to gun down Bryant at home. Who knows if he would have gotten him but it looked like it may have been a close play. Bauer retired the next two batters to limit the damage to 1-0.
The Cubs broke the game open in the fifth against the Indians bullpen. Zach McAllister came in for Bauer in the previous inning and got Bryant to strike out leading off. Rizzo then walked and Ben Zobrist tripled, scoring Rizzo. Bryan Shaw came in for McAllister and gave up a hit to Schwarber, scoring Zobrist. Shaw was all over the place as he threw a wild pitch, walked Jorge Soler and then walked Addison Russell with the bases loaded scoring Schwarber. Fowler struck out swinging to end the three run inning for the Cubs and giving them a 5-0 lead.
The Indians finally got on the board in the bottom half of the 6th as Kipnis doubled to start the rally. Fransisco Lindor then moved Kipnis to third on a ground out. Arrieta then threw a wild pitch scoring Kipnis and gave up a single to Mike Napoli before he was chased in favor of reliever Mike Montgomery. Montgomery got Ramirez to ground out to end the inning and preserve the 5-1 lead.
Aroldis Chapman came in to get the final four outs of the game and shut the door on the Indians offense and the 5-1 victory.
The Cubs bats came alive after being shut out the night before. The main thing I noticed was that they took a more aggressive approach to swinging at their pitch and not the pitchers. Schwarber has been the emotional leader with an OBP of .556 in the two games so far.
The Cubs head back to Wrigley with the split they were hoping for and will host the first World Series game since as we all know by now… 1945. Game 3 will pit the Indians Josh Tomlin vs. Cy Young contender Kyle Hendricks. The fans will be geeked out and in full throat as the team now has the home field advantage and will look to potentially finish off the Indians by Sunday night. But then again, the games have to be played before Cubs fans get ahead of themselves.